Sunday, December 31, 2006

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Last Thursday in 2006

It was bright and warm outside and I sat in the sun by the 'Peachcot' tree, a hybrid that never gives fruit but grows big and sturdy in spite of being sold as a dwarf.

In the evening we played drums and Josh was wearing a new dog-hat.

Butts and Stripes

On the net I found this cool photo that I want to share with you.

Monday, December 25, 2006


The experience of taking acid that I had shared with Lone and Anja brought us very close and we decided to go to Morocco together when winter came.
Marrakesh was our goal. There we met Lone’s friend, Miriam with her American boyfriend Steve, and rented a house with them. More precisely: we rented a house and Steve and Miriam, who had no money, moved in with us. Steve was a junkie, a black spirit. His credo was a misinterpretation of the Buddhist teachings of the absolute: good and bad are illusions. That allowed him to act without consideration of good and bad. He had a dog that he gave hashish. This seemed to have the strongest effect on the dog’s digestion, which left traces all over the center patio. The hard stuff was easier to get than the kif, which grows in the north and I decided to take a trip up to Meknès to buy a bunch. That is where I was busted and had my encounter with the secret police.

When I got out of prison, I had just money enough to take the train back to Marrakesh. I was longing for the haven of our house, but when the door was opened to me, my friends seemed to see an unwelcome ghost. “We thought you were dead,” said one, and they had disposed accordingly. Lone had taken over my room, which admittedly was the best in the house. Steve had sold my paints but had decency enough to get them back. I was mostly ignored, like I really was a ghost; only Anja treated me as a person. I had absolutely no money but I became friends with a young black boy, Mohammed, who took care of me.
Steve had introduced us to Mr. Kissioui, who was said to be a professor of mathematics and who often invited us to dinner in his house. He was very interested in the girls, especially Anja. One day the ‘professor’ said something about measurement that convinced me that he was not at all a mathematician. He also had a habit of looking in at our hotel every time we had had any contact with the police, saying: “I heard that the police was here. What was the matter?” I put two and two together and that is how he popped up in my mind when I was in fear of torture by the secret police in Meknès.

Mr. Kissioui had soured towards the girls who kept taking without giving and he took me aside and told me to get away from them, “or something unpleasant will happen.” Maybe he just wanted me out of the way, but I had no means to leave the house. A couple of weeks later, what happened were that I was told to leave the country and not come back without having obtained permission. A long awaited check from home had just arrived and made it possible to go, but I was not ready to go home. I decided to go to Algeria and started out with a sentimental train journey through the beloved parts of Morocco: it was a clear dawn when I passed through Meknès and saw the holy Zerhoun mountain to the north with Sidi Ali's white walls.

(The first picture is from Meknès, the second from the King’s garden in Marrakesh)

Friday, December 22, 2006


This picture from 1965 is inspired by the bleak suburbs that replace picturesque Arab medinas in Morocco - and elsewhere.

Friday, December 15, 2006

A View of the Beginning and the End

The Ancients were people more of the spirit than of the earth. They worked with subtle forces and they were in complete unity: with each other, with nature, and with the source. They had little use of mechanical contrivances, since magic worked. Seen from outside they were simple - even primitive - but their inner life had a scope and an intensity that we today are rarely capable of and do not readily allow to flourish in our lives or to manifest in our culture. They had little impact on the earth, but what they left bears witness to their greatness.
Such people had no need to talk about the Way (Dao); they were living in accord with it. Yet, since they had allowed the dream of creation to take form, and since the principle of imbalance is inherent in duality, the negative emotions began to grow. Lust and greed, envy, hatred, and insensitivity to others broke the faith of the early times; the Golden Age collapsed, the great hypocrisy arose and misery struck the human race.
All is cyclic and what was in the beginning is not different from what is now. Yet, though nothing is new under heaven, nothing is ever the same. There are not two waves in the ocean that have exactly the same shape and movement. What happened during man’s evolution is not different from what happens in the evolution of one individual: in the womb is the journey from one-celled being through the animal realms to the human form; then in childhood is innocent purity, but too soon it must be assailed by the influences of the environment which acts on the seeds of evil and brings them to sprout and flourish. Will it end in destruction? I think so. But destruction of the old gives life to the new and that which survives is the indestructible, ready again for a pure start.
The essence is light. The shadows are illusory; how could they ever overcome the light?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Jon Kalish has a profile of 14-year-old Elijah Shiffer, an alto sax prodigy who’s been jamming with the big cats since he was ten.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Kagyu Ling (Tibetan Buddhist Center)

After staying with Don Cherry and his family in Sweden I went on a tour of Buddhist centers paying my way by painting thankas and ending up at Kalu Rimpoche’s center, Kagyu Ling, in France where I stayed for one and a half year.
Various high lamas came to the center to give teachings. For me, the most memorable visit was that of the 64-year-old Nenang Pawo Rimpoche, one of the highest masters of the Kagyu lineage. I saw him first in Paris where I went to his teaching. When I entered the meditation room I thought that he looked directly at me and smiled, but I was not sure, he had already begun the teachings and the room was full of people and it seemed strange to me that this high lama would take special notice of me.

I returned to Kagyu Ling and a few days later Pawo Rimpoche arrived. All the residents assembled in his room to bid him welcome. I sat on the floor right by the door. Rimpoche got up and went out and as he passed me he gave me a sign to follow. I got up and went along with him to the bathroom and he led me into one of the stalls. I thought he needed some help, but he hugged me and started to kiss me and grope me. I was too surprised to react. Come tonight, he said, come tonight! And he wouldn’t let me go till I had promised to come.
I don’t like to go back on my word, and maybe I was also curious about where this adventure would take me, so, when midnight had passed and the whole center was dark and quiet, I tiptoed from my room down the stairs, along the corridor and knocked on his door. He had expected me, and he invited me into his bed and we made love. It was quite nice and it was late before he let me go and I had to promise to come back the next night. He was very compelling and he had little English and I had little Tibetan so our communication was restricted.
I was rather tired the following day but I kept telling myself that I had to go since I had promised. So, when everybody had settled down for the night, I was again feeling my way through the dark castle to another tryst. It seemed that he couldn’t get enough, and the next day I was confused and felt out of sorts by having this clandestine affair in the center. Most of all I was exhausted.
I decided to tell him that I had to stop. All I could come up with in Tibetan was ’not good’ and that’s what I told him on the third night before leaving. He protested, but he also gave me a gift, a mala (rosary) of red corals hooked together with gold links.
Next day, as I was working on a painting in my room, Rimpoche came and sat down next to me and started feeling me up. I was determined to stop and I drew away from him and kept saying ‘not good’ in Tibetan. He said: “Everybody does it. Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa do it”. I had no idea how he knew about my connection with them, but I did not believe him. I had lived with them more than two years and I was sure that they kept their vows. Rimpoche finally left, but I was afraid that he would come back at night so I locked my door.

Rimpoche and me to the right behind him

The whole thing was puzzling and I had an urge to talk about it with my good friend Julie, a Dutch woman who lived in the castle with her husband and her daughter. She laughed and said: “He has kissed and groped every single male in the center”. She told me the whole story that I had been too caught up to notice. There was uproar in the center. Rimpoche had groped her husband and a French nun had surprised them when she entered to clean the bathroom; she was shaken in her faith. Rimpoche had groped the American monk who lived at the center and he was shocked so profoundly that he had given up his monkhood and had left for America. That was no great loss; I think he was better off not being a monk. Most people were cool; it seemed that Rimpoche had a reputation and it was considered best not to mention it. A gay friend of mine from Paris talked warmly of Rimpoche and showed me a scarf he had given him. Aha, you too, I thought.
I began to form a picture of the different people’s reactions and there was something in the way Rimpoche had shook up everybody that I liked. For myself I felt I had learned that it was OK to be open about one’s desires and act on them, and also something about the tediousness of sexual obsession. It looked to me as if Rimpoche was using his lust to give hands-on practical teachings (pun intended). He stirred things up radically, but he took all the blame on himself. And he had a lot of fun!
A few days later Pawo Rimpoche left and the French nun burned bundles of incense in his room and in front of the castle to exorcise the unclean spirits.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Thought

The sun lights up the world, but the luminous blue sky hides what is behind it.
Not until night has enveloped the surroundings in darkness
can we perceive the immensity of the universe.

Just as we at night see deeper into the universe than at day,
it may be that in death we see further into truth than we do in life.


A short time I studied engraving in Paris. I learned a special technique where two colors were applied to one plate and this was the resulting print.

Monday, December 04, 2006


I am presenting a case for a more nuanced view of boy-love, the love between a man and a boy, which is currently illegal in the United States. If you are interested you can find it here

Saturday, December 02, 2006


This picture is a spontaneous expression of my feelings in 1965 during the hippie revolution. The drab buildings contain the offices where I had worked for 13 years and the streetcar symbolizes my desires, the only thing coming from the wintry street that rival the color of the monumental explosion of all conventions.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Early Years

My mother Agnes and her sister Eva moved together after Agnes’ fiancé died of the Spanish flu in 1918. They were in their early thirties, quite good- looking, intelligent, and well educated. Agnes was the youngest but the most outgoing. She was counted for the ‘man’ in the house; the one who did the repairs and took care of practical things. She was a chemical engineer and worked as amanuensis at the Technical University of Denmark where she also taught chemistry for the entrance examination. Eva was a schoolteacher, not at all introverted but a little more in the background. They were well matched and it was extremely rare that they had an argument. When it happened it had the effect of an earthquake on me; the very foundation of my life seemed to crumble. But it did not even happen once a year. They had great sisterly affection for each other and had the same outlook on life. Both were freethinkers, open-minded for their time. During the years before I was born, in 1925, they had love affairs without being promiscuous. Eva would never tell me who her lovers had been, but I knew about two lovers that my mother had had after the death of her fiancé; both of them married men. The first was her boss at the Institute of Physical Chemistry, professor Brønsted; the second was my father.
She became pregnant in the summer of 1924. At that time it was rare, and generally looked down upon, for a single woman to be with child, but for my mother it was a source of happiness. She was not pining for a man, but to have a child was the fulfillment of her life, and she was in a position to take care of it. She went to her family and friends and told them all, and only her elderly aunt Johanne was less than positive about it.
The birth was not easy. My mother was then 38, and they had to use forceps to drag me out. But out I came, all in one piece; only mother had some complications and was not able to breast-feed.
Eva and Agnes had an apartment in the inner city of Copenhagen, near Kongens Nytorv, and here we stayed with our housekeeper miss Thomsen, or Totte, as I named her. Here I lived my first four years, and a few images have stayed in my memory. From the outings in Kongens Have, I remember holding my hand out of the baby carriage and letting the long grass by the side of the path slide in a steady stream under my hand, escape between my fingers, and flick back into an upright position.
And I recall the carpet sweeper, a contraption used much like a vacuum cleaner, but consisting of two rotating brushes in a casing. On this casing I stood, its vibrations tickling up through my legs, while I held on to the swaying handle as Totte pushed me back and forth over the red Afghan rug in the living room. The carpet sweeper was stored in a nook off the long dark hallway leading to the kitchen, next to the door to the toilet, whose pane of frosted glass let in a pale, comforting light. In this nook I took refuge on my way to the kitchen, generating here the courage to traverse the second half of the darkness.
Once, at night, there was a fire in the house just across the narrow street from our house, and I remember the heat and the excitement as I sat on my mother’s arm by the window.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


I painted this in 1980 while I was living in Santa Barbara.
Click to enlarge.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Not a Lover but a Brother (1985)

At a local rainbow gathering I met this wonderful boy. He is 20 years old, long limbed and boyish graceful, and like a kid he shows his affection with his body; he leans on you; he caresses you; he hugs you tight. But he is not gay, he says, and I say OK. I am not after sex really; I want to give it up; it drains me. If I can get your total love, then sex is a small matter to give up. So, I try to put it out of my mind. When I get a hard-on I say purification mantra and it vanishes.
This happens every time I give him a massage and little by little I become less strict and allow my excitement to manifest. First I massage his back. When I press the muscles on the shoulder blades he groans. Then I squeeze his powerful copper freckled shoulders and down his bulging biceps and again he groans with pleasure. I do his hands; I do his feet and up his legs. I do his butt and he likes it. I turn him around to do his neck and head, and my hands slide down over his chest, his sides, and his stomach. Step by step I explore his whole body except his sex.

During the year after we met, we have spent time together four times averaging a month. Every time we came a step closer. Once I am lying on the mattress naked and he comes out of the bathroom fresh from the shower and flops down next to me and says, nap time! I put my arm around him and snuggle up to his back and a warm peace fills my whole being and I sleep.
On our travels we are one night given a double bed. We fall asleep separate but wake up in an embrace. I caress him and he responds and all morning we are blissfully entwined. Afterwards we talk about it and he says that it freaks him out a little. I say, oh, I love to just sleep with you like that, it is so warm and good, and I respect that you don’t want sex.

But now he begins to hint at sexual motives. He talks about his hard-ons and one day he lets his soft cock hang out. I grab it and say, how are you, nice to meet you! When we hitch hike we play around and he tries to squeeze my nipples and I go for his crotch, but he is stronger than me. More and more often we lie together naked, embracing, caressing. I know that some day it will happen, but I want it to be his decision.
We sit and talk and he says, when I come home I am broke; maybe I’ll sell my body! – How much? I ask. He seems surprised and laughs, I need $80 – That’s kind of expensive, I say – oh, he says, but it’s worth it!
When we come to my home at travels end, he is cold in the morning and I put my cover over him though he is still under his own blanket. I cannot sleep, so I get up and knead dough for bread. “What are you doing?” he asks when I come back in. “Baking bread”, I say.
He opens up his covers and invites me into his arms. I feel his cock hard against my stomach; it jumps and wants to play – there is no doubt. I let my fingers flicker lightly over it and as I look down I see a pearl of lubricant emerge. He is ready, and I go down on him. For some reason, to finally have reached my ultimate fantasy is less blissful than it should be. I am too tense.
I feel guilty, he says, because I don’t have the urge to do the same for you, but I tell him not to worry, it’s good, I’m happy. That day we pass mostly in bed and he gets hard again. The same happens the next day, more than once, but I am still too tense to find relief. In the evening as we are going to sleep separate I hear him moan. What’s up? I ask. Oh, I’m just playing with myself, he says. That’s OK, I say, if I can be in on it – and I jump on top on him and he takes my cock together with his and this time we come at the same time.
The special satisfaction of ‘going all the way’ is his total surrender to the heart, his total acceptance of my lust as being in the service of love. Closer we cannot get, being unified even where we differ. His words of goodbye set it all in place: ”I don’t think of you as a lover, I still think of you as a brother.”

I remember one of the first days we were together by the Yuba River.
We had taken Ecstasy and he wanted to jump from a 40 feet cliff. I had to do it too, even though I was scared. When I hit the water it tore my arm out of its joint. We had climbed to get where we were and there was no way I could climb back with the arm out of joint; we had to fix it then and there. He had some experience and his advice was to bend the arm in the direction that hurt most. It didn’t sound too good but it worked: the arm clicked back in place and after a few minutes I felt all right and ready to continue our expedition up the river.
There was only he and I, and jumping behind him from one rock in the cool, clear water to the other I set my foot step by step where he had set his. The green, green moss stabs me with pleasure and in a flash I know that I am happy, that I will never forget this moment. But I let it go and follow him as he leaps like a flame up the river.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Unusual Waves

This was taken on a very windy day in a harbor basin. Click to enlarge and watch the tiny waves that crisscross everywhere.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Words of an Anonymous Prophet

The Great Spirit said:

In all times and at all places, I am.
I am the force in the germ and the stink in putrefaction.
I cut down greatness, and brace up the small.
In the evil I am the good, and in the good the evil.

In the clear I am the obscure, in the mystical the simple.
Through this, my duality, I create, uphold, and destroy worlds.
My duality is infinite, duality within duality.
Irreconcilable contrasts are contained in me.

Myself, I am above this, eternal and imperishable.
Your thought cannot comprehend me.
Your words cannot describe me.
I hide nothing from you, but my magic blinds you.

My divine ways are above thoughts and words.
When you see me mirrored from all sides,
then turn towards me and you are there,
where you have always been.


Sunday, November 19, 2006



All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.
(Thomas Paine, "The Age of Reason", 1794)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Boredoms

The Boredoms is a Japanese cult band who did their first show in 1986. This great picture is from The New Yorker and I just wanted to share it with you.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

In Love with a Straight Boy (Ian)

One day in the summer of 1951 I stood in front of the Mona Lisa in the Musée du Louvre. There was only one other person in the room and I had to look at him too because he attracted me more than the painting. He was a young black man of dark complexion and classically beautiful, like a mask from Benin. Our eyes met and we began to talk. We agreed that Mona Lisa was somewhat disappointing and got into an hour-long conversation while she, unaffected, kept smiling. Ian was from Jamaica and was very alive. Intellectual black people often keep more of their spontaneity and physicality than intellectual white people. I had an offer of a ride to Switzerland that I told him about, and he said he would like to come.
Two days later we were off.
Ian’s love was poetry; he traveled with Fitzgerald’s translation of Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat in his pocket, and whenever we were waiting for a ride at the roadside he would read me passages. He was also interested in politics and we had many talks about racism. The way to overcome it, he believed, was by the blacks getting economic strength. In body, mind, and spirit he was a superior being, but he was not gay. Not that I hadn’t known that all along, but I was repeating an old pattern of disregarding and hiding my sexuality.
We went down into Italy. Hitchhiking over the Apennines, in one little town we were buying food in a delicatessen. I happened to look towards the shop window. The lower half was entirely occupied by faces with their noses pressed flat against the glass: these rustic people had never seen a black man before and could not let such entertainment go unnoticed. Ian gratified them with a smile and a wink.
In one of the youth hostels we frequented, all the bunk beds were build together like one construction in the middle of the room. I remember the sexually charged atmosphere that night. First a young blond American sat in his bed showing his perfect naked tanned torso while I with several others stood around, unable to tear our selves away from the radiance of his charm. When we finally put out the light and I was on the edge of sleep, the whole bed structure started shaking with the rhythmic movements of a couple up top and they didn’t let off for hours.
We traveled for a month through northern Italy and into France. The last week we stayed in a house that a friend of mine owned, the only house remaining inhabitable in a small ghost town in Provence. There was nobody around; it felt like the end of the world had come, and we were the only survivors. I wrote a story about that, a story with a sad ending, as I was in a sad mood because the end of our voyage was coming.
Back in Paris we kept seeing each other and often went out together, to the theater or to the opera.
When Ian left for Jamaica, he didn’t want us to exchange addresses. He didn’t believe in a long distance friendship; he thought attempts to keep it alive against odds would destroy it instead. He preferred to have the memories unsullied by later exchanges, motivated by feelings of duty. It is true that my memory of him still is like a jewel shining with unaltered pure light, and I remember him in the full power of his twenty-one years with never a defeat; he was groomed to be a leader, and I have often wondered what became of him when his country earned its independence.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

What's up?

Reflective self portrait Sunday 5:30PM.


…to understand all ceremony, all ritual, as something for a person who not yet trusts himself.
(Ruth Beebe Hill, ‘Hanta Yo’, Warner Books 1980. p.960)

Monday, November 06, 2006


(Continuation of Jagtvejen 2)

It was time to go to India.
There was a traveling company forming, but the plans were for the autumn, and it was just spring. I had finished my Chinese translation and almost finished the mandala. I printed 200 copies of the Dao De Jing and bound them in a soft cover in the Chinese fashion; a linocut with the title glued on. I hawked them among friends and sold them to the hippie stores to get money for the voyage.
For the summer I went with Fut to Sweden. My friends Loa and Nahoum had a house in Småland, a densely forested area to the north of Skåne, the former Danish part of Sweden. We build a small hut in a clearing a short distance from their house. It was made out of an old barn door and other discarded materials, and we named it the Samurai hut. I painted a Buddha on a big boulder and lived here for a couple of months, sometimes alone, sometimes with visiting friends.

It's me to the left

Fut was always ahead of me; he stayed only a short time and was off to India before me. Before he left we took acid together, and for the first time I had a less than blissful trip. I felt estranged, enclosed in myself, unable to communicate and even not interested in it. In the end a warm hug from Fut brought me out of it.
Before leaving I wrote about the last night:

"The last night in the Samurai house is completely hushed. The path is cold and wet. Entering the Samurai clearing I penetrate into the forest proper; blindly I turn in between the black spruces. In the heather a glow-worm shines. Not until right by the big boulder in front of the hut can I glimpse the white window frame in the blackness. I light the lamp under the lean-to and a big glistening frog takes fright and jumps away.”

The white window frame.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


…if I go to the center and discover the great mystery, then nothing mysterious exists. And if I discover that which really exists, then I am the center and I, the reality.

(Ruth Beebe Hill, ‘Hanta Yo’, Warner Books 1980. p.791)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Jagtvejen 2

In Nick’s apartment I met some old friends and many new.
“You know Høne? She is in India,” I was asked many times. I was not sure, but when she came back I did know her. She was not one to forget, and she was to become a lifelong close friend. So was Lena, Nick’s girlfriend, though we were not that close in the beginning, when there could be a question of who was ‘mistress’ of the apartment. Later we went through a hard time together, and that purified our feelings for each other. We were jailed. Nick was selling hash as part of his promotion of the hippie lifestyle, and using the profits to keep the daily guests in smoke. At one point I also had a small business going, getting one 200 g pack of Lebanese at a time from a friend. One day Nick said to cool it for a while. A guy he didn’t know, and whose vibes he didn’t like, had asked to buy kilos, and when Nick said he didn’t deal in kilos the guy wouldn’t take no for an answer and was begging Nick to help him out. Nick thought he might be a stool pigeon, so I stopped my transactions.
Some time later, a quiet evening when only Lena and I were home, the doorbell rang, and through the spy hole I saw a smiling young woman. I opened and two plainclothes cops who had been hiding on the sides stuck their feet in the door. The fortress was taken! They wanted to search my room and ordered me to give them what I had of hash. I had two pieces, a tiny dry piece of Turkish and a nice nugget of the best Lebanese. I gave them the Turkish, but the Lebanese I hid in my hand and asked permission to put my dilrupa, an Indian string instrument that Torben Huss had given me, in its case, and after they had examined the case I placed the dilrupa together with the nugget in the case, where it was later found by Kailas and enjoyed by everybody. I told them that only my table and my box belonged to me, and when they had searched this they took me off to jail. Later they thought that my whole room had been searched, so they never looked on the shelves, where the first thing that hit my eye, when I returned, was an incriminating cigar box containing hash dust and a cloth cover from a block of Lebanese.

That night in jail I had a vivid dream. I sat in a big room in a museum, but the window was like the skylight in the living room on Jagtvejen. On a bench in front of me sat Lena and Nick; somebody said something, and Lena answered with emphasis: “One can only live by love.”
“Yes,” I said right away, “that is true!” and Lena turned around and we kissed lightly as to confirm our common knowledge.

Lena, who was only nineteen, was scared that night in jail, but suddenly she clearly heard me playing my Indian string instrument and she calmed down and fell asleep. They let her go next morning, but Nick and I were taken before a judge. Waiting to enter we were left alone in a room, each locked in his own little compartment. We knew the other one was there, and we had time to agree on not admitting to anything. In the newspapers it had been splashed as ‘the big coup’ by the cops, but they didn’t find anything in the apartment, except a solid block of clay that for one exiting moment made them think that they had succeeded. In the end they had to let me go after two weeks, and Nick, in order to protect his connection, ended up inventing a deal with an unknown person. He was given three weeks that were done at the time of his trial.
Nick was in many ways an unlikely person to take a leading role in the hippie community. He was rather shy and introverted and quite disdainful of anything that was contrary to his taste. In a way his fanaticism was his strength: he held on to his ideas with such tenacity that others adopted them. For instance he started using the word ‘Galar’ for hashish, and after a while that was the word that everybody used. It came from a sort of potato chillum from Trinidad called Galar-Galar that a friend of his had told him about.
Jail had been far more intolerable to him than to me, and he blamed me for having let in the cops. There was not the same harmony in the house as before, and I began to look for a change. Was it time to go to India?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Back in the nineties I played in a group exploring the rhythms of Africa - The Rhythmonauts. I made this poster for one gig.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Jagtvejen 1

As I told here my friend Nick invited me to move into his apartment in 1968. This came as a gift at the right moment.
The apartment was on the fifth floor and had dormer windows and in the living room one big skylight with many plants. Nick had inherited from his wealthy grandfather, who had traveled in Asia, and the rooms were sparsely but tastefully furnished with lace curtains and costly Oriental rugs. The living room had cushions on the floor, a few small tables and a cabinet with precious artifacts from Nepal and Tibet. My room had a big seaman’s chest and one end wall I covered with shelves hidden behind a white curtain. At the other end wall I sat with my Moroccan table in front of me and to my right a box on end with a shelf in. Between the windows I had a small altar and in front of that I rolled out my bedding, which was kept in the chest during the day.
Every day there was a stream of visitors, and every evening they were offered brown rice with thoroughly sautéed vegetables, Gomasio and Tamari. Both before and after the meal the pipe went around and Indian ragas filled the air; there was not much conversation.
In my room I had the privacy that I sometimes needed. Every morning and evening I lighted the candles on my altar and meditated fifteen to thirty minutes. This practice came about in the following way. One night on acid I had a blissful experience, where my breath took over and it seemed as if everything was created and annihilated with each inhalation and exhalation. Less than a week after, a friend showed me a Chinese meditation book called 'The Secret of the Golden Flower' and as I leafed through, I saw a picture of a meditator, who with his hands kept his navel open, and in the opening sat a small Buddha. It struck me as depicting exactly what I had experienced, and I decided to get the book and follow its method.
I had also been reading a Chinese classic 'The Cannon of Reason and Virtue' (Dao De Jing) translated by Paul Carus, and I had started translating it to Danish. It all mixed and formed one whole when I realized that the first book and its practice was a key to the understanding of the second. For the first time I felt my life in balance; I had found my people and I had found myself; I had my work and my leisure and enjoyed the one as well as the other. Aside from the translation, I wrote articles for Superlove, the monthly hippie paper, on topics such as Tarot, Yi Jing, Marcobiotics, Islam, and, naturally, Dao De Jing. I was also drawing in ink a big mandala inspired by The Secret of the Golden Flower, a very detailed work that gave me many happy hours.
‘The White Tornado’ was a big guy, always dressed in white and always on the go. One time he was at the door and he looked different, all dressed op straight and bigger than usual. Just back from the East, he explained, and as he began to undress the reason for his increased size was revealed: sixteen packages of hash strapped on to arms, legs, and torso. We all had some experience smuggling, but this was awesome, and he reveled in our admiration.
Another time he arrived obviously high on amounts of drugs, and he let us know exactly which, boasting of his strength and hinting that we were rather sedentary and weak. I was listening and looking, and I saw him twist and wriggle like a worm on the hook. A short moment I felt contempt, but then I rejected this feeling and genuinely felt sorry for him, and in that instant I sensed an immense force like a current from above going through me and connecting us, our eyes locked together and he stopped twisting and found rest. Afterwards he asked me: “What was it that happened?” He didn’t expect an answer, but I knew for myself, and it was a great confirmation of my practice.
Swami Kailasananda, or Kailas for short, had met in India his guru Shri Narayanananda, the only living person, he said, to have reached Nirvikalpa Samadhi, the absolute, complete, and final enlightenment. Kailas was proselytizing; it was a bit wearisome, but it had effect. Most of us who went to India went to see Narayanananda, and some got hooked.
One that was specially devoted to me was Fut, who was eighteen and had already been to India. He had shaved his head and with his long neck and sunken cheeks he sometimes gave the impression of being very old and birdlike; I thought it was funny when he said: “I am beautiful!” but he was serious about it. Both he and many others told me: “You must go to India!” I still had in mind the many hardships of my last journeys and was under no pressure to go soon, though I knew I would one day, when I found the right company.
We later had one more resident in the apartment: Gert, a light-hearted and warm person and a comedian, sometimes involuntarily a slapstick comedian. When he was painting a room, the bucket with paint fell off the ladder and it seemed that not one square inch of the room and Gert had escaped being spotted with white. He kept a precious mescal cactus on the windowsill. The day he wanted to eat it, he lost it out the window, and it fell to the sidewalk five stories below. He had to scrape it up and separate it from soil and potsherds, but he did get his high!
(To be continued)

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Volver is Almodovar's latest movie coming soon to the United States. The picture shows Almodovar and Penelope Cruz who is starring in the movie.

Read here about it!

Friday, October 20, 2006


This is a continuation of Living in Santa Barbara.

Since I was young I have passed a fair amount of time looking out the window. As I practiced this art, I noticed a nice looking boy coming and going at a house across the street. One afternoon, as I was working on building a huge fish tank in the garage with Reggie, this boy came in with his older brother to see what we were doing. While Reggie was entertaining the elder, Sam, I invited the younger, Jesse, to admire my circular garden. Jesse was fourteen, part Navaho Indian, and I was sure hewas gay. I wanted to make a drawing of him and he was eager to comply, so we made a date for the next day. He was living with his father in Davis and left shortly after but Sam kept coming to the house. He wanted me to give him a tattoo and one day he brought me a crude tattoo machine that he had made. That was not to be denied. Since the machine worked with only one needle, every line had to be worked over several times and we passed long hours at it. When we had finished a butterfly on his hip he wanted a snake on the chest and then a rose on the shoulder. He was eager to be a model; we passed a lot of time together and I took many pictures that I developed in my darkroom.

But it was his brother that I was in love with.
Jesse came back at the end of the summer to stay with his grandmother in the house across the street. He always said that he had raised himself. His family did not really have time for him and he took his decisions independently and certainly knew what he wanted, so when we hooked up and he became my lover it was with his consent. The sex was not the most important part of our relationship, but for me it was the fulfillment of a dream I had had since I was a teenager and in love with my best friend.

We only had a few months together before our household broke up and I went back to Vajrapani Retreat Center in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I invited him to visit me there and all the good Buddhists seemed shaken by the thought that my fifteen years old boyfriend was coming. For me there was no confusion; I only worried if I would be pure enough and wise enough to never hurt him.
Next I visited him at his fathers place in Dixon near Sacramento and then we met again in Santa Barbara and at Vajrapani and between the visits we wrote each other. We always had a good time together, whether we were exploring in nature or being creative at home. I was often executing his commissions, making drawings for him or sewing clothes or taking photos and he also enjoyed drawing and showed aptitude for it.

Our relationship lasted till he was eighteen. He was becoming less interested in art and dreaming more the American dream of material wealth and I knew we had come to the end. He had decided to leave home and set out on his own and he asked me to take him to San Francisco and leave him on a street corner to try his luck. It was with a heavy heart that I complied with his wish.
He wrote and told me that a boy named Billy had picked him up immediately and that he was now living with him. I received a few more letters and then nothing for three years.
Then came a letter from the correctional facility in Vaccaville and our correspondence resumed. I told him that I was not in love with him any more but would always be his friend.

I will finish with some of the words he wrote in the last letter I received: “I really miss all the good times we had together & have them framed in a picture in my mind for life. You made me very happy in my childhood days. The gods must have done it. Because I was really lost and lonely and needed a good friend. You took me away from all that drama with my family. I hope I can still come and visit for a while, I would enjoy that very much.”
But he never came.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


When I lived in Marrakesh, after I had come back from the prison, I was completely broke. This boy, Mohammed, who made his living by guiding tourists to a shop where they gave him a percentage, took me under his wing and shared his work with me. I made this drawing of him. As you can see, besides being compassionate, he was also a handsome boy:

How do you like the new look of the blog? This is due to Blogger Beta!