Randi Lindholm Hansen
FLASH FICTION excerpts from The Archipelago Collection performed at Nordiskt Ljus 2022
WHEN WRITING ABOUT ISLANDS
When writing about islands, one must keep in mind that islands are like the writing vocation. Remote, distanced from life itself yet desperate to participate. The very urge for participation, for inclusion, is what inevitably distance. And life will sail past and you will be waving longingly from ashore and life will ignore your desperate attempt at contact. Life doesn’t care about you.
A GUIDE TO LIVING IN THE FOREST
Step one. You go to the forest. You cannot practice living in the forest without being there. That is one of the unjust facts of life. Once you are there, you can read on. Until then stop reading. Have you made it to the forest? Well done. The first part of your journey has been accomplished. Be proud of yourself. Step two. Settle in. The transition period from civilisation to nature can take anywhere between a day and half and a week. If you have not transitioned after a week, go home. Step three. Live. Make time pass. If time stands still, go home.
OM MOD OG DRISTIGHED
Jeg er ikke modig om morgen. Op ad dagen samler jeg til mig, og lige inden sengetid er jeg ligefrem dristig. Det er et uhensigtsmæssigt tidspunkt for dristighed, for hvad kan man gøre med den lige inden sengetid. Swipe til højre på tinder og skrive ugennemtænkte emails.
LIFE OF A NO SAYER
I say no. More than anything, I say no. I am invited to a party, I say no. I'm invited on a date, I say no. I'm offered a job, I turn it down. My phone rings, I don’t answer. But then I remember that I like people. That I need work. That I have been waiting for that phonecall. I like parties. I dislike dates, but I like honest conversation. I like going out, I like being out. I like observing awkward human interaction. I like being quiet in public. I like being loud in public. I like impressions and emotions. I like life experiences and good food and cheap beer. So I say yes.
ABOUT THE TIME O SAW A MAN
I passed him in the street. Went on with my life.
CHOREOGRAPHY OF SOCIALISING LATE IN LIFE
Looking into their garden, I saw the set coffee table. Two red chairs, two blue chairs. An open kitchen door to a yellow house. Imagined joyful chatter among the two women facing the stream that marks the edge of the lawn, the edge of a privacy sphere. Imagined phrases of encouragement thrown into the air between the two men who are guarding the set coffee table during the absence of the women and from the absence of threat. With the women out of sight, the men turn to the rhododendrons. They stand like that, side by side, for a good twenty minutes. Hands crossed behind the back, one hand locking the wrist on the other. Perfect synchrony. Occasional pointing. Ahead. Upward. Uninterrupted admiration of the bush. The coffee is getting cold.
I have been marching in the forest with no particular purpose but to move consistently and disobediently. In opposition to all that is natural. I’m not angry, I’m indignant. I’m cynical at times. I’m rebellious, and if you tell me I can’t march, I’ll march. Anywhere.