This blue marble

– and yet it spins

1 Comment

Waving, not yet drowning

hotelJI could bore you with a million wing shots. Or hotel room shots. Or shots of my telephone and headset. Suffice to say I am buried under an avalanche that is called a new cancer drug launch. Hoping to resurface in London later this week with a few days off. Until then would you kindly sympathize with me when I tell you the Nordics is currently drowning in a wave of frost from Siberia? Oh yes, it is exactly as cold and dark as it looks like on this photo.

Again I remind myself it is we who are on a trajectory away from the sun. The Earth and I are both leaning towards the cold outer space until Christmas. I look at the seashells I picked from the beach sand in Kenya, now looking slightly lost on my windowsill, and remind myself that the heat and light still exist, elsewhere. For now dear Nordics, it is candles, tea, and woollen wraps. And ice-cold airplanes in the morning.

(Hotel J, Stockholm, Sweden; October 2014)

1 Comment

Chasing the edge of the night

wings-3White puffy clouds sailed past in the brightness outside. The heavy week weighed on my eyelids and I close them for a moment. When I opened them the world had gone a deep shade of purple.

Suddenly there it was, the edge of the night. Literally. A dusk bending over the horizon, slowly unfurling a layer of dark from the East. And we flew right into it. As darkness enveloped our little aircraft I thought of the short film “Boat” by David Lynch.

“It was so bright. I couldn’t sleep. I thought, Nature contains many mysteries. There was a boat. And the man said, ‘we’re going to try to go fast enough to go into the night.'”

Our little plane did go fast enough, and the night came racing towards us, swallowing us whole.

(Boat by David Lynch: Photo over Sweden; October 2014)

Leave a comment




The moment I tire
of difficult sand-grains
and giddy pebbles,
I roll with the punch
of a shrivelling wave
and am cosmonaut
out past the fringe
of a basalt ledge
in a moony sea-hall
spun beyond blue.
Faint but definite
heat of the universe

flutters my skin;
quick fish apply
as something to love,
what with their heads
of gong-dented gold;
plankton I push

an easy way through
would be dust or dew
in the world behind
if that mattered at all,
which is no longer true,
with its faces and cries.

(Andrew Motion)

(Image courtesy of

Leave a comment

The other way to die

Nepal-1web_AEEndless puffs of smoke slowly wrap around the spires and pagodas of Lord Shiva’s temple. In Kathmandu death is not a failure, hidden behind green curtains and a cloud of desinfectant mist. When hope for a longer life is fading, the ambulance steers not towards the hospital, but towards the temple. Family is not called two days afterwards when making funeral arrangements, but on the spot. By the upstream waters of the river Ganges, friends, family, and colleagues flock to wish the departer well. While the ambulance zooms between temple buildings, orange flowers are bought and offerings to the Divine given. Loved ones wait by the water as the car reverses down the slope, doors open, and the dying exhales one last time with feet touching the water, draped in orange and covered in flowers.

Side by side with other dead, the spirit is set free from the body by fire and smoke. As the wisps linger between the pagodas I think of how many spirits make that final circle above the city each day.

In Nepal, death is not a taboo. It is not hidden, excused for, or feared. Death is simply a point of transmutation like midnight: a new day begins, both for the departed and those continuing their current dharma.

Nepal-3web_AE(Pashupatinath temple, Kathmandu, Nepal; March 2012)

Leave a comment

A little more sunlight in Southwest Sweden

Aspenas-1 Ten minutes in the sunshine was all I had, before crawling back inside for yet another session. My ten minutes were less than a blink in the time of the manor, standing for 200 years on a foundation 500 years old. If time is an illusion, how many comedies, tragedies, and lifetimes happened all at once when I walked over the grounds?

(Aspenäs manor, Lerum, Sweden; September 2014)