When I write
I get frustrated
When I don’t
When I live
through my fantasy
I give life
to my dreams
When I sleep
I see my thoughts
When I write
I taste my life
the feeling of achievement
Can be two sides
of every story
In my writing
they will always
Also joined by
my inner urges and dreams
When I write
I get frustrated
When I don’t
Ellen Gill Johannessen
Snowflakes are at this very minute dancing through the air, and my springtime-feeling from yesterday, are replaced by yet another day of winter.
Well, it was fairly optimistic to hope for springtime weather in February, and I’ve decided to be grateful for the day we had yesterday, and try not to be too annoyed by the fact that I’ll soon be shuffling snow to get out my car…
I think these two talk about the snow as well:
Well, yesterday I wrote in the sand… Today I’ll write in snow!
If you are one of my regular readers you would know that we have almost been buried in snow until recently, so my question must seem strange…But it is the truth, today we have had sunny weather, and the sun stayed throughout the day! There were actually sun, not only a glimpse, but an almost spring-feeling came through the air and hit my heart.
So I did what I think everyone should do after not seeing such nice weather in months, I went for a walk on the beach.
I have a lot on my mind these days, and my walk on the beach was a silent walk, where even my thoughts got a well-deserved break.
There is something about the ocean.
There is something about just being.
There is something about life.
It’s wonderful, isn’t it?
One of the “new” words of last year in media was “SELFIES”, even though most of us have heard about these and even participated in them multiple times over the last years. The growing of different social media platforms such as Instagram and Flickr has given us new opportunity to promote ourselves, and share ourselves with the world. A quick look at Wikipedia tells us that
“A selfie is a type of self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone. Selfies are often associated with social networking. They are often casual, are typically taken either with a camera held at arm’s length or in a mirror, and typically include either only the photographer or the photographer and as many people as can be in focus.”
It has been a common belief that this was something the mostly the younger generations were involved in, and this last week I’ve read three different articles from adults that are worried what the young girls and boys are getting themselves into. One of the authors of the mentioned articles ask what is wrong with the young people today, saying that when she grew up, (in the 70s like myself) the goal was to wrap yourself in big sweaters and agree with other youths, while today’s youth have a “look – at-me-mentality” and the selfies are the result of the selfishness of young people.
I beg to disagree. First of all, a quick look through social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram shows me that it is not only young people doing selfies, everybody from grandpa to young children are portrayed in these kinds of photos, and we cannot assume that all these people are selfish? Bye the way, who said that selfies is a new activity? The word may be new, but the act of putting a picture of you out there, is far from new.
Because, feel free to disagree, but isn’t a selfie just a modern self-portrait?
Today I’ve read a book on the great Norwegian artist Christian Krohg. Before I read this book, written by Oscar Tue, I knew that Krohg was one of our great artists and he wrote the book and painted the painting of “Albertine”, but I realize that he was a colourful man with a lot of initiative. He had a great social concience, and his book was banned the same day it was published.
And I also learned that he was one of the artists that painted most paintings portraying himself that we know of. Of course, Edward Munch did this more often than anyone, even Christian Krohg, but I was amazed to see the amount of self-portraits Krohg painted.
Together with the titles of his paintings, the artist leaves no mystery to solve for his audience. He is painting his view of himself, and it is clear that he is telling his story, the way he wants to be portrayed.
When I look at all these paintings I see a man who loved painting, and especially when I see him sitting there with his pallet. I also see a man who liked being in the centre of attention and admired by his audience.
When he’s walking in and out of his favourite café and the social centre of his time, he’s telling us that he is a man of the world, and he’s right there, in the spotlight.
Then again, later in life, he is showing his knowledge that times running up, he is getting older, and he is showing his lack of youth trough his paintings. Especially the painting where he is sitting in front of a wall-clock, I find sad, and almost naïve. It’s hard to see through my photo of the painting, but the clock is showing almost midnight…
So, I think that the selfies we see today in our social media are only the beginning. Yes, they might be a sign of our “look-at-me” society, and no, we won’t stop taking these photos. The fact is that bye taking selfies people of today are leaving their marks. Not everyone can be great artists, and write or paint their way into history. But everyone can use their smartphone… And create the illusion of being part of the history.
Last night I met
a little girl
who should not
have been out
on her own
in our cruel world
A little girl
with eyes who had seen
too much for her age
Too much that had been
should go hungry
or be cold and alone
The cruelty of our world
took your innocence away
I would tell you stories
and give you a place to stay
But these are my worries
You’re already gone
Away from us
who left you alone
We failed to protect you
and now we only
see the sand
with your small footprints
before an angel
took your hand
and you were out of reach
for any hostile man
This night I saw
with sad eyes
our cruel world
and for a moment
she stayed and gave warmth
To a young girl
who needed a new home
Ellen Gill Johannessen
Sometimes I wonder, why do I write?
And my instant answer is;
- I write to clear my head.
- I need to write, because I have some many stories in my head.
- I’m afraid there will be no room for normal brain activity, if I don’t clear some room, and write down my stories from time to time.
- I write because I can choose the world my characters live in.
- I write because I can choose my feelings when I write.
- I write because I love putting everything into a system.
- When I write, I create a place that is only mine.
- When I write, I cry sometimes.
- When I get emotional involved with my characters in my story, I really need to know what will happen to them next. That’s why I keep on writing.
- When I write, I get frustrated.
- When I write, I get confused, and my emotions are on a roller-coaster.
- I love roller-coasters.
- I don’t always love to write.
- I always love to have written.
- The majority of my life happens inside my head.
- The world inside of my head needs some organizing.
- I write to organize.
- I write to live.
- I live to write.
Today I’ve done something most people think it’s a bit early to do…I’ve taken out my Christmas tree and tidy up all my season decorations that have been giving us that Christmassy feeling these last couple of weeks…
I have a tradition to do this on January 1.st, and I as much as I love Christmas, I also love the fresh feeling of new beginnings on this day. And I take my time when I put my Christmas ornaments away.
My Christmas ornaments are not only decorations for me. They are also a walk down memory lane, and a travel around the world.
Since then my collection has grown, and this year I got a white sandal from one of my best friends added. She had bought it in a Christmas marked in Sweden, and I love that another contributed to my shoe collection.
In 2004 I was in Cairo, Egypt, and in the middle of a busy marked I found a golden shoe. It looked like it was the one Cinderella lost, and I paid probably a lot more than it was worth, to take it home to my Christmas tree. Two years after, I found my first Christmas bag for my tree, and a matching silver shoe. These two I bought in Oslo, so they are the only one from my own country.
In 2007 one of my friends found a glass bag in a Christmas marked in Germany, and knowing my love for handbags, and also my love for originally Christmas ornaments, she bought it for me. This was the same year my niece bought me the second silver shoe, which she found in a marked in the south of France.
I went to the same marked a year later, and found a silver booth.
My silver sandal, I bought in Athen, Greece. The lady, who sold it to me, told me that the sandal would bring me happiness, and she was right, every time I look at my tree, I feel happy.
My Chinese purple shoe from 1998 was a single colourful shoe of my collection for a long time, until I found a matching pair in Amsterdam, adding one red and one green shoe.
And now my handbags and shoes are all put away, together with hearts and angels. It’s January first, I’ll see them again in 11 months’ time.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Happy -to see the final result of the writing and editing process
Humble -to be allowed to publish my poems
Humble – to be allowed to include my Moms poems as well
Excited -to see the cover and how well it works for my book
Grateful -to have my best friend and her mom as cover models
Glad -to have my second book published
A bit sad -that I never thought of doing this while my Mom still was
Wishing -I could talk to her right now
Hoping -for a telephone connection to heaven
Hoping -the rest of my family will appreciate the book
Hoping -people will like the book
Happy -to get this experience
Scared -to once again get my inner thoughts published
Scared -to put my neck out there
Humble -to be in a lyrical dialog with my Mom
Proud -to read my words in a published book
Happy -to do this book as a mom/grown daughter project
Excited -to hold my book
Glad -my book was finished by Christmas
Hoping -people will show up to my signing event tomorrow
Excited -to see how well my two books suit each other 🙂