– A Story –
Norway, Belgium & everywhere, 2019 – 202…
A live self-published novel on Linkedin & online
Warning: Although some parts & events contained in the present novel might have been inspired by real existing facts, this novel is to be considered as a fiction novel.
– . –
– Part 31 –
The few weeks before Christmas had been hectic & tiring. I had had the care of a young child all by myself. His father had moved 5 hours from here. As 2 orphans, were we standing here on our own. That we had divorced 3 years ago. I never regretted the choice. However, the long road from then to now did not so far give any results. Only the one that I had stated alive.
Alive. Yes. Despite all circumstances related to our life. Despite our miserable living conditions. Despite my anger. My sadness. My struggles. Despite their inability to integrate foreigners. Despite their racism. Their fascism. Their slow and ineffective administrative procedures & incoherent public system. Despite my disliking all aspects of the organization of such a system and the clear inability of such a system to assume its own ignorance. This, of course, did not apply to our friends, who have been of genuine and consistent support for the past 9 years and are still of such support. I stayed alive despite all the pain and suffering that these 9 years of living in Norway had made me experience. Despite the stagnation, my child & I had been into for the same number of years. And despite an obvious, clear, factual & striking injustice. That described all aspects of our life. No matter how one could look at it.
– Part 32 –
Day. After day. And fighting to get things done. To make it through the day with a 5 year old. I had begun to embrace nights. As I had read that sleeping naked increased self-confidence. So for the past month, I had been sleeping naked and I had come to love my nights. Maybe even better and more than my days. I had come to long for that moment when I undressed and let my bed sheets caress all tiny millimeters of my body. Where there is nothing else but the soft touch on my skin. Where everything stops and begins. I had come to delight in these hours of deep and consistent sleep. Where I was only there. As naked as a human can be. All alone in the shadows of the darkest night of Nothern Europe. Where the outside showed -9 degrees. And where my body was laying all pure and naked. Into the corners of the labyrinth of my life. Where all doors remained to be opened.
– Part 33 –
As I was writing, I had my son in my arms. We woke up at 6. Johannes needed cuddling. Cuddling & cuddling. He never had enough of it. I never had enough of it. But I did not have it. Still was I providing it to my son. Outside. The wind was blowing like a savage storm. Both naked feet of Johannes were floating in the air. As he was sitting on my legs. Kissing the first glow of the morning. We never had enough music & never had enough cuddling. We never had enough love. Enough time. Enough learning. Enough arts. We craved for everything. As we craved for change. In the trenches of our life as it was for the time being. We needed all & had basically nothing. Not even the security of someone’s unlimited support. Had we the one of our friends, who in their turn were struggling to make everyday work at best. Our very needs & existence did not weight so much compared to other people’s needs to fight for themselves. As the notes of a piano were fading away. In the rapid movements of a morning calling for the sun to rise, I just kissed another day.
Johannes was repeating sounds in Kirundi. In Russian. And other languages. He had been learning to count in Lakota and repeated the numbers in Mandarin chinese after me & after the speaker on the computer. Often when I was doing my multilingual training, was he home. He thus benefited from all sounds in all 18 languages I was daily training and it was still unknown in which extend the positive benefit was to be. After a few days with his dad, where he mostly learned and heard Russian, he seemed to be particularly stimulated cognitively. That it was thanks to the difference in language or to the Russian language in particular, it was a bit difficult to say. As I had been starting this language training experiment in early last June, I lacked a longterm overview to properly assess what was yet to come as positive (and maybe but less probably negative) longterm effect & benefits of this experiment. I could only speak about the present positive effects. What’s more, I was loving it.
Johannes was repeating sounds in Kirundi. In Russian. And in other languages. He had been learning to count in Lakota and repeated the numbers in Mandarin Chinese after me & after the speaker on the computer. Often when I was doing my multilingual training, was he home. He thus benefited from all sounds in all 18 languages I was daily training in and it was still unknown in which extend the positive benefits were to be. After a few days with his dad, where he mostly learned and heard Russian, he seemed to be particularly cognitively stimulated. That it was thanks to the difference in language or to the Russian language in particular, it was a little bit difficult to say. As I had been starting this language training experiment in early last June, I lacked a longterm overview to properly assess what was yet to come as positive (and maybe but less probably negative) longterm effect & benefits of this experiment. I could only speak about the present positive effects. What’s more, I was loving it.
Many things were going. 9 years of our life into boxes & numerous payments. I was selling most of our belongings. Unimportant entities. All of them were packed into squares boxes ready to be either sold or sent to Brussels. I was keeping on applying for jobs & assignments & freelancing was about to take off to a sustainable level. The hours of work it required though. Before it did indeed take off was mountainous and gigantic. Compared to the gratification it offered on a short term basis. Feelancing was the paroxistic embodiment of the principle of “postponing gratification”. All the marshmallows I did not eat at once. Well, what one should do when one does not like sugar first of all? With the marshmallows? And the postponed gratification?
Good question. Or maybe irrelevant. As there were many other urgent questions to answer for the time being. Concerning the logistics and practicality of our moving back home. To my homeland. Would it be the home of Johannes. Who spoke. Still & above all. Norwegian (Bokmål & Nynorsk).
Mistake. The word was cold and bitter. As life was and is cold and bitter. Once you thrive for perfection. You might and will experience struggle. Judgement. Side backs. Relapse. Fall. And raising again. Responsibility kept coming back. Again. And again. And again. As a ghost constantly wanting to drag you down. Or raise you up.
I assumed. I apologized. I learned the lesson. I had to keep on moving and building. And go forward. This was now that I had to invest and make as much effort as possible. And I had to keep on running. As fast as I could. Rest. As well as I could and play it fair. And play it right. And play it as truthfully as I could. As truth had and gave a direction into my life and always had.
As I embraced truth and its contrastive taste. I started to adore being the leader of my own life. And I kept on learning. Learning. Learning. Ever learning. And learning always more and more every day. My eyes opened and my ears sharpened. I enjoyed every minute of my life. As I spent it doing exactly what I loved.
What we have. What we will never have. What we never had. What we might have one day. What we dreamed of. What we should have. What we had and did not want. Anymore. What we regreted. What we legitimately desired. What we considered a system fault. What we struggled with. What we fought for. What we would have liked to forget. What we wanted to remember. What we cherished. What we despised. What we loved. What we hated. What we lived. For. What we sang. What we spoke of. What we said. What we showed. What we danced. What we experienced. What we strongly disagreed with. What we were chocked at. What we were disgusted by. What we were exhausted by. What we sold. What we kept. What we threw. What we drawned. What we painted. What we whispered. What we screamed. What we sweated for. What we ran after. What we forgot. What we wrote down. To remember. Always.
All of them. I kept previously into my mind. Until the right moment would come. To release. Let go. And be reborn.
I was here. In my appartment. The sound of music. And no one else. Alone. As usual. I had thought of going to the movie, but it was closed today. There would only be movie tomorrow and tomorrow, my desire to watch a movie would probably be gone. Since we had not moved back to Brussel due to Covid-crisis, we had all boxes here all around our appartment with most of our belongings. Like awaiting to take a plane to somewhere else. I still had my jacket on after an hour of walking in the nature and the woods. I was planning to call Johannes in 30 minutes, as he was spending 3 weeks with his dad 5 hours from here for summer holidays. There was the word “Peace” hanging on the wall of my appartment: and it seemed that noone here ever thought of this term in real. No one here living in this country was ever doing anything aiming for it. Althouhg I took a few assignments today, simple translations to send back asap, I decided after this long walk to take the rest of the day as “Let go day” – in the recipe of life that is hanging on my wall also: it is mentioned, to sometimes take a “Let go day” in order to reflect about our understanding of the world, of life and of everything: do I really know? Do I really understand? I had started a few months ago to devote 2 hours and a half everyday to listen to a list of great thinkers that I condidered had something valuable to teach me: so every day I listen to podcasts, interview and videos of Daniel Goleman, Jordan Peterson, Yuval Noah Harari, Malcolm Gladwell, Simon Sinek, Brené Brown, a Ted Talk, Gabor Mate, Ken Loach, Allan Watts, also a thinker of free choice, different every day that I pick by chance. THis made me a better person: to listen to great thinkers. I also kept on learning my dear 18 languages and found and felt this, especially this, was the most beautiful experience ever: to listen to 18 different voices every day. Although today, I had to take a day off: I listen to a part of them. And decided to relax the requirements and demand I set for myself, which can, I believe, sometimes enclose me in a kind of prison of my mind where I end up requiring from myself too much.
In my mind, there were many things I could not process: how Norway, as the country with the so-called highest living standards could let a psychotherapist, owning a weapon, introducing his 5 fingers in the rectum of a psychically-challenged single mother in psychic despair and decided to protect the therapist, not the young mother, nor her child. Although all the facts had been reported to the police, it ended up that the therapist was finally still working in the public sector, eøployed by the state, without any blame, nor emprisonment, nor fine of any kind, while the psychically challenged mother had to face legal consequences of un inexistant legal offence – as the allegations had so far no tangible or existing material or documented proofs of any kind.
As I had written to the appeal instance, I still did not understand, rationally speaking, how a reputed State can, consciously, decide to protect an alcoholic sexual offender rather than a 5-year-old, an armed soldier rather than a vulnerable woman, a lie rather than the truth. Given that the same therapist had (even worse) confirmed the facts and the details of the events – after having lied – he and his wife – both to the police and had expressed the intension to lie to the court – something they finally resigned to do and confirmed the true facts instead, the size and weight of the scandal was so obviously insiduous, that I was constantly in a state of chock since then.
Strangely, it had completely anihilated my desire to live here, or to build any relational bound with anyone here: this countrym its system, its structure and its fraudulous State of law – build in its whole – on a lie inspired nothing but disgust to me and my child – my child who was very determined to move back to Belgium as well.
The only thing I was able to do was to keep on telling the truth. Even if this was not heard. And as our lawyer had decided to close his door and start lying as well – as well as anyone else we knew in these instances – we knew know that this country was as a fruit of perversion and corruption as any other rogue states worldwide. And that behind the bright and fraudulous curtain of being “the best country in the world where it is the best to live”, Norway had in real thousands and millions of cases like ours and when these cases where just half the state of our own: these were only citizens married with nationals, enjoying a higher status because of having what they call “ethnic Norwegian” children, given all care, sympathy and privileges that one could think of and letting all other children die in the street, without emotional support, in a social system that not only discriminated even more than the population did, but also that many thinkers consider as a “trap”, as compared to other systems worldwide, that induces the starvation of the thousands of children here as well, because not given the same opportunity of educational support or material privileges.
Many times, my son was reporting feeling like everyone here thought he was stupid. However: he, from the eight of his 5 years old, already understood 4 languages – French, Russian, Norwegian Bokmål/Nynorsk and English – and asked all by himself to watch movies in Dutch, Spanish, Danish and Arabic and could focus for hours in front a film in languages he did not know and had never heard of before. Despite this, he thought everyone and everyone gave him the impression that he was stupid. If this is an example of integration or of the best place to live for a 5 years old: it means we are not living in the same world. And obvioulsy we do not share the same values of inclusion and integration. And this country is nothing but a lie and obviously not a State of law and does not respect any amendments of the Human Rights Charts of the United Nations, neither does respect its own constitution.
I have always believe din integration and inclusion. Also in multiculturalism and multilingualism.
I previously had, I enjoyed and I loved teaching to multicultural classes both in adult and secondary education, to classes of 25 students that I had to lead in focus and calm for hours, weeks and months for 3 years. Students of diverse origins, backgrounds, personalities and ages. I loved it. I loved spending time with so many different students all aiming to acquiring knowledge and learning. All aiming at trying to make this time and place a better time and place for everyone. All aiming at learning from one another. At integration. At inclusion. At understanding.
The way Norway was treating my son and myself was only in contradiction to all possible existing human rights, but worst of all, this was also destroying a child, his aspirations and expectations for the future, his needs and his right to choose. This was also imparing me of the right to choose and this was rather destroying the epinal image of a country which was nothing of what it was advertising to be. Indeed, everything it was saying it was, was in fact NOT at all. Nor in any common sense, in generalities, in regularities nor in a deeper perspective. Nothing that was said in the public arena had indeed been true in our lives – and our life we had been living them in Norway for the past 10 years. And these were by far and in all aspects of them: the worst years of our lives ever, both in their quality and in their perspective, no matter how one look at it.
Facing a country which decided to protect a male sexual offender instead of a 5 years old and his young mother, we have no choice but leaving this territory – given the mountains of lies at the foundations of the Norwegian State.
I come from a land where there is a bakery in each village and a shoe maker in the neighbouring village. I come from a land with three recognized languages. And where you can taste the most delicious chocolate you will ever taste in your life. I come from a land of tiny little streets and nature taking over every single wall of concrete. I come from a land of freedom of speech and thoughts. I come from a land who won 4 times the Nobel Peace Price. The European Union won it once: it means Belgium won it 5 times in total. I come from a land of corn and fields. Of coal and clouds. A land where the winds blows and where the shy hills of the south are always safe harbour for the meditation of your mind. I come from a land where people work hard. And diligently. Towards a goal. Towards the society. Charles Michel is a main figure within the European Union in the reconstruction of Europe after the Covid-crisis. He is a central figure of improvement and progress in our Belgium. A Belgium which is part of a whole continent, that I beleive in. My Europe. Our Europe. A Europe of diversity and openness. A Europe of progress and peace. A Europe of integration and welcome. A Europe of understanding. A Europe of mindfullness, connection and solidarity. A Europe open and fostering understanding between nations, countries and culture. A Europe aiming at understanding all languages. At integrating all languages. At integrating all. No matter where they are from and where they were born. I beliebe in Europe. And Europe is what I want to engage in in the years to come. And for the rest of my life. In a Europe of Peace. Where everyone can thrive and lead a meaningfull life.
Today is a bit difficult.
Not that I am bored. I have a lot of work. It seems there is an angel out there above who makes sure I am not bored. Every day, I have got plenty of things to do.
But loneliness is clearly difficult.
The emptiness of an evening. The screen as the sole company.
Sometimes it seems whatever the choices we make, it does not matter much. Well of course it does, in reality, it does.
But sometimes it seems it does not matter.
It just seems like it does not.
All my clothes, our clothes and books are packed in boxes. It feels like my own being and identity are just packed in boxes. Waiting to take off. Any time. And it seems the past 10 years have been so. Waiting for me to take off and never do it.
I haven’t written for months. Six months to be precise. I haven’t touched a lover’s skin for the same period of time. We moved back to Belgium with Jo. Centred. Safe. Not confined anew yet. Everything starts to settle down. Lots of work. Lots of challenges. From now on, every day, when I wake up, I follow one motto: the first thing you should do is to take care of yourself and of Johannes. So instead of working today early in the morning: I started to write. I feel good in Belgium, even though I miss Norwegian nature and our friends. And before we shall ever set our feet back in Norway, we are going to reflect about what it means to be Norwegian, what is Norway to us, how do we dearly love its people and its nature, how and with what shall we contribute as human beings to the country? But: we shall not forget that Norway is equally a candidate to us as we are to the land. This is the challenge of the 2 coming years. When these questions shall be answered, we shall consider head back to the North.
In between, a research project on multilingualism for Peace. French to learn for Johannes. And our development to guarantee. Self-development. And all these marvellous languages to learn, to hear and to help survive. And a pandemic to get out of for the entire world.
I have 4 minutes to write down my thoughts. Before I head to yoga. Writing. Reading. Brushing my teeth. Drinking a tea. Putting my pyjama on. Laying down in bed. To recharge for another crazy day. Today was a difficult day.
5 minutes to write my thoughts.
This is a good reason to be frustrated.
Frustration is said in the CNRTL to be a normal human reaction to a legitimate claim related to something a person is deprived of by someone else.
This definition changed completely my perception of the right of a person, me included, to be frustrated and to express his or her frustration, my child included. After all: our claims are legitimate.
As such, these claims must be heard. And expressed. So does this frustration.
There is a meaning in using the dictionary all the time as a linguist. Sometimes the most basic words and concepts need to be studied anew. We forget so fast their core meaning.
I tried. Or at least I was trying to keep on. Doing every step. Each after the other. Bearing in mind my goals. Seeing others succeeding. Witnessing my child growing without a father. Four minutes left before bedtime. Routines were resettling my body clock at the right time and rythm. Every day, loneliness seemed less painful. Where was he… the one that would love me… For eternity? Did he even exist or was it just a fantasy? A fading mirage disappearing out there at the horizon each time I made a step forward…
I am not sure rather the time has stopped and with it the world around, or is it that everything rushes everywhere without any notion of time. I schedule everything. All the time. And I came to love it. Indeed.