Author: Portable Door

 

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Gdynia i zakamarki

Moje miasto w 2026 będzie miało 100 lat. Jest młode, jest szczególne, pełne zakamarków znanych i nieznanych. Jestem w odwiedzinach w domu urodzenia, na Skwerze Kościuszki. Głównie dla siebie samej i duńskich przyjaciół i nieznajomych – wybieram trzy specjalne miejsca w Gdyni, które są ważne i fascynujące, dla mojej własnej historii, ale też historii Wybrzeża i całej Polski.


[ Min hjemby bliver i 2026 100 år gammel. Den er ung, den er speciel og fuld af skjulte skatte – kendte som ukendte. Jeg besøger mit fødested i Skwer Kościuszki. Her vælger jeg – hovedsagelig for mig selv samt mine danske venner – tre specielle steder i Gdynia, som er vigtige og fascinerende for ikke kun min egen, men også hele Polens historie. ]

 

Jest piątkowy wieczór. I znowu natykam się na artystów. Przypadkowo. Czy to Gdynia, Gdańsk, Pisa/Lucca czy Kopenhaga. Dziękuje ci, prawo przyciągania, czy kimkolwiek jesteś. Kolorujesz mi szarość zwątpienia w kolory.

Ja tylko chciałam przejść szybko przez Muzeum Miasta Gdyni, żeby znaleźć to ostatnie miejsce: ‘Moje miejsce #3’. Ale zamiast tego znalazłam pogłębioną historię Mojego Miejsca #1:  unikalny album przedstawiający społeczność polsko-duńską przy budowie Portu w Gdyni!


Det er fredag aften. Jeg løber ind i kunstnere. Tilfældigvis. Igen. Uanset om det er Gdynia, Gdańsk, Pisa / Lucca eller København. Tak, ‘law of attraction’! – eller hvem du er. Du farver min verden når den bliver grå af tvivlen og trætheden.

Jeg ville bare flyde hurtigt gennem Gdynia Museum for at finde det sidste: ‘Mit favorit Sted # 3’, men i stedet for, fandt jeg en fordybet historie om ‘Mit favorit Sted # 1’:  et unikt fotoalbum der præsenterer et polsk-dansk samfund under byggeriet af Gdynia Havn! ]

 

A potem szybko zamknęli wystawę i kazali zejść na dół na wernisaż: Dorota Nieznalska i jej ‘Przemoc i Pamięć’. Spontaniczny skarb. Ale ja nie chcę opowiadać o II wojnie światowej. Te historie żyją we mnie żywo odkąd byłam mała. Gdybym miała wspomnieć II wojnę światową, podzieliłabym się raczej artykułem Jenefer Coates ‘Bearing Witness‘ o Leopoldzie Łabędź, który znalazłam w ciekawym, międzynarodowym projekcie aktywistyczno-literackimLeopard

 

 

Ale wracając do Gdyni… [ Men tilbage til Gdynia… ]

Moje miejsce #1  Port Gdyński

Gdynia powstawała równolegle z portem w latach 20ych XX wieku. Gdynia została wybrana jako miejsce nowoczesnego, głównego portu na Wybrzeżu… i tak stała się też miastem w 1926. Nowy port był alternatywą dla Portu w Gdańsku, który po zakończeniu I wojny Światowej stał się ‘wolnym miastem’ i należał do Legii Narodów. Więc port Gdyński stał się portem całkowicie polskim.

Dopiero teraz dowiedziałam się, że budowa była we współpracy z Duńczykami.


Mit favorite Sted #1  Gdynia Havn

Gdynia blev oprettet sideløbende med havnen i 1920erne. Selv om den blot var en lille fiskerlandsby, blev den valgt som fundament for en moderne, og Polens eneste, havneby på Østersøkysten … og sådan blev Gdynia til en by i 1926. Den nye havn var et alternativ til havnen i Gdansk, som efter afslutningen af første verdenskrig blev en »fristad« og tilhørte Folkeforbundet. Gdynia Havn kunne til gengæld kalde sig for en fuldstændig polsk havn.

Først nu opdagede jeg, at havnekonstruktionen blev til i samarbejde med danskerne. ]

 

 

Jozef Walaskowski i Magdalena Walaskowska

Józef i Magdalena Wałaskowscy zaczęła w 1925 pracować dla Duńskiej firmy Højgaard & Schultz, zatrudnionej przez polski rząd do budowy Portu w Gdyni.  [ Józef og Magdalena Wałaskowscy begyndte i 1925 at arbejde for det danske firma Højgaard & Schultz, ansat af den polske regering til at bygge Gdynia Havn ]

 

 

 

gdynia port fotografie Walaskowski Dania

Aparat Józefa Wałasowskiego i szczególny album – pasja fotografowania procesu budowy portu w Gdyni i codziennego życia społeczności polsko-duńskiej w okresie międzywojennym. (Muzeum Miasta Gdyni) [ Józef Wałasowskis kamera og et specielt fotoalbum – han var passioneret omkring at fotografere de lokale menneskers hverdag i perioden, hvor Gdynia Havn var beboet og blev bygget af et lille polsk-dansk “samfund” i mellemkrigstiden. (Gdynia Museum) ]

 

Polska-Dania Gdynia port swieta bozego narodzenia

Polsko-duńska celebracja Świąt Bożego Narodzenia w Gdyni, lata 20ste. [ Polsk-dansk fejring af jul i Gdynia, 20rne ]

to miejsce jest mi drogie, bo …

moje dwie miłości pływają/żeglują … a teraz też sama mam własną łódź. Poza tym porty są oknami na świat…

Moje miejsce #2  Muzeum Emigracji

Jest imponujące, leży w sercu Dworca Morkiego, skąd przez dziesiątki lat odpływały polskie transatlantyki. Jest podróżą w czasie, która łączy stare archiwa z inspirującymi wizualizacjami, pokazując historię polskiej emigracji na przełomie setek lat… i różne jej formy. Ludzie wyjeżdżali w poszukiwaniu pożywienia lub wolności, inni byli wygnani z kraju albo dobrowolnie wyemigrowali dla zawodowego spełnienia za granicami, jescze inni zamierzali zarobić i wrócić… albo nigdy nie wrócić.


Mit favorite Sted #2  Emigrations Museum

[ Museet er imponerende og ligger i hjertet af Gdynia Havn, hvorfra polske transatlantiske skibe sejlede i årtier. Det er en tidsrejse, der kombinerer gamle arkiver med inspirerende visualiseringer, og samlet danner et billede af den polske emigrations-historie – i dens forskellige afskygninger – gennem århundreder. Folk forlod Polen af jagt efter mad, overlevelse eller efter frihed, andre blev udvist fra landet eller af professionelle årsager frivilligt emigreret til udlandet, mens andres intention var at flytte, tjene penge og så returnere … eller måske aldrig komme tilbage. ]

 

Muzeum Emigracji; Gdynia
to miejsce jest mi drogie, bo …

sama jestem Emigrantką. I nie wyjechałam ani dla miłości ani dla pracy, ale dla znalezienia i wyrażenia siebie w nowym kontekście, który od pierwszego wejrzenia wydał się właściwy, potem stał się domem… (“home is where you can express yourself”)

 

 

Moje miejsce #3  z Kamiennej Góry na plażę

Kamienna Góra to naturalny punkt widokowy na Gdynię (52 m n.p.m.), najmniejsza i najdrożsża dzielnica Gdyni. Czarująca. Stamtąd zabrałabym cie na spacer prosto na plażę. To Zatoka Bałtycka. Od pełnego morza “chroni” ją Hel (półwysep) – tam też jest ciekawie! – jak często bywa z “rozdrożami” – i warto popłynąć tam rejsem.


Mit favorite Sted #3  fra Kamienna Góra til stranden

[ Kamienna Góra er et naturligt udsigtspunkt på Gdynia (52 m.o.h.), det mindste og dyreste kvarter i Gdynia. Charmerende. Derfra ville jeg tage dig med en tur ned til stranden. Ved den Baltiske Bugt. ‘Hel’ (halvøen) – den lange men snæverste del af landet – “beskytter” bugten fra det Baltiske Hav. Hel er en smuk lille naboby det kan kun nåes gennem havet og den – ligesom mange andre steder på “crossroads”,  har et speciel “vibe”. Det er det værd at tage færgen derover fra Gdynia. ]

Gdynia 1925

lato, Gdynia, lata 20-ste [ sommeren, Gdynia, 1920rne ]

Gdynia; port Gdynski; plaza

pocztówka do Dani [ postkort til Danmark ]

widok z Kamienej Gory; Gdynia

widok z Kamienej Góry [ et udsigt fra Kamienna Góra ]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

to miejsce jest mi drogie, bo …

tu się wychowałam, nauczyłam pływać, a z Kamiennej Góry zjeżdżałam na sankach.

 

 

References and sources (of images and stuff)

http://www.polska1.pl

https://www.facebook.com/groups/planmiastagdynia/

http://www.muzeumgdynia.pl/

Wikipedia

Lesbos

 

It all was experienced this spring. I write about my very personal perspective on Lesbos island first now, during waning summer – as other things needed to be experienced, too. Very different things, like also very different angles of nature-culture-crisis-beauty formed a rich “dance” of my month-long stay in Greece…

 

What I went for, how I arrived

Oh, of course! I forget you need a bit of background facts (cause otherwise I’d jump straight to cores and nuances, well..):

5 first days on my own, Greek people and places have always won my heart, when I entered my hotel room I cried – so happy it felt. I think it was the old beautiful man from the reception – after I said who I am – he just said “I know” with his incredible low masculine voice (I soften immediately…)

 

After that I joined an organization dedicated to rescuing refugee boats from Aegean Sea once they manage to reach European waters.

And to giving medical care and translation in Moria Camp.

And to supporting refugee families living in Kara Tepe camp, waiting for ‘green light’ to be transferred elsewhere in Greece/wider Europe to try building often destroyed lives from scratch: we took care of washing service and children activities.

 

 

Who inspired me

My first inspiration and inner drive to go to Greece and help was my Danish friends that were there in 2015. After 3 years, when – after turbulences and the 180° shift in life direction – I had a window open for a longer travel during the winter, it suddenly came to me that now is the Time: I dropped my exotic plans and bought a ticket to Lesbos.

These Danish friends are since then continuing their artistic activism in form of Other Story – a project giving voices to real people that carry deep stories in transition.

 

 

I can say it has been the weirdest job I’ve ever had

My week could look like that (4+2+1=7 …and a bit of extra moments stolen from time):

4 night shifts of boat spotting on Katia Hill, always with a partner, staring at the empty, dark Aegean Sea in case a refugee boat arrives and needs help. Life stories. Wind. Weird aliveness. Doubt. Happiness. One time real anger – expressed -> transformative, leading to the deepest lucid dream I’ve ever had in my life.

2 shifts in Kara Tepe camp with refugee children activities.

1 day off. Overall richness. Incredible amount of contrasts.

 

Children in the Kara Tepe camp were sweet and rough, curious, playing eagerly, learning eagerly, fighting eagerly. We had a language barrier, which – like with love encounters across borders – flipped us to another level of presence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second and last boat landing that I took part in. Early morning, me and another volunteer needed to come back, we forgot some equipment on the boat. I told her I needed to stay a bit longer on my own, not coming back to the house. Abandonded life jackets and various things one apparently grabs for a survivor’s night. 44 people came with this boat. It’s an ‘everyday life’ situation.  **) Aegean Boat Report provides official reports on refugee boats arriving on Greek islands, day after day

 

 

The organization I joined had leadership that I trusted, that inspired me, their ethics, overview and there-for-you attitude towards so many people they needed to interface with! Here during boat and rescue training.

I think leaders are so important, cause volunteers are almost by default a treasure. They come cause they have something important stirring on their heart. Leaders set the tone, inspire and influence by leading by example. That’s what I experienced through them and feel very grateful for. They provided fun, depth and hope. That’s a lot to receive from someone working so hard voluntarily!

 

…and off times, with funny, wonderful people

and old Greek restaurant I kept coming back to…here with a friend

here by my favourite cafe and concert spot ‘Bobiras’

 

 

 

 

“Idyllic” Lesbos – a new form of deep tourism

So much on one little island! All this beauty and weird contrasts all over street corners and nature makes Lesbos now, I think, an extremely rich and interesting place to be, work and live for a while or longer. International culture of very diverse people from all over the world

…on a mission to help,

                                    experience real life in transition,

                                                                                       “(re)humanize” stories:

                                                                                         stories heard from media,

                                                                                         stories incomplete,

                                                                              stories distorted by stereotypes or lack of knowledge

I met people, of course – that continue telling important stories about refugee situation after coming back to their homelands. I’d like to link especially to two of them I’ve met and shared a lot with while volunteering:
meet Tirej
read Anna
and Guardian on empathy (through close stories) vs apathy (in “abstraction”)

 

 

Oh, speechless now ! : I am still in the process of creating this blog (unpublished)…and I just heard the breath-taking news that these NGO leaders were arrested by Greek Police!

https://www.facebook.com/sean.binder.39?ref=br_rs

https://www.facebook.com/ioanna.sch/posts/10216893874969802

 https://www.facebook.com/hahmad1996/posts/10214125541505437

 

 

 

the whole PAST-PRESENT-FUTURE cycle

From scary past stories, to positive present experience to heartbreaking news of the future

(that is happening now)

I went to help 3 years after hearing…

 

… Lesbos stories from 2015 :

…that there’s boats with scared, life-risking refugees flooding to the shores of Lesbos from all possible sides, while there’s too few NGOs and almost the whole humanitarian burden lies in hands of independent volunteers

…that NGOs that are there often compete instead of collaborating with each other

…that refugees freeze, cause it’s winter and there’s bottomless need for warm clothes and especially shoes…never enough for all

 

Great generalisation, I knew it – glued together from random stories and stereotypes – therefore I needed to see with my own eyes. But I WAS prepared… to have a deeply transformative experience, a wake-up call, a sort of close confrontation with tough reality that is far from the world I got used to experiencing in everyday Denmark.

So I was scared to go. Yet ready to be skaken-awoken! The winter was piercing cold in Copenhagen when departuring.
But my experience on Lesbos 2018 was surprisingly positive. It gave hope more than it took away hope.

 

my Lesbos story from 2018 was :

…tourism deteriorated – as my taxi driver was so bitter about – but a new „humanitarian” tourism blossomed, creating extremely rich, unique on the island that I have not experience any other place

…there is so many different NGOs right now helping with boat rescue, education, collaborative arts, medical and psychological help

…thanks to collective international efforts, huge warehouses with clothes and all other stuff for distribution was so full that we didnt know what to do with all that

…I was so impressed by my leaders of an organization I volunteered for. Professional, generous, considerate with huge overview and thorough in providing both lifeguard- first help- and ethical approach-training even to volunteers that were staying for merely 3 weeks. Leaders also working voluntarily, staying over a year

…I was impressed and touched by the level of collaboration of different groups and institutions how they coexisted with respect towards each other even though they had different interests and roles to fulfill. And here I do not only mean different NGOs exchanging knowledge, support, organizing joint trainings. I saw – and it was especially visible during boat-landing – where NGOs, police and official medicals from Lesbos were taking action together

 

So I was very surprised hearing a couple of weeks ago that my NGO leaders were arrested! Suddenly humanitarian help became criminalized.
I don’t know what to do or say.
Besides that I just need to share this. And I know they are innocent. I was there.

 

… and how can I say this in the best way?: 

that the whole refugee crisis is so complex that it is unfair to point fingers at any party, actually, without deep (and dynamic!) investigation.

 

I mean it. I feel very strong about that.
I was impressed by the Greek police, I was imporessed by doctors that were coming when we called cause there were 2 deeply pregnat women in terrible condition with advanced hypothermia. They came to save lives even though they never signed up for that: their mission was service to people on Lebos, suddnely there is thousands more. And capacity of hospitals and other resources the same.

Yes, I was there – and many wonderful others – to help people in need, basic instinct, like I imagine doctors do, human-to-human emergency finds no discrimination!
But I do not have an answer how to handle streaming of people in need fleeing to Europe.

Everything has consequences. Everything. Cause elements are (inter)connected…

 

 

on pendulums, metamodernism, art and “opening” abandonded places

one…two…three…go!…back…

A two-hour sleep before my early departure to Massa in Italy gave me a nightmare: being pushed&pulled by a man, bodily, not getting really hurt, but tossed around to state of subtle, but constant unrest, alertness (of danger) that is never to stop – all that is  called ‘violence’ – I never knew before – until I felt it vividly in this subconscious world.

After landing in Pisa, I heard from a he-host that what I booked and paid for is actually a tent – and not a double-room bed. I felt lonely. I cancelled with despair. I lost some money. I dropped Massa …and bought a “blind destination” ticket to Lucca. It felt good…as if being finally freed from that nightmare that already started in my sleep before leaving pre-sunrise Copenhagen.

After some hours of couch-surfing search and going through charming Italian streets, I felt lonely and tired (or too old for such a lifestyle?) – as if I’ve exhausted my magic bubble – that I used to create by daring to trust the unknown (places, random encounters).

Can it be – I thought – that higher self-esteem combined with more craving for stability is actually a sabotage to experiencing life? Am I less able to open a portable door* than before when youth and confusion made me blindly play with fire?

*have you read “Kafka on the shore”? ‘Portable door’ has lived in me as a unique concept, but Murakami (via Nakata’s stone) inspired me to put words on the inexpressible…and find the Word

Now my heightened awareness of steps and motivations… and what I want

Now having all more figured out

Now…               less randomness. more direction. and “filtering”. less waste

Now afraid of dark sides of good development

 

Suddenly I stopped, walked left passing a gate of art – something art {art as the only saviour of ‘limbo’ situation, art the lessest evil}.

An exhibition-talk about architecture …and pendulums. Pendulums! – the recent greatest totem in my inspiration pool. Pendulum-Sisters Academy. Pendulum-Metamodernism*. Pendulum-meaning-to-be.

*have you heard and thought deeper about Metamodernism?
there they explain the metamodernism concept through the ‘pendulum’ metaphor. Metamodernism was “thaught” to me by my student in Sisters Academy. It was a relieving kind of revelation – after feeling quite misplaced wherever I thought deeper about postmodernism, it suddenly felt home, relevant. Metamodernism is me. Postmodernism is not (the more you get the pendulum image, he more you’ll also forgive this simplification 🙂 ). 

The use of the prefix meta here derives from Plato’s metaxis, describing an oscillation and simultaneity between and beyond diametrically opposed poles. (…)

As Vermeulen and van den Akker put it, metamodernism’s oscillation should not be thought of as a balance; “rather, it is a pendulum swinging between 2, 3, 5, 10, innumerable poles. Each time the metamodern enthusiasm swings toward fanaticism, gravity pulls it back toward irony; the moment its irony sways toward apathy, gravity pulls it back toward enthusiasm.”

 

Riccardo is a collector of ancient to modern pendulums. They used to be used for construction/architecture, medicine and art. And much more, but it requires a more nerdy insight or more innocent imagination. I am really looking forward to visiting his cellar in Pisa…

These engineers/artists took me for an authentic dinner in Lucca and then on the road towards Pisa…the crooked tower is adorable I would say only in the night- enchanting street music for almost non-audience, illuminated architecture, hoses spraying sun-tired grass. That was my second – after 8 years – and most unexpected couch-surfing experience.

 

Spaghetti Carbonara lunch at home…over which I hear from Guido about an old special building in Pisa once upon a time squatted by artists that broke in and decided to do art there. I decide to go for a mediation event.

Theatro Rossi Aperto …

I enter and there’s a theatre performance by elementary school – ‘they really wanted to do it!’ – I hear. So they are welcome to do it at Theatro Rossi Aperto. I am welcome. I don’t have to pay cause it already started a half an hour ago. I am so “taken” by those sincere funny, unproffessional brilliant kids

…and the context, cause the theatre space is amazing! Old, ghostly, aesthetics of abandonment and revival through rebellious souls with visions and hundreds of voluntary work.

They don’t have much, but they have abundance!

That is what – along with serendipity in Lucca, pendulums and passionate kids occupying this occupied theatre – bring me straight back on track – which I have feared I had lost.

I receive a kind reminder that:

magic is not lost with age and direction

portable door can open anytime

doing things purposelessly + with no guarantees is the art of being

 

That busy generous man gave me and one italian a private guided tour throug the upper levels and ceilings of Theatro Rossi. I learned the theatre was soooo old. It has been closed and abandonded for more than 40 years. It was activated 6 years ago by squatters that do this amazing job and are richly ignored by local authorities of Pisa and richly recognized by regional Toscanian authorities. And by those kids… And my me and many more.

This Lucca -> Pisa experience revived me big time and reminded of:

~ years of performance&activism work with  Club de la Faye and how extremely transformative our efforts have been for the few… or more

~ abandonded places with spirit, craving to be given love and attention… then the magic happens (or portable door can open)

how many invisible individual and collective burning initiatives and unmeasurable treasures there exist! 

~ there’s something extremely important with my alternative ways of being…and NOW is the time to continue and bear fruits instead of doubting…

 

The man from the “squatted” theatre said something I won’t forget: that the mission is not to have squatted Theatro Rossi. But to open Theatro Rossi (Aperto means ‘open’ in Italian).

Thank you. Tomorrow I’m leaving Pisa to go to Elba island with my mother. I can hear her calm breath falling asleep – live two meters away – that experience only happens 3 times a year. I embrace…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trash, my treasure

Min kære ven,

jeg har samlet lidt vejledning til hvordan du sorterer i Københavns Kommunen. Det vil gøre mig og miljøet så saftigt glad hvis du starter på at sortere derhjemme/i din institution. Det hele sorterings infastruktur har længe været klar i din gård – just start co-playing with me!

Og nej, sorterede skrald bliver IKKE blandet sammen alligevel til sidst. Det er en dårlig myte der for nogle mennesker er en undskyldning for overspringshandling.

{**vær sød og tålmodig med mit dansk, jeg har ikke overskud til sprogelig perfektionisme i den sag her. 
Billederne og tekst kommer fra offentlige sider}

BIOAFFALD/KOMPOST

– et nyhed der bruger og ikke brænder madrester. Hånd i hånd med ‘Stop Mad Spild’ kampagnen og så smager folke køkken endnu bedre –

 

PLAST (nu hård plast og ren blød plast kan blendes)

 

METAL (Så ren skal METAL være: ligesom PLAST)

 

PAP

Papir og pap må ikke blive blandet.

 

PAPIR

 

ARC {amager resource center} er en integreret del af byens kredsløb. De omdanner affald til energi, næringstoffer og nye materialer.

 

 

Jeg er lige ved at “indrette” to køkkener med affaldsorterings system. Også dit? Det er en tjeneste.

 

Og her* underviser jeg folk i ‘hvad går hvor?’ i den svenske context (brug de guidelines ikke i Danmark men du kan spørge mig, jeg ved meget).

Og min kjole er også “recyckled”…

*Sisters Academy, Malmo 2015

 

Og der er mange kreative projekter inspirerede og fødrede af TRASH:

 

Guldminen

Vasbygade Genbrugsstation huser Guldminen, som er et laboratorium, for udvikling af nye måder at genbruge, upcycle, reparere, redesigne og distribuere udvalgte genbrugsmaterialer.

Afleverer du dit sortere affald på Vasbygade Genbrugsstation, kan det indgå i Guldminens arbejde for direkte anvendelse og nytænkning af ressourcerne via direkte genbrug som et alternativ til en tung genanvendelses proces.

interactive frames, labels and mirrors

I want to write, talk and create interactive experiments about love and sexuality. And I have also. For many years. And do you know what makes me now write, talk and experiment more?

Finding my form of expression. The right frame to relax and unfold in. Do you recognize? Now for example I need a good song in my ears…just to stay on the track of inspiration.

**  Gabriel Yared “Betty Blue”

 

Now retracking again from musical digressions.

So I’ve long been self-exploring and collecting others’ stories on love and sexuality. During casual talks, formal settings like conferences, workshops, or improvised – during spontaneous interviews and in art contexts.

I’ve gathered plenty of stories, most of them unshared – probably because there’s too little of the last kind of sharing: the improvised, unpolished. Just us and our friend “here and now”. I must admit that that is also what opens my body and mind the most – using time on acting and not on planning.

 

(w)Hole's tableaux

I want to write about interactive frames, labels and mirrors.

**  I painted those walls blue and peach before I saw “Betty Blue”. The resemblance hit me strongly.

 

There were three of us in the room. Amber, Dreamcatcher and (w)Hole – in my tableaux in Sisters Academy.

 

She calls herself ‘asexual’.

He is very sexual and in a relationship with an ‘asexual’ woman.

Me in between and not a big fan of labels, still using them a lot… and breaking them again.

 

Recently for the first time I’ve met a person that identifies herself as ‘asexual’. And I realized that she could help me understand my own sexuality.

But most of all I realized that labels are tricksters that nevertheless serve us well… to both connect and disconnect from people.

 

So we gathered.

We shared stories and experiences.

… without a clear form or purpose, only learning by doing. There unexpected treasures surface – I know that, I’ve tried that many times, I became really good at that (but how the hell will I explain such a way of working in a job application? – forgive another digression, but I really want to work with people that understand and treasure this!).

Learning and sharing in the art context – that’s my answer. That’s also what happened this time. And that’s the foundation for this blog post: sharing different embodied perspectives to understand ourselves better through others. The topic was love and sexuality. But as any deepening process, it often turns out that it’s also about something completely different.

 

I’m inviting you to more feel than analyze. This is not a structured journalism. Find your personal red thread in what makes you tick.

I find it in our words and voices, that’s why I quote a lot, more than I comment.

 

when one is “asexual”

Me: She opened a window to a completely new (and rich!) world for me, a world different from the one I had been taking for granted – and that my interests and self-development have been – to a great extent – based on. To be gradually becoming a confident and conscious sexual being – for health, for wholeness, as a powerful form of communication. I have met people (He) that naturally are more sexually open. I have not met many that do not have such interest (She) and whose life seems so rich anyway.

She: “It’s a bit strange to live in the world where people put so much importance to sexuality, it’s a bit mysterious to me.”

 

We talked about relationships. And relationship to oneself.

She: “I’ve only had one relationship. I don’t really want to be in a couple with someone, cause I perfectly know that most of the people are not asexual. If someone is very sexual I don’t want to force myself just to please a person, so it’s better for a person to have an opportunity to go with other people.”

Her friends were different. She connects with people on so many deep levels. She experiences their focuses and priorities without judgement. More with a pinch of wonder.

She: “It wasn’t that I was disgusted.  {Just} when I was thinking about sex, it was as if something that didn’t concern me, it was alien.” 

 

when one that is very sexual is in a romantic relationship with an asexual person…

When He told me, I was instantly amazed, cause it was somehow breaking my conviction: that it’s mainly open and sexual people that are attractive.    I was wondering how they handle such a curious constellation and what bonds them. Polyamory may sound like a cliche solution, but what really interests me is how people find creative solutions when romantic visions do not overlap with what is.

He: “It’s an open relationship, polyamorous. It’s not that easy, my partner is not asexual, but almost. She wants to be interested, she wants to be enjoying it, feeling like it, but she don’t.

It’s been like this for almost a year. She’s monogamous, but she realized this winter it might not work out if we continue like this, because I am very sexual. If I have one partner, this person cannot be asexual – it works but it’s not sustainable. So she came up with an idea that we should make an agreement that I can meet others. Even if she doesn’t like it that much, she’s willing to sacrifice that for having a relationship with me. It still works cause we have some rules around it. That is the solution we have now, but it’s not a very sustainable solution after all, cause it’s not what my partner wants. It’s a very strange situation, it’s hard.”

 

In confrontation with very close people that are very different, one can bring more complexities to generalized concepts… for self understanding.

She: “I get attracted physically to people, but not sexually. Physical and sexual attraction is different – I’m trying to explain to myself.”

 

being protective, afraid of crossing someone’s boundaries – whose responsibility is that?

She: “Even with friends that I am emotionally connected to, we are not close physically. They do it {touch} with everybody, but not with me.”

Me: I got an insight by talking to them that night. I realized that by protecting people, I potentially disempower them… or sabotage our connection.

[I share sounds, I recommend headphones on]

 

She: “I feel that very „touchy” people – I didn’t even tell that I am asexual – they sense there is a distance. Sometimes I regret, cause people should continue without trying to adjust themselves to me.”

Me: Having an idea about others and a desire to do good, I can be unconsciously freezing structures that are naturally dynamic. The structure of ‘asexuality’,  a temporary label that serves communication – always only in the ‘now’ – needs to be broken all the time, by constantly new ‘nows’. Like that evening: the way I perceived them when they entered my tableaux was so different when I left them goodnight.

 

He (to Her): “Actually, I’m treating my partner like people treat you.

She is feeling she’s not giving enough, when I’m close to her, cause she doesn’t want that {sexuality} and she feels guilt. And for her not to feel guilty, we agreed that I can see others.

She’s still resenting herself because of that.”

 

She: “I feel pressure by desire of other people.”

Me: I’ve experienced – on my own skin and through listening to others – that guilt and pressure can be a big turn-off.

I have also experienced that when placed in a frame, where being you as a sensual/sexual being is perceived as a beautiful and valuable thing, can be a great turn-on.

 

how I read You, how I perceive you read Me…

She: “When a man is very friendly, I am on my guard. I need to adjust.”

 

Me: I have been, too. Often and for many reasons, which I continuously multiply  – the more honest I dare (or am confronted) to be. And you? Why?

She: “It’s about education. We’re used to hear that guys are always ready, sexual, predators. And that girls have to be desirable. Those stereotypes didn’t affect me. But…{still}”

Me: I feel that these stereotypes affected me a lot. But I also realize that some – men, women, and they* – have experienced more than just a potential fed by stories one might heard somewhere out there.

She: “I had bad experiences with some guys, where I had to defend myself, physically, too. That’s why I’m nervous, when a man approaches me. I first sense his intentions. It’s a bit sad. If I was a guy, I’d feel insulted by those stereotypes.”

 

He: “I feel that curse.”

Me: I feel sad, too. And I believe many people on their life journey feel from time to time, well – cursed…, “thanks” to their various belongings.

I have been curious about today’s sexual education at schools. I have been talking to teenagers and some school teachers in Denmark and Sweden about how they feel about what and how is being “taught”, what is precious, what is missed. I’ve initiated one-to-one interviews based on exchange and created sharing circles about love and sexuality – both in the context of Sisters Academy and Human Library (Menneskebibliotekket). We talked about attraction, gender stereotypes, tantra and relationships. I wrote a bit about that in my post from last year: Between Boys and girls: random important inputs to sexual education

 

That evening in my room, Dreamcatcher mentioned education too, while we shared inspirations from the exploratory naked massage class at the last Sisters Academy.

He: “In Sweden we also work in {sexual} education by teaching consent. (…) It’s good cause it’ll let people be physical with others without this even leading to something sexual.”

 

removing „peak moments” from sexual interaction… and what happens then

Me: During classes, workshops, interviews, intimate talks throughout years, I heard and felt it repeatedly: many people – men and women – would intimately connect with others more, if they did not feel pressure/fear that an intimate gesture it will be (mis)read as an inevitable step to sexual intercourse. I have been curious to investigate it more in practice by creating safe frames for sensual interaction where that “end-goal” was not there. The focus was play and curiosity. I invited to such space also in Sisters Academy.

He: “Since the sexual massage class {facilitated by (w)Hole and Untamed}, things have turned around for me pretty much and I am really happy for it. I hadn’t understood it before, cause I always ended up in situations where everybody is having a silent agreement that sex is going to happen and there’s gonna be penetration and orgasms. It’s a total focus. So this was the first time I experienced it without any of these.

That was wonderful.”

 

labels, my darlings, if I don’t wanna kill you, what do I then do to you?

She: “It’s hard to be asexual  in the world that is so sexual. Its very strange, its a bit oppressive sometimes.”

Me: I felt that what She needs is to explore more and find her triggers. I also felt that both word ‘ asexual’ and ‘sexual’ might be a bit exaggerated. And He mentioned it, too.

He: “Half of sexuality that exists out in the society is made-up, cause it is build on ideas that are impossible. Well, it might be possible but it’d hurt more then it’d help. A lot of it is unrealistic, we put a lot of fantasy into that.”  

 

And She felt the workings of that label vividly in her interactions with people.

She: “I think that ‘asexual’ is a scary word, cause people take me as if I didn’t want to be touched.”

He (to She): “If there was (another) word, it would help you. A label ‘asexual’ is confusing you, even if you know exactly what you are experiencing.”

 

And then Me and He gave She a mission. To find a man in Sisters Academy she feels both attraction and trust for… and to ask him for a favour, for example like that: “I really want to explore my sensuality. Will you be interested in helping me getting to know myself better, in interaction, through touch, each responsible for own boundaries?

After weeks I was honoured to hear from her that she fulfilled her mission with help of a man she met in Sisters Academy. Feeling ‘asexual’ transformed again and now she would add much more depth to her sharing here.

 

what is your trigger, what do you really want?

Me: A very essential question came to me recently…and was directed at myself:

„If I am so interested in tantra and bdsm, why don’t I have a long-term partner/lover and a lot of sex as everyday practice? Is it because what I’m really interested in is something else?”

It seemed paradoxical to me. I needed an(other) “mirror”.

Meeting her, this „asexual” woman, unexpectedly opened a lot of new doors to a deeper understanding. The search continues, of course, but I saw clearer again why paradoxes have so often made me tick. Paradoxes are golden keys.

 

She: “I was interested in fetish and I was talking about that to people and people thought I was a fetishist, and for me it was so obvious that I wasn’t. It was for scientific reasons, what I was fascinated by was human psychology. Fetish is a way to understand people on a very deep level. (…)

The best part is when you think you’ve found the roots, then you realize there are still things you need to dig, it’s never ending. Introspection. (…)

Or maybe I’ll one day find that I have a fetish and then I’ll understand why I wasn’t sexual for so many years. I am young.”

 

Me: I’ve found something. The sexiest and most important question is:

what is attractive? what is your trigger? Now.

 

Thank you. I am continuously finding mine. And I create interactive frames that help us multiply levels of attraction through playfulness, honesty and pealing off layers.

In this, dear, let us drop these labels and play… as equal “opponents”. And as each other’s mirrors, sometimes, too.

 

 

I see you more now. I see myself thanks to you.

 

 

… to be continued.

 

 

 

 

* by ‘they’ – only in this sharing and simplified – I refer to people that identify themselves as “fluid” gender identity

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Day 9, 10: I’m leaving the Academy..

As relations between students, old and new staff unfold with new surprises every day, new poetic selves are being created, aesthetic homeness of the Academy corners soaked with songs that stir my body and emotions – I feel growing love for this universe, I feel touched. Late Wednesday night, I felt, we kickstarted play and rituals only between us, internally, and much of what I long for, what is truly meaningful with those manifestations was reconfirmed.

Day after, we again created a sharing circle with students about love, relationships and intimacy. And a massage in collaboration with a teacher. Potentials and ideas multiplied, while time had the last word: some of them manifest, yes.

Words are Clarice Lispector’s fouth dimention. I believe they can be that. I spend time choosing words, also before entering the confession booth. But I’d like to give words more essence and less time. Also therefore those diaries from Fremtidslinjen were image- based.

On my final day – Open day – the school was filled up with curious guests on guided tours and it felt they are somehow a natural part of Sisters Academy…those strangers.

 

We created a temporary home again. And with radiant and a bit aching heart, I’m moving on…

Photo: Shape Shifter

Day 8: Sisters’ Day

I’m every woman. The (w)Hole.

Day 7: longing for crystal clear or smoke machine?

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