The Inner Journey Crudely Catalyzed by the Outer Journey.
I am 19 years old, a high school student and have been living in Århus, Denmark my whole life. I have been blessed, living in one of the richest countries in the world, being brought up by parents filled with great perspectives and what has always seemed a higher love, being spiritually inspired since the age of 8 (by parents, books, masters and, foremost, God). One might say that my life, until this point, has been shaped not by pretentious journeys, but by the simple pain and joy of living, from the severe stomachaches I had as an early child to the first feeling of intensity from falling in love. I am moving to the USA, and this won't the start of the long waited pretentious journey, it will only offer the simple and pure beauty and misery offered by life when a young soul leaves its safe surroundings to go wander around landscapes of both unknown potential love and pain. It will not be wandering amongst water buffalos, it will be visiting the streets of Miami looking for a place to live, it will be a romantic life among the stars of Casablanca, but the sweet smell of making love with a girl in Grandpa's land with sirens softly nuzzling our hearts while we fall asleep by the fire, the moon being our only witness. It will be the fear of being unemployed, the excitement of finding work, the fear of being left alone without a house, the joy of manifesting oneself in an environment offering spirituality, love, thoughts, depth through hidden potential unfound as of yet. A heartfelt tale of having to leave the woman you love in Miami for a job at AOL in DC (AOL is offering me full-time position in their DC division, only I have someone in Miami I have to live with). It will be life visited through unabashedly abstract and philosophical writings, the attempt to understand something deeply broad through the catilization brought by sinking into a new and unknown world. The diary of a 21st century Columbus practicing spiritual understanding as opposed to manslaughter. The writings of a Danish ambassador, with $600 in his pocket, preaching Danish socialism and personal spirituality, receiving an understanding of American diversity and dreams, a traveling man with a love for the world, and fear for men. An idealist with believes constituted out of simple childhood living finding a revision of his values and understandings of the world necessary. The cosmopolitan taking in the joy and the pain of simply being alive, soaking all the uncertainty life has to offer when lived at age 19.
That is the tread of the daily diary covering the simple happenings with honesty. Life has its tangents too. I will not only be providing the web with the day-to-day happenings of my life, but also I shall be visiting the happenings, friends, places, thoughts and feelings that make me up, that fill me up. From the daily diary patterns are created and so tangents are slowly created.
I shall visit:
- Religion: covering American Protestantism and Catholicism, deciphering the ideals of the Mormons (visiting my friend Heather), looking at how Islamic people live and pray in The Land of Freedom, examining the Buddhist Traditions through commercialized DirecTV yoga programs, by visiting my teacher, Mark Sullivan, in New Mexico teaching me the path of Agni Yoga.
- What middle-class Americans really think about: God, country, family, racism, welfare, immigration, homosexuality, work, the right, the left and each other through the sociological perspectives and insight of someone having lived in a country where more socialistic values seemed praised, where diversity and creativity seems to have undergone stagnation.
- Work: the length of my stay is determined by how fast I spend the $600 in my pocket and whether I get a job or not. I have would might turn into a part-time position at The University of Miami (they're still "exploring possibilities"), several offers from small companies doing database-backed websites on a freelance basis. I have a job offer from AOL in their Washington DC division far away from my friends in Miami. But work will also be me sitting on the lawn creating web pages driven by the simple passion of doing something I love.
- Education: having been in school since age 6, never leaving the schoolroom for more than 6 weeks at a time, I now need leave school at least for a year. I plan on returning to school, applying for college. It will be the struggle going through the formal preparation of SATs and the TOEFL. The struggle of deciding on what to study, considering as diverted subjects as anthropology, religion, computer science and English. The struggle of finding the right college choosing between Swarthmore and the local FIU or UM, of getting in, getting a scholarship, of keeping my ass planted in a school chair while studying in a focused manner.
- Travels: gathering money enough to live the life of the traveling man. Wandering around the US, visiting friends in Berkeley, New York, DC and Wyoming. Visiting an Agni Yoga teacher in the Deep South, returning to Denmark for reunification with the family, friends and culture left behind. Brazil, India, Japan, England; the route of the traveler is that of unknown.
- Love: starting life with a loved woman holding perspectives, feelings and thoughts sometimes hard to comprehend, thoughts and feelings that at other times leave me feelings at home. It will be the story of love holding all that such a relationship is made of: passion, jealousy, sex, sensuality, duality, creation, friendship, richness, poverty, and love.
- My own spirituality constituted out of all the above thus creating what resembles a postmodern religious belief system. But also visited through books, the teachings of masters, and - first and foremost - meditation. It will be the need to discover hidden roots of spirituality that lies hidden in every society having left my original spiritual inspiration behind me.
I have extensive experience when it comes to the web having toying with HTML since the '96, having been programming since '99.
In the summer of 2001 I was chosen as an aD prize finalist (http://arsdigita.com/prize), which brought me a trip to Cambridge, Massachusetts with expenses covered, 2 lectures at MIT by professor and guru Philip Greenspun (http://philip.greenspun.com), $2500 and much more (this was for my Reminder Service, not only due my lack of a hosting deal offering Postgres, AOLserver and OpenACS, it's open source, source code available upon request).
I am currently working on my blog (http://simon.bcuni.net), praised and loved by many (okay, only my friends read it). I am a Dane, I am not the greatest writer (yes, I know that I could write this observation up for Duh magazine), but I believe I have some skills when it comes to writing, if not a lot of passion.
Name: Simon Bæk Carstensen Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Post: Skelagervej 117, 8200, Århus N Mobile: +45 26 27 96 13 Direct: +45 86 10 96 13