Cups and Companions

“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two people.”


Friendships – where would we be without them?

Dear Reader, I am writing this not from my usual desk but from the house of a good friend – one who has featured here on my page several times. Lately, there’s been a lot going on with me and even more going on with those close to me. Things are changing. Without going into specifics, so far this year there have been transitions, deaths, relocations, family issues, misunderstandings and breakdowns going on all around me. This week, it all kind of caught up with me and I crashed.

So here I am, having been offered shelter and care at a friend’s for a few days.

Staying with her has been a most welcome break from my normal routine – life has slowed down and I’m getting more done, focusing. Most of all it has just been good having company and being cared for. It does feel a bit strange, though. Usually I’m the one taking care of others, not being taken care of, but it’s nice being on the other side of it.

Friends are so much more than just support when we are down, though.

They are company and kinship and belonging, an extended family making life into something worth living. You can get by with only a few close friends, of course – sometimes just one well-chosen friend may be more valuable than scores of more superficial acquaintances.

Friendship is one of the most valuable things you can have. Treasure it.


Photo & Tattoos by Ninni Norrmosse

Happy Birthday

Thirty nine years ago, a boy and a girl were born half a world apart – today, only one of them gets to celebrate.

The boy – me – I’m still here.

The girl – Mindy McCready – lived to be 37.
I cannot really begin to describe what she came to mean to me over the years, so I won’t even try. ‘Quite a lot’ doesn’t really cut it, but it will have to suffice. I only really got to know her a bit and sadly we never had the chance to meet, but even so the loss of her hit me hard.

So, Dear Reader, I celebrate this day in her memory.

Happy Birthday…

Mindy McCready

To say that Mindy led a stormy, troubled life is a bit of an understatement. She moved to Nashville at the age of 18, having promised her mother that if she didn’t make it within a year she would go to college. Exactly 51 weeks later she signed her first record deal. Her debut album Ten Thousand Angels came out in 1996 and went gold in six months, and as the video of the title song reached CMT Europe she appeared on my radar. Over the next few years she released two more albums, but dwindling sales led to Mindy being dropped by her label. It took three years for her to sign with a new company and release her fourth album, Mindy McCready, again to poor sales. Once again she found herself without a label.

Her life took a sharp turn for the worse, and she didn’t release any new material for six years. The song I’m Still Here was released as a download on Mindy’s official website, signaling a return to strength and the upcoming album of the same title. It would be her last.

Her career was back on track, the album sold well, and her life seemed to be turning around for the better again. She was busy being a mother and working on a new record with her boyfriend David Wilson. But on January 13th 2013 Mindy found her soul mate on the porch of their Arkansas home, dying from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Five weeks to the day after his death, she followed him.

– Listen –
I’ll See You Yesterday; Mindy McCready

( photo by unknown )

Life Goes Forward

”I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”
—C. G. Jung

Forgive me for not writing for so long, Dear Reader.

Once again, I have had a busy couple of weeks where I’ve gotten less done than I would have wanted. A lot of the time has been spent with various friends, who in their own ways have helped light candles to chase away my inner darkness. I know some of you have been worried, but rest assured that I am on my way up. There have been a lot of things for me to cope with during the past two years, things I am still working my way through. I’m getting there, finally.

But changing one’s life is not always easy.

Every turn, every adjustment, every sacrifice comes at a price. Sometimes we resist the changes even though we know with complete certainty that they are for the better. Tooth and nail, we fight to keep our demons safely locked away inside of us, protecting them against those angels who want to bring light and peace into our lives. Getting rid of the bad things in our lives can be so much more difficult than we expect – so instead, we push away whatever blessings come our way.

Sometimes we cling to the pain and suffering because it is familiar; a well-known part of our identity.

GentlyIntoTheLightIn my case, working through these changes has been a real struggle. And even though my creativity has blossomed during these two years, my creative pursuits have been left suffering. There’s been so many missed opportunities and failed chances that I don’t want to think about it. My list of projects is growing at a rate I can’t keep up with, and I find myself focusing only on that which helps me escape, ignoring what I should be doing unless there is sufficient outside pressure. The heap of work I have ahead of me seems insurmountable, and instead of taking it one piece at a time I stand incapacitated and seemingly unmoving before it.

Yet when I look back I’m surprised at how far I have come.

There’s a long way for me to go still, both personally and creatively – a lot of work I need to get through – and new challenges appear before me daily it seems. But I’m getting there. I’m working through it.

Life goes forward even when we think we’re standing still.


The End of Summer

”If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”
—Russian Proverb


Summer is drawing to a close.

The past three months have been something of a roller coaster ride for me, Dear Reader. At the start of summer I had one of my dearest friends living with me, playing havoc with my previous lazy lack of routine and minding my own, giving me time and structure enough to become more active here on my blog and other social media. I took the opportunity to finish some short stories, create some art, humbly almost-not-promoting myself and my online presence. Despite injury, battling inner demons and failing to maintain the routine my lodger so graciously bestowed upon me, I have managed to go from two blog posts a week to a loosely upheld goal of five.

During the past month alone my readers here have doubled, my followers on twitter tripled, and I’ve made new friends, acquaintances and contacts. My list of projects and assignments have grown and I’m sending out work for consideration on a more frequent basis. I now have something resembling a viable plan – perhaps a tad too ambitious since there’s at least one goal I fail to uphold each week, but it is better to aim higher than we can reach. How else will we grow tall enough to get where we want to be?

But, Dear Reader, I must apologize: I only managed to hold on to my promised weekly routine for exactly…one week. There will be no sketch of the week this week. The truth is I have spent very little time at home, focusing on friends and social activities instead of creative work. It was sorely needed after my previous week of near-isolation. Consequently, I do not have much more to say right now, but I hope to be more entertaining next week!

Lastly, a heartfelt welcome to my new readers – and of course a big thank you to those who return week after week to follow my aimless ramblings with the hope of seeing something worthwhile…


“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”


On this 4th of July in the year of Our Lord 2014 I celebrate my own Independence Day.

Once again my home is entirely my own (for good and bad) and I am Master of my own time (also for good and bad). Given the new routines imposed upon me by sharing my home with a lodger – one of my best friends, actually – I think I have a better chance than ever of carving out a proper use of my time. I know, Dear Reader – I said ‘better’; which is not necessarily the same as ‘good’. It will still take effort and discipline to avoid falling back into my old ways, but my plan is to seize this opportunity and step up to the challenge.

I visited my favorite tree today – a massive horse-chestnut. It sits in the corner of a graveyard here in central Stockholm, thick long branches reaching high into the sky, massive roots digging deep into the earth among the graves. It has borne witness to many of the twists and turns in my life and its shade is a place of meditation and reflection for me. I can spend hours reclined on the bench beneath it, just staring up into the crown, mulling things over; gathering strength. I like to imagine that it carries the essence of those buried beneath it, its branches, leaves and flowers a noble extension of their lives. I love trees. There are few living things on this earth than can aspire to the longevity, usefulness and quiet powerful grace of a tree. So many species of tree stand for centuries – even millennia – while us humans mill about beneath them. In comparison, we are mere day-flies.

From the viewpoint of a massive oak, our lives are short and meaningless. Any change we can bring about in our brief existence passes in the shedding of a leaf. Then again, nothing ever really changes anyway, only the way we look at things. To change anything significant in our lives we must change our view of the world first. Being witness to (and part of) the beginning of independence in the life of another is both inspiring and sobering. If we can do it in our early twenties, why not later in life as well? We can all take those first steps toward something new and different that gives our lives direction and a fresh start. All it takes is the courage to build momentum and make that leap. Sure, we might fall – but maybe, just maybe, we will fly…



“Can miles truly separate you from friends… If you want to be with someone you love, aren’t you already there?”
―Richard Bach


As some of you may know I have housed a lodger for the past two months – one of my newest and dearest friends. Today marks the end of that arrangement, as she is getting the keys to her own place. The move itself will likely stretch out over several days to a week and might keep me a bit busier than usual. My aim is to try and keep up my schedule for this site and my creative pursuits, but in all honesty that schedule has already been broken. Twice. So I’ll throw all pretense to the wind and say that any updates you get the coming week should be seen as a bonus. In the midst of the usual insanity I am also recuperating from my back injury (quite nicely I might add), processing the upcoming final episode of my favorite tv series Californication, as well as saying good bye to the manager of the coffee shop I frequent – which brings me to the topic of today’s ramblings:


Life changes on us, constantly. I’d go so far as to say that change and death are the only two certainties of life. However, we should not view change as a series of endings and beginnings – after all, very few things ever truly end. Most of the time things change and transition into something else; something new and uncertain or something familiar and safe. If we are lucky those changes bring more good than bad. Now, I don’t know about you Dear Reader, but for me the past few years have been full of apparent endings; full of new beginnings and fresh steps taken. Yet when I try to think of them I realize that they all flow together and mix into one another: one new thing in my life would not – could not – have come into being unless the old made way for it. A lover turns into a friend; a friend to a flirt. A job opportunity turns to dust, leaving time for fresh assignments. Circumstance and chance turn a casual acquaintance into a deeply beloved friend. If we do it right, life will keep throwing these changes at us in the best of ways, granting us opportunities and wisdom in return for our short comings and failures; for our rejections and misadventures.

Everywhere we go the events of our lives morph and change and twist away from us so they can deliver new gifts, new challenges, new experiences. Without the tumultuous events of the past year and a half I would not have a lodger to say my farewells to – might not even have this friendship, even – and what a loss that would be! These months have brought with them the unexpected side effect of better routines, higher productivity and a much larger enjoyment of life. How then could I possibly view this as the end of something? While sad to see her go I am also happy and excited to have been part of this interlude in her journey to her own corner of the world and all that it entails. I’m delighted to see her off, knowing that her influence on my life will remain in ways I could never have expected when she first carried her boxes and bags over my threshold.

This post turned a lot more personal than what I had initially planned, and I hope I haven’t bored you too much with the details of my life. It is a hazard of using late nights to write about emotional subjects, I fear.

Godspeed my friend, and fare the well – may the lilies of peace line your path, and may you find a rainbow behind every turn!


”Something lives only as long as the last person who remembers it.”
—Navajo proverb


I should be doing all kinds of creative, useful or productive things right now – instead, I am reminiscing about times both good and bad, reflecting on the qualities and uncertainties of the human memory. Our memory is a very fickle, unreliable thing. We can rarely be sure that what we remember is the truth, and who knows how much of our lives have been lost to us because it is unremembered?

Memory is like a muscle – it needs to be exercised and it can be trained and built up. Our capacity for remembering is really quite extraordinary, but most of us only use a fraction of our full potential. Of course, few of us have the need to memorize long poems, strings of numbers, or the order of a deck of cards or ten, but be honest – aren’t there things you wished you could remember better? Sure, there are things we want to forget, but there are techniques for changing bad memories into better ones as well. I think we owe it to our future selves to take better care of our memory – nurse it, work with it, pamper it a bit – and in return, hopefully, it will take care of us and let us remember the best of our short lives.

Rest assured, the best parts  will not always be the good, happy, easy moments of life; the best parts can just as well be dark, painful and sad. Lessons learned, farewells spoken, hearts broken – these can be some of the most valuable moments of our existence. As I sit here and think back on the brightest days and the darkest nights of my life, my only regret is that I do not remember everything as well as I want to. There are things lost to me, and memories that stay just at the very edge of my reach, their details elusive even though I know the broad strokes. I m who I am today thanks to my memory. It’s the thing that builds me and creates me. Without it, what would I be? Still myself in a way, I’m sure – but less. I like who I am and where I am, but I think I shall make an effort to be more; remember more. Live more.

After all, shouldn’t we be living a life worth remembering?


  • Read – The Dice Man; Luke Rhinehart
  • Watch – Californication; Tom Kapinos
  • Listen – Don’t Let Us Get Sick; Warren Zevon

Distractions and Deadlines and Deals – Oh my!

“It’s up to you to make everyday as perfect as possible. It’s a question of will and discipline.”
—Karl Lagerfeld



Loved, hated, held, broken. By their very nature they are a limit, and in one way or another thus always associated with some form of pressure. For me, they have often been a marker of where my ‘free’ time ends – when a deadline approaches it is time to dig down, dig deep, and finish what I need to do (or, if it’s my own personal deadline, maybe decide that it isn’t that important, and ignore it).

I’m good at distracting myself. There’s always things to do, people to see, sleep to be had. If other people are depending on my work being done at a certain time, my only problem is the limited hours in the final days before the deadline. I get things done, but always wish I would’ve had more time. If the only person affected is me, I can always to it Later. I’ve tried making deals with myself, but I can always argue my way out of it and talk myself into reaping whatever benefits there are anyway, or ignore whatever punishment I’ve come up with. I’m my own worst motivator.

But today I had something of a revelation about deadlines:

They are everywhere, always – we just do not see them for what they are: The time you have to be at work, be back from your lunch break, when you need to go to bed. Planes, trains and buses with fixed departure times. Travel. Weekends. School. Opening hours.

Life is built up of a multitude of intertwining deadlines, but for most of them we do not see an end, we see a beginning. At each deadline, something new begins or takes over. They are transitions. Opportunities.

I think, from now on, that I shall try to view deadlines not as the last chance to finish something, but as a first chance of beginning something new.