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.