In 2007, during VlogEurope in Heidelberg, I organized an event. The participants would be given a certain timeframe, and they would get a card each from the Oblique Strategies (Wikipedia). The task was to create a videoblog entry with the theme from the card.

My card was this one:

A card from the “Oblique strategies”: “Define an area as ‘safe’ and use it as an anchor”

I remember that when I pulled this card from the pack, and it was my card for the time… This really struck me, almost like a lightning.

The point is:

You define an area as ‘safe’ – whether it actually is safe or not.

Then you use that area as your anchor, and from that anchor you can build further.

The message in this card has been with me ever since, and I often do it, in all kinds of situations and contexts. I conceptually define a “safe spot”, and then I use that spot as my anchor.

Now that I am not going across Europe for my summer vacation, but instead going to Tanzania, I am also doing this – looking for safe spots, that I can use as anchors.

One very concrete example. I use a focal point in the map: Nafari Art Space (GMaps / Website). The ethos of this place seems just right for me, and I decide to look at areas around that. Perhaps that space can be a “safe spot”, that I can return to often. Hang around. And from that space, I can circle myself out, seeking out other anchors. And as time goes, I will have several anchors in the city.

This is how my map of Dar es Salaam looks now:

GMaps of Dar es Salaam, with my pins as of June 5th 2023.

As the month of July progresses this year, I will have more and more pins, and they will have specific categories, as well as notes. They are not public, so it is just in my view, but they are important as part of my processing of the event.

Defining. Using the anchor. Using the anchors. Switching the anchors. Finding my own rhytm.


A new direction

My plans for this summer vacation has changed.

My first version of the summer vacation plans was: Amsterdam, Brussels, Warsaw, Krakow, Milan, lake Como area, and finally back home to Oslo. Three weeks solo travel.

My second version of the summer vacation plan was: Amsterdam, Brussels. Warsaw, Krakow, eastern Czech Republic, back home.

But yesterday night, during a conversation at the summer party at work, I decided on the spot to change my summer vacation plans completely.

I will instead go to Tanzania for the entire summer vacation.

It is linked to several things, basically.

Mostly, it is linked to my wish to get first-hand experience on the ground in an African country. How can I do my job properly as leader of the expert group for IT and digitalization at Engineers Without Borders Norway if I do not have any field experience?

Also, this summer, when I have my summer vacation, I would feel better if my vacation is conceptually linked to something larger. And if I now spend 4 weeks in Tanzania in this summer, both to relax and recharge my batteries, as well as doing field trips, and talking with locals, questions related to Their life, their situation, their hopes, dreams, opportunities; I will feel better afterwards.

Also, I have the intuitive feeling that this trip will mark a new direction for me. The trip marks, cements, my dedication to a new urge to challenge my comfort zone. To see new things. To find new threads.

To weave with new threads. Weave the next phase of my life with new threads, and based on new designs.

Of course, this sudden change in my summer vacation plans has consequences, including economically. But I will now start to conceptualize ways I can apply for funds for my field trip this summer. And I will also find/invent new threads related to this that will aid me in this process.

I will begin by talking about the trip with others, and ask for feedback. I will explore the Existing links, and seek new ones. The links are the threads; while the…

Let me explain my weaving process.

Data points are of several types: Facts, intuition, emotions, analysis.

Threads are of several types: Cognitive links, emotional links, intuitive links.

My weaving is combinations of these elements; an interplay between them. My instrument for the actual weaving is myself, in all my aspects.

I create internal «heat maps» as a part of my process. I scan my field of vision, which as I mentioned includes different sources and processes. And in this scan, I have started to use my intuition as my «sensor» much more often. I look at the picture, the field, the different elements with my intuitive sensory system. I reach deep inside myself, within seconds or hours, and I see the heat map-like. I see it visually with my mind.

Image by DALL-E 2, prompt by author

So, «heat map» is an image of my mental processes, just like the «litmus test» is another.

And I listen to the results of my heat map view.

Yesterday, I did a scan, in the middle of my talk with the other person. It took 2-3 seconds. The scan revealed this new heat map, where there was the huge red/orange new spot, it almost blinded me. It said: «Skip Europe this summer. Go to Tanzania. Go to Dar es Salaam.»

So, in a month, on July 3rd, 2023, I will be in Dar es Salaam. I will write about this process under the tag «Tanzania 2023».

Process // Processing

Friday morning, 07:39 AM

I am reflecting over my process. And I am processing my process.

I am in process. And I am in a process of processing.

I process

I am processing


I am in a process of crystallization. Now, right now. 07:41. Will get ready to go to work soon. I am still in this process.

I reflect, I am meta-reflecting on my process of processing the following:

1) Where I have been

2) Where I am now

3) Where I will be

I reflected again on this last night while talking with a friend. I told her: «I feel better these days than I did even before the sudden breakup of my marriage in July 2020»

And while I said that, I again felt it; the gut feeling.

I don’t need much more than what I have. After this terrible winter, I don’t need much to feel content.

I am processing all this. And I am in a process that will lead to more processing, new ideas, new perspectives, and also new outcome I Think.

I am grateful for where I am.



To scan. Scanning.

I often think of images. Rhizome networks. Radar stations. And whenever I enter a new arena, I scan.

I actually think that is the remains of a survival instinct from my childhood. I often needed to scan my surroundings. What was the tone of my mother’s voice? How was the environment in this new class, at this new school? How could I find my place within a new context; one that was new to me?

My adult life scanning works something like this:

New arena. Ok. What is the arena’s vision or stated goal? How does that goal match with what I see? The annual reports. The tendencies of communication. The way emails are written, or meetings conducted.

Then: What is “the hole”? Is there an angle or direction that I can use as a starting point for my interactions within this arena? Starting point is the key here. The starting point often becomes like a litmus test. I test the context of my starting point, as my first assumptions lay it out for me, within the boundaries of other actors and other processes.

Image: David Gould / Getty Images

So I basically lay out strips of litmus paper, and I test the paper towards the environment; I test the environment towards the paper. Acidic or alcaline? Does the environment, the paper, the scan, reveal an environment that I think I would enjoy being in? Or not?

The survival instinct from when I was 9 years old and just entered a new school.

Now, my instincts are not really about survival, but rather about what I feel like using my energy towards.

So, I have an endless supply of strips of mental litmus paper, and some liquid, that I use to let the thing that I want to test become liquid, test-able. What is the water? Well, I don’t know right now. I never actually thought of that. The litmus test trope is old within me, but the water’s existence or role is something I discovered just now.

If you want to test a stone, you can’t just scrub the paper on the dry stone. Acid testing on stone. Hmmm.

Anyway. The processes behind these things are wildly simplified when I use the symbol of the litmus paper; far more things are going on at the same time there. But the litmus test is alluring. Pleasant. Shows a simple answer: Acidic or alcaline, or in between somewhere. In reality, my litmus test process; the internal ones, is more about finding ways to play with the tools, the actors, the concepts, and to see how my sensitivities are working with the sensitivities of the others there, etc.

Ok, soon time to eat. And then get to the annual meeting of Engineers Without Borders here in Norway; it will be my first annual meeting since I joined the organization in April.