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


I will tell your story if you die. I will tell your story and keep you alive.

Some die old. Some die young. Some die for their beliefs. Some die for their country. All death is meaningless.
Thus it becomes our job, as survivors, to give meaning to death. To look for a purpose or a consequence to this endless void.

One year ago we decided to love each other again, to remember what we built our society on and that we are together in this world. One year ago.
One week ago, I saw poeple wanting to kick foreigners out of our country on the gneral basis that “their kind” are nothing but thiefs and beggars. One week ago, I saw mothers and fathers yelling at each other, one word stronger than the other. One week ago I saw 15 common people suddenly fill their whole with hate. One week ago.
One day ago, I saw the same people remember one year ago.

I hope that tomorrow, they still do.

We survived. We have to tell their stories. We have to give meaning to the pointless. We have to remember what they believed in, and to keep struggling for that belief that we are all here in this world together. If one man can show so much hate, imagine how much love we can show.

We survived. We have to remember and find meaning.
Some die yoUng. Some die old.

The end is here for some…

This week has been an interesting one politically.

I’ll be honest, I have been working some crazy shifts lately, awake at night, asleep through the day so I feel like I’ve been in a perpetual state of limbo, not quite awake, not quite asleep but drifting between the two. Today I woke up, and found my country in a mess, our genius of a Prime Minister thinks that it’s better to got it alone than to stick with Europe. apparently he has put the importance of the city ahead of businesses and industry.

Sarkozy today said in an interview that “there are now two Europes”

It seems that not only has Cameron severed our relations with the EU, but by doing so has weakend our position with Beijing, and the US, as Britain is now not sitting in a decision making seat in Europe, we are of significantly less use to them.

It seems that Europe is split, and that the UK itself is splitting in two, one side who want to stay with our European brothers and one who do not.

I know nothing about politics, but I know about people, and I know that when people work together they get further than if they work alone.

Let’s hope that Cameron’s decisions do more than just help rejuvenate this blog, but if not then there at least is one positive.

In the spirit of rejuvenation, I have decided to post a video, as seems to be the fashion, that I know you gentlemen will enjoy as much as I did.

From your friEnd in Isolation.

I refuse to be your enemy.

You did great damage to our country, you took 77 innocent lives for your so called cause. You have ruined families, lives and you took our very innocence away. You proved only that terror has no religion and no race, you tried to bring us down and make us afraid.

You failed. You made us stronger, you united us in a way no one thought possible. You made hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets. Not in anger, not in despair and not for a want of revenge. But in love, in hope and in belief. You have strengthened our democracy, our love for each other and our society and nation. We will answer terror with more openess, more democracy and more peace. You have only strengthened what you sought to destroy. The 77 people who died because of you, they did not die in vain, they died because they believed in a better world – a belief we will honor to the very last.

And you don’t get it, we refuse to be your enemy.
We will not enact vengeance, but our law will try you, find you guilty and convict you. You will serve your sentence, and we will forget you. We will never forget what you did or the day, but you, you will be forgotten, left to the darkest parts of history, the world will forget your name and your cause, and because of that, you have already lost.

Love and peace will go on. Stronger than ever. The world will go on, a better place.
We’re winning, yes, there may be riots in London, poverty and hunger in Etiopia and war in Iraq, but we will make it, we will make the world a better place.

The world will go on, a better place.

and tonigHt, triPoli falls.

Yes… but

You see, actually I wanted to write about something completely different today. Something that I have been thinking about lately – especially since the time we all were together in Norway for Hans and Signhild’s wedding. But I shall write about it next time. It simply isn’t the right answer for what Eyal wrote.

The past days of riots in London and also Liverpool started quite a few discussions amongst colleagues and friends about why this is happening in England. People that know me will know, that I might not always paint the brightest picture of the country. That is simply what happens when you live somewhere foreign for a longer period of time than just for holidays: You make your own picture of the place. You gain an insight into how the system works. And that ultimately leads to a decision about whether you like the place or not. So my opinion is that there is a lot of positive things, especially when it comes to people, in England. But the system in general failed long ago and it seems that nobody ever realized the days of the Empire are over.

But now: the generation of people that get left behind. This is our generation ladies and gentlemen. And everyone following up on us! When did that happen? And why?

It was very late a few years ago even, when I did my apprenticeship in Munich. I came home after one of those usual jobs. Very late, very tired but couldn’t sleep right away (as always after work late at night). I switched on the TV and there was a documentary on about unemployed young people. All the kids there quit school. No degree, not even finished school. My parents – as Eyal mentioned – would not have allowed for that to happen. (We think – coming back to that point). So there is this guy who get’s a chance to get work at a local place that does removals and furniture transportation. Obviously this is physically heavy work and you don’t have to be very bright to do it. Therefore the pay is not great – but it is payed work. This guy gets offered to work there and if he doesn’t do too bad, may become a full time position. But for now, he only has to come with them for half a day, 6 hours in total.
When he comes back, he says this work would be absolutely stupid, everyone could do it, it would be too hard and would not pay enough. And that he would not go there again. Asked what he would expect from a job, he says that is has to pay well. He wishes to have a house, garden, car, pool and so on. He would need about 3000 Euros a month to even feel he has a quality life.
So I sat there, after 16 hours of work, that payed me around 500 Euros a month and thought – what the fuck?
(I had to check again, but that really was the salary… 😉 )

Another story: In the gymnastics class I used to coach, there was a really talented you boy. When he came to our club, it became quite clear after no time, that we were not the right place for him. He was too talented not to make something out of that talent. We wanted to send him to the Olympics team that trains in Augsburg. And they wanted to work with him – but he didn’t want to. He wanted to stay. So he did. He was about 9 years or so (cannot remember) and his parents used to bring him to training as they lived several towns away. They cared for him, where always there, went with us to competitions and events and so further. I watched him grow up and he was a nice guy and remained the best one of the group.
During my time in Liverpool I was home for the summer and on a train from Augsburg back home. A guy that somehow looks familiar comes in the train and passes me. He was a punk, with all the usual accessories, like the spiky collar, run down clothes, coloured hair – the whole enchilada. Somewhere in my head, this little man was saying: You know this guy. But I could not work out where from.
A few days later I meet a friend from my time at the gymnastics club. She is a social worker now and told me the story that this guy I once knew has basically abandoned his family. No contact what so every. Lives on the street and became a punk. So what happened with this guy? He was the one on the train. At some point in our lives, our paths crossed and there was a chance to possibly change his life. To divert it into a different direction. His parents did everything they thought was good for him. They cared and they were strict. And now?

You see, the thing with the blaming is really difficult. I agree with Eyal, completely. The parents are to blame. But, it isn’t that easy. A lot of the kids of the lost generation have really young parents. Especially in England there is a trend to become a Mom at a very young age. To gain some perspective in life again. As everything else is useless. No job, no money, no perspective. Why not have a baby. Thinking does not always go much further as the next few weeks. And the fact that having a child means lifetime commitment is not the first thought that comes to mind.
So now, kids having kids is a problem. Kids with no perspective in life, no money, no job, no education having kids themselves… who do you blame now? When does the chain start? Where in the line is the one person that we could blame? The one that had a proper job, was clever, raised a family and made it through? There must be someone to blame..?

I know this is a very provocative line of argumentation. But it is what I spotted a while ago. And since then, I keep wondering all the time how to solve that riddle.

To be fair, you know how my thinking is. I might be too idealistic and have a very pragmatic view on things. But I do honestly ask the question: How do we want to go on as a society? We cut down jobs in constant strive for more money, the better paid job. We cut down the money for anything that is not related to economy and its constant growth. Did anybody ever think about, that constant growth is something unnatural? And that within our physical restrains infinite growth will never happen – no matter what we are looking at. But we built our society on the basis of constant economic growth… That is odd.
So, what do we do with all the kids that have no perspective in their lives? Do we go to them and tell them: Learn something, you will find a job and be happy? Well, there won’t be any job. We all know how hard it can be to find A job. But everyone strives for THE job, the one that makes you happy, pays well and has short working hours…

I honestly am furious about rioters like the one we have seen in England lately. There is no excuse for this.
But there is the unsolved question of whom to blame. I don’t know. But I feel it is time that people – young people in particular start to become more present in the minds of the people that do leave them behind. We have the right to speak freely what we think. We can demonstrate for the good cause. So, why not organise some useful things with a Blackberry and march for a good thing. To really change something…?

It is only us, human beings, that are able to change the way our world goes. At the moment, we are heading for the ice-berg, straight ahead and with full speed.

Maybe we should go and slow down a bit.

A look ahead and maybe one back

The past months, I tried to post something here several times. I could not find anything of interest for you guys to write about. One thing I realised over Christmas and the few days after was, that the past year has changed a lot. And it made me aware of the fact that I have lost contact to a lot of people. Some – or basically most of them – I don’t care about. A few, I do. And it makes me feel very sad, that it was me to somehow give up on keeping in touch. I have not seen Hans in over one year now, and in the time between we have barely ever properly spoken. In fact, I have no idea any more how his life looks like at the moment. I realised that when I got the bad news from Norway at Christmas.

There is another friend in the UK that I have not treated much better. Yes, we may have seen each other this summer – for a lot of reasons, this probably was not the best meeting we ever had. At least, we got the chance to talk shortly before Christmas and I am very happy about that. I got the feeling that the connection has not been cut entirely. On the other hand, here as well, it seems that the things connecting us are all somewhere in the past. Years by now. Somewhere at L8 3SQ. And we remember a brilliantly ringing phone, that even kept going while Eyal was already talking to the person on the other end…

I have seen my family 3 or 4 times this past year. In total probably about 10 days. That is not much. And when I went home, I had to prioritise whom to visit for how long. My grandma, the only one of my grandparents still alive, has not been granted a lot of my time last year. And so it comes that I actually almost didn’t see her at all last year. When I was with her the last time, she cooked one of the things, only a grandma can cook. And it was one of those visits, that you don’t pay too much attention to, as it is “normal”. The day after Christmas this year, I visited her again. She now lives in a home for elderly people and barely recognised me at all. She talks about things of her world, things we outside of this world may not be able to understand any more. And maybe she does not either. She is waiting for her final relief every second she is awake now. And since I was there, I can only hope for her that this wish is granted in the near future.

I didn’t want to look back that much, but it seems, that the past is as relevant for the future as the future itself. But for the future, I am sure that the coming days and months will see a lot of change again. We don’t stop and so everything moves on. There is a wedding ahead this year and I am really looking forward to it (although I realised two days ago, that I don’t understand a single word of Norwegian and got a little worried about me following all the right procedures.. 😉 ). Maybe there is a play coming up in England at some point that we can all come and see, as we know the director very well. In February I am actually moving to a new flat, there are already projects lining up and god knows what’s gonna happen this year. So, I will try to learn from my mistakes in the past and also do my very best to make new ones in the new year. Wouldn’t life be absolutely boring without a little bump here and there…?

Have a good start into this new Year my friends!

the people of today

I wonder what the people of tomorrow will think about the people of today. Will they read about us in history and think in awe about the great things we accomplished. Will they read about the ones who conquered all plagues, erradicated war and brought humanity into a new era of compassion and peace. Or will they read about the generations that destroyed our homeworld, that spent all the resources and ruined international relations for all forseeable time.

Will they look at our technological revolution as the beginning of the end, or as the beginning of the new world? For this is where we have come now. We are at a point in our evolution, technological progress and interhuman relations where we, and I mean we; the whole of humanity, must make a choice. Do we stand back and watch, let the chaos and carnage happen? Do we let the world fall to the problems of our fathers? … or do we act now, do we let our anger and rage change the world forever?

I’m 25 years old. I don’t know what I’ll be doing in 12 months time. But I will do it with all my passion and energy. I did not create the problems of today, but they are my problems, and I have to solve them. I didn’t bring the world to this state of terror, but it is my world, and I have to live in it. I will do it with all my passion and energy because this is the only way it will ever work. We all have to do what we do, as good as we can, as persistent as our will lets us, and as arrogant as our courage tells us.

I see people my age everywhere, dreaming great dreams and willing something with their life. Don’t you see, we are a genetation of dreamers, visionaries and we will change the world. We have started to fix all that is wrong, all the things you did before we came, we will fix it. Just give us some time. And don’t try to stop us.
I did not create the problems. But they are my problems. And I will fix them.

I wonder what the people of yesterday would think of the people of today.

for yesterday and all tomorrows, we dance the best we know.

tHe Problem?