fredag 19. august 2016


"We all know the story. 
Virginal girl, pure and sweet, trapped in the body of a swan. She desires freedom 
but only true love can break the spell. Her wish is nearly granted in the form of a 
prince, but before he can declare his love her lustful twin, the black swan, tricks 
and seduces him. Devastated the white swan leaps off a cliff killing 
herself and, in death, finds freedom." 
- Thomas Leroy

This hauntingly beautiful film is directed by Darren Aronofsky (2010) and is mostly 
considered a psychological thriller, and as Aronofsky says himself; contains elements 
of horror, paranoia and drama which have connected and come together.

The film touches upon a variety of feelings and themes such as pursuit of perfection, loss 
of innocence, mental illness, identity and sexuality. But the first thing that comes to mind is 
the loss of innocence. The fragile being Nina has literally been the white swan her whole 
life, as she seems to have suppressed other desires and feelings such as her own sexuality, 
her own sense of identity and personality, as she seems to be sheltered by her over-protective 
mother which conveys the message that Nina can only be truly safe in the presence of her 
mother, by staying home behind closed doors. 

We first see Nina presented as this fragile, anxious little girl, desperately looking for 
approval by always doing what she has been told, the right thing. In her meeting with her 
new teacher and director Thomas Leroy her view of what is seen as "perfection", - what 
she has aspired to become her whole life, is turned upside-down. Playing the roles for 
Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake has been her dream for long, yet unaware of what the play 
will reveal about her own self. 

Her fragility and sadness genuinely shines through in her role as the white swan, her state 
of mind being constantly tense, fearful and melancholic. It all comes along very naturally. 
But what about the other part, the evil twin - the seductive black swan?

In her world of innocence/adolescence there's a darkness lurking 
underneath, the blood, the scratching on her back and the encounters with her evil 
doppelgänger that seems to be haunting her, all is gradually floating up to the surface 
throughout the film. Her psychological journey is about to unfold in the meeting of 
her complete opposite, her fellow ballet dancer Lily. She's everything Nina isn't and 
what she now so desperately aspires to be; tough, charismatic, sensual and has 
the ability of effortlessly let herself loose in her dancing. From the start Lily 
seductively functions as a bite for Nina, to evoke her darker desires and feelings.

The more she immerses herself into the role of the black swan, the more she 
becomes it herself. But due to her lack of self-esteem and haunting fear, the lines 
between reality and her own delusions starts to blur. Nina is haunted by fear in 
everything she does, which develops into a paranoia, from her constant obsession 
of approval and perfection, also being extra anxious about the strong competition 
for the the role, especially from Lily, that she might steal her role or surpass her. 
- But her strive for perfection is merely based on an illusion which along with her
distorted reality, contains destruction in order to achieve the perfection she's 
aiming for.

Thomas Leroy: 
"The final act. Your final dance! You've tasted your dream. Touched it! Only to
have it crushed. Your heart is broken. Wounded! Your life force fading. The blood 
drips. The black swan stole your love! There is only one way to end the pain. 
You're not fearful, but filled with acceptance! And you look down at Rothbart 
and then at the Prince. And then yes, the audience! And then you jump!"

This act, this tragedy, becomes Nina's destiny too, and can also be seen as a visual 
representation that is perceived as a metaphor of being a true artist; that you have to 
live it and breathe it, sacrifying your own self, getting lost in it for not only to 
create, but to become the artwork itself.

I'm still left with a lot of questions...
What was this darkness? This evil twin? Does it represent her fear of feelings she has 
suppressed for long, which had developed into some inner demons she had to let go of in 
a pursuit of freedom?

(Was destruction her only doorway to freedom?)  

There's many takes on this, - did this persona reveal to some degree her true self? Or did 
she use the role to channel her emotions, her struggles, as way of enabling herself to let 
loose/go of her inner demons, so that by releasing them she could confront them, 
live/breathe them, and by the realization that they had possessed her she embraced it 
as a part of becoming the perfect black swan.

Or just a reminder that she wasn't strong enough to cope with life's darker sides 
and difficulties?

- To this point her whole life seemed to resonate with the Swan Lake story, but 
unlike the white swan she did in a way achieve her dream to play the role 
perfectly, breathe it and live it, - not letting anyone or anything take it 
away from her. 

[last lines]
Thomas Leroy: Nina, what did you do?
Nina: I felt it. Perfect. I was perfect.


Ever felt like you don't really know who you are? What you are doing and (why)? Are 
you just being good cause it's good to be good? Ever thought about your own desires, 
what's selfish and what's not?  Perhaps your own well being and happiness doesn't have 
to be entirely based on your own pleasures, but the person you become through the 
choices you make?  

Ever felt like you have some inner darkness, some unknown territory not yet 
explored? Suppressed? Maybe you have just been hiding from what you truly are? 
- Sometimes I wonder, can't I be anything, everything? I find every aspect of the 
human condition beautiful, even the darkest, deepest; wounds, sorrows, loneliness, 
loss, getting hurt, which are all emotions we need to experience as a journey through 
life, to become who we are as these hardships pushes us to think, learning to use our 
own power of reasoning in order to learn to choose to act rationally and with 
heart, not by fear or desire. And by developing your own thought you shape 
your identity, even though it seems to be an endless process...

søndag 5. juni 2016


"Where did all the days go" by Rebecca Green

This song by Kansas called "Dust in the Wind" (1977) inspired me to write this post:

"I close my eyes only for a moment, and the moment's gone
All my dreams pass before my eyes, a curiosity

Dust in the wind, all they are is dust in the wind

Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see

Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind

Now, don't hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky
It slips away, and all your money won't another minute buy

Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind"

There's this subject that I never seem to get out of my mind, and that is the passing of time.
The fact that moments, seconds, minutes pass by so quickly, it's like it's gone already before I get 
the chance to grasp it. And sometimes I find myself unable to recall what I've done the last few 
days or weeks, which makes me start to question if that might reflect my inability to process all
the events, conversations, thoughts, writings that I encounter.  I believe part of it can be the
state of not being present in the moment which I think is better described as a "sleepwalker". 
- Unaware that your consciousness is somewhere else, it's like your mind is set to autopilot. 
Perhaps your mind has taken trivial, everyday events for granted and lost the curiousity for life
and just got lost somewhere in between.

Technology, different forms of light entertainment such as social media, internet, television is a 
time killer too I believe. Perhaps that's the answer to when we all say: "Where did all that time go?"
When we spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping, we shouldn't "sleep away" another half of our lives?
Distractions are everywhere, I tend to pull myself together and distance myself, and "disconnect"
from the internet world and impulses. In few words; focus, space, disposing time in a conscious matter.

It's a combination of how we process and treasure our memories, and also a way of thinking,
a mentality that always thinks forward, ahead of time, which in fact just serves as an 
illusion that distracts us from what is in front of us this very moment. Your reality is
now. Not next friday, or when summer finally arrives. If we have this kind of mentality
of always looking forward to the future, "future" has lost its value, for when the "future"
arrives, we won't even realize, cause we are already looking forward to next weekend, 
next event etc.

- Six Feet Under, TV series (2005) 

Isabel H.R

Life is fluid, its constant movement keeps it ever changing, reflections and echoes of
past personas shattered all over, still invisible to some. There's no force that holds it
in one place. It's like a stormy sea that never stays the same. Memories, even memories find
a way to slip through your fingers, unless you keep them dear in a precious box. 

Events rise from above and dive back into the sea, though it's weightless, it sinks fading 
into a memory. The only things that stays throughout the storm is the bonds, the feelings 
that's been created with the people and the places you've met along the way, that is 
something which is beyond the measure of time.

But the day will come, when I must depart, leave all my belongings behind and sink into the 
bottomless sea - will there be any traces of me, flowing back up to the surface of the sea? 
Traces of thoughts, values, or loved ones that keep their idea of me in their memory. A picture
is the only thing that represent me physically. But is this really me, appearances are deceiving,
and pictures tells only one side of the story. What about all my writings whom I left alone on
my desk? Or perhaps a thought, a saying, led its singing way into someone else and lives on like a 
whispering wind? A form of consciousness in the present world, for the next generations to come.
I wonder if my mind will ever be echoed liked that, what a beautiful thing it would be.

- Just as little as you get to share of yourself with the the world, when you pass away, it's like
there's these fragments of you left shattered all over. No matter how transparent you felt your
 life and your influence on the world has been, there is this need for those in your family that comes 
after you to acknowledge your existence, because of this strange sense of belonging, cause you're all 
related to one another. What pieces will be left for your descendants to puzzle? 

I always believed my thoughts were best translated into paper, as a piece of writing. It's a 
neutral zone where I can write - think - reflect - write.  It enables me to observe objectively 
what I'm thinking. The whole thing is like a thought process. So in a way it's a way of 
confronting yourself, cause once thoughts are translated into words, you can't escape them, 
cause they are literally brought to life. There's so much going on in our minds, so much that
we might even not be aware of. But if you step back a little, and take time to dive into that
consciousness you might find a little seed, and bring it into life by starting writing about it. 
It's basically like taking a thought and develop it to a higher level. It broadens my whole 
awareness about who I want to be, what I believe in and how to communicate what's going 
on in my mind to the people that surrounds me and how I see myself in the midst of it all,
my place in the world.

I think how you should process, store and value your life events, days, months, hours is entirely
 up to each individual. The most important thing is that you're aware. Some people can go through 
life not even questioning themselves, and that's perhaps when you end up saying; "Where did my 
life go?" You have to be more aware about what you are doing and why you are doing it. A way
of processing and shaping your own reality.

Illustration, artist unknown

mandag 30. mai 2016


artwork by Andreas Lie

We are offered access to different kinds of worlds through numerous mediums like books, 
films and music. When our minds truly let go and we are completely immersed with that 
world that has invited us in, it's almost as if just for that moment, we are somewhere 
completely else.

Some might say, that what you would like to call fantasy or fiction is just a 
form of escapism. I, on the contrary, think it's an extension of the wonderful ability 
we have called imagination. Any forms of art is merely a platform to channel and 
visualize and share what's going on in our minds, - our thoughts and our imagination. 
It's like a cultural community. What we think, feel and see in our minds might say 
more about us as a person than what we can talk about and describe with mere 
words. It's all a part of what shapes our sense of identity.

"my head is a hive of words that won't settle" 
- Virginia Wolf

Being able to experience and immerse ourselves with different kinds of art forms, 
I believe it's more like an exploration of different ways of seeing reality. We all 
perceive and look at the world and people around us in our own way wether we're 
aware of it or not. So it's like a little peak into another persons mind, how they 
see and sense the world, through their eyes. This makes films, books and music a 
wonderful collective thing. Like a collective consciousness, where we learn to 
understand different outlooks on life, different thoughts and perspectives. All 
this is channelled through our imagination. It's a another way of communicating 
and connecting with people. 

artwork by Jiwoon Pak

Sometimes I've been wondering why I have a hard time communicating with 
new people, communicating my ideas that represent me and just giving them 
a slightest sense of who I am. But it's hard to communicate cause I'm being 
observed through a different lens.

We are talking
but no one is listening
where are all the people
no one is at my frequency
where are they - where am I?

You look
but what you see
is a reflection of yourself
you hear
but all you listen to 
is the echo of yourself

With this it's easy to feel disconnected with the world. You learn that no one 
can know you like you do. But still there is this urge within to share yourself 
with someone, even though you can still be independently happy.

"What does it mean, the right man?
The love of your life? The concept is absurd. 
The idea that we can only be complete with 
another person is evil."
- Before Sunrise, (1995) 

Back to the collective consciousness, this might be where you can share 
and discover feelings and thoughts you have in common with other people.

For instance, when you can relate to something on a personal level in for 
example a movie, or there is something about the music in the film that 
resonates within you, if that other person shared a similar feeling, it occurs
a mutual understanding on some level. It could be a good foundation or 
starting point for getting to know one another. Or if you shared your own 
imaginative work, wether it's a piece of poetry, drawing or a photograph. 
Regardless of its content, it's one small piece of yourself that you offer. 
In that sense it could be an alternative way of communicating, connecting 
with another person.

Or to share both of your individual views on a film, artwork or music 
piece, could reveal a lot about your personalities. What a person choose to 
see, tells a whole lot about them, doesn't it?
This approach might be a good starting point;

"My perception of reality is different from yours,
but can we meet on the crossroad of our different 
worlds and exchange some thoughts?"

artwork by Yumi Sakugawa

Our imagination says something profound about of our sense of identity.
We can connect with other people through so many things. There's no limits; 
To listen, to feel, to touch, to know, to share, to write, to trust, by eye contact, 
by a moment of silence, by sharing memories and the list goes on...

Fiction and fantasy might be just as much part of reality, as the "reality" we 
have been taught to see. Reality is defined by the very person that perceives 
the world and life through his own senses, his own pair of eyes, his own mind.

I love this little quote from the film
Alice Through The Looking Glass:

"Alice: But a dream is not reality. 
Mad Hatter: But who is to say which is which" 

It's like we always look for terms and definitions of things that is nothing else 
than a restriction. When we have such abilities as our own imagination, 
why would we try to limit it?

"If the dream is a translation of waking life,
waking life is also a translation of the dream"

- Rene Magritte