Archive | November, 2011

Bullfight in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

I was a bit chocked when I happened to see this view the last day of my stay in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, in Camargue in the south of France. It’s not exactly what I’m used to see in the streets in Sweden.

As a modern, swedish person, I am disgusted with even the idea of killing animals for fun and the macho air around it. And I would love if all bullfights ended as in the Disney movie, where the bull Ferdinand wins in a non-violent fight.

Well, In the evening I went to the Couchsurfing meeting in Marseille and among many others, I talked with a nice guy from Arles. He was very interested in bullfight and knew a lot. In Arles they have the “real” fights where the bull is killed, in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer it’s more of a game. For him real bullfight is an art, the matadors are skilled sportsmen and they train for years before they are allowed to meet their first bull. He talked about the beauty and the respect. The sharpness and the fight between human and animal.

I listened to him, saw it from his point of view. Connected back to my twenty years of aikido training. The sword practices, the beauty in controlling a deadly weapon, even if it was a wooden sword. That sharpness, focus, presence. The deep connection with your partner, one field, one body moving in a tightness that only can be compared with lovemaking.

Then I thought about the meat industry … mostly not very much of connection and beauty there … guess that is why they don’t butcher in public …

So, surprisingly when I feel into bullfight
Under layers of traditions and spectacle
I can sense a quality of life and death connection
between human and animal
A quality that is very rare in our modern society

A connection that, in an other form,
the form of love and heart
is desirable
and needed for our common future on planet Earth

What do you sense?

Corsican Nature

The view from my room in the little house, just outside the village of Vico in the mountains of Corsica.

I’m staying with Brahmani, who I met at an integral, internet course two years ago,

It’s wonderful here.

I’m not in the mood right now to write any deep thoughts.

So just enjoy the pictures and listen to your own thoughts!

Or look without thoughts, if you can ;-)

Flamingos in Camargue

There are pink flamingos everywhere in Camargue, in the south of France. Just hanging around most of the time. Not nearly as active as all the tourists …

Went to a “Parc Ornithologique” where it was a bit easier to get closer.
They really are impressive birds.

Whom is watching whom?

There is a lot one can think about bird parks. Mainly I think it’s a good idea that we meet. I’ll write more about this in an other blog post.

I also have a lot of thoughts about nature photography. What exactly does the three first picture of flamingos do with your relation to flamingos? A fun picture using the birds to create a pattern and maybe a laugh. A traditional picture that shows how the bird look like and some surroundings. And a backlight photo with glimmering water and reed creating a feeling that is only seen in the camera.

When I step into the role of a nature photographer I easily distance myself from being present with the living creatures I have in front of me. I create pictures out of them. Turn them into a flat square with all the lines and colors in the right place …

Nice cup of coffee while looking at the egrets.


A wild one …

Animlas in Arles

Went for a walk in the center of Arles. Saw all the figures of animals and started to take pictures.

Look trough them and reflect about what you see and feel. Do that before you read my comments. This is important! You can only see them with your eyes before you get my view. Don’t miss your own perspective!



















What are we really relating to?
To the animals or our images of the animals?
How many layers of symbols and interpretation are there?

Can you see the layer I put there as a photographer?
And the layer I put there as a writer, by asking those questions?

Trough witch pictures do you connect with the animals as animals and in which pictures are the animals mainly a symbol of an aspects of the human nature or culture?

And how does this extensive use of animals as symbols influence our way of relating to the real animals? Can we see a wild bear without also see a teddy bear?

Can we see without interpretation? Or is it true what Krishnamurti said:
— The day you teach a child that a bird is named ‘bird,’ the child will never see the bird again.

I’m really curious to hear what you see and think about this and I would love to read your comment on it!

Transition from Germany to France

After some wonderful and extremely intense weeks in Germany, I’m now in France. It will take me a while to sort out all the inspiring meetings I’ve had and all new thoughts I got. Promise to post the essence of it, here on the blog in the coming weeks.

The high speed train took me from Cologne to Paris in five hours and now I’m in Chartres, couchsurfing at Collin’s and his girlfriend’s flat. Long interesting talk yesterday evening about Big Heart of Humanity, religion and a lot of other stuff.

Can see the cathedral from my window!

This was the best tarte au citron I ever had, they for sure know how to make cakes and cook in France. But I crashed into the rest of the country and am just recovering from the culture chock.

If I exaggerate at bit — no one knows english, everything is half broken, the wi-fi and my computer don’t match, I had to change hotel because they apparently had lost my internet booking …

Well, now I’ve taken some deep breaths, opened my heart and I start to like France. People are friendly and we manage with a little english and a little french. The trains leave on time and it’s beautiful and charmante. I love France!

What do we see? The house, the sky, the bottom, the autumn leafs, the water surface, the mirroring of the tree?

What do we see? The contrasts, the colors, the patterns, the lines, the light, the dark?

What do we feel? think?

What is really there …

The Heart doesn’t care, it just loves it all.

Town centre and the cathedral.

Autumn still life.


All picture from Chartres today.

The Earth inside out

For me the Ruhr area in Germany has always been the symbol of environmental disaster. So when Gisela from the integral group in Dortmund invited me to come and see how the area has changed, I really got excited.

We have been around in the area and seen how the landscape has been shaped by the coal mining during the last centuries and how it’s now reshaped for our time. The spoil tips turned into parks with sculptures and view towers on top and the industry grounds turned into lakes.

Sitting on the top of a spoil tip, looking out over the green landscape we contemplated all the effort the previous generations have put into building the society we benefit from today. Gisela’s father was an engineer in the coal mining industry and they had big disagreements. I’ve been active in the environmental movement since my early teens.

We both sat there and felt into the energy of modernity; of building big industries, to harvest the resources from nature in order to make life better for humanity. We felt the power and beauty in that impulse and we felt gratitude for all their hard work. Work that we benefit from so very much today.

Today we can see the downsides of coal mining, heavy industry and not thinking about nature. They couldn’t then, they had other priorities.



Selfless Sunflower

Got a newsletter from Adyashanti this morning, with a quote:

“When you feel and watch presence expressing itself through your humanity, you see it moves in an entirely selfless way, not because it is morally the right thing to do, but because it is selfless to begin with.” ~ Adyashanti

Took that sentence and changed “your humanity” to “nature”. Why don’t you try that yourself now … 

Then I sat down to meditate
and the sunflower was there in front of me
and we met in that space of selfless presence

No guilt, no projections, no suffering
Only presence and love

What if, not only now and sunflower …

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