Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Idoldyrkelse og hysteri. / Idolatry and hysteria

Beatles Fans. 1964. Life.
Konserten er i kveld.

En ung jente går nedover gaten. Det er rett etter skolen, og hun må kjøpe noe å spise før konserten. Da ser hun den. Bussen. Den stopper utenfor et hotell, men vent, de skulle da ikke være der nå? Alle sier de dro for flere timer siden! Men der, ut gjennom skyvedørene, kommer han, og den unge jenta opplever noe vi kan kalle en blackout. Plutselig har hun forflyttet seg ca 500 meter, og hun står rett utenfor bussen. Hun aner ikke hvordan hun kom dit. Det er nesten ingen andre der. Bare de som allerede har gått inn i bussen. Og ham. Han står der, snakker til noen, så nær at hun kunne bare ha strukket ut en hånd og rørt ved ham. Men hun kan ikke. Hun er visst lammet. Det er som hun opplever alt utenfor seg selv. Han smiler, går inn i bussen, og den kjører ut på gaten og blir borte. Jenta begynner å gråte. Hun klarer ikke å stoppe. Dette er sterkere enn noe annet hun noensinne har opplevd.

Noen få år senere er hun helt alene i en storby i utlandet. Hun har kommet for å se  og høre ham. Hun sover på et heller tvilsomt herberge, og hun har vært på den samme konserten to kvelder på rad nå. Denne andre gangen, klarte hun å komme seg inn bak scenen etter konserten, da vaktene ikke fulgte med. Hun må snakke med ham. Hun er helt nødt til å snakke med ham. Hun holder seg stille og rolig, prøver å gli inn blant alle VIP-ene, mens øynene hennes scanner rommet rundt seg. Noen sier han er i dusjen, at han skal komme snart. Hun tror hun skal besvime, og da, med ett kjenner hun et par sterke hender som tar tak i henne. Det er en vakt. En enorm, ikke-smilende vakt som halvveis dytter henne, halvveis bærer henne helt ut.  Ydmykelsen over å bli behandlet som en kriminell blander seg med sorgen over å komme så nært, for så å miste alt. Jenta er helt knust. Hun klarer ikke å stoppe å gråte. Hun blir stående utenfor konserthallen til bilene har passert. Bilene med sotede vindu. Han var i en av dem, selvfølgelig, og nå, når det går opp for henne at det virkelig er over, helt over, da gråter hun verre enn hun trodde var mulig. Hun er så fortvilet at det ikke en gang faller henne inn å være redd, Det er mørkt, midt på natten og hun er alene i en storby i utlandet. Litt etter sitter hun og gråter i en nesten tom vogn på undergrunnsbanen. En annen passasjer bøyer seg bort til henne med et papirlommetørkle. "Ingenting tørker så raskt som tårer", sier han og smiler til henne.
Hun er for ung til å forstå de ordene.

Jenta var meg. Og det første idolene var guttene  i A-Ha, konserten i Trondheim. Det andre idolet var Roch Voisine, kanadisk artist, og konsertene var i Paris.
Alt hysteriet rundt Justin Bieber fikk meg til å huske disse hendelsene i dag. Og selv om han for meg bare er en tenåringsstjerne, så forstår jeg dem så godt, alle disse jentene.
Selvfølgelig gjør jeg det.
Men, jeg håper det går bra med dem, at de kommer trygt hjem igjen.

Beatles fans. 1964

The concert is tonight.

A young girl is walking down the street. It's just after school, and she needs to pick up something to eat before the concert. Then she sees it. The bus. It stops outside a hotel, but wait, they're not supposed to be there right now, are they? Everybody says they already left hours ago! But, there, out through the automatic, gliding doors, he emerges, and the girl experiences what we can call a blackout. Suddenly she has moved about 500 metres, and she stands just in front of the bus. She has no idea how she got there. And there is hardly anyone else. Except for the ones who just entered the bus. And him.  He is standing there, talking to somebody, so near that she could just reach out a hand and touch him. But she can't. She is paralyzed, or so it seems. He smiles, enters the bus, and it takes off onto the street.
The girl starts to cry. She just can't stop. This is  the strongest experience in her life so far.

A few years later she is all by herself in a big, foreign city. She's come her to see and hear him. Sleeping in a questionable hostel, she's been to the same concert two nights in a row and this second time, she was able to hang out and sneak in backstage afterwards. She has to talk to him. She absolutely needs to talk to him. She keeps quiet, tries to blend in with the VIP-people, while her eyes are constantly searching for him. Somebody says he's in the shower. He will be there soon. She is about to faint, and then, a pair of very strong hands seizes her. It's a guard. A big, non-smiling guard, who half pushes her, half carries her outside. The mortification of being treated like a criminal blends with the grief of coming that close - and lose everything. The girl is devastated. She can't stop crying. She's outside the huge concert hall, it's in the middle of the night, and she is all alone in a big, foreign city. She stays until the cars have passed. The cars with the blackened windows. He was in one of them, of course, and now, now that she realizes it's over, really over, she cries harder than she thought possible. She's so crushed, that it doesn't even occur to her to be scared to be all by herself. Shortly after, she is in the subway, sits in the wagon, crying her eyes out. Another passenger bends over, handing her a tissue. "Nothing dries sooner than tears" he says and smiles to her.
She's too young to understand those words.

The girl was me. And the first idols were the boys in the Norwegian band A-ha, the concert was in Trondheim, Norway. The second idol was Roch Voisine, Canadian artist, and the concerts were in Paris. I came to think of these things today, because of all the hysteria about Justin Bieber, another canadian artist, which these days are performing in Norway, and young girls all over the country are falling to pieces.  
To me, he's just another teenage pop star, but I  totally get them, these girls. 
Of course I do. 
But, I really hope they stay safe...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Playing with Piglets

One evening during the Easter Holidays  (which lasts for 9 days here), I went with my two youngest children to visit a pig farm. They got to hold the newborn piglets and play with the older ones.
We learned that pigs are friendly and very curious animals, and the kids had a wonderful time, even after 1 1/2 hours they didn't want to leave.

Photo: Knut Bøckmann Lund

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Walking on Water

We live next to a rather big lake. Norway's largest, actually.

The winter has been very cold, and by March, the ice on the lake was solid enough to be walked on.

This Easter we decided to try crossing the lake on foot, on a trail shoveled by some kind of vehicle,  and it took about an hour to get all they way to the other side, and back again.

With the weather being just gorgeous, with warmer temperatures (relatively speaking that is :-)) , and a great blue sky above us, it really was  a walk to remember, I just had to try not thinking about the fact that I was walking on top of a 1594-foot-deep lake...

Egg Hunt in Waist Deep Snow...

Well, yes. These pictures were taken Easter Sunday, March 31th. Jonatan was really worried that the Easter Bunny wouldn't be able to come here because of all the snow, so he was pleasantly surprised when we returned from church and realized that there were Easter eggs hidden in the snow all throughout our back yard...

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda (book review)

Finished this book today: Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. This time I actually read the Norwegian translation: Indias Datter (Juritzen Forlag).
The story had me hooked from page one, when a newborn baby girl is killed by her father... 
It's about India and it's about family. About adoption and cultural differences. About love and grief.
I really loved it, and to me it's a good book when you realize that the characters start to mean something, they matter, and you care about what happens to them.

There are a few errors concerning India, both culture- and language-wise, but to me that didn't ruin the whole. I can recommend the novel as a good read, and as a therapeutic means to understand some of those complicated strings that connect family members.

A quote: 
"At some point, the family you create is more important than the one you were born into."

Monday, April 1, 2013

Snowy Spring

Last day of the Easter Holidays, and we're having friends over. The calendar says April 1st and that would usually mean spring, but our backyard is still filled with snow...The kids love it, though,  and since the weather is warm(er) and sunny, they're having fun out there, playing, building, chasing the cat, who finally seems to  have accepted this cold, white stuff under her paws.