Creative Endeavors

Today I was reading in an interview about how writing a novel is like giving birth to a baby, which I guess I’ve heard before and don’t we always describe creative endeavors as our children in some very lovingly pretentious creepy way.

But what’s interesting is that whoever was interviewed mentioned that if you don’t want a child, don’t get one. Like if you don’t actually want a kid, just don’t get one. Don’t get one because you should or it seems like something that would look or sound nice; Get a kid because you actually want one. You can write your story, paint whatever thing, but like, you really don’t have to. Like, that pressure is made up.

Now, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it just because it’s hard. If you want to, you’ll have to know that you’re getting into something that’s a pretty big deal. And you’ll have to know that “want” does not mean a sudden flow of emotion that makes everything suddenly easy, but rather that you know that this is something you want to do, regardless. But it’s also a joy. And yeah, you should do it if you want to.

(The interview I was reading was from The Creative Independent, which completely unsponsored is like the best website ever, and they send me these cute emails with articles and – you know – general life advice. Below is todays.)


The Tokyo Project

In a relatively new corner of the world wide web there’s a website called kofi. You could say that it belongs to a group of new websites, some of them not even that new, about crowdfunding and being – through the internet – supported by the very same people who enjoy your work.

Kofi works in the way that you buy someone a coffee, or, technically, you just click a button and 3 bucks are transferred to that person, they can use it however.

I want to use kofi to give away free coffee to people in Shibuya, Tokyo.

In the midst of, or rather right next to, the busiest intersection in the world, there’s a starbucks with a second floor seating area where tourists and locals can enjoy their coffee while looking at the endless stream of people passing by below. I went to Japan last year, and took some time to interview people there, because it’s one of my favourite places I’ve ever been. But this time I wanted to do something different.

I want to connect this virtual reality where everything is buttons and icons, and we sometimes forget that there’s even a person on the other side of the profiles, with the very tangible, physical reality. Don’t get me wrong, there’s beauty in the virtual just as there is in the physical, but it is – above all else – interesting when they meet.

I want someone to be able to sit in front of their computer in America and click a button, and for it to cause me to buy and actual cup of coffee that I’ll give to an actual person out on the street. There’s nothing abstract about that, real cardboard cups and caffeine and money.

This project is a study in two areas I find endlessly fascinating. First of all, different realities versus each other. In this case, the collision and connection of physical and virtual reality. The transformation of something virtual into something “real”. And also the connection and collision between the physical and spiritual. I think acts of generosity change the atmosphere of an area and around a person. And the second area: The great exhange. The way in which we all link up and the constant exhange that is happening, always, whether it comes to money and business or services or compliments. If you’re stingy, no one seems to have enough, but the more generous you are and the more you step into the great exhange, the more you’ll notice it. We’re starting something.

So for now this is just an idea, but when it happens, or well, when I do it, I’ll invite you to virtually give a random person in the Shibuya crossing a fresh cup of coffee.

What my indecisiveness doesn’t want to hear.

You know what? Sometimes I think God almost gets more excited about our own will than His. I think He sees our ideas and dreams and just sorta stands there clapping His hands.

aHHH, let’s think about what we actually think about the character of God.

If we do believe that He is a loving, good, kind father, it changes how we approach Him with ideas and choices. We can run like kids to Him, excited to show the new things in our minds. We jump up and down, asking what He thinks and He smiles. Of course He might need to sit us down and talk about some of the things, maybe sometimes we don’t have it completely right. But we don’t have to approach Him timidly. We know who He is, and so we don’t have to hide ourselves behind our own backs. Stop being so bothered about the will of God and run to Him with everything you have. Your mind is intertwined with His. Your heart getting there.

and that’s why your will to please God is the main thing to ensure you do so.

(Someone said that to me once, that your will to please God pleases Him. I thought it was advice along the way – words of comfort while I waited for that clear, loud voice – when in reality, it’s an answer all in itself.)

God has brought me to places I’ve wanted to write about. Usually before I’ve known that they are the places I want to write about. There’s a story in my head, about a city surrounded by desert, and last year I found that desert. On outreach in Kenya our bus broke down in the middle of nowhere. We had to wait there, on dusty ground, in warm wind, as the sun set and the full moon rose. I had the realisation that it was the very desert I wanted to write about, and sat quietly with eyes wide open and mind spinning in the jeep that drove us back. And now Tokyo feels like the city I want to write. Or rather, I feel in it the way I want my characters to feel.

Insert sentences about how God is more comitted to your dreams than you are. And to, well, you.


Friday oct 27th

(Journal entry)

Life is so interesting.

I’ve broken down many times, in many ways.

The autumn of my last year in school, I reached a point – several times – where I physically couldn’t do anything but sit in bed and finally ask for help.

On outreach to Kenya I broke down and then did things anyway.

And while working as a teacher I had to, well, quit working as a teacher because of where it brought me.

I keep walking into walls. Running into them in fact, heart first. I think I should learn to hit them with my shoulders instead, so that I don’t break into a million pieces. But I do also think I’ll be the one to tear them down.

4th of July

Or: The inevitability of time

Wow, deep right?

See, we didn’t quite have time to finish our ice cream. I was eating my cookie dough extra chocolate chip caramel chocolate sauce deliciousness while stressing out about not stressing, and then suddenly the sky was dark and we were biking along the road as rain started to fall, fireworks going off in the distance. Violent in comparison to soft lights from the restaurants we passed. It was not bad. It was one of my favourite moments of the whole evening. But as we hopped off and stood next to our bikes the sentence ‘The inevitability of time‘ popped into my head.

We just bike alongside that time. Sing with it. Get rained on, messed up, as it flows by like the wind and grabs our hair and hands with the unforgiveness of a ringing bell. The sound of it is breaking my bones from the inside out. I was just supposed to be here for a short time. Last year was the fourth of july I was supposed to experience. Now it’s no longer just a small window or good perspective into a culture that is not mine, but it’s tradition for me too. There will be another fourth of July, and the sun will sink as a countdown until the fireworks start again, if I die, if I live, if I stop caring. It continually exists. Apart from me. Maybe that’s what I’m saying.

Anyway. It was one of those moments when finding a specific set of words and using them to define the moment, the experience, the lesson, made me feel better, calmer, satisfied with existence because it means I am here, I am growing, I am seeing this moment as being something.

(And is it ever something. My heart sings with it, beats with it, and I am just lost enough)


“The Sad”

In the book The bell jar, by Sylvia Plath, she describes her depression as a glass bell jar, lowering itself upon her and making the air around her stale. I don’t know if I’ve ever been depressed, and I don’t think that I would describe it as a bell jar, but I do have a sadness that descends upon me every now and then. It doesn’t seem to ever leave me completely alone. Even during some of the best times of my life, it has creeped up on me. I’ts been okay though, because it’s been during moments when I’ve been able to handle it.

“The sad” is not the opposite of happiness, it’s just a the-world-is-turning-slower, I-notice-everything feeling of melancholy. It’s not necessary a bad thing, and I think I might even be okay with it following me for the rest of my life, because I think it’s linked to a lot of other parts of myself that I like and appreciate.

I’m just not handling it all too well right now. Which is why I’ve been trying to write something on this blog for days without being able to bring myself to do it. I’m not dealing with it in the right way. I know that, but I don’t really now how to change it, because of the sad. Or maybe that’s just an excuse.

Anyway. I hope you’re having a good day, and that you take time for all of those things that are more important than time. Bye.

Bus thoughts (on Art)

What’s the point of anything? I don’t know. But it exists. And we exist. The things around us are what we know,  the sound of the bus, the trees outside the window, that’s reality right now. And I can change that. I sing a song under my breath, and suddenly that’s the sound of the world right now. I can make a sculpture, so that’s what people see. We can change what’s around us, change what this is, and so change who we are. There’s so much space, and art is being intentional when filling it up.

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That’s the only meaning we know.

Necessary procrastination

The word procrastination does not exist in the swedish language. We have a word that means to push something to the future, but procrastinating is not just postponing something, it’s the verb for what you’re actually doing while pushing something to the future. So it describes doing something, but it describes it not by saying what you’re doing, but by saying what you are NOT. (weird word, I like it)

Sometimes though, I think the subconscious processing of thoughts is undervalued. 

It always makes me think about a story I heard once. It’s about the emperor of China or something, and how he told an artist to paint the most beautiful painting ever (of some motif, I don’t remember). The artist spent years working on his painting, but when he was supposed to be done, he asked for another year, and another, saying he was not quite finished. When he finally appeared before the emperor and uncovered the canvas, it was empty. He then took his paints out, and painted the most beautiful painting in 15 minutes. 

How long did it take for the artist to paint the picture? 15 minutes? Or all those years?

I can usually write a school essay because I’ve been writing it for a long time. Even if I write it the night before it’s due, it’s been in the back of my mind for a long time.

The question is, is it better to consciously decide to do something later, instead of constantly pushing it to the next minute? Do some intentional procrastinating? (I suppose that’s called planning) Or is the stress necessary to constantly have it there in the back of your mind?

I don’t know. I don’t have enough patience to finish writing about this.


She hated flowers. Held in her hand she would look at them when she received them for achievements or performances, she’d smell them and then she’d dry them so that they wouldn’t die.

I think about these things a lot.

People are creatures of skin and bone and puzzle pieces, and something’s always broken. They’re searching everywhere for the missing pieces, in broad daylight and neon in darkness, of darkness and of the truths or whatever parts of it they can find. There was a woman whose father was the big puzzle solver and he would hand her pieces at the right time for her to have them, he would heal whatever part of herself was a mystery, complete and build up until she got closer to him.

I think about these things a lot.

We’re cracks in concrete walls and wrinkly shirts and unmatching sunsets under blemished sky. But her room was filled with the dried flowers. And when her father saw it he stopped in the doorway and lost his smile. He asked her where the puzzles where and she looked down, saying that she was almost done. Lifted a hand that was almost covered, soon strong enough to reach out with. He tilted his head.
”I will be a good example.” she said, ”I will show other people what an end result can look like.” She would help them find their pieces, show them what they were looking for, answers for what didn’t fit or form the right pattern. A piece from her hand fell and she looked at him.
”See? It’s not finished. Can you just help me a little more?” and he reached out and removed anything that ever covered her and she fell with it.

I think about these things a lot.

The things weighing you down are dust and wind with a different sense of gravity imprinted as a lie in your mind. And she rolled away from it, sitting up, looking as the father put the pieces together on the floor.
”That’s where you’re supposed to make puzzles.” he said. Looking at the images starting to make sense and everything fitting together she got scared. The turn away from mirrors kind of scared, the open scared because you have nothing between you and it and she didn’t even know what she looked like anymore so he put her in front of a mirror, bumping her with his elbow.

I think about these things a lot.

”See, you kind of look like me.”