• Mathilde Fongen

Updated: Aug 1, 2019

This weekend, I went to a wedding and was reminded of how much I love celebrations. Whether it's a wedding, an anniversary, a birthday or New Year's Eve, I love the clinking of glasses, pausing to toast life's milestones, major or minor as they may be. I suppose that could be my unquenchable love for wine talking, but I do find these moments to be truly beautiful. They can be seen as breaks from ordinary life, the exception to the rule as it were, but I like to think these special occasions are part of our ordinariness.

New Year's Eve is just another page of the calendar, but since it's the last page, we mark its significance. A birthday is much the same, just another day of ageing, another page, but to think that 26, 33, 79 years from this exact date, you arrived on this planet, that seems like something well worth celebrating. It's a New Year's Eve party a few years ago that sets the scene for one of my happiest memories. Safe to say, the next day was a difficult one. I stood on the grass on a hill in a party dress, surrounded by my friends, singing Auld Lang Syne out of tune, spilling bubbly on the ground as fireworks lit up the sky. I remember feeling completely at ease.

That's the feeling I normally get at some point in any celebratory setting, that feeling of perfect contentment. I'll stop, look around at the gathering of people and soak in the atmosphere. I soak in how beautiful it is that all these ordinary, amazing humans have come together, dressed up in their finest clothes and filled their glasses to the brim to toast whatever it is we're all there for. A lot of us may be strangers, but for that evening we share a dance floor, we listen to each other's stories, catch up with old friends and make new ones. We clink glasses. A wedding becomes the ultimate accumulation of this joy as it doesn't get more beautiful than the act of gathering to celebrate two people vowing to love each other forever. I know I'm being entirely naive here, but I can't help it, because in that moment of celebration, nothing else matters.

So on Saturday I stood with a view of this city I love, the sky bright blue and joy filled me to the point where it threatened to leak out in tears. There she was, one of my oldest friends in a long white dress, smiling wider than I've ever seen her smile. Now, after nursing our hangovers, we carry on living our wonderfully ordinary lives until we meet to celebrate again. These moments are ours. These are our stories being written. So here's to the clinking of glasses!

  • Mathilde Fongen

Updated: Aug 1, 2019

I've been thinking about significance lately and a few days ago, I got a message from a friend. She wrote "The world's a huge place. We are just a tiny voice [...] but we're allowed to have joy, and that's really all we can do, to be our most joyous selves so that others can become happy, too." Reading this, I realised that writing brings me joy and that's really all that matters. Playing music brings me joy, and that's all that matters. And maybe it can bring other people joy too, but I think I need to bring me joy first.

I love star gazing and I find Astronomy fascinating, regardless of how little I know about it. Sitting on a plane, looking down on the tiny houses and the tiny cars zooming along tiny roads below, makes me feel at ease. These things boldly underline my tininess in the grand scheme of things and it's something that should throw my anxiety levels completely out of whack, but no. Having my tininess highlighted in blinding neon yellow makes me even more aware of how massive I am. To the world, I am insignificant, but to me I am the most important thing. Without me, there is no me. Well duh.

I'm also important to others, who in turn are important to me. They too are tiny humans, only we see each other up close, so to us we are giants. That goes for this blog too, I suppose. It's mine, so even if it's just another tiny speck on the blogosphere (do people still use that word?), to me it's the one that matters the most. And my music, hidden away in the masses of music that exists. To me those songs are on top of the playlist. There are songs that only I can write and stories only I can tell and creating them brings me a joy that's beyond what I can manage to describe in this blogpost. That joy is vital. And it's massive.

So if we focus on the joy these creative endeavours bring us instead of the crippling anxiety that comes hand in hand with that joy, we don't risk not writing that story or singing that song or posting that poem because of everything else that exists in the world or the thought that it might not be good enough. That joy is reason enough to just get on with it, and we never know who that joy might spread to.

In our insignificance, we are important and in our tininess we are giants.

  • Mathilde Fongen

Updated: Aug 1, 2019

Why is it so hard to just get on with it and write? Why is it such a big deal to start blogging again? All I know is that I'm pretty darn terrified. I'm scared that people will hate what I write, or worse, not care. When I've blogged before, it's been on a private site and the only "public" writing I've done has been carefully edited by someone else. Then there's music, which I find much less scary, seeing as then I have a guitar, a bass or at least a microphone to hide behind.

Now, I'm writing with the intention of being read and I'm bogged down by the feeling that I don't have the right to do this. Who am I to take up space here? Who am I to publish freely? Who do I think I am? Well, I'm a writer. That's who I think I am. I'm a woman, a writer, a musician, a knitter, a traveller, a Millennial, an introvert, a creative and that's just a handful of words that describe me. I'm a human, and if Doctor Who ever taught me anything it's that humans have value just because we're human.

Reading the opinions, thoughts and feelings of other humans has helped me on more occasions than I can count, so why not me? What would the face of Literature look like if every writer gave in to insecurities?

Here I am, giving myself permission. Here's a website, a creative space that I've made for myself to do with as I please. This post may be sounding a little aggressive in places, but it's just because I refuse to let myself undermine myself anymore. I've been my own bully for too long.

So; Welcome, whoever you are, to my little corner of the internet. Engage with me if you would like to, write to me if you would like to and join me in this creative endeavour. Let's be kind to ourselves and each other. This is going to be scary, so I'm going to end this first post with a line I read in Greta Solomon's "Heart, Sass & Soul":

"Remember that the best way to protect yourself is to love yourself fiercely." (Solomon. Mango. 2019.)