DAY 23(May 16)
I slept well last night, woke up and drew hagalaz, again. I am going to get one of my books and study that rune more thouroughly this morning, there must be some reason I drew it two days in a row. Perhaps my friend Dan MacDonald is sending me some protective energy, he deals a lot with this rune? Or, perhaps I am just in for some hail? I just finished studying it and I came up with “Harbor the ALL in myself, and I will control the ALL”. I can use that.
It is now around 1730 in the afternoon. It has been quite a day. We met Henriette and there were two tables full of instruments and various noise making devices. Turns out we are going to be street performers; collecting money from passers by. Pan handlers in other words, something doesn’t feel good about this.
I am trying real hard to remain optimistic, that is my nature after all. Dana plays guitar, Amy belly dances, Jonathan can play the xylophone or whatever that thing is…I can sing a little, not sure what Jessica can do but she is a clever gal, I’m sure she can do something. Well, despite my optimism Dana didn’t know any songs that I could sing with, he got a few numbers out anyway. Jonathan was fairly entertaining just being himself, Jessica was working the crowd as best she could and Amy was belly dancing her ass off, figuratively speaking. About all I was good for was standing there like an idiot perpetually shaking the maracas.
The whole thing was excruciatingly painful for me; this is the first competition in which I feel I had no value and barely contributed. We were getting a few kroners, they were trickling in slowly. A guy yelled “NEI” at Jessica so she took a little break. I tried my hand at approaching the crowd with a hat in my hand begging for money. Apparently the sight of a 265 pound bald guy with a crazy beard coming at you with a hat in his hand asking for money was a little more than the Norwegians on the street wanted to deal with. They scattered from me like roaches when you turn on a light. I’m not comparing them to roaches…it’s just a good analogy.
I think we had to be out there for 30 or 45 minutes, I can’t remember which. But it seemed like two lifetimes. We were actually pretty confident because as rough as we had it, the blue team was even more lacking in talent than we were. Finally we got the results; blue team smoked us by 500 kroners…what? How the hell did that happen? Was one of their mothers in the crowd or something? We were shocked to say the least. I felt really bad for Amy because she had belly danced the whole time, through pain and misery, and now it seemed it was all for nothing. She was crying, and we all tried to console her. Dana was playing the guitar so much that he wore the skin off his fingers and there was blood spattered all over the guitar. Everyone on my team did their very best, even though all I did was shake maracas…I did it the best I could.
In talking with the blue team after the challenge I learned that they took a different approach; knowing they had no talent they just started talking to people. It worked! One guy even went to an ATM and came back with some big bills for them. Well, that’s the way it is, so we just have to deal with it.
Tomorrow, I will face my first elimination challenge in which I am not safe. I don’t feel nervous, at least not in the typical sense. I don’t want to leave Norway yet, but I know that I will do my best at whatever it is, and I can’t really do more than that.
Dana is a strong competitor, and so is Jessica. I cannot underestimate Amy or Jonathan either. Jessica actually has immunity so she won’t be competing. I am confident regardless of what the challenge is, because I can do most things well, and I will do my best, that is all the control I have.
It’s evening now, back at the hotel. I can’t help thinking about the way things have gone and wondering why my team has had such rotten luck. That is futile thinking though; it simply is what it is, what has happened is in the well already, I just need to focus on the wool between my fingers, the present, because that is the only place I can affect the future.
Alone in my room I made a prayer to Freya. In my belief we never ask for anything unless we are prepared to also give something. I have nothing here though, no possessions. So, I offered her a few drops of my blood in exchange for her continued good will and faithfulness, it was all I had to give. The remainder I have put on this page as a reminder.
Time to go to sleep now, tomorrow should be very interesting. It is 17 Mai, a huge deal here in Norway. Kind of like the 4th of July back home but it seems much deeper somehow, everyone celebrates it from their heart in a beautiful expression of national pride. I am so lucky to be here tomorrow, I can’t wait.