The people we are vs the people we will be

Well why not?

This is a subject I’ve avoided for a while, out of fear of not finding the things I wanted under the surface or out of sheer indifference to the subject, for sometimes it is better to live life rather than reflect on it. If forwards is where we are walking then why look back?

Well… it’s been a difficult week over on the island, the group of friends I was in in school, we are still technically a group of friends but are scattered around the UK and don’t ever really see each other all together, the only times I have seen all of them in one place for the past 7 years has been at funerals, at my mothers, and this week, two of them lost a parent. It is good to see good friends, but never good under those circumstances, and they have both looked to me now to help them through this time…

How do you help a friend weather the storm which they’ll rain down on themselves?… who knows…

To answer a different question, we look back to calculate trajectory, if the person I am is a result of the places I’ve been then the person I will be is a result of the sum of both of those things.

I realised some things when looking back… and that is that I’m not entirely satisfied with the person I’m going to be, so I thought fuck it, let’s change it, and it’s easier than you think.

Put an obstacle in your way and it’ll throw you off course, I was in a direction that was good and upwards for my career, finally directing, finally full time, finally paid for it! no more lifting steel deck for me (woohoo!). That is all good, and what I wanted but the person I would become by chasing it so hotly is simply not the kind of person I would want to have a conversation with let alone inflict on anyone else.

So I booked myself a flight, to a faraway place, several days after my last show (and looking like it’s my best show yet) of this incredible year closes. This gives me no time to squeeze in any extra work, no opportunity to do anything but spend my days now directing and packing, getting all the right injections (and some of the wrong ones apparently), try out the right shoes, the right bags, the right compasses etc, but most importantly it gives me the ability to say no.

To say no when I was offered to direct a musical, to say no when asked to go and assist at the RSC, to say no when asked to develop a new play. The ability to say no is important,  and I needed to put an obstacle in my own way, else I wouldn’t have had the strength to be the obstacle myself.

Like a river all of a sudden blocked on a bend, and bursting it’s banks and spilling over plans, flooding, and draining away I have created purposeful chaos in my own life, and very much intend to embrace every unexpected turn that it takes me.

 

EmbracIng the Chaos

the ghost in the machine

As we wander through the abyss that is history, we all leave our mark. We all leave something behind on our journey to somewhere else. Be it a thought, a story, an object or just a whisper, we all influence history in one way or the other.

Once, there was a miner working in coalmine somwhere in the world. His work was hard and his life had little joys besides his family. From 6 til 8, every day, every week, for years, he worked in the mines. Breaking coal from stone from coal. His fingers gripping tools made by man, carving lumps of black rock that would someday fuel someones adventure or dream. As drops of sweat fell to the floor, as his coughing could be heard in the neigbouring tunnels, his very soul stayd behind in the cave. He left, he quit his job and never returned, but his soul, or at least a very tiny fraction of it, was always there. Somewhere in his heart, he was always there. As he left this world all that remained of him was lost to us, his face, his name and his thoughts forever lost in the void of the universe. But the tiny fraction of his soul that stayed behind in the mine, it lingers on, a spirit left behind in the created constructions of man. A ghost in the machine.

The factory worker working on the model T-Ford in 1908, his name and face is forgotten by all but a few remaining relatives, but his spirit and soul, wether he wish it or not, is forever imprinted on the work that he did on the black automobile. If he polished the headlights or was responsible for tuning the gearbox doesn’t really matter, something of him was stored in that machine for all eternity. For as the machine dies, the impact it left on history, and thus our factory worker, lingers on.

The SkunkWorks engineer working on the SR-71 Blackbird, his pencil drawings dictating where the wings should bend, and exactly at what angle the tail rudder should be placed. He is remembered more for his work than the factory worker, but still, his most important mark on history is the spirit he left behind in the great blackbird. And as long as the machine is remembered, the ghosts of those who built it will remain in our cognitive memory and intelligence.

Computer programmers in the number of hundreds worked on the system on which this text was written. Alon the way, the implanted bits of themselves into the system, unknowing, unwilling or deliberate, some minute parts of their creative intelligence lingers on in thousands of systems around the world. Tiny strings of code, random or by purpose, they form unwanted behaviour, they create new or just sit there idle, they are perhaps machine in essence, but created by soul, they will always remain ghosts of their creators.

As we cross ways with inventions, creations and impossibilities throughout our journey, we leave behind something of ourselves at every waypoint. Every time our energy is focused to creation, every time we pour our creativity into something, we leave something else behind. Unnoticable, minute pieces of our will, tiny fractions of our soul, whispers of our ideas, they stay behind and inhabit our creations. Giving them life and sometimes soul themselves. Thus, we are all creators of ghosts. Thus, all creations are ghosts.

a gHost in the machine?

This is my life.

Sleeping ’til the sun is high in the sky. Dreaming about the future. Eating breakfast with the best girl I know while reading the paper. Working on incredible, fantastic, boring, exciting, exhausting and extremely challenging projects. All of them at the same time. Drawing my own house. Making plans for the future. Thinking about my friends. Wishing I could fix all the worlds problems. Listening to great music. Attempting to play the piano. Planning a wedding. The best one ever. Chocolate. Red wine. A Vesper Martini every now and then. Cooking good food for good people. Enjoying the little things in life. Learning every single day. Always. Finding new places. Meeting new people and making new friends. Some not so good friends too. Sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. Not so much the drugs and we could do with some more rock ‘n roll. Setting up a new company. Longing for my girlfriend. My fiance actually. Climbing mountains. Walking in the woods. Sleeping outdoors in summer with a starry sky. Watching clouds drift by. Eating straweberries with cream. Caviar and Vodka. Barbequing in Switzerland with Georg. Going to the theatre in London with Eyal. Answering Hendrik’s Hog questions. Building lego. Getting up way to early in the morning after staying up way too long the night before. Beeing free and cruel. Loving someone. Loosing some battles. Winning the rest. Making three mistakes in one day. Screwing up the Schnick Schnack patch plan. Fixing the Hog. Drawing trees. Photographing beauty. Sleeping nude. Holding Signhild’s hand. Kissing. Running in the high and wild grass. Forgetting to be afraid of worms and bugs. Forgetting to be afraid of anything. Thinking I should rule the world. Ruling the world. Having the best friends ever. Ever. Seeing my family. Spending time with my brother, planning some great adventure. Realising there’s always a bigger fish. Beeing the bigger fish. Saving the day. Or screwing up all the plans everyone had. Keeping secrets. Sharing them. Knowing things. Showing off. Creating just one little bit of magic. Saving someones life. Saving the world. Wishing you could all be here. Now.

This is my life. It isn’t perfect. It doesn’t have to be.

tHis is my Perfect life.

Magic.

I’m working on a TV show this week, and we’re having it in Oslo’s old “Folketeatret” – the peoples theatre. The building was completed in 1935 and used as a cinema until 1952. From 1959 the Norwegian Opera and Ballet held house here until they moved to the new Operahouse in 2008. A theatre space that is over 70 years leaves some kind of impression on you. This one is no exception. The building har hundreds of small corridors that leads to placed you don’t think exist, opening a door feels like embarking on a mission to charter new and unexplored teritory. There are marks, proof of people and shows past, everywhere. Names, signatures, quotes, old shelves with long forgotten things still on them. Old switches and plugs everywhere, old labels and old signs telling you to go through doors that are no longer there.

I went up to the flyfloor today, to bring in an LX bar. On my way, I took the lift from stagelevel and up to level 7, where the first flyfloor is. The lift is on the opposite side off the flytower, so you walk out of the lift and onto the gallery and then through a door before you vanish inside long and winding hallways (the winding hallway is obviously the back wall of the stage and flytower, curved so that it just fits a round horizon backdrop.) before you emerge out onto the flytower. However, before I go that far, there was a door with a large sign, written in gothic looking letters that said “do not enter with shoes on”. The door was ajar, and I had to look inside. There, in one of the corners of this gigantic building, far out of everything else, was a small dance studio. The windows where dirty, the ceiling and the door was old. The mirrros on the wall and the bar was worn and well used. The dancefloor, stretched as if it was laid yesterday, looked like it had been thread on by thousands. Yet, this small room, up there, in a remote corner, in a hallway where only the black dressed technicians usually wanders, was the very essence of what a theatre is.

It was as if someone turned a valve and all my feelings for theatre came pooring out. I realised I haven’t been really working in a theatre space big enough to have a flytower for a long time… the feeling, was.. magic. Comming out of the room again, I felt strangely lightheaded, invincible, happy. I remembered many memories of past, and ambitions not forgotten. But most important, it was a true feeling of purpose. True magic. I like theatres because it is the only place i truly can reign. It feels like my space, a place where I am the master of magic. Where I belong.

wHere i find a Purpose

The future.

Who knows what the future will be like? I dont’t. And neither do you. In fact, no one does, because the future isn’t yet. No one can know what doesn’t exist.

…Yet, do you ever have this feeling, this feeling that we’re meant for something else? Destined for something bigger? Do you ever lay in bed, wishing you could reach for the stars and actually touch them? Do you ever walk the street, watching other people go about their daily lifes, pondering what your mission in all of this is? Do you ever wake up early in the morning, before the sun has risen, and think to yourself – today I can take on the world? Do you ever have the feeling that our purpose is to change the world?

If you do – you are like us. We call ourselves the BrookfieldLodge society. Would you like to join us?

my life Has a Purpose

These days

She doesn’t get out of bed these days.

These are the days we were told are the most critical, these days, more critical than the days in the future, or those in the past. And yet, these days we can’t help but think of those days, the days that we should have gotten out of bed early, while we still could. The days we could have spent achieving things that are now out of reach, or just going outside and appreciating the fresh air, or telling our friends how special they are, or telling our loved ones that we love them, even though they already know, or jumping and knowing that the risk of falling will be worth it, or running to get somewhere, not because we want to get there any faster, but because it’s nice to be out of breath for a change. These days we think of those days, and we also think of the days that we may never see.

These days we watch the things that we hope will get better, get worse. And the only thing we can do is hope that they get worse slower, so when someone asks us how we’re doing today, all we can say is that we’re worse than yesterday, but not as bad as we’ll be tomorrow. Does that make today a good day?

Today, twenty years ago, my Great grandmother died. We have lit a candle, it’s called a Yahrzeit, the candle burns for 24 hours. Today she is watching over us so today is a good day. These days are the critical ones and today we have an angel watching over us so today will be a good day, today we were strong, today we didn’t cry, today we laughed and sang and joked, and spoke about all the things we’ll do when we can, and we didn’t mention the thing we’re not allowed to talk about once. Today I was strong and I’m proud of myself.

I hope tomorrow will be better.

Eyal

Knowing.

How well do we really know the friends we make in adulthood? And in the age of lies, what can be made of the person who tells untruths so small they serve no obvious purpose?

I hope you know me. I think you do, I believe I have laid bare all my sides. I have shown you, my friends, both strength and weakness, so that you may know me for who I am. I think I know you too. I believe I can tell, from the sound of your voice or the look on your face, how your day has been, how you are feeling and if you need help or not. We have shared things with each other that no one else will ever know. Moments, thoughts and self-realizations so strong, dangerous even, that we have had together and which makes us tied together.

Sometimes though, I wonder. Perhaps it is only possible to know one person to a certain extent. Perhas some parts of brain and heart is locked, no matter how close we get. It is so easy, in our age of digital life, online anonymity and short conversations with people we hardly know, to create something that isn’t true. I don’t think I do. But sometimes I feel like there is a forbidden place inside me, where thoughts that should never exist come and go. Thoughts that would perhaps even you change your mind. And I don’t know where it comes from. Or if it matters. Perhaps we are all like this? Do we all have a secret, dark part of our mind, where things are best left alone?

I don’t know. I hope you know me. I do my best to understand and to be understood. But to understand, to truly comprehend the complexity of another human being, one must first know all there is to know about it. Both body and mind. And I am not sure if that is possible. Some things are best left alone. Some thoughts are perhaps best left untouched. Locked away. Where no one will ever know they existed.

I hope you know me. But sometimes, I am not sure.

random thoughts of Human Perplection