Hermann Hesse !

Did you ever read Hermann Hesse ? No ? Please do ! You will find much beauty and wisdom, you may even find your life and mindset transformed. Favorite books include ‘Siddhartha’, ‘Narcis and Gulmund’ (“Sol og Måne” in Danish) and the ‘Glass Bead Game’. Here comes a few qoutes :

Happiness is a how; not a what. A talent, not an object.

It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is.

There’s no reality except the one contained within us. That’s why so many people live an unreal life. They take images outside them for reality and never allow the world within them to assert itself.

My take is that most of us have ‘forgotten’ some of these truths (if we subscribe to them, anyways), sadly. But it is never too late to start the quest for hinsight, wisdom and love. Let me finish this post with a poem by Hesse as well. 

I can give you nothing
that has not already
its origins within yourself 

I can throw open no
picture gallery
but your own

I can help make
your own world visible-
that is all.

This is spirituality !

Take a look at this video with Glenn Gould playing Bach. One of the greatest and most eccentric pianists of all time… enjoying himself with the divine music… and yet… so funny… the rope, the mauwnings, the seagulls and the dog that yawns… and yet, Gould is absorbed in his play.

This is how life should be ! This is how a marathon should be ! This is how a relationship should be ! This is how everything should be, actually ! Passion immersed in selfforgetting trancendence and yet highly focused… and humor on top adding the perspective that it’s all only so and so important. We are only here for such a short time, anyways.

Don’t you think ?

The Big Goal for 2008 !

Well, why not be ahead of time ?

I have identified my great running goal for the spring season 2008, namely the challenge of five marathons in five consecutive days. The event takes place in Southern Sweden, so if you are up to it, I think you should join.

Read more about this crazyness here (in Swedish).

Eyes that see. Do you see ? I don’t think so.

Im 16 years old, it is summer and I take the local city train to and from a lousy job. Each day in the train I see an old man with the bluest eyes you can imagine. Eyes that look directly through people, through time, through history, through all love and tragedy of a human lifetime. I never spoke with this man, but he is one of my great teachers in life. We never shared points of view, yet I have communicated with him ever since this summer. Do you understand ? I don’t think so.

Another history and another pair of eyes is from ‘Once Upon a Time in America’. Few movies encapsulates the tragedy and storytelling of life better than this one, and few music scores have lived in my consciousness as the brilliant notes from Ennio Moricone. Few set of eyes have been cooler than those of Charles Bronson, at the peak of his career and the great part as ‘Harmonica’. Fewer times have we delighted in the fulfilled revenge that he gets.

Eyes that see through everything. A mind that knows of things to come, of love and lies and tragedy. Of despair, of survival and of new love to come. Of death to come in the end. Mozart puts it elegantly “death is the real aim of our life, I have for the past few years made myself acquainted with this true, best friend of mankind, so that the vision not only has no terror for me but much that is quieting and comforting.”

Don’t get me wrong: I love to live ! But I think that you need to analyze, understand and use your life based on this fact: life is now ! Don’t try to live forever – you will not succeed. We are obliged to burn every day, to love and to be happy. Forget about the material things if your soul is in trouble. Forget about the soul if you are dying of starvation or war or illness. Forget about the off-centric timescales to the only true thing, you possess: the moment of now ! Thus, forget about the past and do not worry about the future – neither belong to you (now).

Do you understand ? I don’t think so.

Do you see anything at all ?

The Five World Major Marathons !

This passed weekend I made my collection of the Five World Major Marathons complete. So, it took about two and a half year to grab’em all.. not bad, I think. The story goes as follows:

Berlin       2004, 2006
London     2005
New York 2006
Boston     2007
Chicago   2007

The next goal must be to collect some of the ‘adventure’ marathons, e.g. the Chinese Wall, Taj Mahal etc. We”ll see.

Chicago marathon 2007

Yesterday, I completed the perhaps most extreme marathon race I have participated in so far. Unusual high temperatures and a very high humidity made the Chicago marathon appear like a Badwater experience.

Actually, it became so hot that the race was officially cancelled and we were forced to walk to the finish line. Fortunately, we did get an official time and a medal… it would have been hard to accept if the expensive and long trip to Chicago from Denmark would have been all lost.

However, that would still have been minor compared to the tragedy that the family of a young father to three children now suffers since this young man died in the race yesterday. My deepest condolences to them.

You can enjoy my pictures and video from the race and the route here.