Saturday, October 18, 2008

Diary from the island of extremes - the Fall

Right now we are still falling - from being one of the wealthiest nations on earth towards the poorest nations on earth. What does that tell us about money - wealth - poverty?
It tells me that money is a gas. Money is not real in our world after we invested our security in it and lost our sense of sustainably. The western world is falling - we shouldn´t save the banks - we shouldn´t forget that we are the power - not just a handful of people should have the power to choose for us. But we are to blame. We wanted to throw away our liberties, our independence, our responsibilities for the status quo - for being in a limited comfort. We refused to face the responsibilities of insane decisions by our world leaders. We looked the other way as people starved and were shocked and awed in the name of forcing democracy - DemoCrazy on the world. Our view who we didn´t really know was anyway. We are to blame, we have to take responsibility for our lack of action, lack of responsibilities for having allowed us to become comfortable numb.

We are falling and after the fall is a chance for resurrection - for a new earth - old world order - to return to our roots - to return to the simple - we can learn much from the people who still know how to live in harmony with their environment - who have refined communities without a few fat cats stealing away the extra food to make it rot in sheds at distant shores - we should learn now or it might be too late... the earth can not sustain us unless we are willing to change our consumer habits... we really don´t need more stuff - we need to think with our heart - to develop the heart - and to have the courage to rise for a real reform.

You are the voice - don´t allow yourself to believe that you don´t matter - we all matters - we are the change.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Diary from the island of extremes - Anger management

I got my anger out this morning while writing about the current situation in Iceland - well most of it. I got too much to do, depression or not I always have too much to do. Each day has so many offerings of mini miracles.

Right now I have enough material to write a whole new volume of poetry - this time around I will write in my native language. I think the role of poets and other artists is never as important as at times like this. We should be the voice of reason. We should be the oracles as in the past. Need to rebuild bridges between the word and the public.

Here a drawing by the Hand of Joy B the poet:) Lifi ljóðið, innra sem ytra.

As I enter the creative space - all these troubles of the external world have little impact - seeking for some sort of harmony within this turmoil - find the ballast - because in Iceland the metaphors mostly evolve around the oceans and the elements of nature.
I am seeking for the nature within me - I think that might be a good thing to do for people feeling in a free fall of suspense and worry:) go visit the ocean, waterfall, mountain, tree, if you got the financial crunch blues.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Diary from the island of extremes III - Nation in denial

Right now, the Icelandic nation is in denial about the situation. The mentality, "I have enough problems dealing with my own situation" is still going strong. Why should I use my time to think of ways to change the situation, why should I care? Why should I take to the streets to protest, write about the situation and those responsible?

I don't think my fellow islanders realize that we are facing a grave danger of loosing the little independence we had. I don't think people still realize how utterly screwed we are. Our leaders, who by the way are to a large degree responsible for the situation we are in, ask the Icelanders to show them support and give them peace to solve the problem. And what do the islander do? They trust the people who are responsible for all the mess to clean up the mess. No one at the top has lost their jobs. Not even David Oddsson who was a prime minister here for a decade and before that the mayor of the capital city. He is the guy that was given the job of running our national treasury bank and he is the guy who angered Brown and Oh Darling with his big mouth during a live interview at our national TV. He has never been known for watching his mouth.

So why, why but why does the nation just go shopping with their credit cards in the shops still owned by the same guys who made the impossible possible... made this nation go bankrupt? Well first of all, this is a nation of sheep, nation of mindless consumers, nation of spineless wankers, nation of workaholics, nation of self interest people, who really don't care much about anything except the external goods. A nation who has always thought first, how can I exploit this situation to my own interest. Viva la Banana!!!! This is a banana republic - but the sad thing is that the government doesn't even need an army to get people to follow orders, there is no army in Iceland. It is enough to say, if you obey, we might make YOU feel special and give YOU a little extra. Join the party = there is still plenty of greed-booze left.

I am a little concerned, because I love this island, there is still a mass of untouched wilderness left, but not for long if things carry on in the direction the capitalists wants us to go.
We are a nation living in fear, not of war, not of drought, floods. We are a nation living in fear of not having enough stuff. We are victims of our own greed, and through that process we might loose our independence and our wilderness.

Our government and members of parliament are now talking about that our only salvation is to change this island into heavy industry hell, build more smelters, let us use all our cheep energy to fuel aluminum smelters and other nice factories. Our propagandamasters have managed to sell the nation that we are helping the poor underdeveloped countries in the world by having Rio Tinto and Alcoa in Iceland, because they use our green energy not the dirty coals. So in the mind of the nation aluminum factories are green factories and not only that they are now talked about as our saviours ....

I am living in a banana republic and there are no guns to our heads, the greatest threat we face is to become dependant on huge corporations who roam the earth like an overgrown psychopath.

I want to be able to have election, I want people to take some responsibility for enabling the Icelandic banks to grow so over their head that they were rolling money in and out that is 12 times bigger then our national budget. Who allowed this> WE. People denied the obvious, they tried to ruin the reputation of those that dared to warn us. WE the Icelandic people are responsible, and each day that we allow the people responsible to rule our country, our responsibility grows.

This would of course be quite OK if this blunder was only effecting Iceland, but it is effecting huge numbers of people in the UK. I can understand the anger, and all I have to offer is, my little I am so sorry. A little group of people has been protesting, but it seems so useless, where are the masses who have lost their jobs, their savings, where are they? I honestly don't know.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Diary from the island of extremes II

Who will suffer in Iceland: The working class people are and will suffer. The elderly people, the disabled, the poor, the single parents, the children will pay for this incredible blunder. The rich will still remain rich, the politicians will still have a job.

Many working class people who have been saving a little bit every month have lost big chunks of their live savings. No one knows how much yet. We are still a nation living in suspense of what tomorrow might hold. We are a nation living in fear and the fear is so thick that I can almost taste it. It seeps through my sleep and there is basically nothing I can do or say to make it go away right now, because the wave is so colossal.

People are taking their own lives, people are basically in silent despair and in Iceland you don't show how you feel. In Iceland you bottle up your emotions and put on a brave face no matter if your heart is braking.

Icelanders are a strange bunch of people. Perhaps because we are so few, the elements of the hoard are more obvious here then in other places on this planet. I am puzzled that the people who got us in this mess are still plotting and ruling our country. There is absolutely NO tradition for people to step down from power if they made a mess. The worst thing is that people accept it.

We are a nation in fear - but this fear is not knew. It is integrated in the soul of the nation. I was hoping that this modern day catastrophe would have been the wake up call for my nation. However the only thing we seem to be learning from this fall is that we will just work even harder. People were already working so much here that almost all children were kept in daycare 9 hours a day from age 1 and a half. We have world record in the use of Ritalin for our kids, and despite the fear we claim we are the happiest nation in the world. We claim we are the least corrupt, we claim we read the most, we are the most optimistic. There is something totally surreal about living on this island. This is why I have always left but there is a strange pull that always lulls me back.

I always thought it was the Icelandic nature who pulled me back. In the last few years I have realized that Iceland is the perfect place to do social experiments. I have often become bitterly disappointed in my nation. However I have also realized that because there are so few people here it is so easy to get access to the people in power. Thus it is quite easy to apply changes by simply implanting ideas in the right places. So I have come to see myself as the person who plants seeds, I have no interest to play the political game, I have no interest in fame, I like the concept of planting seeds at full moon.

When they will sprout is impossible to say - all I can do is to carry on planting seeds.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Diary from the island of extremes

The last couple of weeks have been without a doubt the strangest collective times I have experienced during my 40 years on this planet. I am an islander from Iceland. The island now known for going to the extreme of greed and lack of common sense when it comes to consuming. We allowed our newly privatized banks to grow 12 times over our annual budget. That is pretty insane.

Not all Icelanders took part in this insanity - some of us tried to warn the others. Some of us were in the role of ancient oracle Cassandra - we saw the fall but we could do nothing to prevent it. However we have now an unique opportunity to see the fall as the beginning of resurrection.

But right now people are paralyzed with fear of the unknown. People are indeed terrified. Urban legends flood the media because no one really knows what tomorrow will hold. Some people have taken their own lives and some have lost their minds in this short period of time.

People don´t know if they should go and buy as much food as possible - because we have been hearing from the supermarket owners that they can´t get the imports to the island - no one trusts us anymore. No one wants to give us credit or accept our currency.

And so we are reminded that no matter how well educated we are, no matter how much we leaned on the illusion that money was something real, we are still just living on an island. Island that most people don´t even know exist. We live on an island at the end of the world. We are islanders who just recently emerged from turf houses and dirt floors. We are high tech aboriginals of the North.

It feels kind of rough to be kicked by Gordon Brown and so many others in the UK while we are down. But such is the mentality of those that believe in the survival of the fittest to kill the weak one, it comes as no surprise. Brown is drowning in unpopularity and needs to distract the focus from all his failures - what better then attacking a nation of 300.000 who is anyway drowning in their self made misery.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Living at interesting times

The blame game is on. No one wants to claim responsibility for all the grave blunders. The world is in a whirlwind of an economical meltdown. People are starving, loosing their savings, loosing their homes, their work: of course no one wants to be credited for creating such a storm of anger and hopelessness.

Can we who are suffering from these "wrong" choices, take the responsibility, should we? Hell, yes, by all means. I am the marrow of the world, so are you and you and you. We all carry responsibility for allowing the Maya of separation to take root in our minds, for not caring enough, for always looking for ways to look after our own clan, our own nations. The fires burning in other parts of the world of no real concern as long as it is "far" away.

The fires are now burning in pretty much every backyard and this crises should indeed be our wake up call. We HAVE to change the way we place value on external things. There are no rocks to lean on except our internal serenity and grace. Nothing will give us any sense of real security except something we all have within. Sometimes it is hard to find that rock we can on in the rough oceans of life within us, but it is there.

Once I had something external - I lost it - I thought I would loose myself but instead I found myself - I found out how incredible powerful my mind can be, but most importantly I found out how incredible the power of compassion is.

We need to use this time to change our values - if we don´t wake up now, we never will. This is the rupture - it doesn´t come with a big bang but a whimper. The collapse is our core values.
If we carry on the way we have been doing - well then we got no one to blame for the environmental meltdown. Our earth can not sustain us much longer if we carry on the way we have been carrying on - there are too many of us now doing damage with our all consuming consumerism.

Now is not the time for communism, now is not the time for more capitalism, now is not the time for regliousism, now it not the time for egoism - now is the time to forget ism and just be here on this beautiful planet as if it was our last day on it - to honour life - to value life - to respect the gifts we have been given and of course bring about a deep sense of gratitude within us - because despite the odds we got every reason to be optimistic....

I am incredibly thankful for being given a chance to be here and now at these times of transformation - be the change... no one else will do it for you:)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Living in suspense

I have often wondered why I have since I was a kid been given rather harsh live lessons when it comes to great suspense. First big one was when my fathers fishing boat sank and he and his crew were lost on a raft somewhere at the rough North-Atlantic oceans. My mother sitting next to the phone waiting for any news. I knew in my heart he was OK but the fear in the house was thick and nothing we could do, but wait for news of life or death.

Second great suspense to deal with was when my fathers sister and her boyfriend vanished. They were 20, I was 12. My mother wrote a song to a poem titled, "Are you aware that your friend is dying". Rescue teams looking for them, missing peoples reports on the news. But in vain until a week later we got the news they had been found, at the bottom of the harbor in the village I grew up in. Me and mother had just moved to the city. Then was the time of getting the car out of the harbor and during that operation the body of my aunt fell out of it and again there was great suspense while they were looking for the body in the freezing ocean.

Third was my father again. He vanished on Christmas eve without a trace. Again it was the waiting, the fear, the helplessness. Missing persons reports and rescue squats, cops and frantic search and that terrible suspension. I knew he was dead, I felt a string snap in my heart. Finally when the blizzard eased they found his car parked next to a deadly river. He has walked into it but his body has never been found.

Fourth was my husband. He did a copy cat of my fathers mission of suicide. It was quite clear. But the rescue efforts was on full throttle. The biggest rescue mission in Icelandic history at the time. He left a suicide note and was traced to the west of Iceland. But he was not found until five years later. His bones weathered and smooth.

This morning I realized why I had been given these lessons of living in suspense without going quite mad or loosing my integrated sense of optimism. I realized that I was being prepared for the times we are facing on my nearly bankrupted island. For over a week now, I have been having similar fears as when those dear people got lost. I realized that I can perhaps help others who have never experienced suspense on the level we are facing now.

I realized that the greatest tool I have found through the years is so simple that anyone can use it at times like this and it might lift the burden of the paralysing suspense so many people are facing right now.

So what is this way this tool to deal with fear and suspense? Gratitude! This is how I have used it: First I focus on the sensation of gratitude within my heart. I dig for it through focusing on events and people who have brought me joy and opened my heart. Thus I forge this feeling within my heart of gratitude through a real and tangible feeling.

When I am in this space - I start to think of gratitude towards future events. Thus I loosen the grips of fear by transforming the suspense into gratitude.

Now there is no fearful suspense in my heart, only a deep feeling of "everything will be alright."
And so it will be: alright. No matter what I am going through, if I remember to use this method, it somehow transforms the fear.
If you are in fear about your future, you might be in debt over your head or just lost your work. Try to use this simple method. Try to think of everything you can be grateful for, because no one has nothing to be grateful for. We can be grateful for the simple fact that we are alive. We can be grateful for our children, the sun, the gifts this planet has granted us.

I feel a wave of fear washing over humanity - the values are changing. This time is simply the time of change the ancients have been talking about for ages. In dead it might be the greatest time ever, an opportunity for us to shift from I to us.

This morning I am grateful for the fact that I have enough food on my table, I have wonderful children. My path has crossed with so many people who have touched my heart because I have allowed them to. I am thankful for all the hardship and all the opportunities to grow. I am thankful for every second, every living breathing moment. I choose to focus on this gratitude rather then the many "difficulties" I facing.

Remember there are no failures, no scapegoats, no one to blame. Everything is alright, everything is just the way it should be. Ask for the courage to change the things you can change, the serenity to accept the things you can not change and of course the wisdom to know what is what:)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

the grEAT dePression in ICEland

The eARTh is changing - the tIMes are changing

In Iceland our greatest heroes were just a few days ago the newly rich - all of a sudden it became clear they had basically managed to make the incredible economical wonder into the great economical blunder.

I have to admit that I am a little mad. The Icelandic capitalist ruling the country for 13 years gave the banks to their friends for shockingly low prices when they decided to privatize them a few years back. And now when the banks are going bust - our government decided to bail them out in the dark of night without even allowing or discussing it with the rest of the parliament.

Last Friday we got news from the biggest retail companies who also owned the busted bank that they couldn't get foreign exchange to get their imported goods to the island. And one of the oil companies said the same.

Right now all the top of ruling elite and the tops of the government are making an emergency plan how to get this island out of the greatest depression since we got our interdependency. They seem to be keen to do this without the public knowing too much about their schemes.

So the general public in Iceland is left in the dark - speculations thriving - fear taking root as people go on a massive shopping spree - trying to get rid of this economical hangover with the only solution they know... consume more - make more debt.

I am pissed off because this economical blunder is hurting those that couldn´t afford to take part in the economical wonder - who never even got to taste the breadcrumbs falling of the tables of the newly rich and the Icelandic octopus. I knew this all along - I am one of the people who tried to talk about the insanity of the previous situation - I am one of the people who knew that building a massive hydro plant to sell energy to aluminum giants was not going to give us any economical wonders in the long run.

It is virtually impossible to be self sustainable on the island - try to grow some real veggies in an environment of 8 months of winter...

However trying to see positive outcome from this blunder of all blunders in Icelandic economy - one thing is clear. During times of depression - people are more willing to reevaluate their priorities and values. Let us hope that my nation has the courage to face the blues and change this addiction to worthless stuff.