I push my teeth together


Illustration by Anna Nygren.

I just came home from the physiotherapist. Wearing plastic gloves she stuck her fingers in my mouth to feel the pressure, to investigate if my bite can be the cause of constant headaches. At one point it was very painful, so I screamed out loud. I am not a person who screams out loud, I’m more a person who bites together and count to ten, or a hundred or how far it is necessary to overcome the impulse to scream ouch or no, or quit! At this moment, I was caught in the act. With a strange person’s fingers in my mouth, I could not bite the bullet. I had to reveal my pain.

I sometimes say that I am in pain, headaches, stomachaches, backaches. As an excuse that I am whining or need not be bothered or are looking for a reaffirmation of that it’s ok to take a pill. So that I clenched and manage things anyway. I do not like to take pills and prefer to avoid it. Except when I’m working. Then I must. Then I can not be whining and not the hurricane. Then I have to cope with, without complaining, but to show, to be able to deliver what I have undertaken.

I sometimes say that I find things a little hard. Tiresome as not to sleep, like worrying about the future, ailment not to like myself, ailment not to be what I think others expect me to be. Tiresome as to always take everything seriously. Tiresome as not to dry. When I work, I cannot be tiresome, then I bite together. There are so many who have it worse. I can not ask people to understand. I do not know how to express myself.

I go to the doctor sometimes. As now, after a year of mental taste in my mouth and headache. At the doctor, I am fairly good at describing my symptoms, listen to advice and tips (to the extent they exist) and be happy and glad to get to be listened to for a while. Usually I walk away without a response, or more diffuse reply that it is not something that is wrong – and if I get hurt again I will of course call. This time I received pain killer and psychotropics as well as a business card to a physiotherapist. I am not unique. Unfortunetly.

I’ll meet you here, including comments and emails. I’ll meet you at work or at friends. I get a text from you because you can not manage to be meet real life. I read about you in the newspaper and hear stories about you on the radio. Sometimes I hear about the worst. I see that you pull yourself away, you do not want to show that you have are tiresome or annoying. I am ashamed, and you are ashamed.

My experience is that pain is something we choose not to talk about and instead just push forward. My experience is that it is shameful to talk about it. Is it because people get uncomfortable? Is it because we lack knowledge? I have a need to talk about pain, physical as well as mental, but I do not know how to start?

I and Anna, who makes the illustrations for the Invite Me To My Own Words, think about pain. We will have it as a recurring theme in this blog and would like to know which thoughts, questions and experiences you have. Together, we want to invite you into a conversation about pain and how we talk and not talk about it. Write a comment below or email info@invitemetomyownwords.com.

Until then I do the exercises, I got the physiotherapist and take my pills when the alarm on the phone says doing, doing. I’m trying to find a relaxed mode of the jaw.

Arthralgian greetings,
Anna Lina

A canceled post

Illustration by Anna Nygren.

Illustration by Anna Nygren.

I (4 days ago): Hi Anna! For the first time, I decide not to write. The older child is sick so I don’t have time to think or write. Are you still making an illustration? Perhaps one word only, “empty”, or something? If not, I fully understand. Hug AL

ANNA (2 days ago): Hello! It sounds like a wise decision to make. I have a picture that I made a while ago. I’m sending it here. Maybe it works? Big hugs

I: It’s fine. It’s like we share the same thought. Without effort and with curiosity. The fever continues here at home. Hugs! PS. I am someone who does not cancel. This is not an entirely unpleasant feeling. Kind of nice.

ANNA: Nicely it’s a nice feeling! I’m also a little sick. Snotty hugs!

ME: My mind is wondering anyway, though I do not have time. How to keep deadlines and make deliveries. About what it’s worth. For the most part is good for me with structures and goals, provided that I made or set them myself or with others. As it is now with you. I appreciate our common structure. On Friday (or Saturday) you will have  a draft to the next post. Have it nice until then. Hug and Good Night

ANNA: I’ll think a bit about what I think about the structures and objectives. Hug!

In the importance was the word

Illustration by Anna Nygren.

Illustration by Anna Nygren.

When I think of the grief that is too large for the body, and that there is words and sentences to keep me fixed. There are references and tools so I can keep myself afloat. When I think of how words save lives and how words helped people to die, then I think that the tax I pay is too low.

When I think of your farewell party. That it was too grand and incomprehensible to grasp. That you were not there. We still remained with the realization that you can not get in through the door, not at all. We had trouble finding our own words in it and that several of us chose the words of others.

I work with words, its creation and design. I spend much of my working time talking about text, parse and modify. Along with others, I take a position on a specific word meaning, dig in it, look at it. These words will be in camp to theatrical performances or letters and text in any other form. I do not reflect so much of it. Other than that, it’s obvious.

There, at the party I do not know what will happen. There is no given dramaturgy and no internal pete conditioned positions. None of us know what the expectations are, on each other or ourselves. We are powerless over the fact that you are gone and we can not do anything about it. We can only be in sorrow and in joy of having met you. You have asked us to be unsentimental and not to keep any speeches. You have asked us to get to know each other.

There is a soup ladle. The soup ladle is raised toward the ceiling when someone wants to talk. We would not keep some speech but a memory will be good enough. Short and entertaining. Or a poem. A poem by any living writer, or death. A poem written about you or for you and by me or any of the others who are here. The poem short lines becomes a lifeline and we keep firmly in it. We do not talk when we do not know what to talk about. We do not talk but we can read a few lines from a crumpled note from the pocket and listen to each other.

Some words swim by and remain. Some words stay. One word. Just that word. I do not know why that word was written. I do not know if it was planned that I should read it. Or yes, I know it was not written to me. For the one who wrote does not know I exist. However, it knew that there are many like me. Who need that word and all those other words. Words that create meaning. The idea is that it will be all right. That it’s ok. And several other sentences and meanings.

Amidst all the emotional (and maybe it is just when it is read a very bad paraphrase of a famous writer and I screw a little at me but nevertheless acknowledges the true and heartfelt in the intention), I am struck by the realization of how culture is necessary. It is not a new concept but rather a useful reminder. It is listed in my work as a prerequisite, a driver, but I forget to put it.

Together with you, I would stubbornly turned the word and the importance of culture. Its necessity.

You were wise who invited us to your party. You were wise who gave us an opportunity to just be and discover the magnificent. You are wise and you are still with me.

/ AnnaLina

Pizza and gifts

Illustration by Anna Nygren.

Illustration by Anna Nygren.

I made my debut as a director in a basement in the medieval city of Visby. I was six years old, the play was a children’s play about forest animals k and the ensemble consisted of children living in the neighborhood. I remember them as a listening crowd with great commitment to take instructions during rehearsals. We never had time to have an opening, since we constantly were interrupted by feeding time and all had to go home.

When I later life premiered, I received some gifts. For example Machiavelli’s “The Prince”, a biography of Ingmar Bergman, a lesbian novel. I’ve also got me some mitts the costume designer had made, boxing gloves, a red lipstick with accompanying lip liner. I have not thought about these gifts to any great degree as a reflection of me. When I received “The Prince”, I was a little puzzled and wondered what the gift was for …

I teach in writing drama. For me, it is about getting the participants to think for themselves, to discover how smart they really are and that they can and should question the truth of other’s people. My focus is to see how others are developed, and that they dare to take themselves and their texts seriously.

When we last met, for a game of text conversations, we ended up repeatedly in conversations about leadership. We talked about that the fear of sharing ones knowledge, as if it were a secret. That in the teaching context or mentoring is an idea to get someone to deliver, show off – but without that he has been told what or how. With some idea that the hard way gives truer knowledge. We also talked about that leaders often feel pressure to control up, fix, take responsibility for absolutely everything. There also seems to be a fear of finding out what is expected of leadership, as it would be dangerous to face criticism. We’re talking about the difficulty of finding ways for a conversation about leadership roles.

We talk about how it can be when a man and a woman share a leadership. What happens to listening, giving orders, execution and trust. We talk about what happens automatically, how pointing with the whole hand gets attention, how to hesitate or think means ok to interrupt. How quiet can be perceived differently, as authoritarian or weak. We talk about that change takes time, we talk about that we do not have time to wait, and that there must be a change NOW.

We talk and talk, and eat pizza. I ask if the participants want to interview me about my leadership. I realize that I will be confused. It will be the same type of stress that when I say the right thing in a mingle party, or tell us briefly about who I am or lay out text about something that anyone should be interested in.

I expose myself to this stress in secure forms. Afterward, I’m not satisfied with my answers, I was bad and came with bad examples. The only thing that was good was when I was asked about what is bad.

Together we make an evaluation of the call, your comment is that I am needed. I ask you to explain. You say that I am a person who will make you think, that no one else has done it before. I think I understand. You say that my leadership will keep you safe. You say you yourself detects when you make a mistake, you enjoy seeing all the good you do. I get embarrassed and very happy. Even though I had complicated answers during the interview, my leadership made an impression, created a basis for how my conversation with you and the others are.

The day after I lost my voice. I communicate via patch, eyes and thumb up or down. My notes read, my gestures read. The conversation continues anyway.

On the train home I find a note I forgot to show you: You are a collection of experience that I’m curious about, like if I is a collection of experience that you are curious about!

In the basement of my childhood street, I got the finest and most important gift, a listening and trust. Just like the gifts I receive during conversation over a pizza. I think of all the premiere gifts I have received had they been a hint that anyone seen my leadership and appreciated it. That I was saddened when I received “The Prince” is perhaps not so strange, but I probably should have asked if there was any thought behind it. Maybe it was just a way to draw attention to my leadership, and demonstrate that it was fine and clear.

I am proud that I am beginning to dare to think about this, and I intend to continue. I be glad if you join.

Please let me know,
Anna Lina.