this summer i went to new york to spend a month by myself. although i hung out with nice people much of the time, and was surrounded by people ALL the time, it was impossible not to feel alone. but the word ‘alone’ makes it sound like a bad thing, but it wasn’t. even though i was alone, i rarely felt lonely. i enjoyed being by myself: whether i walked 25 blocks down one street , just to turn around and walk back the parallel street, just to see the changes in areas, or if i tried to locate myself in a new area, trying to find someplace or someone or simply because i was too warm to function. apart from walking, i kept myself in company by looking for nice cafes to sit down to read ( i brought my struggle 2 by knausgård and bought autobiography of red by carson and too much happiness by munro and telegraph avenue by an author i can’t remember the name of and apartemento and ny times. i enjoyed each of the books except for telegraph avenue which i found annoying and exhausting and gave up after fifty pages) or write. in general, i wrote a lot while i was in new york. not just in cafes, but in waiting rooms, in parks, at subways and in bed as well. tried to avoid writing while i ate dinner out alone, not to seem to lonely. but i really enjoyed it. writing turned out to be my way of socializing with myself. so i wrote a lot of letters and emails, and as so much were happening and i didn’t bother to repeat myself in every single letter, i told different stories and points of view and thoughts to each person. after i’d written several emails and letters, i started to refer to things written in previous emails, as it had been a conversation. and irl too – as i spent more time by myself than with other people, i rather referred to things written in letters when speaking with people, than the opposite. naturally, i think i would go crazy if i kept on writing letters (in other words: writing to myself) all the time. however, i got to write about everything i experienced and saw and thought in long monologues. i didn’t need to care about the other part of the conversation interrupting of affecting what i said. i could just keep on talking, or writing, making myself feel very important. everything i wrote was put in to so many words and descriptions, and made all things sound exiting and meaningful. and it is a nice feeling. when walking around in new york, where you are surrounded by people wearing business suits or celine suits or generally something more important or noticeable than my white shirts and blue shorts (a couple of people actually commented upon my puma shoes), it is such a nice feeling being the protagonist of the new york story that i just wrote down. i put on my bf’s mixtapes and walked faster than the other tourists up and down a couple of avenues, thinking about how to put this situation and all belonging emotions into words for the next letter.
i dag våknet jeg helt uten stemme. på en måte så jeg det komme, siden jeg har sittet ute om kveldene og blitt kald, men valgt å ignorere det. siden jeg nesten ikke har vært i norge denne sommeren, har jeg tenkt ‘dette er min komprimerte oslosommer, og da skal simpelthen alt bare være deilig og skjønt’. sånn sett har det vært greit – jeg har ikke blitt forkjølet, føler meg ikke dårlig, det er bare stemmen min som virkelig ikke fungerer. det verste jeg vet er lammelsen av å være syk, hvor rastløs jeg blir når jeg vet at jeg kan gjøre minimalt – alt stillesittende og rolig. jeg blir så rastløs av det. nå kan jeg gjøre alt på et normalt vis, bortsett fra å prate, og på en måte er det værre enn å ikke kunne bevege seg. det lammer meg sånn sosialt, og jeg har så behov for å uttrykke meg muntlig, på norsk, ha lange samtaler, etter å ha vært en måned i usa og bare snakket engelsk. jeg er jo passe god i engelsk, og gjør meg forstått, men det er likevel veldig befriende å komme hjem til norge, hvor jeg ikke har språket og formuleringene som “et lag” i samtalene til en hver tid. det er sikkert også kulturelle faktorer som gjør at jeg plutselig har en trang til å snakke masse hele tiden. jeg deler en viss oppfatning av omgivelsene og referanser med folk med samme morsmål, og som bare gjør samtalene til noe annet enn med folk av andre kulturer. misforstå meg rett, jeg har hatt så mye fine samtaler i sommer, nettopp fordi jeg har trengt å tenke meg om en ekstra gang før jeg sier noe, og hva jeg ender opp å si er tenkt gjennom på en litt annen måte. men jeg har stått litt mer alene i alt jeg har sagt, ved å uttrykke meg via et språk jeg er ganske, men ikke 100%, trygg på. i tillegg til at jeg har vært fysisk alene, som har gitt meg så mye rom til å tenke – mer enn hva jeg har mulighet til å gi utløp for i en samtale. det har vært interessant, og veldig godt for meg, men nå føles det så frustrerende å nettopp ikke kunne uttrykke meg slik jeg har sett frem til. nå har jeg et nytt lag som preger samtalen.
jeg avlyste en av mine flere kaffeavtaler i dag, før jeg kom til å tenke på hvordan dette kan prege samtalen på et positivt vis, og ikke bare være irriterende og et hinder. møtes man for en kaffe, er kaffen et påskudd til å se hverandre, og samtalen et godt tidsfordriv – det man ser på som den “innholdsrike” delen av et møte. men til syvende og sist møtes man jo for å være med hverandre, man bare forbinder all annen form for sosialisering enn praten som klein eller ubehagelig eller upassende. i hvert fall ved et kafebord. så kanskje er jeg nå grunnlaget for masse kleine situasjoner jeg simpelthen ikke kan gjøre noe med (annet enn å avlyse men ehh), men jeg tenker det også er noe fint med denne usosiale sosialiseringen. om det blir til at kun én snakker – litt eller hele tiden – legge omstendighetene opp til at man kan være stille i hverandres nærvær, og det på en behagelig måte. jeg husker en gang mamma og jeg spiste middag sammen på litteraturhuset, og i steden for å snakke sammen, ble vi sittende å høre på samtalen på bordet ved siden av. det var mye morsommere å høre på noen andre enn hverandre. selv om vi prøvde å holde en samtale, endte vi hele tiden med å lytte til nabobordet. det var to damer som betrodde seg til hverandre om alle familieproblemene de hadde – barn og barnebarn og deres psykologer, og hvordan de følte de burde ta del i resten av familiens liv. om de funket best som passive eller aktive deltagere, både med tanke på seg selv, og de andre.
fight one fight two fight three fight four
i’ve developed a bad association to a love for possessions, as we live in a world where mass production is synonymous with cheap labour, harming the environment, and most of all, the “illness” of happiness through objects rather than friends and family. as i am too conscious with my money, i have never been a shopper myself, and it terrifies me to be in a store, like h&m for instance, and see how people are able to fill several bags with clothes. just in one shop. BUT i think it is important to differ between the different sides of love for objects. accidentally, i have come across several articles and texts during the last week, which discuss people’s relationship to their possessions. the furniture collector joel cheng consider all his collection borrowed, as hi sells and trades, as well as he won’t live forever, and someone else will take care of his things when he dies. one thing is to say this about luxury objects, yet it is not quite the same with seasonal and cheap objects – still, it isn’t necessarily the price that matters. so is it the purpose or the quality of the objects that categorizes you as a good or a bad consumer? it is hard for me to define an inner line or indication for what i considered a good relation to consumption. my love for furniture and home decorating, and the enthusiasm this sometimes brings, makes me wonder if i suffer from consuming, but legitimizes it because i am aware of the phenomenon. that is just stupid, but at the same time, probably occurs more frequently, as we are exposed for all kinds of theories and points of view because of the internet and bla bla. it is the saying that you shouldn’t look up symptoms, because suddenly you have all thinkable kinds of illness. i also legitimate my love for interior because i choose to think it is the feeling and the comfort a room can give that is my fascination, not the objects themselves. but would it be able to have the same connection and the same feelings to space (and the people we share the space with) without the objects?
getting rid of almost all your possessions, somebody would probably say clean up does something to a person. cleaning out of my closet or throw away old paper often makes me feel better than to buy a new thing. although, i think throwing away things makes room for the things we own that actually matter. having a close relationship to the things i own matters a lot to me, and to be honest – i could not live without things. not just because of their practical purposes, but because knowing they are mine and constitute a collection which is a part of me, and this makes me happy to think about. virginia woolf loved to write about objects, and she used the objects to describe people, especially in their absence, as a constant reminder of someone. as cliché as it might sound, to be surrounded by my own things probably allows me to spend some time with myself, from a point of view that i otherwise would not be able to.
soundtrack: practice by drake
summer books: i just finished man with a blue scarf by martin gayford (the book on the top on the floor), which is like a dairy written by gayford, who was sitting for a portrait by lucian freud. he writes about the concrete sittings, their conversations and his thoughts and expectations and parallel projects, as well as the impact the painting has on him and everything he does. so happy i finally read it, i’ve been thinking about it for a long time, but always imagined it would be a bit tedious. it wasn’t. underneath man with a blue scarf, is min kamp 2 (my struggle book 2) by karl ove knausgård, the book i am currently reading. so nice. almost magic. it is a “i don’t bother to try to explain, you have to read it”-book. on my small table, which actually is a flower table, a table where you place a flowerpot, i have i fjor var en lang natt by joakim kjørsvik. i really don’t like the 60 pages or so i’ve read so far, because it reminds me so much of abo rasul’s book that i suspekt kjørsvik to just copy the books he likes. trying to do something very unique is usually not a very good idea, and i like when people actually are aware of it in their work. but it is a great difference between being inspired and copying. when both rasul and kjørsvik are norwegian and contemporary, i don’t think this books it similar by accident, and that annoys me. the pink-ish book underneath is the book magazine called granta. someone stole it to me as a present and i am so flattered. so far just read two stories. the next book is actually macht und rebel by abo rasul (the contemporary artist mathias faldbakkens pseudonym). two summers ago i carried one of his other books everywhere: cocka hola company. i had so much fun reading it. i remember that i lay on a football court close to my summer house reading the book. i had rode by bike to get away from my family, as we had a hard time together that summer and the best escapes was the bike rides in the quiet areas of just fields and horses. remember listening to the weeknd, stopping at the large supermarkets you usually only reach by car, bought chilli nuts or green apples, and then i biked to an empty football court where i ate, read, cried, laughed. this summer i will read cocka hola company over again, as well as macht und rebel and unfun – the three books which the triology scandinavian misantrophy consist of. i will write an in depth study about these books this year, can’t wait. the last book is a blue moleskine notebook that i just finished. i went straight to the nearest bookshop and bought two green ones in two different shades. i have decided to finish those by the end of the summer. usually i love to just fill my notebooks up with all kinds of things, this time i’ve decided only to write. all ready broken the promise by having a ginko bilboa leaf taped to the first page. please recommend some books i should read this summer!
one of the girls at the prada ss 15 menswear show had such a nice bag. i like the way she holds it, i dont know if you are supposed to hold it like that or if it was just comfortable. for example that she needed to change her grip while standing still for such a long time. from dazeddigital.
probably, it won’t be consequential, but i’ve suddenly decided to start to write in english. it is something i have been thinking about for a while - a lot, actually. if i can say so, i have a very close relationship to my mother language. not only because it is in norwegian that i feel like expressing my self the best, but also because there is so much love and tradition related to the norwegian language in my family. we usually discuss the history and development of language, as well as synonyms and stupid words during dinner. it is so much fun to see the differences between my parents’ and grandparents’ language, and their opinions about linguistic devices, as well as friends and new family members who takes part in this, almost essential and compulsory, conversation. however, it seems like we all enjoy the discussions (yes, it is a lot of back and fourth and pros and cons). i think there is something to see what is behind what you take for granted – don’t notice the unavoidable processes behind. the book i am reading at the moment is a kind of a diary written by an english art journalist who were modeling for lucian freud for a long time. the book is called man with a blue scarf, and probably because of its strong concept, it is so far one of the most impressive books i’ve read in so long. not only it is the observations of the model (and journalist, martin gayford), but it is the extremely slow and fascinating process behind the making of a painting. how lucian freud (always been mixing lucian and sigmund..) acts, his body language, his studio, his austerity and fragility which makes the painting take place over several nights, over several months. as freud talks the reasons why the model’s personality must be present for the picture to be good, the model analyzes and compare freud to other artists and their works, workspaces and ways of working. but my point is, finally, i love to see the hidden sides of “things” so present to us, like art and language. and my second point is that there are so many feelings attached to my relation to the norwegian language it feels stupid to give it up for an international internet scene. still, i do. i was supposed to write about not needing a blowdryer in the summer, and therefore not using one. neither a brush. that i like the hint of movement in my hair when i just shower and let it dry by itself. however, i think my post turned out so much more interesting, haha.