A little island

At times, the distance tries to steal me away from Johnny. I feel how the continents move away from each other. How the sky is suddenly ripped apart. How his hand falls out of mine. Just for a short moment he is gone, lost in the distance and faded from my world. Just for a moment. It is so painful. It isn’t the sky that is ripped apart – it is my heart.

Then everything shifts back. I feel his hand in mine. The presence of his heart inside me. Our continents blurred into one little island.

It is hard to love someone on the other side of the world, not that it’s hard to love them – but because the distance has hungry claws.

 

 

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Asking the right questions

It is Friday morning. White skies. I’m having a terrible cold – coughing, fever, staying in bed. I haven’t had much time to myself lately, nor the energy to write anything – and yet I have so much to say, so much I wish to express. I’ve seen so much beauty to life lately, I’ve found some keys to unlock more happiness.

Johnny makes me feel safe enough to explore my deepest desires when it comes to living truthfully to who I am and wholeheartedly. The more I reveal about myself to him – and to myself, the more I feel liberated and free, even though it includes some uncomfortable truths and uncertainties. I allow myself to have doubts, to rethink, to take a step back to find answers on my own so I can contribute to our relationship in a more honest way.

Lately, I’ve been asking myself if it is realistic to ask Johnny to live up to all my expectations and needs. What am I ready to sacrifice. Which sides of myself are impossible to satisfy. What is normal for us vs normal according to society, normalities which are not always compatible. Are we looking at each other or observing ourselves, filtered through the eyes of others.

Even though I am sick and drained, I feel completely awake and alive on the inside.

My apartment is a mess. I’m getting rid of the old stuff to make room for new furniture. It’s a reflection of what I’m going through internally. My thoughts is a collection of questions,  a beautiful work in progress. Asking questions – asking the right questions – will first create chaos but result in some kind of awakening. I love that.

 

The heart and its home

I’ve been feeling quite emotional this weekend. Aside from my monthly hormones, I think my relationship with Johnny has gone through a change lately. For the better, but still, all changes are emotional to some degree. We have been talking every day for the last 3 years and he knows me better than any other person, including my family or old friends. Yet, we have only met twice in “real life” (whatever that means). It is a strange combination of knowing everything about each other and at the same time struggling with faded memories of the other person’s scent, kisses and touch. It can be very frustrating at times. I miss him terribly but I’ve gotten used to the geographical distance, the 9 hour time difference and just having access to one dimension of him, through the phone. Although, together “we” are multidimensional. We have built a home in each other’s heart – a home where I find strength, happiness and clarity. We can be raw, in the way we attack our own and each other’s uncomfortable issues and truths – and delicate in how we choose to deal with them. There is always sensuality. Acceptance. Understanding. There is nothing I wouldn’t be able to share with Johnny and I find a sense of freedom in that. I can be myself and I can come undone or fall apart but Johnny would never judge or humiliate. I am not used to the kindness and respect he offers me. At times, it makes me uncomfortable because I am so used to the opposite and then it’s like I don’t know how to accept the love and understanding I am given. I have freaked out many times when he loves me the most, just because it’s hard for me to trust love – or men in general.

I feel deeply grateful for being part of this experience of intimate and naked love and for being able to explore the mysteries within the red sparkling energy between us. The more I accept being loved, the more I am able to contribute to our connection – and the more I love myself, the easier it is for me to receive love. It is all connected. It just has to start within oneself. Everything has to start somewhere. Every heart has a home both inside and outside of itself.

Time

Yesterday, with messy hair

I am a little worried about the fact that I can’t seem to get back to working with my art after I come home from work. I need to get back into it – without pushing myself too hard of course. There has to be a balance. Perhaps I have to cut back on my writing project about anxiety – I simply don’t have enough time for all my projects. Time is without a doubt my biggest concern now when I have a daytime job. I finally have the money I need – but less time to make art.

However, I am planning all sorts of future projects. I am very excited about my upcoming photo shoot at this haunted hotel later this month. Karin and my friend Magic Frigren will be my models. It will be a great adventure! I can’t remember the last time I did something as exciting as this.

Every day, I try to find time to meditate, it is how I will stay out of the spinning hamster wheel. It will keep me grounded and centered. It is damn hard to withstand the gravity of that wheel. But I will try my hardest not to get caught it in. Time is precious and I won’t waste it on the wrong things. I hardly watch any TV or films anymore. I try to devote all my spare time to my creative projects, friends and to my relationship with Johnny. He has been holding my hand through all the processes I’ve been going through for many years now, including this big change of getting a job. We talk every morning while I take a walk to my workplace. Every morning is now a source of happiness and laughter. I feel so grateful – and so loved.

 

I dream of the Pacific Northwest

It has been hard to go back to the digital piece in progress, since I feel like I’ve already moved on from the collection about the houses. I am not looking for a home anymore, I have found it within myself, in Johnny’s heart, in my new friends, in my art and in the world outside myself. The only homes I have yet to find are in the Swedish art community and a geographical place that makes me feel at peace. I know I don’t belong here in this city, or in this country for that matter. My dream is to move to the States one day, with Johnny of course. I have a soft spot in my heart for the Pacific Northwest. It sure has some Nordic qualities and it’s the home to many locations used in Twin Peaks (more on Twin Peaks in tomorrow’s post).

But I’m not a nature person. I wouldn’t really live that close to the lakes or the woods even if I’d move there. But it is beautiful and I feel drawn to the moody and misty landscape. I love rain, so perhaps Seattle would fit me perfectly.

I want Johnny to stay in the States, Sweden doesn’t really have that much to offer an American poet when it comes to a writer’s community, but he is sacrificing it just to be with me. I feel very grateful. I would love to move to him but it is impossible right now – and I really don’t want to live in a country run by a Narcissistic maniac. But I am sure we will find a way to move to the States in the future. Or somewhere else. Just not here. At least not until I feel like I belong to a real context here. A context that makes sense to me – and feels like home.

A second chance

It is the last day of my old life. I have the PMS from hell but I feel excited and ready for this change. Johnny and I have been looking into the process of moving him over to me in Sweden and the migration board says it can take up to two years for him to get his permit. The timing is bad since we have a big wave of immigrants and refugees in Sweden right now. But two years. How frustrating. However, I know we can do this. Johnny is my future husband and I could wait for him as long as it takes. We have gone through so much together already.

Now, I only have one last piece left of the house collection to finish. It is a little funny that I am starting my new job (in marketing) at a furniture store tomorrow. When I am done with my house collection, it is time to furnish it.

I have been meditating a lot lately. I guess I am a little tense because I haven’t been able to get really deep into trance. But in one session, I saw my future as a big and empty space that is waiting for me to fill it. I will fill it with so much substance and meaning. I have wasted too much time in the wrong places, with the wrong people. This really is my second chance to live my life as it should be lived.

 

The future has never been closer

Self portrait, May 2017

I only have a few more days left until I start my new job on Thursday. I will continue to rest and collect energy. I try to meditate as often as I can.

Johnny and I are building our home, piece by piece and I feel closer to him than I ever have. As soon as we discover an issue or a problem, we solve it by being creative in our communication. It’s a good thing we are both artists. I am missing him so much, but we have learned to live with the frustration of not being able to touch, smell or look each other in the eyes. It is like we have found our own way of doing all those things, on a different level of our consciousness. This is the first time in my life where I feel seen in every way – and loved for everything I am. It is making me feel free to express myself in a louder voice, both socially and in my art. Johnny has had a great influence on my art since I first got to know him in 2013. Being a writer, he inspired me to bring out my own poetry that I started to put into my work the year after our first chat.

Me and Johnny last year

I am excited to find out how we can build something beautiful together in our work too. A collaboration. My future holds so many wonderful things. And I am so close to it now that I can almost touch it.

Friday morning

It is Friday morning and I am soon about to meet up with Karin at her theater rehearsal for a quick photo shoot. The last two weeks have been overwhelmingly intense, but somehow, I thrive on the energy instead of being drained. My notebooks are now filled with weekly “focus lists” including all the processes and projects I have in motion right now – structured  in priority order. This is how I will be able to work hard but be able to maintain a balance between work and rest and not focus on the wrong things.

I have also got a job as a web admin/marketing & content producer at an online furniture store. It will be the perfect place to explore and expand my other creative resources, besides my artistic expressions. I haven’t even thought about how much I am working with marketing when it comes to my own career. I do it every day, here on the blog, on social media and networking with other artists “in real life”.

Now it is also possible for me and Johnny to start the process of getting Johnny here. This is of course an amazing thing – but also frustrating. It can take up to two years for him to get his permit to stay – due to the heavy load of immigrants and refugees here in Sweden.

But, we are dealing with the frustration and the missing in a good way. And I’ve never been this close with a man before, even men who I’ve lived with. So the distance isn’t really that bad. There are no other distance between us than the miles of land and ocean that separates our bodies. This is what my current work in progress is about “The House of Lava”.

Learning the ABCs of trust

The weekend was magical. Johnny and I talked for six hours on Saturday. It is really possible to have a deep and meaningful relationship with someone on the other side of the world, it is just a matter of being creative and engaged in each other’s lives. As we were talking, Johnny suddenly said: “Merry Christmas Mia!” and for a moment I thought he had lost his mind. But then he sent me an email with screenshots of plane tickets to come and see me in December. “Ill be coming home for Christmas!”.

I was so surprised but happy. What a sweet and mischievous way of telling me. This time feels different. I have grown a lot since last time. I have accepted that he really loves me without feeling scared that is just a charade just because my previous relationships have been based on dubious attractions. Trust is so hard for me. Even yesterday my dentist said: “You always seem to believe that we are out to trick you and do things against your approval”. I guess he is right. I need to fix this, it is not a quality in myself that I like. It keeps me at a distance to people and a distance to life itself. Just like Johnny is now practicing the Swedish alphabet as the first step of learning Swedish so he can eventually move here, I am slowly learning the ABCs of trust. How to trust Johnny and his love, other people, life in general – and how to trust myself. All equally hard. But learning new things is always hard.

Photos from my birthday

This camera (Canon EOS 50D) traveled all the way from California to Sweden as a birthday gift from Johnny – and he told me: “You are a digital artist without a camera. That’s not right. I believe in you and I see how much ideas you have for you work. I want you to be able to do them and to have more ideas and more creativity. I want you to have everything you need to get your visions out into the world and if the camera will help you do that – then it is the perfect present for you. “

That is true love

More photos from today:

Every day is my favorite day

I woke up to these lines, in a message from Johnny:

So many good things are happening right now. I am working on two art shows at the same time, I have a writing project in the making, I am making progress in therapy – and spring is finally here.  I am also about to start a short term internship at a web agency, because my job coach thinks I would be an amazing art director but I am lacking the necessary  experience.

Work in progress, “The Dance Of Death”:

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But the best thing I have going right now is, without out a doubt, my relationship with Johnny. The home we are building together is a source of a happiness I’ve never felt before. Every day I wake up to his messages (with a 9 hour time difference) and it is suddenly my favorite day ever. When I am taking my daily walks and feel the sunshine on my face, I can’t help feeling like my heart is shining even brighter.

Wednesday morning

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The weather keeps shifting back and forth between early spring and winter. I am sensitive to the seasons changing so I haven’t felt balanced in a while. I took a break from my art last week but I am hungry to get back into the flow again.

I am starting to miss Johnny in a bad way where I feel sad that he’s not here with me. I need to turn this negativity around. If there’s something I have learned on my inner journey, it is the power of a positive outlook. And frankly, even if Johnny is geographically distant, he is more present in my life than any of my exes ever were. We are making the best of this frustrating situation. And I honestly enjoy the stillness of living alone for the first time in my life. So the timing is right.

I think all I need right now – is a little spring.

No interference

I’ve been painting, meditating, watching films and drinking tea. It’s a good day. It’s been a good week. A good month too, so far. Johnny and I are getting closer. Hearing his voice through the earbuds while closing my eyes, almost transports him here, next to me. There is no static between us. No interference. Only love.

I’ve never let any man come this close before. It used to terrify me, this closeness, even though it’s been my highest wish to be really close to someone. But I am not afraid anymore. I decided not to be. It was that easy. But getting through all the obstacles so I could make that decision was very difficult.

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2015

When we talk, we float into each other, melt together in the silences and through the laughs and we’re cleansing our hearts together, deep inside our invisible home. I know it will take years for us to be together in real life, but it doesn’t change anything. I feel happy. I feel close. Our intimacy outsmarts the missing and the frustration.

Next year will be so different from this year, I can already sense it. This year was all about letting go and to accept what I’ve never been able to accept. Next year will be about finding the pulse of life and getting in sync with it. I want to lose weight. I’ve had so much extra weight on my shoulders for a very long time, and it shows in my body as well. I want to feel beautiful. Healthy. I want to celebrate my femininity. My raw female power and strength. I want to do, to be, to make, instead of healing through the intellect and meditation. Next year will be my first real year as a person, without the traumas or the fear. I’ve worked so hard to get there. I am so close. I am so close to finding life. To letting myself go – without inhibitions. I am so close to whatever reality is about, without the dark edges around it.

The scent of time and love

I’m at my parent’s house, I couldn’t bring myself to go home to an empty apartment. I feel sad but at the same time happy and grateful for the moments we’ve shared together in real life, so far. When you are building a home together in a long distance relationship, it is impossible to take anything for granted. Time. Love. Life in general. A long distance relationship is a good reminder of how precious life is – how rare it is to find someone you can connect with on a deeper level – and how time can work both as a highway to common goals and as an invisible wall of limitations and restrictions.

I am thankful that I live in a part of the world – and in a time where time difference as a concept is merely a nuisance and not an impossible obstacle. We are always connected through chats, emails or Skype. It is possible to create an everyday life together through those channels, but of course it lacks many dimensions.

I’m thinking about the sheets in my bed. They still have his scent. My whole bed smells like him. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or if it will make me miss him even more. I don’t want to go home right now. What is home anyway? At the moment I’m not sure.

Outside, summer is making one last performance. Blue skies. Sunshine. Heat. But it doesn’t fool me – I can feel a new season comming. And with Johnny gone, I feel like there’s a new season waiting for me in my life as well. I’ve been so focused on our time together (and the involuntary foucus on all my health issues this summer) – now it’s time to go back to dealing with the restoration of my life. Reclaiming things. Explorations. Working on my self-empowerment. Finding a job. Getting back into the art world. Make more paintings. I have a lot to do.

But right now, I just want to go home to those sheets.

The slow process of becoming truly naked

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It’s been raining all night, the world outside my window is wet and covered in a misty glow. Johnny is still sleeping, next to me, the bed is warm and so is my heart. He will leave the day after tomorrow. It’s ironic because I’m starting to feel a little better – and we’ve just found our own perfect groove. Building a relationship where you have half a planet in between is harder than I thought, but also exciting and very rewarding. We wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t really love each other, then it wouldn’t be worth the effort. Nothing has ever come easy to me, I’ve always been fighting for the things that matters to me, so I am used to struggle – but this particular thing requires a lot of patience and that’s not my best feature. If you’ve found true love, you want to surround yourself with it all the time, it’s only natural. But this way, we’ll prolong the first delicate stages of a love story – and that’s beautiful. Every time we’ll meet we’ll know each other so well but at the same time be like strangers to each other in some aspects. We know each other to the core but there are so many things left to explore in the physical world. And we’ll get to do that in little chunks of time, every year.

What I’ve learned from these two weeks with Johnny is that it takes time for both of us to acclimate to each other when we get together – it takes a week or so to leave the worlds we know – in order for us to create our own. In our world he is not a guest in my apartment, but home. In our world nothing is perfect or done because of expectations – we try to avoid it as much as possible because we are both sensitive to the pressure of it. It is hard to let go of it because of course we both have expectations and visions before we meet, of how it will be like.

To be naked together takes time – and I don’t mean physically naked. That’s where we feel most at home, in the nakedness of each other’s hearts and minds. That’s where the heartblood flows without any resistance at all. Into every moment.

A crash course in “us”

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Things rarely happen the way you plan it, but the unexpected always brings something positive with it. This time with Johnny has been bittersweet – I wish I wasn’t so sick and it has made me feel trapped in my own body, in my apartment and in the passivity of waiting for my health to improve,  but it’s also been pretty perfect, because we’ve been spending so much time together talking – defining who we are as a couple, what we want to achieve with our connection and the direction in which we want to walk together. I’m not gonna lie, it’s been tough at times. We only have a couple of weeks to figure these things out, then he goes back to the States and it might be another year until we’ll get to build an everyday life together in the same place again. These weeks have been like a crash course in “us”

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Our honesty and directness are crucial – we can’t afford to be vague about who we are or what we want, we already have the language barrier, time differences and painful pasts we want to avoid revisiting. Our talks can be brutal at times because we challenge each other, in a positive way, to get to the realness of each other and cut through the layers of insecurities and imagined expectations that’s been forced on us by other people. It hurts to let go of fears by facing them. You’re bound to get your ass kicked by them before you’ll able to triumph and rise above. It hurts to get your comfort zone crushed. To let someone inside even though you are still healing a damaged, delicate heart. It’s confusing to let go of preconceived ideas of what you should be, do, say, or act – and instead just be and see what happens when you are showing your bare bones for the first time. Will you be able to move or will you fall apart?

But the brutal nature of honesty together with the smoothness of intimacy makes the relationship vibrate with life and energy – and there’s a clear sense of movement and progress and that gives me the biggest sensation of relief and satisfaction.

“You have to work hard for the things you want otherwise it’s not gonna be what you want but a compromise or something else and you’ll end up dissatisfied”, Johnny says. And it’s true. I’ve worked hard to achieve my dream of becoming an artist. Whenever I’ve had to compromise in my art I’ll end up losing my true artistic voice. I’ve worked hard to just be me without having to sacrifice or compromise who I am in order to fit into other people’s expectations of me which leads to depression or getting caught in traumatic places. So I understand the importance of the hard work. I just wish my mind wasn’t so full of little wounds, created by the traumas and the PTSD, it makes the hard work feel even more difficult and hard. My traumas are connected with love, intimacy and vulnerability. But that’s also where the magic happens in my art. That’s where I feel at home. Naturally it gets confusing at times. I need these deep talks with Johnny, otherwise I’d probably freak out and just give up when the trauma wounds are too sore or bleeding. But I’m lucky we share this open-hearted connection and that we both want to change and adapt to each other without losing our integrity. Change is hard work – building a home is hard work, but also so rewarding. I have been breaking free from my past for several years now, but now I’m actually breaking free from who I used to be in that past. I still don’t know exactly who I am when it comes to love and relationships – “great” Johnny says, “let’s find out together!”.

A clean house

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I woke up with a smile this morning – I could feel it in every part of my body. Like I was smiling with everything I am. I let the morning light illuminate the smile for a long time before I left my bed. I spent the whole day cleaning the apartment, for your arrival of course. I scrubbed the inside of the microwave exactly like I’ve scrubbed myself clean through therapy these last few years. Very thorough. You’ve been been by my side through a couple of short lifetimes already, even though we’ve only known each other for about four years. You were there when other men tried to steal me away from you. Some of them thought of you as a threat, but you never considered them to be a threat to you: “let them be jealous of me, let them talk badly about me, let them focus on me as a rival, and I’ll just go on focusing on you instead.” you said then. You are always calm and wise. It must be that native Mexican blood in you. One man even wrote a cruel poem about you to make me look at you differently, but he failed miserably.

“It’s not a dream when I say that I will kiss you one day…” you once said before we had ever met in real life, “…it’s not even a plan – it is a fact.”

And you were right. We met. Kissed. Fell in love.

Since then, we have been building a home together, from each side of the planet. That home is in both of us but has only one heart.

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While I was cleaning all the mirrors, I thought about all the things we have in common on the inside. Like our internal mirror. The sensitivity. The sensuality. How we filter reality through our curiosity, intellect and imagination. How we believe in magic and how we create it together. The way we are equally focused on the smallest little detail as we are when it comes to seeing the bigger picture and how those two things always are in a fascinating juxtaposition against each other. How often we make each other laugh. The deep wounds we are healing in each other. Our empathy. The gratitude. Our native language of intimacy and nakedness. And our nerdiness. That’s one of my favorite things we have in common. I love how we can spend hours analyzing fictional characters from movies and create background stories for our favorite characters in TV series. Especially when it comes to Hank Moody. Or Poussey. I loved our dissection of Hannah Horvath when you were here last year and we watched four seasons of Girls together.

Once I was done with all the cleaning, my apartment was no longer mine, but ours. A clean house where we can create more magic in each other. All that is missing now – is you.

While you’ll be traveling amongst the clouds, over the mountains, across the big ocean, later today, I will be here, waiting for you. I feel excited and happy – and a little restless. But if I was able to wait half a lifetime for you, I can manage to wait another day.

There’s no place like home

I feel like fall is approaching. It’s windy and the air is slightly crisp. I love that. And it’s only a couple of weeks until my love will come here and we’ll get to share the wind and everything else, together. Against all odds, we have found something solid and beautiful together that doesn’t get affected by the distance or the frustration of being apart. For the first time in my life I have all the patience I need.

I’ve also allowed myself to have doubts. I am so used to being ‘slurped’ by other men in my past, I mean I was seduced by their attention so much so that I was swallowed up by it and couldn’t think straight. Like I was spellbound and drugged  by it. I didn’t get a chance to feel if it felt right or not, or to have any  doubts. I am very cautious about the slurping now. I know it’s a manipulation just to catch me, and once they have me, they are very different from what they first appeared to be. It’s creepy. The slurping effect is like buying a fancy car and then realizing you are sitting in a cardboard box that just looks like a real car.

I am all about authenticity and being vulnerable and real together. No wonder I’ve been miserable in my past relationships. Some people think that you should work hard to GET someone – to work really hard in the hunting process, but once they have you, they stop making an effort and they let go of their commitment and focus. I believe in the opposite thing: the hard work starts once you feel like you are committed, when you have built some trust together. That’s when you can create something truly beautiful and magical together. And I won’t ever let go of the commitment or the focus on the connection, because that’s when it all goes to hell.

All the doubts have led back to the same place, and it’s the home we are creating together. In each other and in the world. And there is no place like home.

Counting the days

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I woke up to a cloudy day. It’s still hot but at least the sun is not too bright. I feel somewhat cloudy too. I’m totally out of sync with my emotions, it’s been an intense month with a lot of emotional discharge. I feel a little worn out. Johnny will be here in a few weeks, so I want to feel centered and energized before his arrival. I need to isolate myself for a while, like I do whenever I need to find that perfect sync between mind, body and heart.

Even if my inner batteries are running low, I feel strong and in control of my own destiny. I know where I am going. I am aware of my own behavior and choices. And I’m still working on my art – and it means everything to me. I feel so inspired. I’m growing as an artist, I feel like I’ve reached a new artistic level. It doesn’t happen a lot, perhaps only a handful of times in a lifetime. But it has happened now and it makes me feel proud. I know I am without competition in my style (both here in Sweden and internationally) – and in the way I use my trauma to express female sexuality and the integrity of the soul. It makes me feel confident and like I really matter as an artist, like I make a difference somehow.

My creativity is leaking into every area of my life now days – even my relationship with Johnny is a beautiful creation that we’ve both been working hard to maintain and add to with everything we are and have. It’s our own little piece of heaven – our home in the world, even if we are separated by an ocean. I can’t wait to have him here with me. We are counting the days.

But first I need to meditate and recharge. I have so much I want to accomplish, so much I want to experience – but so little energy. I think that my art could be the perfect place to get in sync with myself. I feel grateful. Where would I be without my creativity? Even the thought of it is unbearable. I feel lucky – and I know my creativity will save me, every time I need to be saved. That is why I never need to be saved by a man or anyone else. This is what makes me strong. This is part of my core strength. It’s what will keep me going, no matter what. But I owe it to myself to keep it safe and in sync. So that’s what I have to do now.

USA vs Sweden

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Building a long distance relationship isn’t easy. Especially not when the distance contains both an ocean and a time difference of 9 hours. We share our days and nights together but never at the same time; when it’s day here it’s night over there and vice versa. It’s more than 5000 miles from the West coast of the US where Johnny lives to the East coast of Sweden where I live.

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Then there’s the overhanging shadow of the inevitable question: “Who will eventually move to another continent, him or me?”. It’s not an easy decision and it never feels completely accurate because there are so many aspects to consider. Practical things. Family. Proximity to an ocean (important for both of us). Climate (we both dislike heat). Cultural stimulation. A base for success. Job opportunities. Language skills. Health issues. Safety.

I’ve never felt like I belong here in Sweden. I don’t feel Swedish in any sense really. I see this as a very positive quality, but it also makes me feel like a misfit. My art is so different from the work of my Swedish colleagues. But it’s not all a negative thing – I could start an art movement here. If I wanted to. I could make a change, I could make a difference, I know that. In the US, my art would make more sense, but there would be a harder competition. I wouldn’t be as much of a misfit over there, for better or for worse. Johnny is a writer and could write anywhere, but he wouldn’t have access to a community of any American writers here.

But then there’s the question of safety and health care systems – and to me, the American systems are very harsh and ungenerous. We don’t have the issue of gun violence here and the last time Sweden went to war was in the early 1800’s. Sweden is a pretty peaceful place if you compare it to most parts of the world. Frankly, the blood dripping history of the US intimidates me. And all those guns, the easy access to weapons – and the pride that goes with the second amendment totally creeps me out. I just don’t understand it. When I think about America, I think about Disney, Coke, movies, pop culture and amazing art, but I also think of war, guns, violence, unimaginable poverty and horrible prisons. We don’t have that kind of poverty here. There are no ghettos and you have to work hard to really fuck it up in order to become a homeless person. We have a lot of safety nets here. I just landed in those nets after I became ‘homeless’ after my last breakup a couple of years ago when I was in between apartments without any income. I’m proud to say that those safety nets really do work. I feel very grateful.

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The biggest issue for me when it comes to making a decision to move to the States or not – is the nightmare of the American health care system and the whole insurance thing. We don’t have a health care system with the connection to an insurance based on income or jobs here, we are all equally privileged to get (almost free) health care and medical treatment. I have health issues. I need constant medication for my sensitive skin and my allergies. And I will always be a hardworking artist – not a starving artist perhaps, but I doubt that I will make a lot of money in this lifetime. In the US, I would be insured through Johnny’s work, but I’ve worked so hard to become independent, I would never want to be dependent on somebody else to keep myself healthy or alive. The American health care system is something of a deal breaker for me. It’s a horrible system and if I moved to the States, my allergies would get worse because of the stress and worries the system would cause – and Johnny would benefit from our insurance free system.

We are still talking about all the practical details of an eventual (and inevitable) move across the Atlantic Ocean, 5000 miles away from what we consider home right now. But I think, all and all, Sweden can offer more benefits and a better base for a good life than the US can offer, at least at this moment in our lives. And if Trump wins the election, well – then this matter is a no brainer!

House roots

Something wonderful is happening. For the first time in my life, I’m growing roots and they are deeply connected to the ground. I’m not floating around in space like a balloon without a string anymore. I’ve found my place in the world just by being true to who I am and in the love I feel for Johnny. Geography doesn’t matter. Nor does circumstances. When you find your home, in yourself and in another person’s heart, external things are not that important. I am still broke but I feel very rich. To be poor is a state of mind (in this part of the world), feeling fortunate as well.

I’ve known Johnny for almost four years and our love story has been complicated and rich in details and colors. So much has been standing in our way – other lovers, bad timing, health issues, distance and money. But we are still here, we are still in this connection together. What started out as a few strings attached grew into a complex and beautiful root system. The progress of our love story is visible in my digital art. Look closer at the three pieces above. See how the floating house with just a few strings attached to a star slowly develops delicate roots which are a little more connected in each piece. Not yet touching but slowly making contact while creating sparks of light and warmth.

Some years earlier the houses in my art were adrift, hard to reach or full of smoke and flames – just like my relationships at the time were either explosive or disconnected.

But there’s more happening than the creation of my new roots. My house is growing taller, like a tree – and I’m stretching out, reaching out, unfolding, pushing myself outwards like I have long and curious branches wanting to touch the world outside myself. Wanting to be part of it and making it part of my very own existence.

Johnny is setting me free into the world. There’s no possessiveness, no chains. I’m still struggling with fears, trust issues and insecurities at times, because of my traumas, but every day I learn something new from him about  generosity and kindness. He’s  making grow and blossom by letting me be me – all the way. I’m very grateful. I hope I am doing the same for him.

There is so much out there for me to reach for.

I will try to explore this new sensation of being rooted but so free to reach for the sky, in a new digital piece. A tree house perhaps. Or why not a house tree, somewhere between the depth of reality and the dreams within.

A restless house

The monthly hormones are messing with my head again, I’m feeling slightly off – and it’s still too hot outside. My mind is like a restless house where the windows are closing right after they are opened. I can’t think straight. I know I am being whiny right now, but I have my reasons it’s just not the ones I just listed.

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I always thought that if there ever would be anything coming in between two lovers, it would be other people – lovers, flings, exes – or just a sense of growing apart. But now I know it also includes health issues – in my case; diabetes (and no, I’m not the one with the disease).  When someone gets sick it changes the dynamics in the relationships, suddenly there’s new obstacles, new routines, change of plans, a new focus, seriousness and worries. The disease is stealing things from both its victim and the relationship. At times I feel furious – and I have no one to blame or anywhere to put that rage – because I can’t really be angry with my boyfriend for getting sick and there’s no one who made him sick to begin with. The energy turns into a restlessness. And at times – despair.

I can’t really do anything to help from this side of the planet  – he is doing his best on the other side. The only thing I can do is to be there for him and to accept what is happening. The latter is way more difficult. But I have to accept it. I’m still too mad to do that. And it’s easy to let the ego ask the questions; “why now?” and “why is this happening to me when I just found the best love of my life?” – but it’s not even about me. I have no right asking such questions. Yet, it is affecting me and the fantasies I had about us. I guess all the fantasies are still there, I just have to adjust them to fit the new reality. But it still sucks.

This is definitely a test to see how steady and stable the foundation of our relationship is. I thought we had enough obstacles with the geographical distance, with practical things like moving to another continent to be be able to be together, money stuff – little things like that. Life is both an amazing place to explore – and also nothing but a pile of crap at times.

To share but not to have

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Working at the gallery is opening up many new places in my mind, not only when it comes to my own art, but also ideas for projects and possibilities I’ve never considered before. I’m having so much fun. I think I’ll finish my painting in a few days. I can’t wait to show it to you. After that, I have more ideas for paintings and drawings. I see them all in my head already.

It’s been a rough week for me and Johnny, it’s hard to be so far apart. Having a long distance relationship is not easy. People think that long distance relationships aren’t really real because of the lack of physical interactions, but at times it’s even more real than a relationship with someone who’s there with you since the only thing you are able to share is verbal communication. Talking is always good. It is the foundation for any healthy relationship. But it’s still hard to maintain a long distance relationship – especially when the missing turns into frustration and the frustration turns into all kinds of bad energies. But love will survive any obstacle, if there’s a two way effort to make it work. I’m happy to have found a man who’s willing to fight for me, no matter what comes our way. I feel lucky. But at times I feel lonely here on this side of the world. It’s the backside of a long distance relationship. To share but not to have. It’s a lot of dimensions getting lost in the void between us, but they are still there. I just wish I could feel his hand on my face right now, telling me that everything will be alright. Because it always will be, in the end.