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!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Doing the Dishes

This redheaded boy was visiting with a friend in Santa Barbara and I caught him in this domestic scene.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

African Mask

I bought this the first time I was in Guinea in 1995. It is for an initiation ceremony.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Monday, October 09, 2006

Living in Santa Barbara

I have previously told about how I came to stay in the house with Reggie in Santa Barbara.
Besides Reggie and Mary, Fred lived in the house. He was not an artist and was less involved in what was going on in the house, but his mind was open and I think he enjoyed the wildness even though it scared him a little.
I had only been in the house a few months when it was sold and we were forced to move. Every time we looked at a new house we were turned down and it became obvious that nobody wanted a random group like us. We had to be a family! At our next house hunt we presented ourselves as the married couple Reggie and Mary with Mary’s widowed father (me) who had come from overseas to live with his daughter. Fred was not mentioned but would be a cousin visiting if ever the landlord came around.
It worked right away. We found a house on a dead end road with a large backyard. A family Brown had been living there and everything in the house was brown and smelt strongly of wet dog. We did a thorough cleaning, got new carpeting and repainted the whole house; Reggie’s room blue, mine salmon, and the living room white with turquoise trim. In a small shed I rigged up a darkroom with equipment that a friend lent me and I became an avid photographer.

I dug up one part of the lawn for a circular garden whose precious centerpiece was later stolen.

Reggie worked as a handyman and he introduced me to Frieda Huttenback, wife of the chancellor of UC Santa Barbara. She always had work for me but often kept me from doing it; what she really needed was someone to talk to. I soon became her trusted listener and helper in the big lonely house that was guarded against intrusion with lights and locks and alarm. Once she called me: “Oh, can you come please. There is a bug in the house.” Through a hole in a screen an innocent little beetle had entered the house and freaked her daughter out and I had to catch it, expel it and repair the screen. When Frieda had her migraines I drove her to a healer in Ventura and after she got to know me well she trusted me to repair the brocade frames of her treasured Tibetan tankas.
Reggie was taking classes in aikido and I joined him. I made two friends at the dojo: Art and John. Art told me he was eighteen and seemed mature for his age. Years later I found out that he had been only sixteen, but he felt that people treated him with more respect when he lied about his age. Art had a beautiful body and was not shy about being naked so he became one of my favorite photo models.
John was a black belt in aikido and assistant teacher in the dojo. We invited him to one of our wild parties and I had a fantasy played out with him that night. After he got to know us he opened up and told us that he wanted to change sex and we offered him sanctuary in our house from the time he began the transformation. I was eager to repeat the experience with him but he told me to lay off and let him decide if and when we would get together. This colored Xerox is of the woman emerging.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

A Moment of Attraction

This boy passed me in the street and I could not get him out of my mind, so I painted this image of him.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Every year there was a big costume party in the Odd Fellow Palace in Copenhagen; I was going with Ebbe and his young lover, Palle. I did have the same taste in boys as Ebbe, and I fell for Palle at first sight. He was 18, a little taller than me and well made, as I had occasion to notice when we were undressing and dressing for the costume party. After that day I started seeing him often. Starting the following spring, Ebbe had a job as dentist in Switzerland for a year, and he had promised me that I could live in his apartment while he was away. He had let Palle know that that was the end of their relationship, so Palle would be free and I asked him if he would share the apartment and live with me, and he agreed.

I had envisioned a happy monogamous life, but Palle had other ideas. We had met a gay couple, Poul Benz, who was a lawyer, and Flemming Skov, a ballet dancer. A pair of bitchy queens if ever there was. Poul Benz could not stand being alone, and nearly every day he came by and asked us to accompany him driving around in his car. Palle was always ready, and mostly I chose to come along, not because I liked to, but because I wanted to be with Palle. By nature I am jealous, but I tried to overcome it and not let it take over. This daily effort caused a lot of frustration, and after a couple of months I came down with a serious hepatitis. When Palle saw that my moodiness and impatience was caused by illness, he became very tender and thoughtful and took good care of me.
But what was cause and what effect?
My convalescence took a whole year and by the end of it Palle decided to apprentice for a year in a childcare center in Germany.

Our friend Jan had met a boy in Yugoslavia and shortly before Palle left, Zoran arrived, and there was a welcome party for him. I was dancing with Zoran and there was an immediate intense attraction between us. He was not exactly good-looking and his communist clothes were not flattering, but the chemistry was there. Jan wanted me to entertain him and take him out since I had time and spoke French. The first time he came, we took a walk around the Lakes, but we both knew what would happen as soon as we would come home and be alone. His body was perfect, boyish but muscular with skin smooth and translucent. I later took him to the gay professor Riiseby at the Royal Academy who was looking for a model. At first the professor looked doubtful, but as soon as Zoran took off his clothes he became enthusiastic - as I knew he would - and Zoran had the job. He was the sexiest boy I ever met, and he evoked lust in everyone susceptible to boyish charms.
When the time came for the next yearly costume party, Zoran wanted me to dress as a woman. I felt that I would be disgusting now, at the age of 30, and with a mustache, but Zoran insisted.
“I will do it if you promise to dance with me all evening,” I said.
“I will,” said Zoran, ”I promise.” And he kept his promise!
At Christmas I went to Germany to be with Palle. When he asked me if I had been faithful I admitted that I had not, and I think he already guessed what had happened. I had not expected that he would take that to heart; he had not exactly been faithful to me. But I could see that he did.
Back in Copenhagen, Zoran had us both, Jan and me, completely in his pocket. He arranged to have Jan ask me to let him stay three days with me. To me he complained about Jan; he told me that Jan beat him. He played it like he was unhappy with Jan, and I was his true love. After he went to Paris, Jan could not stop talking about him, and I got the story of their happy time together, very different from Zoran's version. I did not deserve better than this double play from Zoran since I myself had deceived Jan. Only, Jan was not hurt because he never knew. I was hurt, but not so much that I did not seek out Zoran the next couple of times I came to Paris.
When Palle came back from Germany Zoran was gone. I was hoping we could get our relationship back on track, but when we had to move four or five months later, Palle said he was not going to come. He had fallen in love with Henning whom I had met while I was conscientious objector in Oxbøl and introduced in our home. They moved in together, and I only saw Palle a couple of times after.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Sexual release is the most mysticism most people can manage.
(Hanif Kureishi, ‘Intimacy’, Scribner Paperback Fiction 2001. p. 46)