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#021: Denmark

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It was a shock to walk past an old dream the other day, slumped against the footpath, dirty, scratched, and somewhat more diminutive than in my recollections. In my youth, this (now rusting) blue lump of metal was my symbol for grown-up success - it was the car that I’d drive to my dream job as a successful career woman. But always out of reach financially, this car remained a dream for years, before being long forgotten as other dreams parked in its view.

Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard was never fooled by shiny pieces of metal. If you could wish for one thing in your life, what would it be? For Kierkegaard, it wasn’t wealth, power, or even fame, since such pleasures fade over time, and ultimately disappoint, much like my dream car.

In her work titled Interiors, Danish photographer Trine Søndergaard photographs a renaissance castle uninhabited for 50 years. For Søndergaard, the starkness of the rooms - devoid of people, decoration or alterations for half a century - was oddly captivating. The rooms existed in a state of waiting, of ‘what next?’

For Kierkegaard, too, it was this state that the philosopher dreamed of. “Pleasure disappoints, possibility never,” he declared. “If I were to wish for anything,” it would be for the “passionate sense of the potential”. By paring back, and making space, we welcome possibility. By clearing space in our lives, we make way for the new.

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