This blue marble

– and yet it spins

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Up in the air

propellerYou may have become fed up with photos from the air, one after the other. It seems as if the moments in the air are the only moments I have for myself this fall. 

A lady asked for a minute of my time at the gate, waiting to return home after another of my weekly 2-day commutes to Stockholm. She was researching and asked how often I come to Bromma airport. Every week, I replied. “Really? Are you a politician?” she asked. Goodness, no, but I work for a multinational company. By now my carbon footprint is so large I weep for it and the generations required to pay our poor planet back.

(Above the Baltic Sea; October 2015)

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Back to reality

malmoBoom, back to reality. Alarm clock set for 4.30 am and a commute to Copenhagen. From there we took the train over to Sweden and Malmö, and locked ourselves up in the hotel for the next 4 days.

I escaped twice: once to a meeting in the modern docklands, and once to a dinner with a friend where we spoke more of sailing and yoga than of science and work.

They say Malmö is troubled with cultural issues, violence, and unemployment. I say Malmö has its beautiful moments – and quite a few of them. You just need to find time for them. Just like a walk in the docklands during a 4-day-after summer-kick-off stunt in a hotel.malmo-2 (Malmö, Sweden; August 2015)

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Departing is the only way to return

departure-2It was a long day of departure. Getting to the dock from the south end of the island took one hour instead of 20 minutes, thanks to road closures and cremation parade. There is only one main road on Lembongan – and lots of sandy wannabe-roads in the boondocks, absolutely not made for a pickup truck.

Getting from Lembongan to mainland Bali took a good while due to the wind. I sat next to the captain who was wearing a huge chunky watch and a carefree smile. “You will come back next year” he said. I just might.

Getting from Sanur beach to the airport took a good while. I had to wait for another boat to arrive. The captain with the chunky watch and smile kept me company. This was his life, every day, and I was one among 365 people in a year he probably kept company in wait of the next boat. “You will come back next year” he repeated.

departure-1I waited for my flight for 4 hours and acquainted with an Australian couple. “We come back every year, for 20 years now” they said.

The last leg from Zurich to Helsinki I flew in business class together with a world-famous rapper, his babe, and his entourage. We deciphered the Scandinavian foods on the menu together. He will probably not come back next year.

But I might just return to Bali next year. And the year after that. Get old, get stuck on one thing, and just go back to Bali because – well, it is Bali.

balideparture(Lembongan, Bali, Indonesia; and above Switzerland; August, 2015)

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Devil’s tear

devilstear-1Lava rock is full of holes. Strong but the opposite of solid. Lying in bed in my reed hut at night I could hear the ground rumble and the waves crash into Devil’s Tear, a good 100 meters away. Rumble, boom, splash. Every night, every day, for millions of years in the past and perhaps millions of years in the future.

In the morning I ventured out to the lava rock ledges. They looked weathered, torn, desolate, and old. Life had happened to them, just like it happens to us, too. Every spray of water wears down the rock just a little.

Standing by the edge I looked closer – and saw a glimmer of purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. The sprays of water may slowly eat out the rock during a million years, but during every single day of those  years there is a rainbow in every splash, if you only look at it from the right perspective.

devilstear-2(Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia; August 2015)


About yoga and living instead of existing

lembonganbeach-4There are 3 main reasons people seem to come to Bali: yoga, surfing, or diving. Watching the surfers navigate the surfs breaking offshore at Jungutbatu I realized that all three lifestyle “sports” combine overcoming, or mastering, your body’s capabilities. All three also are grounded in nature. Even yoga, even if it perhaps is grounded in the universe at large. lembonganbeach-3Surfing, diving, climbing, and yoga seem to attract similar people. Many gear shops and brands specialize in more than one of these at once. Yet I felt as out of place in the Jungutbatu surfing community as I did in the Mushroom bay diving community. Ubud and its yoga community, however, felt just right. Organic, raw food, wellness shops and quiet temples in town; and rice paddies, chickens, and rural life just around the corner. Yet Ubud is a bubble far from ordinary Balinese life – just like a surf shack village is.lembonganbeach-2In the end, any activity that increases awareness of ourselves as well as of the health of our beautiful but threatened planet is good. I wish more people chose surfing, diving, or yoga over computer games or the gym. I wish more people prioritized to live in the world, instead of just existing in it. Our world is beautiful – but it is not forever, not for us humans. lembonganbeach-1(Jungutbatu and Mushroom Bay, Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia; August 2015)