Saturday, April 29, 2006

A Dog Story

For a short while I was living in a house with a live-in boyfriend, Palle, and a dog. She was a mix between a longhaired Dachshund and a German shepherd, something that seemed almost physically impossibel, but there she was, a well proportioned and good looking, smallish dog. When people asked about her ancestry we would say that she was a Tibetan sheep dog and people would believe it. Trunte was her name and she liked only poodles. Both her pregnancies were with poodles and all her children took after the fathers and looked like poodles.

One wintry Sunday we took the S-train up north to take a walk around a lake. Trunte did not often get out like this, and she took off. Before we were half way round the lake we had lost her. When we came back to the station we asked for her and they found out that she was in Holte, the end of the line. She must have found our trail, but followed it the wrong way, back to the station. There she remembered that we came with a train on the north going track, so, when a train arrived she entered it and was taken on to the end of the line. There, of course, she was confused and the personnel noticed her and send word down the line.
We moved from the house to one room in an apartment, and Trunte gave birth to two little poodles. The situation became grave as the puppies grew up to poop wherever, and Trunte jumped on the bed to get away from them. When I was called in as conscientious objector we did not have the puppies anymore, but even Trunte became a problem to Palle, and he had her "put to sleep". What could I say? It was too late to say anything. It turned out that it was part of our breaking up.

Friday, April 28, 2006

My Cabin

I mentioned my cabin 'The House at Pu Corner' the other day. Maybe you want to see how it looked when I was living there?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Life Cycle

The arrow points to the moment of conception. The infra red represents the nine months in the womb and then come the different ages with their colors: early childhood - red, late childhood - orange, teenage years - yellow into green, youth - green maturing into blue and so on. This particular life ends at 84 and ultra violet reprsents the afterlife.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The House At Pooh Corner

I gave this name to my cabin at Vajrapani Institute. It is a pun where Pooh is substituted by the character Pu which means Uncarved Wood or Simplicity.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Thanks to all the rain the garden is really lush. It is mostly weeds but it is very beautiful. I don't want to start tearing up and digging until after next Saturday, the 29th, because that is my birthday and there is going to be a party in the backyard. Potluck at 4PM. You are welcome!


Heavy is the root of the light;
calm is the master of the quick-tempered.

This is why the sage during all the day’s travel
does not separate from the heavy baggage-wagon.
Although there are splendid sights to be seen
he stays at ease and lets it all pass by.

My take on these lines:
Yin - yang is symbolized by the pair heavy – light and calm – quick-tempered.
As long as he lives, the sage holds on to the heavy or serene yin principle of the Receptive. According to I Ching, the Baggage-wagon is symbolic of the Receptive. The sage is never moved to forget this by the glory of the world.
If he, as a ruler, let go of the yin attitude and becomes frivolous and rash he will not endure.
This comes out in the last verse:

How can he endure, the commander of ten thousand chariots,
If he conducts himself lightly before the world?
Lightly, then the root is lost.
Quick-tempered; then the master is lost.

From ‘The Book of the Way and Virtue’, the teachings of Lao Zi.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Courtesy of Audacious Ontology


After graduation I was drafted to the artillery in Århus.
I could not believe that human beings could treat each other like they did in the military. You were free to insult in the rudest way anybody who was just one degree below in the hierarchy. It was laughable, but being at the very bottom of the ladder somewhat ruined the comical effect.
My two best friends were the tallest guys in the company and I was only 5’7”. We always managed to form the front row when we were marching, me in the middle with a towering guy on each side. The officers didn’t like the looks of it but there seemed to be no rule against it, so it couldn’t be stopped. Otherwise there were rules for most occurrences and the game was to bend the rules or break them without getting caught. Because I was an engineer I was potential officer material, but I think they sensed that it would not work. The lieutenant colonel also needed some people with the smarts to calculate the directions of the canons. With my friend Svend I became calculator for the two batteries as a whole, which meant that no shot could be fired before we had verified the calculations for each battery. That gave us a measure of power.
The lieutenant colonel recommended Svend and me to the colonel for coloring a stack of plates showing the interior parts of the rifle. We were given a room next to the colonel’s office where he worked on his hobby as sculptor. When he came into our room he would be like a kind old uncle; he gave us treats and lauded our work. Then sometimes, we heard him through the door dress down our superior officers without mincing words, and now our situation made us appreciate the comic effect. In order to make the coloring even, we had to put it on in many, many thin layers and we managed to make the job last the rest of our time as soldiers. Every time something unpleasant was on the program we retired to our peaceful refuge.
My most daring rule breaking occurred once after I was at the infirmary with the flu. I discovered that when you were discharged you were given a form with the date and the doctor’s signature that you had to show to your commanding officer. In the interval from you left the infirmary till you arrived at the barracks you were beyond military control. If I stretched that interval who would know? All I needed was another form with a later date. As I was good at forging it would not be a problem to fill in a blank form with the doctor’s signature and a new date. In an unguarded moment I took a blank form from the doctors office and when I was discharged I took the train home to Copenhagen where I enjoyed a couple of days of freedom. On the train back I saw one of our officers, but I bent down when he passed and he didn’t see me. When I arrived back everybody was upset because the lieutenant colonel had asked for me and said he would visit me at the infirmary. The danger had passed, but I had a moment of anguish when I was told to give the form to the doctor next morning. He was the one person that surely would become aware of the forgery. I decided to ‘forget’ to give him the form, and nobody ever noticed.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


In Denmark, where I grew up, state and church are not separate. There is a government department for the Protestant Church and classes in religion in the schools.
My mother told me how she as a young girl in school suddenly realized: “This is all old wives’ tales!” She became a scientist and she didn’t give thought to the mysteries that science could not explain. In fact my whole family is more or less allergic to religion and they seem to live quite happily with this attitude.

I had different feelings. As I got older I had an urge to understand more and I began to search for a deeper truth than science offered. Often I speculated about a divine force and the ways different religions perceived it. I found organized religions suspect because of their claim to universality, their dogmatism and their ties to money and power.
The Western religions seem to be always in conflict with science because they claim their scriptures as the absolute truth. Only the mystics transcend the written word, but the religious establishments usually have persecuted them. Jesus was a mystic, but they killed him and garbled his message.
The Eastern religions are different. They steer clear of conflict with science because they do not cling to their scriptures as absolute truth. When the venerable Kalu Rimpoche was asked if he thought the earth is flat, as some Buddhist scriptures maintain, he answered with a smile: “When I was flying here I looked out the window and the earth looked flat to me.” He didn’t gainsay the scriptures, but he didn’t deny the dictum of science either. The humor in his answer conveyed that the question is of minor importance to a Buddhist. Whether the earth is round or flat, whether the universe is limitless or not, it doesn’t matter to the real concern, which is to find inner peace and clarity.
The Eastern religions actually agree with modern physics on the deepest levels. ”Form is no other than emptiness and emptiness is no other than form,” said the Buddha. This emptiness, that in Buddhism is considered the ultimate truth, is not ‘nothingness’. You could say it is a formlessness that contains all forms. I call it The Great Spirit.

Where is the link between the Great Spirit and science?
The latest scientific theory, which unifies Einstein’s Theory of Relativity with Quantum Mechanics, is called String Theory. It says that all the different subatomic particles consist of the same tiny strings of energy and that it is their different vibrations that make them behave like different particles.
Some scientists say that this is not science any more because there seem to be no way of testing it. They say it is philosophy. Whether it is one or the other, I believe that this string energy is the manifestation of the Great Spirit, so that all energy and matter (as I already said here) essentially consist of Spirit.
Spirit is a total mystery but since it is the essence of our being, I believe that we can experience it. This experience is at the center of all religions. About it Joseph Campbell says:
…an experience that is regarded by those that have known it as the apogee of their lives, and which is yet ineffable*. And this experience, or at least an approach to it, is the ultimate aim of all religion, the ultimate reference of all myth and rite. Moreover, those by whom the mythological traditions have been developed and maintained have been the shamans, sages, prophets, and priests, many of whom have had an actual experience of this ineffable mystery and all of whom have revered it. One of the ironies …… is that much of the research and collecting among primitive tribes has been conducted either by scientists whose minds are sterilized to this experience and for whom the word “mystic” is a term of abuse, or else by missionaries for whom the only valid approach to it is in their own tradition of spiritual metaphor.

*ineffable = beyond words

The art is unrelated to the text except as expression of the mystery!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


A recent painting, first done as a sketch on Adobe Photoshop and then recreated with oil pastel and crayon on watercolor paper.

Friday, April 07, 2006


Every evening there was a lively scene in Sid Srer's café, many pipes passed around, card games were played and the young men flirted eagerly with me. Then one day a boy came that I had not seen before. He was very young, but well developed; a smooth young gazelle. I sat on the floor and he sat on the chair that I was leaning on; I felt his hard thigh warm through his threadbare cotton pants. That night I dreamt about him. Next day he was back at dusk. He asked me if I would like to take a walk. We took the road out of town, walking in silence through the bright moonlit landscape. Then we sat on a rock and Daoud said: ”Don’t you have fun with the schoolboys?”
“I would like to with you,” I said.
We went back hand in hand and I succeeded in sneaking him into my house in the dark; nobody saw it. The day after, Daoud came again to the café and we walked away without subterfuge and made love on a flat rock while the sun was setting.
Later I did this drawing of the blissful unity of flesh and mountain:

When it began to get dark we got up. A flute began to play nearby, and I knew that we had been observed.
The following day the story was all over town, and I had occasion to find out who were my real friends and who had been pretending. The true friends did not mention anything, but the false ones were jeering and asking obscene questions; obviously they knew all the details, and it was considered that I had taken the unmanly role. The owner of the café and my house, Sid Srer, laughed and said: “They all do it, but it must be in secret!“
It was like a biblical fall to me because I had promised myself to be chaste. I was tempted to flee, but I felt that I had to be strong and stay by my choice of action. I searched the Bhagavad Ghita for an answer and found this: "Support your Self with your Self and banish the enemy that takes the form of desire and that is difficult to stamp out."


One bleak day I was wandering round in Meknès. I was all alone and my confusion was so overwhelming that I had the power to pray with complete sincerity: "Oh, Lord, give me a sign for I see no light!" At that moment, from the farthest corner of the empty plaza, a small boy came running towards me with outstretched arms. It was as if I was his long awaited father returning, and I lifted him up and hugged him, and my heart was calmed.
Sid Srer said: "Forget the past", and so I concentrated on my painting. Still I was constantly on an emotional rollercoaster. There were days miserable with stomach trouble, migraine, and rashes on arms and legs but also days happy with inspiration, where poems and paintings seemed meaningful and easy.

Alone in the garden
This Friday
With holiday voices
Around me.

Scent of orange
And urine
Disappears in a breeze.

The kiss of judas.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Lao Zi cultivated the Way and Virtue and his teaching aimed at selflessness and no name. For a long time he lived in Zhou, but when he saw its decline he left.
At the pass Yin Xi, the keeper, said to him: “Since you are leaving the world I beg you to write a book for me.”
Lao Zi therefore wrote a book in two parts explaining the Way and Virtue in some five thousand characters. He then departed; no one knows whither he went and where he died.

This quote is from ‘Historical Records’ by Si Ma Qian, who was the first chronicler of China’s history. He lived from 145 BC – 86 BC, more than five hundred years after Lao Zi left.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

1000 pics (15)

This is my friend Junichiro Ogawa whom I visited in Japan in October.


Sorry, I have a problem getting on line, no blogging today!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

1000 pics (15)


The post of yesterday, April 1, was - yes, you guessed it:

Saturday, April 01, 2006


I opened a can of worms mentioning the dance floor, but I have good news.
There is a new product called ‘Tired Feet ®’ that totally solves the problem of dust. It is a kind of rubber cement made out of discarded tires that comes in 50 lbs bags. I have done some calculation and I think we can cover the whole area for less than $100 and it is guaranteed to last for five years.
The application is very easy. Spread out in a thin layer it will bond with the earth under the influence of the sun’s heat and form a bright green, resilient and absolute dust free covering, something like Astroturf but softer and springier. The chemical process activated by the sun takes only between one and two hours during which one is warned to not walk on the surface as one could get stuck permanently.