art · earth · love · world

A Black American Man

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(by Benjamin Clementine)

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a black American man.

A black American man whose angry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;

A black American man that looks at God all day,
And lifts their bony arms to pray;

A black American man that may in summer wear
A nest of golden necklace around his neck;

Upon whose bosom some white men will slay;
Who intimately lives with pain.

Poems are made by fools like this lad,
But only God can make a black American man.



Once you’ve lived in Norway for a while, you’ll come across more and more everyday references to janteloven as a reason for Norwegian society being the way it is.

But what Exactly Is Janteloven?

Janteloven (the law of Jante) at its simplest describes the way that all Norwegians (and in fact, other Scandinavians too) should behave: putting society ahead of the individual, not boasting about individual accomplishments or being jealous of others.

Conforming to societal expectations

I think it’s fair to say that Norway is a more cohesive society than the UK or USA.

Norwegians by and large are courteous: I’ve rarely been brushed off when asking for help, even in English. They keep the streets tidy, recycle plastic bottles and cans (albeit encouraged by the pant deposit system), and take part in the dugnad tradition of volunteering. They may suffer from high tax rates, but there are few complaints from the population who understand the need for income taxes and most importantly, see the results by way of infrastructure improvements and subsidies.

As a liberal who believes in the right of the individual to live their life as they wish, it has been quite an adjustment. I’m not saying the system is right or wrong, but it works well in this environment and in these circumstances.

The term janteloven can be traced back to Aksel Sandemose, a Danish-turned-Norwegian author, whose works of fiction included references to these “laws” in the context of small-town Denmark (taken from an English translation on Wikipedia):

  • You’re not to think you are anything special
  • You’re not to think you are as good as we are
  • You’re not to think you are smarter than we are
  • You’re not to convince yourself that you are better than we are
  • You’re not to think you know more than we do
  • You’re not to think you are more important than we are
  • You’re not to think you are good at anything
  • You’re not to laugh at us
  • You’re not to think anyone cares about you
  • You’re not to think you can teach us anything

It is wrong to say this is the origin of janteloven behaviour though, as Sandemose was seeking to capture something that already existed in Scandinavian society. This suggests this way of living is deeply ingrained in Scandinavians and passed down through generations. Although not explicitly taught, these societal needs are reflected in many children’s books and songs of today.

Time for a change?

It may be surprising to those who see Scandinavia as some sort of societal utopia, but there is a growing anti-Janteloven movement in Norway. In the entrepreneurial circles I move in with my freelance writing, I meet many Norwegians who believe the anti-bragging approach is holding the country back from achieving more success on a global scale.

It’s also inspired an expletive-filled song from a Danish band:

Free your mind, free your mind
It’s time, it’s time
To break the chains, break the chains
Break the law, break the law
Break the Jante Law



the first time ever.

This is how our story began. 10 years ago. on 25th January 2006 at 17.42.05

>Subject: greetings from crete
>Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2006 17:42:05 -0700 (MST)

>Hello Cinamona! You look the part!
>My first time browsing in Not into peoplesearching, but for shure notised your choice of name, and recent entry.
>I am a 46y young Norwegian, curently living in Crete. partly to study, vacate and work. ENjoy this place with it's special energy and atmosphere. Important in my life is healthy lifestyle, inclusive a barround in night, enjoy life, good company who dare to be hounest, responseable attitude, fun and joy.
>If you feel you are independent and make for good company, write me for more. Look forward to it!
>Live well. Baard
books · info · life · world

what is a soul mate?

We often read or say that we are looking for a Soul Mate or that we have found our Soul Mate. I got a little interested and found on the net some quite interesting definition that I am sharing here with you. I have also been interested in the difference between the term Partner (of life Partner) and Soul Mate. Here you will find some good perspectives. Have a nice day!

Soul Mate:

Someone who is aligned with your soul and is sent to challenge, awaken and stir different parts of you in order for your soul to transcend to a higher level of consciousness and awareness. Once the lesson has been learnt, physical separation usually occurs.

Life Partner:

A companion, a friend, a stable and secure individual who you can lean on, trust and depend on to help you through life. There is a mutual feeling of love and respect and you are both in sync with each others needs and wants. Everyone wants to meet their Soulmate. In fact, one of the most common questions is “When am I going to meet my Soulmate?”
We have many Soulmates in this life but their purpose is all the same they are here to challenge and awaken us so our soul can evolve into a higher state of consciousness.560ac4a25f47d71a6736bf60211b9336

Our Soulmates always arrive when we are ready for them and not a moment sooner. They arrive when we are ready to learn the lessons that we were destined to fulfill. Soulmate relationships are often not forever, this is because sometimes the relationship can be too intense or there is a certain karmic energy to the relationship that sees it come to a close once the necessary lessons have been learnt.

Soulmates can also be friends and relatives; they don’t always have to be romantic partners. Regardless of this, you will always feel a strong, energetic connection or a past life history together.

Many of us spend years obsessing about meeting a Soulmate, but fail to notice what we are really asking for. When we ask for a Soulmate we are really asking to grow and develop in consciousness, and not understanding this can sometimes block the energy from coming to us.

If you really want to connect with a Soulmate, you need to align with your own soul. You need to discover who you are, honor yourself and begin following your heart. When you align with your true self, you are then instantly in the vibration of meeting your soul-mate.

Alternatively, if you are done with the soul lessons for now and are just looking for a companion to share the rest of your life with, what you want to be asking for, or manifesting is your Life Partner.

A Life Partner is more like a companion or friend that you feel a strong connection to. It may not be a deep, soul connection like a soul mate, but there would be a mutual feeling of trust, understanding and respect. A life partner is someone who is dependable and considerate of your needs and wants. Of course, a life partner is also someone that you are attracted to and that you love and care for.

While you will still be learning lessons from a life partner, they are more about lending support and giving you a guiding hand as you navigate through your own soul journey.

Meeting your Life Partner is usually not something you spiritually or energetically prepare yourself for like you would with a soulmate. Instead it requires emotional and mental preparation and physically putting yourself out there.

It is possible to have your Soulmate also be your Life Partner and it is also possible that you and your Life Partner can develop a deeper, soul connection- it all just depends on which direction you choose to steer.

Here are the different characteristics of each relationship:
Soulmate Relationship … >
You feel a deep, spiritual connection to this person almost like you have known them for a long time.
You have flashbacks or deja vu moments where you feel that you have been together before.
You seem to understand each other and have a similar way of thinking.
You may have similar flaws or habits, or you both had similar challenges during childhood.
Your connection is intense and so too is the relationship. Often it can move from extreme highs to extreme lows.

Life Partner Relationship

You get along like best friends- your relationship does not suffer from extremes.
Your relationship is based on logical or intellectual decisions.
You resonate with each others beliefs, ideas or religion/philosophy.
You both feel a sense of financial and emotional stability by being together.
Your relationship is based on being physically present and creating new memories.
You feel the need to marry or start a family in order to ‘cement’ your relationship. ,,,,,,
At different times of our lives we will need and want different types of relationships. Neither is better or worse than the other, it is all a personal decision and one that you will feel guided to as long as you are following your heart.


research. mothers. process.

In common with many women, the birth of my first child undeniably changed the way I thought about myself, my life, my job, my process as a human being. When meeting other mothers, or reading stories about them, I discovered that many have been on a similar path, motherhood changing a whole system of values and priorities.

Working on my own artistic research is giving me for the first time the opportunity to reflect differently on a subject that inspires me very much and to develop further my instinctive artistic process.

Having done a lot of research in a field called psychogenealogy – I thought it would be interesting to combine it with my artistic process.

The subtle and silent functioning of the family’s collective unconsciousness that every day influences our acts, behavior and even health.

MOTHERS will talk about orphanage and miscarriage, stories of abandoned children and confused mothers, stories of abuse, stories of guilt, stories of loss and absence, all coming together into a new format, a new story, a new legend.

Motherhood will be researched and characterized with a sense of melancholy, often referring to childhood memories.

I will try to show the family´s embodied complexity and the roles of the mothers in them.

At this stage, it feels appropriate for me to work with a collection of different materials; photographs, old & new, private & donated, different documents, wood, paper, small objects, the useless – the disposable things that we can´t get rid of, gluing mini-portraits together, linking the strange and the beautiful, showing the disembodied fractures, pieces and stories. And putting it all back into another symbolic interpretation.

As a starting point, I will work on my own family as an example of the many stories of immigration and wandering through geography and history.

But I will also gather other stories, and invite people to join the process in order to achieve a more universal narrative.

And to end, I would like to give you the definition of what is research according to UNESCO.

Research is “any creative systematic activity undertaken in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this knowledge to devise new applications.”

And I thought it fits perfectly into the subject cause for me, this is also the definition of a MOTHER.


You are a host, a server, a router.

You are aware that most of you is not human. The human body contains 10 bacterial cells for every one of its human cells. There are 500 species of bacteria living in your intestines alone. Without these bacterial cells you would not survive. Your digestive system depends on them. Your immune system depends on them. Your you is you only because it contains them. Your you is, in fact, in some senses a we. You are not unitary, unified, self-contained. You are a host, a server, a router.

Some of your bacterial cells may survive what you think of as your death. They may find alternate hosts, servers and routers. Your death may not be the death of all of you.

And yet this offers you scant reassurance.

And it likewise offers you scant reassurance that the atoms in your body were forged inside distant stars billions of years ago, and will continue to exist billions of years hence, after your body is long gone.

What we humans desire in the face of mortality is not some biological blurring of boundaries or atomic continuity. What we desire is that what we call our consciousness persists.

And so we are drawn, among other things, to machines. To machines that protect and provide for us, at first. To the spear, the plough, the tank, the tractor. And then to machines that think for us: the calculator, the computer, the search algorithm.

And as machines grow more and more able to do tasks that we once did, as they grow more and more capable of thought, as they become more and more persistent, possessing more and more of the power to endure, possibly forever, we desire, more and more, to merge with them.

It is in the realm of the cyborg, we think, that Death can at last, perhaps, be defeated.

Already you carry a phone on which you enter the instructions that shape how your friends will see you: the well-chosen images of you at your most vital, the amusing quips from you at your wittiest. You stare into this phone the way that, in ancient times, meaning in the times of your grandparents or of your grandparents’ grandparents, people lay on their backs at night and stared at the stars, and saw the immensity of the milk-stained void that is the universe and saw their vantage point as something tiny, and saw, if they waited and were patient, the slow rotation of the planet Earth represented as a wheeling of the heavens.

Now you stare at machines that way. You carry machines. Soon you will wear machines. Machines augment and preserve and recall your thoughts. One day you will embed machines into your body. One day you will be unable to differentiate yourself from your machines, just as today you cannot differentiate yourself from your bacteria.

One day, you think, you will be post-human. One day – yes, surely – you think you will transcend Death. And on that day, when your machines will be capable of all you wish them to be capable of, on that day you hope you will also still be you.

Mohsin Hamid