Archive for Love

The photo booth

There is a photograph of me and the girls taken in a photo booth. It’s from one of our countless in-the-spur-of-the-moment things. Looking at the photograph, I would say that they were around the ages of 3, 5 and 7. We were wasting time at a shopping centre. We never had money to spend back then, but we went there anyway just for the fun of it. When we had had our fun and we were on our way back to the car underground, I happened to spot a photo booth. I had enough money on me for us to use the booth, so I asked the girls if they wanted to go along with the idea. Caroline shouted, “yes!” Emily said, “what do you mean?” and Sarah, in her usual manner, had not heard a word of what I said, since she was still by the escalator wanting to ride it again. We all gathered in front of the booth and looked at the different examples of photographs on the side of the booth. I told them how it worked and what was going to happen once we were inside.

A photograph from a photo booth session with my girls.

Me, Emily, Sarah and Caroline

I don’t know if you have ever been inside a photo booth, but it is a very small compartment made for one person – and barely so. I went in, lowered the seat as far down as it would go and told the girls to come in. I had Emily, the oldest, sit on my right knee; I had Caroline sit on my left knee, and finally Sarah scrambled in and placed herself in front of us. In those days you didn’t just get one picture reprinted four times on the same sheet, but four actual photographs printed on one sheet. Not one, but four really bright flashes.

The picture that I kept for myself shows an unshaved me in the back smiling, half a face of a girl on my right knee putting candy in her mouth, half a face of another girl doing her best to be seen by the camera by pushing her little sister’s head to the side, and then another little girl in the front wondering why there is a hand on the side of her face, only moments before she says, “Caro, stop pushing me!”

Each one of us has one unique photograph from that event that took place between four flashes on that day so many years ago.

Red

I am colour blind. My heart, like in black and white. Film flickering. Street lights, stage lights. The people, extras passing by. Through the window of a bar, a couple in love. A pretty girl everywhere. A glass of wine. Two, three. Voices from an open window on third. Slow, fast, slow, but without the music. A camera, a blurred photograph. Scribblings on the wall. No sense, nonsense. A night in black and white. A glass of black wine, like ink. It writes itself in colour as it keeps the rhythm. 120 bpm, inside. 60 outside. Putting on the mask for another 60. Faces and legs, the perfect picture. Painted over black and white.

The third one this evening

It used to be simple. Or so it seemed. I got what I wanted – sometimes. Or if it was that I just stumbled upon it and got lucky. Still, it never went as I wanted it to. Some things did, though. Some things did.

A tied up goat, waiting in the clearing, just moments away from its fate. What would it do if given the chance? Would it live its life differently? Would it know the difference?

Now and again there are fleeting rays. Of what, I do not know. Sometimes they seem to be like rays of the sun, but only for a moment, then they’re gone, like they were not there.

I get off the bus and walk away. The city is dark, wet and noisy. I walk home on the silent back streets. There’s rain, but I hardly feel it. A street light flickers and dies. The third one this evening. I close the door behind me, walk the few remaining steps and lie down. I breathe slowly and try to feel something good. I try to make sense. One breath at a time. Slowly, deeply.

A Single Quest

Quest. Windmills. Love. Pain. Fears. Caution. Masks. Opportunities. Moment. Passed.

Suddenly, and again, all the world’s a stage… I’m a really bad actor.

Be. Love. Simple. Hero.

The chain reaction of evil

Yesterday hatred, and/or perhaps insanity, showed its ugly face in Norway. Voices of anger and hatred are raised all over the world. I have no words of my own, so I’ll borrow a few:

“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction. […] The chain reaction of evil — hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.”

Martin Luther King, Jr

Sometimes it seems that love in man is buried so far down, so deep inside, that I almost lose all of my own light. I have nothing but pain and tears to offer on a day like this. But tomorrow… I’ll still be loving you.