Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Games People Play

We all have our little games, don’t we? Even as adults we still play tag, kick the can, and hide and seek. Tell me if I am wrong, but my guess is that you have played at least one of the above recently. As an adult, maybe you have played the game with different rules, but the same principles apply. As a blogger I like to check my stats and one of the most visited posts I have is the one about games. Thanks Alex. I bet you get a lot of hits on that as well. So what is this fascination with games? There are so many of them to keep us occupied. Computer games, video games, board games, card games, sports games, drinking games, mind games, sex games, and party games like plain old “Pin the Tail on the Donkey.” I bet you have tried each and every one of these games at least once. Some of you might have even been addicted to some of them.

We play games to amuse ourselves and to escape sometimes. Sometimes games can even be a mind drug. Oh yes they can. I have seen it first hand when “World of War craft” came out. There is even an addiction center in Switzerland for that game. Across the street I have a neighbor who plays games 24 hours a day. I know because I do not sleep well and his computer is always on. I have children and friends who hop up and down whenever a new computer game comes out. They spend hours there shooting and going through mazes that do not really exist. As if life was not hard enough already we search for a way to make it harder, or should I say, a way to make it more creative, a safe place to fight our demons and escape.

You might ask why I am bringing this all up now. Yesterday a well-educated and intelligent man who had everything going for him named Anders Brevik was institutionalized to a mental facility. You might ask who he is. He is the man responsible for killing over 70 people in Norway this past summer, many of them children. He does not have to go to jail; you see he lived in another world so he was not responsible for his actions. Just like in Monopoly he got a "get out of jail" card. He lived in the world of war craft where it was OK to shoot and kill your enemy. He lived in a game and it made him insane so now he gets to drink milk and eat cookies. He was mentally abused by his computer the poor guy. Yes, the games people play. What  ever happened to “Pin the tail on the donkey?”

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Stormy Weather

Since I have gotten back from Denver, Norway has embraced me in its weather worn arms. One storm after another has crawled up from the sea together with the darkness this season holds. You can hear the wind howling outside my window now and the darkness I am sitting in has only a few candles to break its path. The electricity has gone out again, but I don’t mind because sometimes I just like to sit in the dark.

The nature of this storm is like that of a weary traveler. Its face reminds me of my own. I have been waiting for this stormy weather to pass for weeks now, but every time the sky shows a hint of clearing another storm cloud appears. That is why my friends you have not heard so much from me lately. I have been seeking shelter from stormy weather. Today I put on my rain clothes, walked down to the sea and watched the crashing waves hit the rocky shores below my feet. The spray of the salt water on my face was familiar and comforting. My post for the Insecure Writers Support Group is late this month and that is because of all the stormy weather that has been infecting me with the blues this month. We all get those blues sometimes but the best thing to do is to write. It is medicine, believe me.

We cannot choose the weather. Even if you live in a sunny climate, stormy weather will always appear. You will fight with loved ones, endure pain and sorrow, and at the end of the day bills still have to be paid. Take shelter if you must, find your paper and pen, or just put on your rain clothes and go for a walk.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Death of a Salesman

 Guess what; today I am going to be writing about death. 

Why death? My friend, Elisa from The Crazy life of a writing Mom is coming out with her new book and she wants us all to celebrate that by writing about death, actually about loss. I am a bit early( I think)  because I can not write tomorrow. Her book, “The Golden Sky” is about the loss of her infant son.

My experience with that is limited. I have lost a son due to a miscarriage and another due to the fact that I had to give him up for adoption, but I have never had to face death like she has. I have faced death though.  

The thing I can I can tell you about death is that it smells. Sweet and pungent it sticks to your skin. It is the kind of smell that does not easily wash off. If you have ever loved someone that has died, you take that smell with you. You wrap it around yourself like a blanket and take it to bed at night. You get out of bed and take a shower, but the smell is still there. Another thing about death is that it is so quiet and so full of noise at the same time. Stand there and listen to all the noise that surrounds death and you will hear nothing at all. Death can be your best friend, it will never leave you, but what you take with you from death can either drown or save you.

Many of you don’t know that I have a company. My husband and I started it when we bought a motel in the middle of Norway over 15 years ago. Like me, this company has been through some changes. Those first great expectations withered away and died when the market fell out. Needs change, we sold the motel, moved to a small town and started the company over again. Now don’t laugh, but I really do have to tell you about the death of a salesman.

From motel owner and part time retail man my husband went from selling computers to fixing them and he took our company with him. In the middle of nowhere Norway we soon found out that computers had no lifeline and the salesman slowly died. Out of those ashes a Fireman was born. I know, I have asked myself the same question. Where did the fireman come from? It really does not matter because today he is keeping us safe. The death of a salesman turned out to be the birth of another one. Yesterday our company was selling rooms and computer fix overs; today our company is selling life protection. After working as a fireman for a while and seeing the death that fire creates, my husband decided to change our company and to sell fire protection instead. He now installs fire equipment and teaches classes about fire prevention all over Norway.

I know that this is not the kind of story you were expecting. Most of you have probably experienced a terrible loss and what I have written about must seem very trivial to you. The fact is that I could go on and on about how terrible death is. You already know that and you live with it every day. Let it drown you or save you. Your choice…