Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

 

The fact that this is happening to the children and the community in At-Tuwani every day is infuriating and incredibly saddening. What is going on here is never acceptable and never justifiable.

People need to hear this and speak up against it. Being silent and pretending it is not happening makes us just as guilty.

 

Please read and see for yourself.

 

http://freedombuspalestine.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/day-8/

The Freedom Bus

“You know, when I talk to my friends and we speak about us or our future, the conversations always end in silence…just silence.” Palestinian Freedom Bus crew member

In the morning some of us get up at 6.30 to meet a group of Italian activists that accompany school children of all ages past an illegal Israeli settlement and an outpost that is notorious for violent and aggressive inhabitants.

In 2004 three international volunteers were badly beaten when they accompanied the children as they do every day. The volunteers had to be brought to hospital, all three suffered long time damage, one of them is now blind on one eye.

Because one of the volunteers was American, the US stepped in and the Israeli high court was forced to implement a military escort for school children for the stretch right next to the illegal Israeli outpost. Only illegal settlers have the…

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Day #2

Posted: March 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

An amazing initiative and I am gutted that I was unable to join the Freedom Bus Tour 2014 (due to work commitments).

Please read and see for yourself. Sometimes we get so bogged down with everyday nonsense and all the crap that media throws at us that we are blinded to reality.

Educate yourself and make up your own mind. Follow the Freedom Bus on their amazing tour and beyond.

“The Freedom Bus uses interactive theatre and cultural activism to bear witness, raise awareness and build alliances throughout occupied Palestine and beyond.”

The Freedom Bus

Our first day on the road with an amazing group of people, spirits are high as we set off to our journey through the Jordan Valley.

We’re taking the scenic route and during one of our stops, on a breath taking backdrop, we are given a crash course in how to deal with the Israeli military, our rights, what they are not allowed to do, how to be direct without saying too much about where we are headed and why. After the previous drive one could be fooled into thinking that this will just be a 2 week drip through heaven – but this is the first moment reality bites.

Shortly after that we stop at Bzeeq where we sit outside to listen to the daily struggles of the local Bedouin family to stay on their land. They tell us how they sometimes have to vacate their homes in order…

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All I had was an all too short break away. How will I manage getting back to my normal mundane world? Back to work, back to that mind droning everyday life? Back to worry about a number, worry if it will be enough. Worrying about if what I do will be good enough in a system that is artificial and that in reality does not say anything about me. A system that only evaluates a small part of who I am and what I can do but a system that tries to fool you into thinking that this is all that matters. That this is all that I should focus on with all that I am.

Really, is the rat race all that we are? Who decided who will get to spin the wheel and who will run the race? Why are we even running and thinking this is why we are here?

Maybe we are all fooled. Fooled into thinking that we chose this. Willingly giving our best for someone else’s gain. For the ones that spin the wheel.

For stepping outside of the race is a scary thing. It is something we are encourage to try as students but not as adults. Because how will we manage our lives, our responsibilities, all these things that we are told are the most important things in our existence? We are indulged when we are young but then gently or not so gently led back into line. Though if we do not step outside the race then how will anything ever change?

All I had was an all too short break away. The questions do not go away and nor should they. If we do not question and re-evaluate then we deserve to stand in that line, waiting for our turn in the wheel.

Cover of "Pippi Longstocking"

Cover of Pippi Longstocking

They say that faith can move mountains or at least my mum has always told me so. I always wondered what that could mean. Did it mean that if you went to church and really believed what was preached that you could actually move things around with your mind? Cool! Hey, I know… give me some credit here.. I was a kid with a very vivid imagination.

Well as none in my family ever really attended any church, of any religion, that kind off made the whole saying even trickier to me. As I grew up I understood that this is a metaphor though part of me still likes the idea with moving this with my mind… what can I say.

As adults we apply this to “you can achieve anything you set your mind to” – be it in personal development, run a marathon, career and so forth. It is a very responsible and powerful approach. We spend large parts of our lives trying to achieve these goals.

But how does it all start? For me it all started with fairy tales. With stories from wonderful authors that make the pages come alive, creating a world of wonder where anything is possible. My absolute favourite author as a child was Astrid Lindgren. My favourite book was Ronja the Robber’s Daughter (Ronja Rövardotter) and The Bothers Lionheart (Bröderna Lejonhjärta). One of her most famous books is Pippi Longstocking – the strongest girl in the world. I have read these books so many times.

Looking back I think I have learned more from these books than from most “personal development” books. Reading these books I learned that friendship can heal any conflict, that hope always prevails (and you get to beat the dragon) and that girls are just as good as boys. These lessons were woven into the most amazing stories. They created in a sense a faith in the world that I always carry with me.

If we allow ourselves to dream and to believe, then we can tackle any obstacle no matter how impossible it seems. With a touch of wonder we can move those metaphorical mountains. What is stopping us really?

 

Every December I read this poem. There is something about it that gives me a cosy and happy feeling. It was written by the Swedish poet/author Viktor Rydberg in 1881 and it is called “Tomten”.

A tomte, nisse or tomtenisse (Sweden) (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈtɔ̀mːtɛ]), nisse (Norway and Denmark) (pronounced [ˈnìsːɛ]) or tonttu (Finland) is a humanoid mythical creature of Scandinavian folklore. The tomte or nisse was believed to take care of a farmer’s home and children and protect them from misfortune, in particular at night, when the housefolk were asleep.

I found a translation to English as well (see further down), it doesn’t do the original justice really but it is the best that I found so far. If any one has a better translation, please let me know.

With this I want to wish you all Happy Holidays and a fantastic 2013! God Jul & Gott Nytt År!

Original:

Midvinternattens köld är hård,
stjärnorna gnistra och glimma.
Alla sova i enslig gård
djupt under midnattstimma.
Månen vandrar sin tysta ban,
snön lyser vit på fur och gran,
snön lyser vit på taken.
Endast tomten är vaken

Står där så grå vid ladgårdsdörr,
grå mot den vita driva,
tittar, som många vintrar förr,
upp emot månens skiva,
tittar mot skogen, där gran och fur
drar kring gården sin dunkla mur,
grubblar, fast ej det lär båta,
över en underlig gåta.

För sin hand genom skägg och hår,
skakar huvud och hätta —
»nej, den gåtan är alltför svår,
nej, jag gissar ej detta» —
slår, som han plägar, inom kort
slika spörjande tankar bort,
går att ordna och pyssla,
går att sköta sin syssla.

Går till visthus och redskapshus,
känner på alla låsen —
korna drömma vid månens ljus
sommardrömmar i båsen;
glömsk av sele och pisk och töm
Pålle i stallet har ock en dröm:
krubban han lutar över
fylls av doftande klöver; —

Går till stängslet för lamm och får,
ser, hur de sova där inne;
går till hönsen, där tuppen står
stolt på sin högsta pinne;
Karo i hundbots halm mår gott,
vaknar och viftar svansen smått,
Karo sin tomte känner,
de äro gode vänner.

Tomten smyger sig sist att se
husbondfolket det kära,
länge och väl han märkt, att de
hålla hans flit i ära;
barnens kammar han sen på tå
nalkas att se de söta små,
ingen må det förtycka:
det är hans största lycka.

Så har han sett dem, far och son,
ren genom många leder
slumra som barn; men varifrån
kommo de väl hit neder?
Släkte följde på släkte snart,
blomstrade, åldrades, gick — men vart?
Gåtan, som icke låter
gissa sig, kom så åter!

Tomten vandrar till ladans loft:
där har han bo och fäste
högt på skullen i höets doft,
nära vid svalans näste;
nu är väl svalans boning tom,
men till våren med blad och blom
kommer hon nog tillbaka,
följd av sin näpna maka.

Då har hon alltid att kvittra om
månget ett färdeminne,
intet likväl om gåtan, som
rör sig i tomtens sinne.
Genom en springa i ladans vägg
lyser månen på gubbens skägg,
strimman på skägget blänker,
tomten grubblar och tänker.

Tyst är skogen och nejden all,
livet där ute är fruset,
blott från fjärran av forsens fall
höres helt sakta bruset.
Tomten lyssnar och, halvt i dröm,
tycker sig höra tidens ström,
undrar, varthän den skall fara,
undrar, var källan må vara.

Midvinternattens köld är hård,
stjärnorna gnistra och glimma.
Alla sova i enslig gård
gott intill morgontimma.
Månen sänker sin tysta ban,
snön lyser vit på fur och gran,
snön lyser vit på taken.
Endast tomten är vaken.

Found translation:
Deep in the grip of the midwinter cold
The stars glitter and sparkle.  
All are asleep on this lonely farm,
Deep in the winter night.
The pale white moon is a wanderer,
snow gleams white on pine and fir,
snow gleams white on the roofs.
The tomte alone is awake.

Gray, he stands by the low barn door,
Gray by the drifted snow,
Gazing, as many winters he’s gazed,
Up at the moon’s chill glow,
Then at the forest where fir and pine
Circle the farm in a dusky line,
Mulling relentlessly
A riddle that has no key.

Rubs his hand through his beard and hair,
Shakes his head and his cap.
“No, that question is much too deep,
I cannot fathom that.”
Then making his mind up in a hurry,
He shrugs away the annoying worry;
Turns at his own command,
Turns to the task at hand.

Goes to the storehouse and toolshop doors,
Checking the locks of all,
While the cows dream on in the cold moon’s light,
Summer dreams in each stall.
And free of harness and whip and rein,
Even Old Pålle dreams again.
The manger he’s drowsing over
Brims with fragrant clover.

The tomte glances at sheep and lambs
Cuddled in quiet rest.
The chickens are next, where the rooster roosts
High above straw filled nests.
Burrowed in straw, hearty and hale,
Karo wakens and wags his tail
As if to say, “Old friend, “Partners we are to the end.”

At last the tomte tiptoes in
To see how the housefolk fare.
He knows full well the strong esteem
They feel for his faithful care.
He tiptoes into the children’s beds,
Silently peers at their tousled heads.
There is no mistaking his pleasure:
These are his greatest treasure.

Long generations has he watched
Father to son to son
Sleeping as babes. But where, he asks,
From where, from where have they come?
Families came, families went,
Blossomed and aged, a lifetime spent,
Then-Where? That riddle again
Unanswered in his brain!

Slowly he turns to the barnyard loft,
His fortress, his home and rest,
High in the mow, in the fragrant hay
Near to the swallow’s nest.
The nest is empty, but in the spring
When birds mid leaves and blossoms sing,
And come with her tiny mate.

Then will she talk of the journey tell.
Twittering to all who hear it,
But nary a hint for the question old
That stirs in the tomte’s spirit.
Now through cracks in the haymow wall
The moon lights tomte and hay and all,
Lights his beard through the chinks,
The tomte ponders and thinks.

Still is the forest and all the land,
Locked in this wintry year.
Only the distant waterfall
Whispers and sighs in his ear.
The tomte listens and, half in dream,
Thinks that he hears Time’s endless stream,
And wonders, where is it bound?
Where is its source to be found?

Deep in the grip of the midwinter cold,
The stars glitter and sparkle.
All are asleep on this lonely farm,
Late in this winter night.
The pale white moon is a wanderer,
snow gleams white on pine and fir,
snow gleams white on the roofs.
The tomte alone is awake.

0_tomten

Oh so bored…

Posted: November 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

Bored. I. am. positively. bored.

Right, let me make one thing clear. This is not me saying I cannot be on my own and have fun. I love having a day just to myself doing my stuff… but after a day I need human interaction! God… I could never become a hermit.  I am even contemplating starting up the work laptop and do some work, how sad is that!

So today I have been hounding my poor friends who are all better organized than me and have already made plans for the day…ugh <insert pitiful picture here> . Instead I have been trying to kill some time by going for a walk, baking, drinking copious cups of coffee (probably not helping with the whole relaxing and chilling at home scenario), listening to music and reading… and I am still bored. Though the baked buns did turn out pretty good, I have to say.

I have now run out of things to do, part from chasing my cat of the counter as he clearly thinks that I baked for his benefit.

Right now I kind off feel like a kid saying: “Muuuuum, I’m bored!” expecting an answer. It is very frustrating. Why is it so that as adults we can’t stomp our feet and wail about being bored and someone finds us something to do that is fun and interactive?? OK, OK I know it is very childish and unrealistic but I am having a silly rant here so just deal with it.

Huh. I am also clearly not quite focused today as I just tried to use a freshly baked bun as a mouse and was wondering why the mouse pointer did not move… sigh. Maybe it is a good thing I am not around others today.

Bring on the work week (I can’t believe I just said that). I will leave this post now before this spirals out of control. I will need to have a word with my muse, as I will blame all irrational whiny rants (see above) on her…

I wrote this a while back. When my thoughts were dark and it felt too raw to publish. I am not used to writing like this and the mere thought of me writing anything resembling poetry makes me feel a bit embarrassed in all honesty. Still… here it is.

The streets of her mind are unknown. They stretch into the distance. The smile does not reach her eyes. Every word feels empty. 

She goes through the motions every day. Sometimes it gives reprieve. Sometimes it makes her feel like a fool. A fool in a play that does not end.

Unable to voice her thoughts she stares blindly ahead. Silent tears running down her face. Her hands clutched to her chest. With every breath she trembles.

She does not know why. She does not know how. All she knows is that she has fallen. Into the whirling maelstrom.