Wednesday, August 04, 2004


I got a hold of an almost one year old issue of the ladies’ magazine Amelia. The Swedish author Kajsa Ingemarsson was interviewed and she said that her motto is “Life is not a distance for transportation”.

But I wonder. I’ve spent quite some time on the roads this summer, driving through the country. And while sitting there, behind the wheel, I’ve realized that this actually is life that I’m witnessing here. Life is a highway. Some drive at top speed and won’t stop at nothing to pass others, some don’t. The roadhogs are a form of social deviation. And drivers standing still at the side of the road (the ones with a warning sign behind the cars, not the coffee yearning!) don’t participate in “everyday life”, perhaps due to illness or so.

And just as there are underlying systems that influence how you lead your life, so are there in traffic, for instance the three heavily loaded trucks in front of you, the speed limits and the quality of the road. And the fact that most people actually drive on the roads, and not through the forest, implies the choices that many make, such as creating a family and getting a job. And if you turn to a side road, this represents a change of something, field of study, job or hobby for example.

But in my opinion, this is not an appealing model of viewing life. I’d rather see life as a big meadow, where you’re free to take any path you like. Only big rocks and ditches may limit your way and actions. I imagine, perhaps in my own naïve way, that if life was a meadow, we’d make our own, individual choices and not go with the rest (that is not to nicely join the endless line of cars). But since my family has reared cattle, I’ve observed sheep graze out in the free. And there’s no individuality there. They stick to their group and follow each other, and the leader sheep, almost everywhere.

Does it sound hazy and scatterbrained? Well, I gotta focus on the traffic too, you know, so I can't waste too much energy on thinking while driving... Feel free to contribute with other analogies of life, I'd love to hear what others feel. I guess that both of these ways of looking at life has its own pros and cons. While driving the 4 ½ hour long drive tonight (in a car with no air conditioning in 27 degrees Celsius!), I’ll probably have time to give this some more thought.

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