Earlier this week I lost two family members, one at the age of 46 in a shocking accident, the other at the age of 93 in his sleep. This global crisis has been so stressful for everyone, even those in places where the virus is getting under control, at the very least because life as we know it is changed forever. And now adding shock and grief to the mix of already complicated emotions and worries, I am in dire need of hope and positivity.
Long story short, over the last day or two I have been taking time to focus on things that bring me happiness and trying to express gratitude for even the smallest joys I'm experiencing these days. And within the context of this blog, I looked back at past entries and saw that it has been almost two years since I posted a 'small joys' list about MF related things, so here we go. Hopefully some of these things bring you joy as well, or at least cause you to consider what other joys you have to lighten your heart in these difficult times.
~ Magne has some works on exhibit at Nicolines Hus
in Kragerø. You can see photos and some video clips of the works on the gallery's Facebook page
and Instagram account
, as well as this web page
. Not only is the art stunning - I have a particular weakness for the tones of green in 'We grow in numbers' - but I am intrigued by the names of the works, as well.
It's wonderful to see what Magne has been creating; granted we don't know the relationship of these works to the pandemic, perhaps they were created before and are only now being shown due to situational delays? In any case, they are calming and beautiful and a wonderful visual and emotional break from all I am feeling now. I wish I could see works like these every day. If I lived in Kragerø, I could see myself visiting often and spending time there. I guess that's why they have chairs around the gallery, I can imagine myself sitting there happily for a while.
~ Magne did an interview with a German radio program recently, which you can hear from 11:50 to 19:10 here
. The source article is here
The article covers what's probably discussed in more depth in the interview, which unfortunately is dubbed in German. Anyway it talks about isolation and creativity, and this new world we're living in. Apparently due to the pandemic, he is 'experiencing a period of calm like never before'.
He reads a poem at the end, and I find myself wishing I could listen to him reading more of his written works, whether poetry or prose. The poem he reads in this interview was originally posted on MySpace on August 21, 2006, among several others that day. Here is the full text:
close your ears to the noise
shut your eyes to the flickering
guard your heart against hope
take your mind off the mess you're in
mute that mouth for a moment
hold your tongue with its bickering
keep those thoughts to yourself
and just watch how you go;
life is for learning
what you already know
(and if life's to practice dying,
then at least we go practicing)
take control of this chaos
make yourself disappear
it is almost as if
you never were here
Find this and all of Magne's MySpace blogs here
~ This one is sort of random. I saw this quote on Twitter, "The heart doesn’t break; it folds into new shapes like origami" and it made me think of 'Undo my heart':
Undo my heart
take it apart
and piece me back together
It's an interesting idea that the damage done to our hearts in life are more like folds than breaks; painful, closing off events that cause us to retreat inside to protect ourselves. I like the idea of 'take it apart' meaning to open up those folds, to allow light to shine on the hidden parts of our heart, and the piecing back together meaning that the heart returns to the shape it should be in - open, whole, and ready to love again. Perhaps some new folds become necessary, to lock away old pain in a safe place where it can't disturb you anymore, without denying what happened or attempting to erase it. The heart remembers, but it sometimes needs help reconfiguring past trauma so that it becomes a smaller part, so the larger part can become healthy and beautiful again.
Anyway, an interesting interpretation that came to mind about a song I have loved for years.
~ The first video Magne posted of 'Troubled Times'
still brings me joy, I am not embarassed to admit that I watch it a couple of times a week probably. I love how raw and honest his voice is, I love his vulnerability and courage, I love how the movement of our view is almost like being rocked in someone's arms - it reminds me of that natural comforting sway that all new parents seem to learn early on, that calms both parent and child. And the way his voice catches a little when he sings 'you dream about each other sometimes' and he's looking at the camera - you can tell how much this song and the sentiment means to him. Really powerful.
~ Two years ago last week, I was in Copehangen to see a-ha (here is my blog post from that trip
). The realization just hit me that the Copenhagen show was my last a-ha concert for a long while - with European shows being scheduled for spring and the LA shows likely being rescheduled as well, not to mention that with this virus out in the world, I have no intention of flying anywhere even domestically without a vaccine - but if it turns out that way, I cannot complain. The Copenhagen show and that entire trip was such a wonderful experience for me, and seeing pictures and videos from that time in my social media memories last week made me so happy. I will always be grateful for that time with a dear friend in a beautiful city listening to music we love.
~ Filip Clements has been releasing really great music since the early part of the shutdown, and he had a gig (or two?) earlier this week in Askar. You can watch a video clip here
, complete with proud papa watching in the forefront. Listen to his tunes on Soundcloud
I saw that tonight's gig is postponed due to a band member having Covid symptoms, and of course now I am terribly worried about all in attendance at the shows this week. Events like this can be high transmission situations if people aren't careful - and no one was wearing a mask, or social distancing. I know in Norway the virus is under control, but everyone needs to have their guard up, especially those who are nearing 60 and have smoked for years and have been treated for a heart condition....Magne, please stay safe so I can tell you someday that I dream about you sometimes ;-) (oh come on, as much time as I spend listening to his music and compiling all the web content about him, of course he's in my dreams sometimes LOL)
~ Since I've been working from home, I don't commute anymore (obviously), and that means I don't get to listen to my music as loud as I want in my car and sing my heart out very often. My house is too small for me to even just close my door for a while and blast music without disturbing others. Singing with the radio in the car has always been a little fun escape for me, and I didn't realize how much I missed it until the other day when I had taken a day off to go to several routine doctor appointments. I had the whole day to myself, played my music as loud as I wanted, and sang my way through a great playlist and Martin Halla's 'Winter Days', which I hadn't heard in a long time - that album reminds me of a time when I was so hopeful, and although much of the hope I felt at the time has long since evaporated, the music brought it back to me when I really needed it.
~ If I am lucky with timing, it's possible for me to see what music Magne (or whoever runs his account, but I think it's likely him) is listening to on Spotify :-) It's so interesting to listen to the music he likes, and I have to admit that we don't seem to have very much music in common, but that's what's great about this - I am hearing music I wouldn't otherwise discover.
~ Also, totally unrelated, 11 years ago today I saw Paul McCartney in concert. What a memory! Music is life, it really is. The other day my family watched 'Last Christmas', and I burst into tears at the end when the charity concert starts off. The room is full of people, family and friends, the homeless and all the people who work so hard to help them, and it's Christmas time and there is joy and togetherness, and I MISS CONCERTS SO MUCH. As time goes on I am more and more grateful for having been at Magne's show in Oslo in December. My memories of the short days and the snowy evenings and the solftly lighted church filled with music are both comforting and a little bit melancholy - but I am so glad I have them.