High above me

She’s so high, high above me…

As I mentioned yesterday, I have finished reading Fire Within and legally acquired Life, St Teresa’s autobiography of a sorts. I just barely begun it today.

In seemingly unrelated news, I went to get a much needed haircut. While sitting there, I heard a song that I could not catch the lyrics of, but somehow felt I really wanted to find out. It turned out to be the somewhat misleadingly named “She’s so high” – it actually has nothing to do with drugs. It is obviously about some guy who is befriended by a woman who is superior to him in every measure humans in this world can think of. A song could hardly be less relevant to me, who would not now want to be joined to a human if I could, nor could if I wanted to. I’ve been playing the song like 20 times now. OK, make that 30.

But somehow I can’t believe
That anything should happen
I know where I belong
And nothing’s gonna happen

‘Cause she’s so high
High above me, she’s so lovely
She’s so high, like Cleopatra, Joan of Arc or Aphrodite
She’s so high, high above me…

It amuses me no end. I know it wasn’t meant that way. But why should the Devil have all the good music?

Anyway, I take the company of St Teresa over Cleopatra any day. St Teresa is really awesome! And in this book, she really tries to show herself as a human of flesh and blood, not some saint in the sky with diamonds. It is pretty clear however that the vague sins of her youth are such as most people would consider utterly harmless. That doesn’t say much, of course; most of us are unspeakably coarse.

And that’s what I mean when I say she’s so high, high above me. Like somewhere in the eight dimension or something, I imagine. Anyway, I feel I could not catch up to her in a million years. (This is quite likely true as well.) Why do I even bother? I am honestly not sure.  But it does bother me, like a long forgotten memory triggered by a faint smell, wordless, images too fleeting to catch but a sense of recognition.

Christmas songs again

Chris from the anime Daa Daa Daa throwing a large Christmas tree

I used to pretty actively avoid anything related to Christmas. But…

Last year in December something strange happened: I began wanting to hear Christmas songs. I have never had a strong dislike for them, except the “holiday” songs that are so obviously genericked there is no meaning left, just feel-good words added to feel-good tunes. But I have not in my memory craved Christmas songs before, even in my childhood. Last year at this time I did. And this year it happened again.

What I crave is specifically the good old Christmas songs that my parents and grandparents knew, back when no one was worried that Christmas might offend the various other religions and degrees of lack thereof. Not that they necessarily are all “Hail Jesus”, although that is good too, but some of them are actually only tangentially related to Christmas as such.

There is just something heavenly about a good Christmas song. They feel similar to me as those pious Catholic books I mentioned yesterday. In a world where everything changes all the time, there are some things that deserve to be actively brought along from the past into the future.

This is what real conservatism is, of course, to conserve good things from the great procession of generations that have passed through this life ahead of us. I understand that in the USA, the word “conservative” has gotten a rather different meaning. Well, with the USA holding less than 5% of the world’s population, I’m afraid they can’t be allowed to define my words for me, especially now in the waning years of that once great nation.

So yeah, I guess my enjoyment of Christmas songs far older than I am means I have turned into a kind of conservative. But I am not a full-fledged Christmas conservative. I have no plans to buy a tree and decorate my home and bake cookies and arrange parties. And I may still spend Christmas Day in Skyrim, although it is not absolutely certain. At least Skyrim is sure to have snow! Perhaps I should replace the game’s music files with Christmas songs… Nah. I think some things are better separately.

Now that you have Spotify in America, you can perhaps hear some of my Christmas favorites! I am pretty sure all of these are older than my parents, probably much older. Obviously then, they are in Norwegian. You should still be able to get the feeling from them.

Det Hev Ei Rose Sprunge

Høy og Strå

Fager er Jorda


To quote the main character in the movie The Golden Laws: “I guess… time is really God’s great river of love.” This is just something I connect on my own, it is not endorsed by Sakamoto, as far as I know.

Continuing to think back, I listen to a beautiful Japanese song I have found: “Remedy” by Maaya Sakamoto. (YouTube.) I guess you need to have grown at least a little bit accustomed to Japanese pop to appreciate the beauty of it to the fullest, for they have a less regular structure than western popular music. Lines that are shorter or longer, or occasionally transition from one to the other without a clear break. And they usually don’t have a chorus or refrain, although elements from one verse is often found in another.

Be that as it may, the music is beautiful to me and it evokes memories from my own life. It is almost shocking how I manage to find myself in the first lines. (The translation is a bit creative, but I think it conveys the feeling quite well, so I just quote it straight from the video.)

When I gazed out from over the top of the hill
I was moved to tears by the nostalgia.
The memories I wanted to forget were gleaming back at me.
They are beginning to change;
Even though it is still frightening, I am watching over them.
I will always, always carry into my future
the scars on my heart that cannot be erased,
so that someday
the day will come when I can directly face them…
Touch them and laugh.

My childhood home lies at the base of a mountain. Well, a field lies between the house and the foot of the actual mountain. A narrow path goes up to another, narrower ridge. Then a longer stretch of sheer cliff wall, which I did not traverse alone until puberty, I think. But it was when I was an adult for many years that I came back and climbed to the ridge above that. Behind it is a quiet, shallow valley, green and beautiful, with more mountain behind it.  And from the ridge, I could see my childhood home deep below, and to the left and right of me the village where I grew up, even to glimpse the waters of the sea. It was so beautiful, I wished I could stay there forever.

Like the steep mountains that were always around us, the memories of my childhood have cast shadows over my life, lasting for decades, as I could not see them from above. Not so much my home; it was, all things considered, one of the best I have seen or heard of. Despite the implacable hate I carried toward my oldest brother (and not entirely without reason, seen through human eyes), my home was still a refuge. School, on the other hand, was a nightmare, as were pretty much all social occasions of any kind. I went to Sunday School once, never again. OK, church service on Sunday was OK. I went with my grandmother, and she gave me chocolate when it was time to sing. I loved my grandmother for that and did not realize until after her passing that she had tried to keep me from singing with my terrible, terrible voice, disturbing the whole service. ^_^

But as I said, school was hellish. Well, purgatorial… no. Purgatory is supposed to be a place of hope. My only hope there and then was that somehow my tormentors would die, regardless of whether it was by my hand or not. In either case, I was convinced that not only I, but the world would profit greatly from their demise.

Years later, such a horrifying demise indeed took place for one of them, but I took no pleasure in it. The wounds of my heart had healed to scars, and I learned to live with them and move forward. They were still scars when I stood on that ridge, moved to tears by the beauty and sadness as I saw things from a somewhat greater height. But not high enough.

According to my brother and father, the last time I visited may have been ten years ago. Back then, I felt like a ghost, existing in a different time from everyone around me. Seeing the relationship between my nephews, I still could not emotionally separate it from the relationships of my own generation. I decided to stay away, to not haunt the place any more.

But in my heart I have stood on that ridge again and again, seen the valley of paradise and the shadows of hell.

Only now recently is it that light, bright white light, is shining out through the scars of my soul’s heart.  Only now can I touch them and smile. I know that every fear, every threat and kick and blow, was necessary to forge me into the unique person only I could become. If not for my enemies, I would likely have become socialized, become a mainstream human, and unhappy with it, for that was not my destiny. It would have taken something extraordinary for me to break out of those ruts, out of the chain gang, chained to all the other people. Those blows broke the chains while they were still as weak as wet clay, and I grew up to become free.

Thank you, everyone I feared and hated. You may know who you are, those of you who are still alive. I pray that the Eternal Light will pay you back many times for the help you have been to me, that you may enjoy happiness and brightness in this life and, if you so desire, the next. You really knew not what you did, and probably still don’t. Besides, I was an obnoxious brat, so don’t worry.

When I tried shouting loudly,
I felt the weight slightly lift from my shoulders,
like I had been completely soaked through with pure water.

Isn’t it about time to stop regretting
those things that cannot be redone?
Time will always, always continue,
surrounding and washing away everything.
With tranquility, softly, softly, with these hands
let go of the receding past.


Plumbbobs and chandeliers

Oh, my platinum plumbbob lights up the paintings on my wall…

The plumbbob, of course, is (in addition to an actual real-world tool for finding the direction of Straight Vertical in mines and constuctions) the soul crystal over the head over the small electronic people in The Sims games. Its highest level, the pure white shining Platinum Mood, represent the highest possible level of happiness and contentment. This is how my sims usually live out their later years, and how I usually feel as well.

That seems like useful preface before mentioning that I came across an old country song today, called “Crystal Chandeliers”. Like almost every country song I can think of, it is at the very least verging on the self-pitiful. At least it is better than the Norwegian version, which was the one I could remember. Anyway, I don’t really recommend getting anywhere near country music unless you have a permanent platinum plumbbob of your soul, an unshakable mind, invincible thinking etc, or at least nearly so.

And of course, thinking that you know me, it would be easy for you to read me and a certain someone into that song. After all, I never fit in too well with folks she knew etc etc. But that’s just the way it is – I don’t even fit inn well with the folks I myself know! In fact, I would probably worry if I did.

In any case, the song is pretty, but it is also subtly evil, because it mis-portrays love. Love is not about having expectations of reward, never. Love does not even have expectations about how the other person will behave, even though we would of course want them to Don’t Be Evil (TM). Happiness is different to different people; in part, we are born different, and have different fates.  While there are certain laws of the mind which promote happiness, some people are made for a life of crystal chandeliers, and some for one of plumbbobs. Love only blesses. Love only gives. Love leaves another person with more freedom than than they had before. This is true and essential.


So anyway, now I have this overwhelming urge to name one of my minor characters Kristel Chandlers. Although, knowing the madness that seizes new parents, I am convinced such a person already exists somewhere, probably in America.

A lamentation or three

Toward the Light…

Today I finally got around to installing Wimp, the extremely legal music streaming service from Norway, on a Linux computer. I had it on my smartphone, but the interface is like an old aunt’s attic where just one look makes you decide to search for something later, if at all. The PC interface is better, mainly by virtue of having more space for the clutter.

And then I found that my only playlist on Wimp was now empty. All music by Knut Avenstroup Haugen was gone, without a trace and without a goodbye.

Knut Avenstroup Haugen is a Norwegian composer, in fact he lived for a while in Kristiansand, the city where I work. He is of the classical (non-crazy) school, making actual music rather than the sound of factory machines or kitchen utensils. And he made the sound track for the online game Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures. The game is too evil for me to play in this late stretch of my life, although it certainly showcased the power of the personal computer for gaming. Some of the songs however are in a class of their own. Or at least they are to me.  Three of the songs from the Cimmeria part of the game are lamentations, similar to the classical lamentations once popular in church music, but more direct, more raw, closer to the barbarian dirge which they represent in the game.

Now I probably differ from every one of my readers in my love for a good lamentation. There are few things that can so certainly perk me up if I feel a bit below the top. In all fairness, I used to be immune to sadness for many years and even now rarely feels its touch, even after having recovered it through the mystery of meditation. So this may work entirely opposite in people given to depression. In fact, I suspect it would. But for me, a good lamentation fills me with the joy of beauty. And these are my favorites: ‘Ere The World Crumbles‘, Ascending Cimmeria, and especially Memories of Cimmeria.

They were gone, just like that. Now that is lamentable. I notice that they are also gone from one of the two parent companies of Wimp.no, Platekompaniet. So there seems to be some disagreement, perhaps, between the composer (or the artists, or the publisher) and this particular music chain.

The thought struck me, of course, that maybe Haugen had converted to the One True Faith and retracted all his worldly music. This is the kind of thinking that is never really far from my mind, I guess. Although I have yet to retract all of my worldly entries from my journal.

But the fact that I am right now playing his music on the Swedish competitor, Spotify, kind of goes against the conversion theory.  So I have sent a mail to Wimp and asked for an explanation. Being that they are Norwegian (and labor is extremely expensive in Norway compared to the less successful nations, such as yours) I don’t really expect an answer. Consequently, I don’t really expect to continue to subscribe to Wimp beyond the last month I have already paid for.


Now, a few more words about lamentations. As I said, they may be a bit unnerving for the depressed, and I certainly don’t recommend them for the suicidal, for the precise reason that I love them:  To me, the essential beauty of the lamentation is that it lifts the soul toward Heaven. This was presumably why the genre was originally conceived. The primordial dirge may have been just the senseless keening of the bereaved, but it probably evolved even at the dawn of history – if not before – into a religious function.

After all, by the faith of the earlier ages, at the time of death the soul was evicted from the body, but rarely had much idea of what to do next, nor was it usually motivated to move on. People tended to die young, and often senselessly or brutally, in the midst of their attachment to the material world. Their immaterial part, the soul or spirit or shade or whatever people thought it was, therefore was thought to hang around for at least a while after their demise.

This is where the advanced dirge / early lamentation comes in. As the confused and frustrated soul attends its own wake, probably trying in vain to communicate with its family, the ceremonial singers (and instrument players, if available) begins performing this hair-raisingly beautiful song. The soul is touched by its beauty, and lifted on the power of the music and the implicit prayer, it begins to forget the trivial attachments of the world and rise toward the Light. This, then, is the function of the lamentation: To lift the spirits of all who participate, accompanying the soul of the deceased for a ways on its journey toward the blessed afterlife, whatever that might be in that particular culture.

Or perhaps that’s just me. I am not exactly your average human, I guess even when it comes to music…


Music, books and countries

If you have a PC (or Mac, or Android phone) you can use the Internet to store your music. Actually you can do that anyway – Ubuntu Linux has had this for at least a year – but it is new to Amazon. com. And unlike Ubuntu One, it is for Americans only.

Amazon.com has launched a “cloud drive” service for their MP3 shop. People can save the MP3 files directly to these servers (not actual clouds, luckily) and play them from anywhere. Anywhere in the USA, that is.  Amazon.com does not sell MP3 files overseas, although ironically they sell CDs, which you can then rip and upload to competing “cloud” providers. It’s a good thing sending all those physical objects across the globe does not cause some kind of climate change or anything, since the end result is exactly the same, with the addition of a CD on a landfill.

I think it is safe to assume that the restrictions on export of MP3 files are due to negotiations with the RIAA, the Recording Industry Asses of America or something very similar to that. It bears mention that I have bought several books in electronic form from Amazon, quickly and without hassle, across the Atlantic. This fits with my impression that book publishers may be greedy like the rest of us, but fundamentally sane. The RIAA, on the other hand, systematically comes across as a collective psychiatric basketcase, more exactly organized paranoia. These are the guys, if you remember, who wanted many millions from a single mother for a couple dozen pretty boring music tracks.

Not to sow doubt about their clinical insanity and need for strong medication and straitjackets, but there is a fundamental difference between books and music that may explain their behavior to some small degree. Whereas music has been with us since time immemorial, canned music is a far more recent invention than the written word.  Books, in some form, is a mainstay of civilization. It could even be argued that civilization as we know it would be hard to maintain without them. Certainly a high-level civilization is unlikely to evolve without a lengthy phase of written records.  So basically, we know books, their causes and effects.

And it so happens that people who read books tend to be regarded as civilized. Whether this is cause or effect, or perhaps both, I am not sure.  As a friend likes to quote from The Penultimate Peril: “Wicked people never have time for reading. It’s one of the reasons for their wickedness.” Music, on the other hand, is often seen as loosening the bands of civilization (although this varies with the type of music, I would say.)

It may not always have been exactly like this. During my recent reading of Dante’s Inferno, there was a mention of an adulterous couple who had supposedly fallen in sin by reading a romance novel together, and consequently went to hell as they never repented.  My immediate reaction was “Who the hell would read a romance novel together with someone of the opposite sex if they were not already planning to do that thing?”  But it goes to show that books may once have been viewed with a certain suspicion which is now reserved for more modern technologies.

“I have been here”

“I learned to be kind because of you.” That is how Unlimited Translation Works renders this line from the song “Kimi no mama de” (YouTube link). The line has also been translated as “I was able to be kind because of you”. So anyway, what have you learned or become able to do because of me?

I have been listening several times now to the song “Read my name” (YouTube link) by Chris de Burgh. I have mixed feelings about this song, and those who know me can probably understand why. Here is the chorus and the essence of the song:

I have been here!
read my name, read my name!
With all I’ve got I’ve taken part,
I’ve made a difference to the world.
I have been here,
just read my name!

Chris has mentioned in at least three of his earlier songs a practice of going to the graveyards and reading the names on the headstones there. I get the impression that he considers this a kind of sacred act, as service perhaps both to those who lie beneath those stones and him who doesn’t yet. Because for each such name, there was someone whose life was just as important to them as our life is to us. Someone who dreamed, and tried to share those dreams. Where we are, they have been. Where they are, we shall be. They have been here, just read their names.

I read an article on a Norwegian computer related web site the other day. It said that only a small part of the population used Twitter, and of those who did, only half actually read other people’s tweets. The other half were only interested in sending tweets, not reading them.

My reaction was that this was probably better than in the flesh, where it seems the overwhelming majority are in love with their own voice, and will use most of the time when others speak to prepare their next “message”. In contrast, as I believe my brothers can attest, I rarely have anything to say when I converse with people lately. When they speak, I am listening to them, so I usually don’t have much of a rejoinder when they draw their breath.

Yet even I have my “dance” that I wish to perform in front of the other bees, to tell them where I found my sweet flowers. This is the human condition, I think. (And that of worker bees, or so science says.)  But what does it amount to, beyond “I have been here, read my name”? What is the difference I have made to the world?

2000 years ago, when Jesus Christ lived, there was some 200 to 300 million people in the world. A number of them are still known by name, but even your high school teacher would only know 20-30. To get up to 200-300 (one in a million), without resorting to specific books on the topic, you need a classical scholar. And even then, you don’t get much further.

That is not to say that none of the rest made a difference to the world, a tiny and local difference. And due the “butterfly effect”, history might have been drastically different if one of them had made a different choice one day. But most of those lives kind of canceled out, like the waves of a raindrop hitting the sea on a rainy day. And then there was the depth charge that was Jesus Christ, who set off a tsunami that is still making waves 2000 years later. But how many would have followed his twitter in the year 25, compared to any other random raindrop?

Not so much comparing myself to the incarnate sky-god here, as just reflecting on the scope of things, and how hard it is to say who we are until we are forgotten and only the work we did remains.

Someone else’s theory, put quite simply, is this: The Savior is the light of the great saints. The great saint is the light of the other saints. The saint is the light of the heroes. The hero is the light of the good people. The good is the light of the world. -Details may vary, but in the old days, hierarchy was considered natural, and most thinking people would recognize the expression “the great chain of Being” even if they had not heard it before.

Today, we have democracy, and those who vote depending on the color of someone’s necktie have as much influence as you. Or that is the theory. But it is not quite like that. Well, it may be in elections, but most elections are much less important than people believe. If random people elect other random people, the result will not rise above randomness. And if you cannot rule your own home with wisdom, let us not mention your own body, what will you achieve even if you rise to power or fame? Randomness. Some poor forgotten widow whose feeble life has a single direction will accomplish far more.

By resource or talent I could be a hero, one of a hundred. But apart from a brief spurt of software development, my life has mainly been a raindrop on the sea, so far. Or so it seems to me. But we won’t really know until I am forgotten. As the flesh hides the bone, so does the personal life hide a man’s work. But in time it will be all that is left in this world. (I don’t mean “work” in the sense of “employment”, of course, but accomplishment.)

“Hay and straw”

Despite the rural placement, there is actually no hay and straw in this house. I include it just to show that I do have somewhere to rest my head, unlike a certain someOne.

This December I have been playing Christmas songs almost from the start of the month. Earlier years I have only done this occasionally, at the spur of the moment. I bought a Christmas CD the first year I had a CD player and has played that sometimes, and another Christmas CD with panflute some years later, but generally I have almost ignored Christmas songs, as I have ignored most other things Christmas related. Well, I did spend Christmas with my best friend for many years and superficially took part in their rituals, but mostly just to be nice.

This year, I have had various good old Christmas songs in my head since around the turn of the month. We’re talking about Christian Christmas songs, not the modern secular “please be nice and let us all be happy” Xmas songs which goes out of their way to not mention God, much less Jesus, although Santa Claus is kosher here since the local name does not have anything to do with saints. These songs are gaining prominence here in Scandinavia at least, but they are not on my mind, of course. I am remembering the songs that were classics when I was born. And probably in most cases when my parents were born too, shortly after World War I.

In fact, today I found one song that was almost forgotten. It is not really a Christmas carol, but there is a line that is vaguely Christmas related, so it is on the Christmas CD Julefred (in Norwegian) by Solveig Leithaug Henderson. There is a parallel English version available, in which the Norwegian songs have been translated into English. I recommend it, as she also has a beautiful voice. She sounds just like she looks. Her voice is not really Enya-level, but is very clean and ideally fit for quiet ballads, and Christmas carols without excessive jazz.

Hay and straw (“Høy og strå” in Norwegian) was a song Solveig’s old parents taught her just as it was about to be forgotten. “It is surely well known among people above 90” they told her. Seems like it was snatched from the jaws of oblivion indeed!

I was listening to Christmas songs on Spotify, the (then) European music streaming site. I was searching for Julefred (Christmas Peace) as this is the name of another Christmas album I know of, and this one showed up as well, and had a couple of my old favorites. It was seeming coincidence that I came to hear this one, and immediately paid attention: The melody was very, very familiar. One of my beloved songs from The Christian Church (“Smith’s Friends”, a Norwegian super pious church) uses the same melody. They “borrowed” it from this song – I assume it is safely out of copyright, since that’s shorter here than in the USA – but I had never heard the original until now. I heard it and was greatly moved.

The song is not really about Christmas, but generally about the poverty in which Jesus Christ lived, having nowhere to call his home.

The birds of the sky may have their nests, the foxes in the forest their den; the world’s Savior had no place he called his home on Earth.

Hay and straw was the bedding of his crib, the world’s desert was his resting place. He to whom earth and heaven belongs, wandered here on Earth without a home.

When in prayer he spoke to his father, he went up to the top of the mountain; he who created myriads of stars, for himself he did not build a house.

(From the Norwegian song; the official translation is re-imagined in poetry.)

There is some uncertainty as to whether Jesus actually did own a home, as he lived in Capernaum for a while and there is a reference to “his house”, though it is unclear whether he owned or rented it. In any case, he spent much time on the road and at some point famously mentioned that he did not have anything to rest his head at. So I think the song is justified, whatever the literal facts.

I can’t help but notice that Moses is said to have left his position as Pharaoh’s daughter’s son, choosing instead to suffer with God’s people in the desert for the rest of his life. Elsewhere, Siddhartha Gautama turned his back on a kingdom to achieve enlightenment, and as the Buddha spent his life as a beggar to teach others. Even Lao-Tzu eventually left his library and set off with only a lowly water buffalo, at which point he supposedly wrote the Tao te Ching on request.

I can’t help but think that anyone who wants to save the world from the luxury of their palace or even mansion is unlikely to have lasting success, given the necessity for all these great spirits to venture into the desert. (Not that all of these are equal in my eyes, but you should know that already.) And rarely is this summed up better than in this near forgotten Christmas song: He to whom Earth and Heaven rightly belongs, wandered here on Earth without a home. Well, at least part of the time. ^_^

Paper cutting

Here is one of my best friend… (sometime in the 1990es)

“Kim Larsen is forever” writes the person who has uploaded this YouTube video. That is highly doubtful, but there is a certain amount of time warping inherent in this song. Or perhaps just me.

I was certainly not surprised to hear it again on the bus radio this week.  Not just because it is enshrined as an evergreen here in the Nordic countries, but because the “vocals in my head” have performed it quite a bit recently.

Yes, there is singing inside me most of the time. Have a problem with that? It has been that way for years.  It can be a bit distracting when trying to concentrate on intellectual topics, but usually it is possible to quiet them for a while, although they come back.  Not just the earworm phenomenon (which, incidentally, is not documented in any writing before the age of Edison’s phonograph at the very least, possibly the gramophone.) The vocals in my head are most of the time not related to what I have heard recently, and occasionally related to what I will hear in the near future, as in the example above. Sometimes they are singing songs I have never heard before and will most likely never hear again, unless I record myself playing or singing them, which I stopped doing years ago.

So, the vocals in my head were singing this song, and a bit later I heard it on the radio.  And it made me remember, way back to the early 1980es, around the time when this video clip was originally recorded.

I bought a music cassette (this was before the age of the CD, though it was probably invented). If I remember correctly – I don’t think I wrote about it in my journal – this particular song was the only reason I bought the cassette. I enjoyed it greatly, although I did not agree with it in the least.  There are some songs where the music is good and the lyrics are awful (“Hey Soul Sister” by Train comes to mind) but they lend themselves particularly well to vocals. These should be performed in Simlish, in my opinion.  For you Americans, I suppose Danish does the same thing.  But this song is not actually one of them. The lyrics have power, deep poetry, although they are not true for me.  I knew that even then.

I threw away the cassette after I had a visit by some severely underage friends. Yes, they were kids, and deeply religious kids, and were shocked to find this cassette at my place. If they had been as innocent as they thought, they would not have recognized it. And if they had been as innocent as I, they would not have minded.  But they were innocent in the way kids are, which is different from the innocence you acquire after you have lost your illusions of innocence. And so, for their sake, I threw away one of my favorite songs, although my heart was not in it.

The next time I remember this song is when I got my last kiss, in the mid 1980es. A coworker asked me (insistently)  to join a number of other coworkers for a party at her place. I was set to decline, but a fellow economic conservative whom I liked a good deal was also going, and I did not want to leave her alone among liberals. So I went, albeit with a certain fear in my heart. It was while we danced to this song, the homeowner and I among others, not the conservative – it was while we danced to this song that I got my last kiss, and quite a surprise it was too.

‘So that is why the song made such an impression of me’, I thought back then. ‘Because of what would happen tonight.’ Nothing more happened that night, actually, except that I was attacked at the bus station on my way home and moderately beat up by a random drunk neurotypical.


“Papirsklip” does not mean paper clip, as most Scandinavians would probably translate it. It does not even mean paper cut, as in the ones you get in your fingers when you cut them on sharp paper edges. I have had a lot of those. Rather it means cutting out pieces of paper with scissors, in this case silhouettes.

“When now my world seems cold and desolate
I find comfort in my dearest treasure*
cutting motifs with dreams and scissors
paper silhouettes of the finest sort.”

(*: Min kæreste skat – the vocals in my head habitually pronounce it “min kærestes kat”, meaning I find comfort in my fiancee’s cat. You’d think they don’t take this entirely seriously… Of course, my dearest treasure is very unlike his.)

“Here is one of my father and my mother,
they who gave me to this earth:
Loving kisses and a scent of jasmine,
always sunshine and  ‘my sweetest’*.

(*: term of endearment, roughly like “honey”, I believe, when addressing your child or someone you love very much. Neurotypicals are said to use these, and kisses, spontaneously.)

“Life is long, happiness is short:
Blessed is the one who dares give it away.”

(WTH, Kim Larsen? Even in 1983 I knew that the life is short, but happiness lasts forever. Otherwise, who would dare give away anything, much less their life? Correspondingly, the vocals in my head are transposing the two: Lykken er lang, livet er kort.)

“Here is one of my best friend:
Countless cuts, again and again.
A never finished or completed motif:
Black silhouette of the woman in my life.

Life is long, happiness is short:
Blessed is the one who dares give it away.

Domine et sanctus*…
Domine et sanctus…”

(Latin for “Lord and Holy” [Ghost?], presumably the beginning of a prayer, which would be a hint well taken at this point.)

The rest of the song repeats earlier elements.


Listening to this song repeatedly, I am filled with a subtle sadness. I feel that it describes all too well the life of a large number of people, who live in the upper reaches of the fourth dimension (that is to say, time.) They are capable of realizing that happiness exists, but though it is prized, they cannot hold on to it. Because they don’t have the key to the fifth dimension, self-reflection, they can for the most part of their “long” life only experience happiness by mind-traveling to a happier past or a hoped-for future. Happiness is not a basic building block  of their ongoing life. And yet they persevere. That is admirable, in its own way.

“All this time”

That shadowy figure in your room is not actually shadowy, you just cannot see her, although she can see you. She is actually beautiful and wise, and she is trying to wake you up to the Truth. She is always watching over you with warm eyes, full of hope and love, that she wants you to share with the world.

It was almost bedtime and I was testing the clock radio because this morning my cell phone did not trigger its alarm clock as it should. I got up at normal time anyway, but I may not always be that lucky. So I plugged back in the clock radio from before I got the smartphone. It played a pretty, pretty song. I recognized it, but not completely. It had a phrase that repeated a lot though, so I guessed that was the title of the song. I was right. It was the song “All this time” by Maria Mena.

I was struck by how sweet and light it was, like fluffy low-fat vanilla ice cream. And what I picked up of the text was also amazing to me. Lyrics these days tend to be either trite or indecent or cynical. This… this was like something out of one of Ryuho Okawa’s books. Well, except for the “barefoot and pregnant” quip. Her guiding spirit must have cringed over that one, I imagine. (Not that it isn’t true, necessarily, but it is hardly kind. Or respectful to the barefoot, pregnant women of the world.) It must be what we here call “emergency rhyme”, like you find in doggerel. The rest, though? Sheer sixth-dimensional beauty.

Here is a link to a YouTube video. It is not quite as beautiful visually as I imagined from the song, but still hair-raising in its own way. The more mature looking girl is evidently invisible or at least not quite real to the younger, more casual looking one, but still able to convey her thoughts to some degree – like a guiding spirit! And the unnaturally bright lightning bugs at the end make sense if they symbolize inspiration. So we have a guardian or guiding spirit inspiring someone of extraordinary ability while trying to bring across a message of self-reflection, hope, and gratitude. Whoa.

I don’t know more about Maria Mena than I picked up from a quick search on the Internet. She is born in 1986 and still had (as of last discussions) a boyfriend rather than a husband, so it is almost certain that she is not religious in the sense that I would use the word. Spiritual, almost certainly – postmodern people with accomplishments are spiritual unless they confess to strict apelike materialism.

I don’t expect her other songs to be similar to this. I have not heard any of them yet, but it is obvious from this one that it is a case of inspiration in a pretty much literal sense. Written not so much by her as by her guardian or guiding spirit. That’s why it is superhumanly good – at least to us on a vaguely similar wavelength. Not sure how it feels for ordinary people. I am pretty sure people who love rap etc will suffer pain in their disharmonious souls from something as beautiful as this. (Classical music has proved effective in driving away drug addicts and petty criminals from public places in Britain. Conversely, rap has proved effective in driving me away from record stores before I could buy anything.)

Watching it again, I can also see the more mature woman as the future self of the younger, although they don’t look quite alike enough for that. In either case, the guardian spirit or sister soul is part of the greater self according to Happy Science. Different souls made from the same spirit. (We Christians have some other resources, as you may be aware, but I’m not going to dedicate this entry to Christian theology.) In either case, the exact interpretation is not important and may even get in the way. Just watch it and share in the happiness. Learn it, love it, live it. It is a pretty good introduction to the science of happiness, probably much to her surprise if she ever finds out. With some luck, I am under her radar though. ^_^

Warning: As with all super happy songs and other pleasures, continuous exposure for a long time will use up the happiness neurochemicals in your brain for a while. This is not a joke, the human brain is simply not made for intense joy to go on and on, although how long is too long depends on your baseline level of happiness.