Archive | April, 2015

1/2 hundred + 1

14 Apr

On Resurrection Sunday I turned 51 years old. I am in an interval in my life where I literary feel as if I have resurrected from the dead.

I will admit that the year I was 50 have not been easy. Not because of any 50 years old midlife crisis. It has been purely circumstantial. A couple of years ago I hit a wall. It felt like I could not move. I found myself in a blue collar job earning just about what I would get on social welfare and 1000-2000 Danish Crowns below the unemployment rate I used to live on while realising artist dreams. Still I was working 40-50 hours a week. For 18 months I worked as a taxi driver, mostly at night. As the months passed I began to feel more and more decentered and unable to focus.

The other week I shifted to another blue collar job. I now work in the daytime. Always 7 hours per day and earning more than before. I feel that I have seen the light again, which off course is the fact, but also in a metaphorical sense. I have from day one regained my focus, and I don’t need to sleep 10-11 hours a day, like I needed to do before.

Being in the midst of life also has some characteristics, which might not be so circumstantial. In all other decades in my life I have been able to reinvent myself and perform the moment I was in as the most important position in life. As I approached the 50’es, up through the 40’es, I noticed a kind of calm and steadiness. I was able to look as much back into my past as I was thinking about the future. Sometimes I refer to the period in life that I am in right now as payback time. The reason I am the man I am today is because there were people along the way that lifted me up where I belonged. They showed me the world, gave me guidance and acted as good examples. I know that I will never be able to thank them enough, but as a token of respect I can do something similar to someone else. To un-break a legacy of human intelligence and sanity. This is what I mean by payback time. You can do this at any point in your life, but it becomes easier with some weight of experience. If you many times have felt that you couldn’t really repay the things other people did for you. The word payback might have some negative connotations, but I have been waiting for decades for this moment in life where I finally can give something back to whoever is here to receive.

What also happened over time is the ability to look at you from the outside. It has radical consequences. It can be shocking to observe that you are not perfect. Sometimes I also think, my gosh what is he doing, or oh no, he is not saying that. On the other hand it is also a relief. I do not get so surprised by others reaction as I used to, because I know what I am doing before I am doing it. There are not so many chocking moments. I have already met the people I will meet in the future. Every new woman I meet reminds me of a woman I have already met before. Life becomes so much easier and very simple.

I claim that I can see myself from outside and from a distance. What kind of man have I become? Who am I? I see a peculiar circle. I have become the man that I admired as a little boy. This man knows in which direction he is walking. He is well dressed. His style is not like anybody else. It might appear a little old-fashion for some people, but he does not care what they think about him. It is a man that is not afraid of waiting, but when he acts he does it concise and rapidly. I said old-fashion, but maybe the word classical is a better description.

Did I change? … or am I just myself on another level! I think that I have a phantasy of being different well knowing that it is not completely true. To whom do I owe myself? Maybe it does not make much sense to mention names. Can I tell anything to the little boy that looks up to me? No, I do not believe in talking. You might already be laughing. I believe in experience. I have faith in coincidence. Do I have any technics? Yes, I have … I feel myself physically, cry, laugh and follow the lead. I have just lost myself during 18 months of bad judgement. How did I regain focus? Many times I have told myself while doing qi gong or tai chi in the morning that 10.000 years of Chinese tradition cannot be completely wrong.

Some things remain the same. I am still rather aggressive and strongly opinionated, though I choose my battles more carefully. There are people who think I am too much or over the edge. Others react in the opposite way. I divide water. Simultaneously I am also very considerate, kind and humble with profound empathy. Those characteristics have strengthened with time. For me it is the same coin, two different sides that cannot be divided.

There are a couple of mottos that I stick to. One is not to think I am above others. Do never think that you are too famous or too high to clean toilettes or sweep the floor for others. Another is that there are no picture I can take that will make you see what I see. Not that I see something extraordinary, but I see what I see and you have your own eyes. I used to have a third one also, but I am no longer very sure. It is to make a difference or don’t do anything at all. What does it mean to make a difference? To inflict chance … yes, but chance come in many shapes. I learnt that repetitions and silence can also make a difference, though you will have to be very patient. If you repeat yourself, go to the same places again and again and carry out the same rituals then you will slide into trance and with time you will have become a changed man or woman, as well as the world will appear different to you. Maybe you will not even know yourself.

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Mexican music

2 Apr

A Mexican trio called Playa Magenta is on tour in Europe. This is a band you do not want to miss! They are definitely something out of the ordinary. Very mexican sound from the coast of Vera Cruz, but they also have a very international appeal. No wonder that they met in New York City. One of the songs is even born in the subway of NYC. But the rest of their music refer directly to Mexican musical traditions and Mexican heritage.

I met them in Dome of Visions in Copenhagen on Tuesday evening. My first thought when I saw a harpe on the stage was that this will be good. I had not seen a woman with a harpe since Joanna Newsom. Not only did I a see a harpe, but also a violin and marimba. I was exited.

The concert was a real joy. Three musicians with big enthusiasm for presenting their music. And a very attentive audience on a cold evening. The mayority of the audience was from the internatinal crowd of foreigners that nowadays choose to live in Copenhagen for some strange reason that beats me comprehension.

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Playa Magenta has a rough expression. Nothing have been done to polish the sound, which I do appreciate very much. The collection of songs that they play are raging from cumbia over electronica to jazz, but they all have a distinctive combination of an international sound that could come from any huge urban place in the world and simultanously a clear splash of Mexican tradition.