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The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The                                     ____midnight
____sunlight

____ w
____
a
____n
____d
____e
____r
____s

through the white
curtains in the                                                                 ____bedroom.

The
room
is                                      ________painted brown,
and I’ve put
two
separate
beds
beside
each
other,
making them
into a fake                             ________double bed.

How
can
anybody
endure the

w
e
i
g
h
t

of

another
                         person’s
body?

____________

The
midnight  sunlight
is gone,
and                                                                                                    ________moonbeams

__w
____a
________n
____________d
____________________e
____________________________r

through
the white curtains
in the bedroom.

The
room
is
________painted brown,
and I’ve put
____two
____separate
____beds

beside
each
other,
____making them
____into a fake
____double bed.

My mother
called
and said
we had to
put
out
the family                   dog,
and now there’s
            a little human puppy
lying next to me,
breathing monotonously.                      ____So peacefully unaffected,

                                                                                                                                            ____it might
____as well
____be dead.

Part 0: Introduction
I decided to spend four months in Northern Norway. Right above the arctic circle, I’m trying to collect my thoughts on travel and being. I’m staying in a fishing village with the shy number of 445 inhabitants, flooded with an unimaginable flow of tourists at summer’s high-season. This place, filled with heavy souls and patient people dealing with nature’s
brutal force and light-minded travellers spending their money on whale safaris and postcards of Northern Lights, holds the manifestation of Kundera’s ambiguous title.

Part 1: Lightness and Weight
The midnight sunlight wanders through the white curtains in the bedroom. The room is painted brown, and I’ve put two separate beds beside each other, making them into a fake double bed. How can anybody endure the weight of another
person’s body? I feel the heavy frame on top of my own, pushing me further into the mattress, as if it wants me to disappear into an unknown second dimension inside the bed. The subdued light reveals both the lines of our bodies, and our underlying motives. And as the heaviness increases, my body drains itself into the emptiness by being filled with someone else.

Part 2: Soul and Body
We’re sitting on the third floor, in the room with the one big
window, and we try to focus on our breathing. From the stomach, through the chest, through the narrow neck and throat, through the nose and out. The only furniture in the room is a yellow couch. On the back of the couch someone has painted the words ‘time’ and ‘machine’. How are you feeling today, I ask her. She says a triangle is stuck in her upper back. The other day she had a small cube in each of her shoulders. The world of materials is integrated in her. And sometimes the physical objects could be so silent they tremble. She can feel the stillness of a coffee mug, a jug, flowers in a vase, a lamp, window glass. Like calm before the storm, the glasses rattling, it will soon be smashed into tiny pieces, like the remaining insides of her body. The scream is so loud, yet it is quieter than an abandoned building, the pressure so high, it is concentrated in a tiny dot descending in layers of depth. I ask her if she thinks staying over winter would be too dark. She says she’ll be ok. She’ll just be inside knitting a sweater and reading books.

Part 3: Words Misunderstood
A cup of tea. I’m trying not to reveal the fact that I’m feeling touched by own emotions. Isn’t this the crystallisation of my own narcissism? The face on the screen before me seems indifferent, while I try to avoid the tears of Narcissus hitting
the keyboard. I try to explain the huge misunderstanding, and how this means that we most likely exist in different solar systems. He says he doesn’t really understand, and that he has a lot to think about at the moment. He says that he and his psychiatrist agreed that he should focus on the simple things. Like the simple pleasure of afternoon tea. I look at the cup of tea and I see the dark endless ocean limited into the walls of the ceramic. He looks at the cup of tea and thinks about when he’s going to see his psychiatrist again.

Part 4: Soul and Body
The concrete platform beneath the satellite tower has become my favourite place without the sense of place. I see the wooden houses, hues in true Norwegian colour anarchy, tangled up in a pile, boarded by sea and headlands. The wind is making me lean my upper body forward, resisting the pressure. The backdrop is a wall of massive rocks rising up behind the tiny houses. It is trying to warn me. That I should not come closer, not too close. This pile of rocks knows a secret about me that I don’t, but it refuses to let me in. I lean into the wind. I imagine the wall of rocks moving closer, and I let the mountains push me further into myself.

Part 5: Lightness and Weight
I dropped the cigarette unintentionally on the ground. Two floors down, right beneath the scaffoldings where we’re spending our evening. The cigarette was only half-smoked, and since we’re short of money, she decided to climb down to get it. I watch her while she uncoordinatedly moves down the scaffoldings with her plateau sandals and Ganni-jacket.
She quickly finds the half-finished cigarette between the gravel, puts the stub in her mouth, and flounders up the railing again. We say to each other that we feel infinitely young. Infinitely young in our adulthood. Or infinitely adult in our childishness.

Part 6: The Grand March
Yesterday I had to cancel my attempt of hiking up a mountain. It wasn’t that steep or difficult or anything, my feet just started shaking and my head got out of balance. When I saw the others getting further and further ahead of me on the rocky path, I slowly accepted my defeat. It was like loosing a battle you were sure of winning. I turned my head down, and tried to carry the tiny amount of pride I had left all the way down to where I started. A nauseous feeling of betrayal. Like I had betrayed something, or someone. I had betrayed the mountain, my original plan of victory, and the other hikers. Despite the unpleasant queasiness, somehow I felt this weird light taste of victory in my mouth. The victory of betrayal lies in the act of turning your back on a predefined goal, a goal you realise was defined by others. That makes the act of betrayal so heavily easy. The path you now follow is an inevitable curse, and the first narrow path leads to a wider road, and then suddenly you’re on the highway. I can tell you, once you have betrayed the one you loved, your friends, your own family and God, there are not that many more left. But no one can stop you on your path of betrayal once you’ve found it.

Part 7: Karenin’s Smile
The midnight sunlight is gone, and moonbeams wander through the white curtains in the bedroom. The room is painted brown, and I’ve put two separate beds beside each other, making them into a fake double bed. My mother called and said we had to put out the family dog, and now there’s a little human puppy lying next to me, breathing monotonously. So peacefully unaffected, it might as well be dead. The fainted light reveals the thin line between day and night, life and death. And as the contrast bites its own puppy tail, the lightness of being is like an iron curtain over the sheet we share.