Meddling, minding, caring?

What’s in the walls of a city? As we walk through Berlin I ask myself, would we be able to feel the sinister atmosphere if it was not for our knowledge of the dark history?

Just 20 years ago this country had spies on every street, 90 000 people fully employed by talking notes on the “wheres” and “whens” and “with whom”s of their neighbors. Of course these people are still there, somewhere. Are they minding their own business or listening, remembering, abiding their time until another regime demands intense surveillance of their people?


As this guy, looming on the street, looking in, waiting, for something to see that can be reported.

Or is it a joke? A story about scale and perspective, making a toy world of all the things we believe are big?

Then I visited the emergency room in Trondheim. This hospital has a remarkable art program, you’ll see interesting, thought provoking or just beautiful artwork wherever you go. This one is a puzzle though. Why is a bear banging its head on the wall of a hospital? Is that the feeling you get as a patient in there? Or is the bear trying to break in? A tale of the fact that even concrete walls can not protect us when life hits hard?

IMG_8622hodet mot veggen

Or as my brother said, she has pinched her nose, and the doctors will set her free! Then a friend said. Go look at the other side of the wall!

Today I did, for the first time.

IMG_8718 bjørnetunge

It is still a bear though. Even if it just wants honey.

Our society is free, isn’t it?
When you discover someone’s poking their head into your communications, they are not spying, they are doing it for your safety. If everything you buy or say or write is stored for someone to analyze later, no one is invading your privacy, they are protecting you, so that you can keep playing in your small, ordinary, safe, world. One could not expect ordinary people to understand that, it is just a kind bear.

Of course anyone can say whatever they want to in a free society.
Anyone will understand that calling freedom of speech a constitutional right, does not prevent the defenders of the constitution from gathering, sorting, analyzing and storing all these free statements. You are free to say what ever you want, as long as you accept that just how free you are, will be decided later. When everything gathered are sifted, balanced and compared to that day’s priorities and doctrines. What if we are not allowed to take part in deciding these criteria? It is just a funny guy, don’t worry!

What if the bear starts growling?





You’ll never walk alone

IMG_5662 (1280x853)Yesterday I was present when the congregation at Tiller started to use their new liturgical clothes. The process of designing and making them is worthy of several blog posts that maybe will be told, one day. Today I’ll just share the beginning and the end.

I always start with the biblical texts for the Sundays when the liturgical clothes, or paraments, will be used.IMG_5618 (1280x853) This set is red, the color of blood, the color of martyrdom, the color of fire, the liturgical color for Pentecost, for ordination, for the day of the apostles. The texts speak about being a witness, about martyrdom, about baptism by fire and by the holy spirit. To me, most of all it speaks about the God who walks with each and one of us through all this. Be not afraid, one texts says. I will not leave you fatherless, another tells us. Yet another, I will stay with you to the end of the world.IMG_5641 (1280x767) So I wanted the textiles to show God surrounding us, enfolding us, walking with us, in every moment, in sorrow and in joy. Which made me start with the Fibonacci numbers. Fibonacci did not invent them, but told the west about ancient indian and arabic knowledge, the sequence and order you’ll find in nature, the golden ratio. Like the seeds of a pine cone or a sunflower, every row being the sum of the two before it. IMG_5639 (1280x853)To later theologians this sequence became a witness of how God’s ordering principles rule nature. To me, I used this sequence to make a cross, and the world where we live. Sometimes you do not immediately see it, like in life, it may look chaotic, it may look without order. If you keep looking, it is there to be found.IMG_5651 (854x1280)