Bedtime Story

There’s nothing like my bed. When the pillows are arranged and I dive under the duvet, ready for an evening of writing and reading, it’s bliss. One of those moments when it’s impossible to deny that life is wonderful. To think that it’s a habit to go to bed. Every evening ends with a quiet time. My laptop and pad are ready for my thoughts. Even the most inane ones. What more does a person need?

The frustrations – the daily frustrations disappear. It’s time to snuggle and take delight in simple pleasures as above. True, this isn’t the only use that a bed provides. Let me not digress. Yes, let me. A bed is for sleeping, right? False. A bed is also for sleeping. It is for quiet talks at the end of the day — if one has somebody to share intimate thoughts with. It’s for passionate love-making – if one gets there and doesn’t resort to the floor or a kitchen table. Beds are far superior though.

Beds are for building caves with blankets and duvets and pillows, or for staging pillow fights. The last idea may not always be appropriate. On the other hand, beds are versatile. They may not be the best site for extensive breakfasts, especially because of the crumbs. A cup of tea or coffee works, if one doesn’t spill it. Film viewing? Sure thing. Telly? Not for me. My preference is settling down for a writing session. A few cars pass, or a couple of girls chatter. Then the street-noise calms. The flat is darkened except for a small table lamp beside my bed. My feet get warm and my mind soars. What will be my theme tonight? Will it be a rant, a short story, musings about my work in progress? It all depends on what’s uppermost in my mind.

Sometimes, it’s just a blow by blow account of the day. Not so interesting, but probably practical. It’s difficult to remember when certain affairs started or ended if one doesn’t write them down. The best moments happen when a sudden idea develops. Beds are fertile for busy minds. Or is it the other way round? Can beds make busy minds fertile? That makes sense. If they (the beds) also help procreation – that’s another matter altogether. That is, if procreation doesn’t take over and decide to pounce, negating well-laid plans.

That was a digression. Back to bed. My bed. Warm and snug. The ultimate in cosiness. The helping hand for crying over spilt milk. There’s nothing like the comfort a bed offers a saddened heart. Yet, a bed can become your worst adversary. The enemy that won’t let you be comfortable. The lair for bogeymen. They prefer living under the bed though. Mostly, they’re easily scared away. Just turn on the light and they disappear. Pouf.

Have I forgotten something? Naturally. Beds are dream machines. Everything is possible in a bed. You can fly — and there’s no need for fairy dust. Just close your eyes and soar. In dreams, you can be a hero or a victim. You can have the entire spectrum. Want to experience being a spy? Try a dream. Want to laze your time away in a flower meadow? Nothing is easier. Want to get lost in a mysterious house that grows new rooms as you roam? Close your eyes and find exquisite tapestries, fabulous divans, shadowy corners, and ballrooms, candelabras, or staircases going up and down and in circles. Careful that you don’t get dizzy. The next you know, you wake up, stretch, and a new day begins. Alternatively, it’s still night. Ah, but that is a bonus. That means time to start over.

Read a little, turn out the light and the dreams wait, just around the corner of the pillow. Don’t despair if sleep doesn’t come instantly. That gives time for reflection. Only, don’t think too hard. Muse upon something pleasant. Take a sip of water. If necessary, take a turn in the darkened flat. Certain yoga positions can be practised in bed. Wiggle your toes. Arrange your pillows. Sooner or later, everything will come together and harmony reign. If it doesn’t, don’t curse the bed. It provides the nest, but it can’t take away your improper thoughts. Improper for creating harmony. All other thoughts are proper.

Welcome. A bed is a kingdom in miniature. Use it but don’t abuse it. It’ll always be ready to welcome you, give you warmth, and a good night’s sleep. Enjoy.

© HMH, 2019

Ignoring the obvious

A curious event

I shared a video clip about racism some time ago. The reactions were numerous and went from approval to the opposite, although most of those who bothered to comment were in favour of the share. What made me think — and think again, was one sanctimonious comment. The content was that those who speak about racism are the only racists.

In a way, that states one thing only. If we bury our heads in the sand nothing bad will happen. That is something I must write about, I think. In my opinion, the clip was touching and couldn’t offend anybody. There I was mistaken. Did this person want a mud-slinging contest? If so, I managed to stop it. I wrote an exceedingly polite answer, saying that people are entitled to their opinions, but that I found the piece relevant and touching. Then I wished this person a pleasant afternoon and evening. That answer received a couple of likes. It seems that there are more people, who find it important to speak about problems, than those who want to give trouble of any kind the silent treatment. I had more than my share of that in my childhood. Maybe that’s why I find it so inappropriate now.

How are we supposed to make changes for the better, if we always swallow our opinions? Without debate, solutions to problems and misunderstandings won’t materialize. Silence kills: sometimes it kills millions. Is that acceptable? I think not. Was this an attempt at trolling? Perhaps, but even trolls can express their thoughts on important questions. They have a right to say what they think about anything: from fashion to genocide. That is the basic principle for maintaining a democratic society. Even if democracy is complex and hard to manoeuvre, it is by far the preferable concept until we are ready for Utopia.

It isn’t easy for humans to live together. If family quarrels abound, how can we expect that countries among countries can find a common denominator? The sad part is: if we don’t, we must suffer the consequences, which could be anything from revolutions, military or plutocratic dictators, world — or local — wars, to murder and mayhem, suicide or any other forms of killing. Who wants to live in such a world? I don’t. I admit to being part of a privileged minority: I’m well-educated, I have a place to live, I can buy food and drink fresh water. Many people don’t have such advantages, but it won’t help them or change the world to ignore that there are inequalities that must be addressed. In every civilized nation, it goes without saying that every man, woman, and child has a right to a humane life. So far, most of this world’s people live in appalling circumstances. As far as I can see, this is the source of hatred and racism. We fear those who can take away our privileges. Those who we fear, we fight. Wouldn’t it be better to work towards a benevolent change?

I’m getting carried away. But it is important to open one’s eyes to these problems. There may not be an immediate solution to any of this, but real change must come from within. If we bury our heads in the sand and deny the problems that inevitably riddle an unjust society, we mustn’t wonder, if all hell breaks loose. Look around and accept that we humans have created a flawed community. Are there any solutions to these issues? The paradox may be that we aren’t able to live in peace. Should that stop us from doing what we can to create a better world? Personally, I think that this isn’t an option. We must do whatever it takes to improve — first ourselves — and then the world. This is a challenge that we must meet with open eyes.

© HMH, 2019

About time and eternity.



Wouldn’t it be great having plenty of time to do exactly what one wants to do? Those days are gone, but they may still return. We live in hope, or so they say. Who’s they? There’s always a ‘they’, claiming deep insights and profound knowledge. Wouldn’t it be nice to be such a ‘they’? Perhaps it’s overrated like so many unachievable feats. Don’t we all haste to catch up with time? How silly is that? It must be one of those natural laws.

Very few people aren’t on some kind of schedule. Perhaps, that is a good thing: how many would be able to structure time, given complete freedom to do what they want? Still, we dream of being free to decide. The question is, if we ever have that freedom. We live in a social structure for better and for worse. Freedom is perhaps the greatest illusion. Time is part of the prison-bars surrounding the said freedom. Is a mayfly happy? Who can tell, but people are rarely perfectly happy. People are rarely perfect, maybe that has something to do with this. I digress.

Time and eternity. There’s something absurd about this: eternity can’t be measured, yet we try to do so through man-made divisions, seconds, minutes, hours. Admittedly, there’s a reason why. After all, we have two factors, namely, day and night although the length of days and nights vary with the year. Unless we stay at the north- or south-pole. There the day lasts half a year and the other half is night. At least that’s how it looks to a lay-man (or woman).

How can we hope to get to grips with time? We manage time, we have time-tables and schedules, but trains get delayed, flights cancelled, it’s next to impossible to boil an egg to anybody’s satisfaction. Here it may be a good idea to give a recipe for toast: when it burns it needs two minutes less in the toaster. Not so simple. No wonder so many plays with the idea of time travelling. On the other hand, would it be preferable not to have time? Can one conceive of timelessness? The first objection lies in our hearts, in our pulse. Without a pulse we don’t live, without life, we don’t exist. Pulse is Rhythm, pulse is life, it is the ticking away, second for second, of our little lives. And so on.




© HMH, 2018

Balancing Laughter and Tears in Life and the Arts

Having just watched Saving Mr Banks, brought it home to me how finely tuned contrasting emotions must be. Not just in a script or a book: this is something vital to humans. We’ve always known that, and we’ve always tried to suppress this knowledge.

Where does it start and where does it end? This search for ― for what? A balance between laughter and tears? If it was just that, it’d be easy. Easy to pinpoint a mystery that will always challenge and baffle us. What is it that brings us to split our sides laughing and cry at the same time? What is it, if it isn’t life at its purest.

The question is: how can one person put life in words? How can we create something so magical? We strive to do our best and sometimes fate bestows a gift. Mostly we just plod along searching in a mirror, darkly. What we try to find, is meaning. When everything comes together in the art, we get the feeling that we understand the biggest question of all. Why are we here? That is why we need the arts. We pour out our souls and innermost being to find this elusive balance and sometimes we have that spark. Even if it is only for a fraction of a second, we recognize it, and for that split second the world makes sense. We see that human beings mean to do right. We see that everybody works towards the same goal. It’s just confusion when we believe that we must stamp on other people’s toes or take away something from one another to fulfil our ambition and make sense of the senseless.

Mostly, we shy away from trying. It’s easier to make do. It is simpler to mock a search for the sublime. Sublime is scary. It’s easier to ridicule those who search and don’t find. Sadly, when we don’t start searching, we end up in frustration and tedium. This is true in life as in the arts. It is easier to go with the stream than to set out to find the sublime.

Is it necessary to give examples? While I wrote the above my mind was all over the place, from the bible to HC Andersen, from Disney to Greek tragedy, and to Shakespeare. That can be added when it’s time to publish.

It’s been a good day. The only thing missing would be working on my next book. It’s in the back of my head but must come to the fore. Tomorrow the main object will be household matters and economy, but it should be possible to find an hour at some point. I’ll do what I can. There it is again: What’s more important? Tax and accounts or writing? Writing is more important to me, but the world (or at least society and the council) expects me to sort out my tax return, keep my economy under control, pay my bills, and clean my house, clothes, and ― god knows what else. Where is the balance? Up in the air? Or crawling on the ground? How can anyone be expected to find the sublime at the bottom of a dustbin? Yet, it doesn’t matter. Everyone meets the sublime sometime. Somewhere. Will they recognize the moment? That’s the question. Is life about feeding the birds for tuppence a bag, or is it about putting the said tuppence in the bank and see it accumulate money? The choice is ours. It is a heavy responsibility.

Perhaps the Buddha had the right idea. Shake the dust off your feet and chose non-existence. Perhaps, that isn’t a choice we can consciously make. Perhaps it is a leap of faith, but who has faith these days? In a world where the oceans choke on plastic, in a world where religious and political factions kill each other and leave fugitives to starve or die, we may not have the luxury to believe. Do you believe that mermaids can attain a soul? Do you believe in fairies? Then clap.



© HMH, 2018

Global Warming

It’s unbelievably hot even now, and it’s almost midnight. This is a summer as the seldom come, but perhaps this will be the rule soon. There’s no doubt that the weather has become unpredictable, and that isn’t at all positive.

Have we reached the point of no return or is there still a chance to sort out the mess we humans have created? It’s difficult not to doubt our ability to clear up the mess. After all, we worked on it for centuries. Not funny. The way things develop causes me alarm, and not only me. The great ideas that people develop to set things right, partly go under because of lacking funding, partly, because there are large concerns wishing to maintain status-quo. It still isn’t clear to many that once we’ve killed all the fish and devastated the earth there won’t be anything but money left: and nobody can thrive on eating money. It isn’t easy to believe that this world’s capitalists want to make survival impossible. On the other hand, their actions speak for themselves. Turning everything into a question of money will dig humanity a grave in the long run. Will the usual six feet under be enough to cover our ecological sins? Who knows?

We know only this: the earth is under considerable stress, but the arms manufacturers, the upper (rich) one per cent, the medical giants, the politicians, the religious fanatics, the cigarette and soft drinks companies, all pull in one direction: profit. No matter what happens: Nach uns die Sinnflut (when we’re gone: who cares). If the poles melt, we can sell more ice-cubes. If an atomic disaster hits, we have shelters (if we belong to the right group). At the same time, dedicated and thoughtful people invent anything from eatable use-and-throw-away cutlery to solar panels. Everything they do, they execute with one sole purpose: saving this earth.

Hoping and praying isn’t enough now. We need to clean our oceans, we need to counteract the climate change, we need to adjust our thinking from greed to fellowship. If we don’t we’re set to take the tumble like so many cultures before us. The worst part of this is that we may be the one culture that takes the environment down with us. Landfill sites, pollution (atomic as well as chemical), waste: from food to plastic, from water to land, all of this will bring on a disaster of a scale we can’t imagine. If we can, we certainly close our eyes and our minds towards this knowledge. Is there still hope? Maybe, but with every day we wonder and hesitate the smaller our options become. What can we do? We can reduce personal waste, we can refuse to buy damaging materials, we can recycle, repair and care. But all that will make a microscopic dent in the destruction set to happen, if we can’t work together to save our earth.



© HMH, 2018

A Digital Prison?

What is the world coming to? Have we sold our souls to the world wide web? In danger of sounding reactionary, I must voice some concerns about today’s society.

Let’s face it: cultural activities aren’t highly ranked these days. We live in a thoroughly materialistic world, everything is about wealth and consumerism. The few people, who want something more — or something different, have but one choice. They must find a way to override society. In a way, that forces them to forget about being creative. Is the only option getting stinking rich? It’s hardly an option as there are too many stinking rich people already. One can be certain that they don’t want to share their spare cash.

What happened? Why did this major shift towards materialism occur? It could be a question of technology. Look around, everybody has a mobile, a tablet or a laptop — or all of the above. Many invest in ‘smart’ home robotic vacuum cleaners as well as fancy machines to do every possible household activity. A lot of these appliances have their reason and function, which is well and good. All the same, there are clear borders between sensible and going technology mad. That is only one side of the problem though. It gets ominously apparent that, the more it develops, more people get addicted to the web, to their smartphones, their tablets. These days, it isn’t unusual that people don’t chat. They’re too busy watching their feeds.

Make no mistake: I adore the social media. It is a great way connect for social as well as business purposes. But there’s no doubt it can be overdone. Do we want to become zombies who only live through our smart-phones? Do we want to change all personal contacts for digital counterparts? Is that the kind of life we want?

These are valid questions. There must be something wrong, when two individuals sit across from one another, both deep in digital exchange. What’s the purpose of sitting together in this way? Each person isolated in a virtual world. People can get involved in major incidents through being unable to take their eyes off their screens. Meaning, there must be times, when it is better to be up, close and personal. Once we can manage to separate digital, virtual, and real, we will stop being slaves of our machines. Some people fear robots. In a way, there’s no need for that. Through our digital habits, we’re close to becoming our own robots. In other words, shut down the virtual media from time to time.


© HMH, 2018

Books I Loved and Still Love


I was a precocious child. Thinking back, my time was divided between music and books. I was painfully shy too and had trouble gaining friends, especially in school. No wonder: when I was two-years-old, I started learning music and with three years under my belt, I could just about cover the holes in a soprano recorder. From there I swiftly went on the larger models and with six, I started playing the piano. To top it all off, I got my first violin as a nine-year-old.

Picture me, going to school, with a violin and plats. Of course, I sang too . . . soprano. I was eccentric, to say the least. My only escape was reading. And I scoured the local library every week. It didn’t take me long to exhaust the children’s books, although I always returned to the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I believe, I even decided to grow my hair and plat it, to emulate that heroine.

We lived in a ‘plebeian’ society: without a doubt, it was warm and friendly. Unfortunately, my mother didn’t approve of the ‘lack of culture’ displayed. She kept to herself — and kept her children ‘out of harm’s way’. Obviously, that didn’t endear us to the neighbours and by default: my school-mates.

So, I had plenty of time to study, to practise my instruments, and to read. My father had inherited a complete collection of Dickens novels, which I devoured. I fell in love with Esther Summerson and Lucie Manette — so much so that the books fell apart before I’d done with them. Interestingly, I found Jane Austen in the local library. My mother scoffed: that’s a ‘governess-novel’ not worth wasting your time on. I read Pride and Prejudice, all the same. As a result, I told my mum that Jane Austen was better than she thought and kept reading those novels. That experience brought the Bronte’s books to my attention, and I fell in love all over: this time with Jane Eyre.

After that, I swiftly moved through Katherine by Anya Seton, Ivanhoe, and The Moonstone. The Moonstone was a coincidence: I had a period of reading cosy mysteries, including Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, and the Swedish author, Maria Lang. In one of her books, it happens that her detective reads the Moonstone, and I began to wonder who Wilkie Collins might be. Naturally, I managed to find out, and The Moonstone convinced me of his merit.

Come to think of it: my granny supplied me with some interesting reads. She had a library of well-thumbed paper-back novels, including Desiree by Annemarie Selinko, an illustrated art history, and The Importance of Living by Lin Yutang.

I mustn’t forget the Danish authors: Johannes V Jensen, his Sister Thit, Wilhelm Bergsøe, H C Andersen, and Karen Blixen. By the way, my sister had a Shakespeare retold for kids, and we used our dolls to stage his plays. Mostly the casting was so difficult that we didn’t get much past that stage: we couldn’t agree on the simplest things.

And then there were the fairly-tales. From A Thousand and One Night to Grimm, from East of the Moon to The Golden Pot.

It was easy to forget everyday trouble when you could read. And read I did, from morning to late at night. No wonder that I had trouble staying awake in school as a teenager. By then I didn’t give a hoot about A-levels: I wanted to become an opera singer, a famous soprano. Well immersed in dreams, I still managed to get into the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music.


© HMH, 2018

Bad Script? Good Plot?

Or both, Interchangeable


Five sea-battles, a lynching, a riot with attempted arson, a torture scene, practically no dialogue, and a cast of predominantly male actors. The only two females are respectively a whore and a longsuffering wife. They probably have about three lines between them. Perhaps the wife has a bit more, she scolds her husband for fifty seconds or so. Oh, she also repeatedly tells a band of rioters to ‘go home’. And I’m supposed to like this film? What a waste of time.

On top of everything else, the sea battles were 3d models, and they used the same still of the attackers before every battle scene (as seen through a folding monocular). There was too little dialogue and what was there was inept. It may have been historically correct. If so, that is a poor merit. I have nothing more to say about this.


A few days ago, I watched The Book Thief. It was glorious and tragic and funny and beautiful all at once. I think I cried for the better part of it. I simply couldn’t stop, but I didn’t care. It went through and through me like a knife and a caress. What a rare treat. It just fits in with what I write about. It was an inspiration, and more so than the book. I found the book impossible to finish the first time I attempted to read it. On my second try, I think I got it, but there are things in it that I can’t handle. Mostly it is a question of language. I don’t know. The mixture of German and English seems shrill in the book. In the film, it seems natural. I also had trouble with the ‘hand-written’ sections. That is one thing they’d left out in the film. It is hinted at: Liesl opens a transformed (painted over) propaganda book and starts writing. In the next frame, she sleeps resting her head on the book. Hans Hubermann finds her there and caresses her hair. These simple pictures say everything.

I’m not certain, but I believe Geoffrey Rush (Hans H) speaks death’s lines. This film shows a surprisingly gentle side of Rush. I’ve mostly seen him in hard-boiled roles, but here he shows so much more. Sensitivity, warmth, understanding, and sorrow. What a performance. Emily Watson as Rosa is his match. But the young actress who plays Liesl makes the film come alive. Her eyes are riveting. Max and Rudy are equally well presented. What’s not to love about this film?

A mixture of humour and pain can convey fundamental ideas. I knew this was an important film the moment I saw the first short clip from it. That’s several years ago. At the time, I worked in Bremen, and the first thing I did after seeing that clip was to buy the book. I was disappointed in it at first. But I overcame that. But I think this is one film that overshadows the written work.

Isn’t it strange how close beastliness is to humanity? In The Book Thief, they manage to show both sides in a devastating manner. Such works of art give me back my trust in humanity. They also underline the importance of insisting on kindness, charity, and compassion. There’s nothing worse than envy. That is a deadly sin, even if one isn’t Catholic. What more can I say? It was a significant experience.


© HMH, 2018

Foreign Languages in Literature

Recently, somebody complimented me for my English. That’s always a boost, but on the other hand, it would be a terrible idea to write in a language one doesn’t master. It gave me food for thought though. What makes any writer chose to write in a language different from his or her native tongue? For me, it was a matter of routine. I’d lived in England for several years and hardly spoke Danish with anybody. It felt natural for me to write in the language I used on a daily basis.

This is one of the issues that crop up unexpectedly when you go to live abroad. It comes slowly, the change. At first, you struggle to express the simplest thought. You have an issue with pronunciation and often feel embarrassed, when failing to convey what you want to say. You feel alienated. For me, it became an obsession to get it right. I ditched reading in any other language for a while. I practised enunciation — I found it particularly difficult to catch the difference e.g. between ‘s’ and ‘th’. It may sound strange to somebody who’s used English since they started talking. But imagine having to use a soft d or swallowing half a word, if you’re trying to pronounce Danish.

The differences don’t stop there. In every language, one must learn the idioms. Things you’d express in a certain way in one language wouldn’t make sense in another. There are loads of examples. Here I’ll resort to German: who but a German would understand the expression ‘Tomaten auf den Augen’ (‘tomatoes on the eyes’)? And it just means — you (or I) must be blind.

Should I mention that a lot of people know and speak more than one language? It is hardly a surprise in today’s multifarious society. We’re in the midst of another migration period, multiple languages abound, and you hear them on the street wherever you go. When I was a kid, living in Denmark, I hardly ever saw or heard anybody speaking anything but Danish. Hence, my first experience with foreign languages merely came out of a book. I found it lifeless and — boring. Especially because of the teaching methods.

Once I lived in London, over time, I found that I’d lost my roots in spoken Danish. I could still speak it, but I searched for words and often mixed in English words when I couldn’t think of the equivalent in Danish. It was frustrating, especially because English has words for everything. That doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten my native tongue, just that it has dropped out of focus.

That was the situation when I decided to become serious about writing.

What strikes me now, is that it can be an advantage to know multiple languages. If the plot brings the protagonist to a foreign location, the benefit is that one can add local colour, using language. I don’t believe that only literary fiction can sport this feature: it’s easy to explain the meaning of a few German, Danish of French words in actions or subtexts. No need for foot-notes or fears about the readers’ language skills.



© HMH, 2018

Blogs — Are They a Headache?


Struggling to find a balance

I just had a pleasant encounter with somebody who writes speculative fiction, probably with a hint of fantasy. Nice guy too. It was fun — and nobody can convince me that conversations between writers aren’t productive, as well as educational. I believe that it is time to do some serious thinking about my next blog post. It would be great to develop some nifty idea tonight. I have some drafts to work on, but they may be too close to other writing themed blogs I’ve published recently.

What does weigh on my mind at present? Is there anything that makes me mad, or anything I have strong feelings about? Social injustice is always on my mind, but I don’t have any specific ideas. I can always look at my list: it is long, but I rarely consult it. Why is that? Could it be because I tend to rely on sudden inspiration, although I like the idea of planning ahead? Sometimes the themes I suggest pale the moment I’ve written down the idea. That is stupid. Can one blog about blogging? It seems to be a personal issue this moment.

I rarely write history blogs: the problem with those are that I’m a fiction writer. If I research and put together a blog post from my research, my writing tends to get so dry that dust clouds arise when I read it. And I don’t want to inflict sneezing on my unsuspecting readers. So, how could I improve my history blogs and make them interesting to anybody, myself included? Aye, there’s the rub. I love reading historical fiction, if its well-researched. On the other hand, if the book is laden with footnotes that tend to show off the author’s impeccable research, I get impatient.

In other words, the secret to a good educational blog is to integrate the information in the text. It must be done subtly though, and that isn’t easy. I suppose it is a bit like long passages of backstory in a novel. Boredom lurks, unless the author is magnificent. If that isn’t the case, any reader ends up wondering why the past is included in the book.

Basically, readers want to hear what the author has to tell. If it is vital to the plot, backstory must be sidled in sideways: it shouldn’t stick out like a sore thumb. Writing about historical events naturally involves past times, but it is up to the author to make them palatable. What strikes me, now that I think about it, is that undiluted facts are as hard to digest as a diet stones. They lie heavily in the stomach, according to a reliable source. You surely heard about that victimized wolf? Poor thing, wanting tender flesh and sweet bones of a certain red-bonneted girl, he must’ve been disappointed. I digress.

Back to history. How to write well on history. How to bring facts to life and avoid being hampered by too much knowledge. Or worse, hampering the reader with too much information. Mind you, it won’t do to dismiss facts altogether. Why is it that everything always comes down to balance? There is no avoiding it. You have to eat a balanced diet. It is vital to drink enough water and — not too much wine. If you sing, you must find the perfect balance between breathing, muscular activity, text and sound. And I’ve not even mentioned rhythm and melody. It takes years to learn to bring all the elements together. Also, a perfect technique doesn’t touch anybody, if it isn’t enhanced through the singer’s personality. Ballet dancers, especially when using point shoes — it goes without saying. Get the balance wrong: you’ll find yourself on the floor. Come to think of it, there’s nothing more hilarious than a bird losing its balance. Think albatross and try to take off or land.

All of this doesn’t really encircle my initial problem, but maybe there are a few pointers. It is up to the individual artist to make it work. Make what work? In this case, this blog. For others (singers, dancers, actors, musicians, designers, scientists, and perhaps even presidents): the possibilities are endless. My word: it is never simple.


© HMH, 2018