You know how to start a new project? Make a logo for it. At least that’s how my brain works. Look!!
Well, I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, we all start in the end we’re most comfortable with. I like the fancy words and ideas, and then I get into the practical stuff.
But anyway, this is something I wanted to start for a long time. Really, ever since I was in Zambia in 2015 and saw the wave of self help literature that swept across the country. I mean, nothing against self help books, but they’re not the only way to learn, and we shouldn’t think so. Truth is, most of us already know areas in our lives where we should improve and do better, and most of the times we even know how to do it. But what we lack is motivation. Conviction.
The idea is: fiction teaches in a different way.
Sometimes we think we have to be told what it is that we’re learning to learn something. But a good story teaches in a way that’s more than informational. You can read facts about a people group for ten years and still hate them, but read a story told from their perspective and suddenly it becomes difficult.
So, I think that everyone needs access to good books.
When I was in Nigeria in the beginning of 2019 I met a woman who’s starting a library. I also met a woman who works with “Internally displaced people” (refugees from other parts of Nigeria, who’s had to leave their homes due to the Boko Haram) and she would also appreciate books. So I said that I’d send a few boxes to them, and I plan to do it in the beginning of 2020.
And.. yeah, I’ve written about it here as well, but I just wanted to tell you guys, because I’m excited and a little bit nervous. But, I’ve already bought a few books!! And I’ll keep you guys posted as time goes on.
In the midst of everything. People pass by in blurs. There’s constant background noise. It’s a café in the Nürnberg central station, and I think it’s mostly aimed at people travelling. I love sitting there. Sometimes by the table right by where people order. There’s something nice about loud places like that, everything else is making noise so you don’t have to. It’s like the people are your thoughts buzzing around. It’s loud and messy and you never know who is going to end up in the seat next to you, but I quite like that.
They also have things like this, a black forest hot chocolate 🖤
My two favourite places to sit and work in the city:
1. The library in Nürnberg consists of two buildings, linked by a super confusing system of corridors and stairs. The new part is a tall building, extremely ugly from the outside, but modern and bright on the inside. The old part however, is some kind of old monestary I think? The floor is covered in old carpet and the ceilings are lower, it smells kinda weird sometimes, but it has a courtyard where the trees are still bright yellow and orange, and a café on the lowest floor with dark wooden furniture that makes you feel like you’re a professor at a british university. I like it. Last time I was there I dragged a chair to one of the windows overlooking the courtyard and I used the broad windowsill as my desk. It’s a good place to sit.
2. I know Starbucks has long ago reached that point where it’s too annoyingly popular to be cool. But I appreciate their culture. If I go to a cozy german café they will expect me to actually appreciate it, and be aware of my surroundings, and not stay for like three hours just sitting in front of my computer. Starbucks though, they don’t care, they expect that, and there’s not even any staff on the second floor most of the time. I just sit there being oblivious of where I am for a while, but I have coffee or hot chocolate and the buzz of movement around me. It calms me down when I’m too unfocused to work from home.
Through one of our apartment windows fell a square of golden light. There were rain drops on the window, and a dark grey sky overhead, but at the edge of the horizon there was a sliver of bright sky, and in the midst of it the sun shone brightly into the hooded windows of our loft. I had to take the trash out, so I did, but halfway down the stairs the sun didn’t shine in through the windows anymore, having already dipped too close to the horizon and our neighbouring building hid it, and so I was scared that I would not be able to see it again and stand there and look at it while it set like I’d planned. And so I think that’s what it’s like with nature, you can’t see a beautiful evening sky and think that you’re gonna paint it later, you have to drop everything you’re holding and do it right now. There is no procrastination in nature, only time for different things. Right now the grey has lifted, and even though the sun has set the sky is still bright blue, and the lines of clouds golden.
(Also I did make it, when I walked upstairs again the sun waited for me on the fourth floor, and on our fifth it still shone through the kitchen window.)
I mean I guess this is a website, but I’ve got another one. A bit more informative and stuff. I was gonna delete all my open tabs before I took a screenshot of it, but you know what, this is how we choose to live our lives.
Two (completely different) songs and videos I’ve been enjoying lately:
that says: Warm up, stay afloat, sink into the day.
I have a decision page in my notebook. It’s so that when the contradicting emotions come rolling I will remember that I already decided something and that it’s what I’ll do regardless of what doubts I have. Otherwise decisions aren’t worth anything.
You place such high demands on your choices. What you choose now will not necessarily fix all your insecurities, your self control or procrastination. But it can help with something. You can choose something that is good for your art. Or brings you closer to nature. Or happier in only some sense. Choose one criteria and don’t close your eyes to everything else, but you don’t have to worry about it either. Let yourself make a choice that solves one of your problems.
(And evening notes, from my notebook:
One thing I know: this always helps, even if I forget about it when I stand alone above the clouds, millions of miles from the closest star. Eons between me and the closest physical object. A chair, a window. Writing like this always helps. Now I sit for real in this couch, big notebook leaned against my knees and teacup against my stomach. It doesn’t necessarily make me understand, but one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,)