Jan 29, 2017

Reality looking like absurd entertainment

No, my rule isn’t working for me, not at all.

Since my PTSD light at the presidential election I, for sanitary reasons, have allowed my self to watch CNN for not more than half an hour a day. To keep track of the spider in the room. I was naively hoping (although not believing) things would calm down after the inauguration. As we all no, it didn’t.

I can’t believe it’s only been a week since I last wrote on this topic. The manic tempo in which this man is ruining his country and the already devastating impact his actions have on the people and the world is…again, unprecedented.

Wolf Blitz and his panel is on at my 7PM, perfect after dinner TV slot. It’s 1PM in Washington, which means it’s most often press conference or briefing room time. In other words, that’s when it happens.

For me, a former journalist who used to be commuting between Sweden and the U.S. for about two decades, it’s impossible to not follow the scene. I might also add I have watched most TV-series located in the White House over the years. And it’s here things get really messed up.

Every evening I am thinking no CNN tonight, I just don’t have the time for it and it makes my heart race and muscles tense. But than again, today it’s press secretary Sean Spicer’s first press conference. And the next day Trump at the Republican’s retreat. And then there is Theresa May visiting the White House. So of course I am watching. Day after day. 

I wake up in the morning asking myself what will he come up with today? Knowing I will find out in the evening. So, it’s like I am watching a drama series daily episode, addicted to it. Only, this is not fiction. No scriptwriter would ever have come up with such a story. This is reality. I am watching reality looking like fiction momentarily. It’s happening right now but it looks like some kind of absurd entertainment. No wonder I fall asleep and wake up as a mess.

Right now my Seattle friends are getting ready for an emergency rally at Westlake Park tonight, supporting the immigrants. Mayor Ed Murray called Wednesday “the darkest day in immigration history” since the internment of Japanese Americans as President Trump signed an order cracking down on so-called “sanctuary cities” for undocumented immigrants. He also stated “The executive order signed today by the president has put our nation toward a constitutional crisis,” promising to use any legal means to fight it. As a sanctuary city Seattle won’t back down.

And this morning, at a chaotic SeaTac airport governor Jay Inslee held a terribly upset speech towards Donald Trump and his administration, watched more than 9 million times and counting. 

I am talking to Trouble 2 about this last week. We agree on (desperately) that one good thing possibly coming out of this is the fact it is all happening so rapidly may cause that much disturbance in society having more Jay Inslees and Ed Murrays speaking up acting, hopefully making people surrounding Donald Trump realizing the country might collapse. But then I put CNN on… only to find Donald Trump saying all the airports are working great. There are no problems. And experts stating it’s most likely that the ban on the now 7 countries is only the beginning.

I have been in the Green Card Lottery for many years, not winning. At this point, would I even want a Green Card? No. I wouldn’t.

But please watch Governor Jay Inslee to see that there is resistance!

Jan 22, 2017

Three stoic women and millions on march

I was planning on not watching the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States of America. Because the only thing that would get to that man is low ratings. But of course I had to be present in the historic moment no matter how sad and bad. Or because of the sad and bad, if you will. So I spent the entire Friday with CNN. I cried for many reasons. And although people are marching in millions all over this weekend, I feel hung over, sad and bad. Might writing about it work as a detox?

I don’t know where to start. All those pictures flickering by. The peak through the window of Obama one last time bent over his desk before leaving the Oval Office. The Obamas gracefully greeting the Trumps on the White House front step. The split screen showing Barak Obama and Donald Trump leaving the White House for the Capitol in the car together meanwhile Hillary Clinton, defeated by the two of them, on the other screen is entering the Capitol. Poor young Baron Trump so uncomfortable in his own skin loosening up towards the evening figuring out it’s fun waving to people. 

Donald Trump’s horrible, embarrassing and terrifying inauguration speech. Barak Obamas “Good job” to him at the end of the adress. The Obamas at the helicopter taking them out of Washington while the new first and second couples waiving at them from the Capitol stairs, a scene signaling to everyone all is well, this is a change but we will all be okay.

I think I want to stop at the first image for a moment. One of the traditions of  the Inauguration Day is for the incoming president couple (yes, anything else is unprecedented) to have tea in the White House with the outgoing president couple in the morning. The Obamas were waiting at the front door. Michelle wearing a discrete maroon dress as well as discrete heals. Brushing off her husbands shoulders, an everyday gesture accompanying her dress at the door step of their home.

Donald and Melania Trump climbs out of the car and walk up the few steps. The first lady to be, exquisite in a light blue Ralph Lauren dress, jacket, gloves and astonishing high heals. The president to be in a too long red tie. President Obama welcoming them with a how do you do and a kiss on the cheek to Melania. Melania stretches her hand for Michelle to greet her, but Michelle reaches out for a welcoming hug to her successor. 

The two couples find their positions for the photo op and Michelle is sure to with her body language all along make Melania as comfortable as possible. Before she is hosting the last event in her home and workplace since eight years back. Before she an hour later leaves that home and mission. The place that five hours ahead will have been transformed to the home of Melania and her husband.

Watching this make my eyes tear up. Melania Trump must have been so scared for this day. And Michelle Obama knows this. Very few first ladies choose their title. They follow their husbands. And with all that’s said and done from Donald Trump against Barak Obama and his and the first lady’s presidency, at this point they are putting that aside welcoming them with kindness, grace and dignity on their new and unfamiliar territory. That’s truly being human beings.

And as this day of course (for now) features the men as main characters I want to stay with the women. Because apart from the welcoming for the tea ceremony, there were not many smiles from Michelle Obama during the ceremonies. And it wasn’t until the parade in the evening that Melania Trump lightened up. But then there was the third woman.

For Hillary Clinton the inauguration of the 45th president must have been one of the toughest days in her life, and she has had a few. She wasn’t required to accompany her husband as one of the first ladies during the ceremonies, but she chose to go through with the day to honor the democracy and it’s enduring values. She even offered a smile now and then.

There were three stoic first ladies facing the people, the cameras and the world on Inauguration Day. Melania Trump, brave in her fear and insecurity for this new life and mission she has not asked for, and probably suffering from those stilettos on the Capitol stairs. Michelle Obama, brave in putting a good face on although having been offended in her profession by the new president and knowing that he will ruin much of what she and her husband had built for the country during their eight years. And Hillary Clinton. The only one of the first ladies who chose the White House for herself. Who chose not only the East Wing but the West Wing. And the Oval Office. For herself and the people. Bravely in her defeat did she attend the ceremonies holding up through the entire day.

And on Saturday Women were Marching in millions in companion with men and every sex you can think of, not only in the U.S. Because there is a time for being stoic. And there is a time for acting in power, hope and love.

Jan 15, 2017

“No one can come. And no one can leave. Now it’s all quiet here.”

I don’t remember in which one of the stories. And I am not sure who said those words. And I am puzzled how to translate them into English. But they have stayed with me. And comes to life a week like this.

“No one can come. And no one can leave. Now it’s all quiet here.”

There is a big storm presumably in the Moominvalley. I am picturing it as a snow storm, but it might be a regular one. Or did this happen at the Lighthouse? Anyway, the storm is so bad no one can get through to the Moomin family’s home. And no one can leave. So technically the situation is dangerous. 

But the Moominmamma (I think) uttered: “No one can come. And no one can leave. Now it’s all quiet here.” As a safe comfort.

The stories about the Moomins are written by the Swedish-speaking Finnish author and illustrator Tove Jansson. The graphic novels are inhabited by imaginative emotional characters in the orbit of the Moomin mother as the safe solid center. The stories are lovely.

Wednesday and Thursday a severe snow storm came our way, here at the northern Swedish east coast. I was snowed in, and as I can’t do anything about that myself it’s always a big weight on me. I am trapped in my house and it’s hard for the home care personal to  reach me. This time around I was really lucky though as my neighbor Magnus at the other end of my road was at home and came to my rescue.

So, living in a remote home can be an insecure place wether you are a Moomin or a physically restricted woman.

For me, I am often feeling insecure in my home. Not in the way that I am afraid some one will come by and stab me. And I am not scared of the dark here at the end of the road, not at all. But being alone with and in my pain is at times leaving me in a cold and dark void that I wold rather prefer not to know of and experience.

“No one can come. And no one can leave. Now it’s all quiet here.”

When I first read that line I knew exactly what Moominmamma was saying. My house is snowed in. But my people are here. And they can’t leave. Which to them is all good. And no one can arrive here. No one can show up at your door step unexpectedly. No surprises to handle. There is lots of dry wood and fires in all the fire places and the ceramic stove. The candles are lit. There is warm tea and blankets. The cat is purring and there is all the time in the world for long uninterrupted conversations. I am safe in my snowed in house. It’s a home.

“No one can come. And no one can leave. Now it’s all quiet here.”  

The storm is over for this time. There is a foot of snow, it’s cold and the sun is out the few hours it’s allowed at the 64th latitude in mid January. It’s beautiful beyond words. A fairy tale. A winter saga. In the dark, my garden spotlights are lighting up the tall pine tree heavy of white fluff next to the field, my father’s big ash, the sleeping lilacs at the baker’s cottage and my grandfather’s old apple tree. The moon is practically full. It’s completely still. Snow quiet. And it’s not dark at all here at the end of the road. It’s the perfect picture for imbedded harmony.

I am often thinking about Moominmammas words. Longing for such moment.

Jan 8, 2017

The spider in the room

During the presidential election I spent three days with CNN and it’s anchors. After the shock of the result, the tears and the feeling sick to my stomach, I had to find a balance to how much of my time I would contaminate with this shit. I landed on half an hour a day.

- I am surprised you are, my very engaged and also sick to her stomach Seattle-friend Terry said, If I were you I think I would just stick my head in the sand. I responded I couldn’t do that. Although I am not in the U.S. we are still in this together. Donald Trump is going to be the most powerful person in the world and it will effect all of us.

So, at 7 PM every evening I am watching Wolf Blitz going through the goings on of the day with his experts and panels. It’s nothing but upsetting. Every day the 45th president to be has spoken, twittered or acted in some way that leaves everyone speechless in their articulate way. I have not been familiar with the word unprecedented before. Since the election it’s become a household expression.

At the start I remember being a little bit comforted by the Pentagon reassuring that the every day briefing the president elect would start geting right away would humble him, make him understand the profound gravity of his task to come, and rise to the occasion. The fact that he has chosen to ignore those enlightening and educational briefings is… unprecedented. And terrifying. And the fact that he and his people in so many ways has violated the American tradition of The Peaceful Transition of Power following a democratic election is disrespectful not only to the current government but to the American people and the history of the United States.  

The other week, after the tweets to/about Vladimir Putin, I heard a republican senator refer to president Obama as Mr Obama. Donald Trump and his alike have deposed the president. Unprecedented.

I told my friend Eva about my daily CNN routine. And thinking out loud I was saying I’m not really sure why it feels good. Why I feel the need for it. And she said, don’t you think it’s like the spider in the room? The spider in the room? Yes, you know there is a spider in the room and you feel the need to keep your eye on it to not freak out.

That’s exactly what it is! Donald Trump is a giant black spider crawling all over the room and I need to follow his daily where a bouts to keep as much track of him as I possibly can. It won’t make me feel safe, but at least I am doing what I can to save myself from being startled by his unpredictable moves.

Less than two weeks away from the inauguration I am realizing my spider watch won’t stop there. It has only started. I will have to continue my daily procedure as long as this ego stuffed ignorant baby who was taught by his father to be a killer never being wrong about anything, has the power to destroy this world in every thinkable way in the name of business. Amen. 

Jan 1, 2017

2017, and so how is my bucket list doing?

A year ago on New Year’s Day I was holding my new journal in my hands. Roses in strong, crisp and powerful colors exploding over the cover. Sensing it would take me through 2016, the year when I was turning 60. Feeling energy and inspiration running into my body, actually changing my whole mindset about the year.

My personal 2016 has been as colorful and strong as the journal cover. Exciting, dramatic, unexpected, passionate, fulfilling, unfulfilled, devastating, disappointing, shameful, blessed and euphoric. Every color of those roses.

On the paper it looked like life post the delivery of the big documentary I had been working on (which happened in February) and my equally big birthday (which happened in March) would calm down. The plan was to at that time allow myself to enjoy my Bucket List. Did I?

Well, life has it’s ways. The exciting, dramatic, unexpected, passionate, fulfilling, unfulfilled, devastating, disappointing, shameful, amazing, blessed and euphoric happened. Every color of those roses happened. It went on for many many months. And then I wrapped up my year with an energy-sucking ever lasting cold and a Donald Trump PTSD. Finally pulling myself together, finding my footing by creating my company’s new amazing web site. Fulfilling!

I actually have a hard time saying goodbye to 2016, and especially the journal. Although the year to a large degree has been exhausting, it’s by far means been my best since 2010, the year of recapturing my life after the cancer. 

So, I now need to envision 2017. There is a new journal of course. As nothing can top the roses, I will hesitantly be taking it on. It’s a lily pond. More or less a Monet pond. Which at this time of my life is too harmonic, soft and romantic.

The thing is though, 2016 included a lily pond experience. There is one, not too far from my place. I used to pass it all the time in my former life when I took long walks. Stopping by talking to the water lilies especially while blooming. Not anymore though. The thought of looking as those beautiful flowers ever again has ben as impossible as the idea of returning to Seattle.

During late summer though I became stronger. My pelvis more stable. I could extend my strolls. And one afternoon I found myself standing by the water lilies.

I was light headed. Would I faint? 2012. Or was it even 2011? Last time I last talked to the lilies. In the afternoon sun I felt like I was standing all alone at an airport somewhere far away out in the wide wide world.

During my more stable period I visited the water lilies when I could. Every time in amazed wonder. I never imagined it possible again.

The lily pond in my hand this New Year’s Day evening is painted in strong colors. The book is sturdy and heavy. It is something to hold on to. As well as a picture of impossible things being possible. Literary. 

I am thinking it might have been a good thing there wasn’t time for my bucket list projects in 2016. They are still there and they are all fun! And I will think about them as lily ponds. Each one of them reachable although it might not feel that way. And why cram them in in one year, that’s just silly! No, 2017 will be the year of one of my bucket list projects, it’s going to be very exciting to see which. So 2017, I welcome you!

P.S. For many years I have been dreaming about writing Swedish lyrics to the equally beautiful and sad song Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. A quite impossible task. But this New Years I did. I did it! Although it has not been on my bucket list I am thinking it mentally was. And now it’s done. Check!