INTERVIEW WITH MARIAN LARSEN - author of Stones on the Road
eBook published by IDEAINDIA.COM at
Read Marian’s journey to find meaning in her life, about her travels through several countries including India and the effects her travels have had on her.
SOME COMMENTS BY READERS
"..a thoughtful and inspiring book that will appeal not only to those of spiritual incline but also to every person who has ever dreamed a dream and had the courage to follow it."
"Your book was my companion on the travel to Europe, I enjoyed reading and still feel happy that Pune - Osho Teerth is hosting one of the stones on the road. Reading your book was a beautiful reminder and support to open up to existence and to trust the signs and the messages that guide our path."
"I read your book at one sitting and really enjoyed it - I found it worked for me at several levels. Firstly, it was beautifully written and an interesting intellectual concept to grapple with - (to the best of my knowledge) nobody had written anything like it before and I found it very thought provoking. Secondly, it could be viewed as a metaphor i.e. the 'Stones' being people or situations that 'moved' or somehow spoke to the reader. On the day I got your book, I had picked up an exquisite shell on the beach and had taken it back to my apartment as a simple ornament. However, some sentence or paragraph made me stop and re-examine the shell only to find that there was still a small creature living within. Naturally, I had thought it was empty. I subsequently placed the shell in mineral water to re-hydrate it and released it into the sea the following morning. So your book not only provided an excellent evening's entertainment but it also saved a small creature's life - not many best sellers can boast of that achievement."
MARIAN LARSEN in her own words: I am Danish, a woman, and 52 years old. I have had, and continue to enjoy, a wonderful life. Luck and happiness have followed me wherever I go. I had a lifestyle that many would envy—a great job, a beautiful home, a good husband, and the financial means to do whatever I pleased. Five years ago, I left it all behind to follow a call that was so strong and so intense I hardly felt I had a choice. A part of me said I was crazy; but I could do nothing about it. I had to go. I had to travel the world, learn about myself and discover how I’d survive without a home. It was hard for me. The first time I left Denmark, tears poured from my eyes. It was challenging enough, emotionally, but it was even harder in other ways. I’d always been good at organization. I thrived on juggling many balls in the air, challenging myself, taking things to their limits. I’d never failed at anything I tried. It had never occurred to me those skills wouldn’t be of use to me as I stumbled along in my new life. Every time I tried to coordinate my travel schedules, my plans would blow up and come fluttering down around me in tiny pieces. Every time I tried my juggling routine, weird things would happen, and the balls would burst like soap bubbles right before my eyes, leaving me with a wondering gaze on my face. I’ve learned that I can plan, but the whims of fate can wreck it all in minutes. I no longer attach such importance to my plans or their outcomes. I adapt more easily to new situations. I have learned the value of doing one thing at a time, and doing it totally. I have learned to be present, to live fully in the moment. I have travelled around the world, every year, for the last five years, and still haven’t settled anywhere. I’ve had amazing adventures on my travels to New Mexico, Hawaii, India, Australia, and New Zealand. I’m not a tourist; this is my life. I don’t go to see the glittery, pretty wonders; I go to places that call to me, and I usually stay for a long time, to get to know the culture, the people, and the natural surroundings of the area. I have connected to the Earth, and have never been more satisfied in my life; I have never felt life more. I accepted the challenge, the test, and found that I passed an entrance exam for life. I felt limited by the prosperity of my country, because we could afford to have experts in everything. Too many experts leave too little space for the individual to grow as a person, though. It isn’t easy for the ordinary person to take responsibility for his or her life, when there are experts around who know everything better. People stop dreaming. They don’t have to be creative to survive. It’s all taken care of for them. I have seen chaos at work. When man loses control, instinct takes over, and out of chaos comes creative and amazing solutions. By systemizing everything, we have removed the need for innovation. “No fear, no limits,” has been my motto these last years, and it expresses a truth that grows larger inside me every day. I am not afraid of death anymore; it could come today or tomorrow. I found that when I am not afraid of living, I am not afraid of dying, either. I love life, and by committing to it in the present, I can embrace death, too.
This is the interview with Marian:
Q: Would you say your book is about courage and the human spirit overcoming fear?
Marian: Many would see it that way. But I never felt I really had the choice. I felt at the time neither fearful nor courageous. I felt lost. Some told me to listen to my heart to find my way. But I couldn’t get in touch with my heart. That was my main incentive. I needed to find the way of my heart. It was too strong a force. No way could I resist. Yes, I was crying all the way on the first flight out of my country, out of my life. I had no idea what would happen. Where I would go. What my life would turn into. But I had to, regardless of fear. How could I live without a heart? Leaving was my manifest of hope.
Q: Do you believe in fatalism and that destiny is pre-ordained?
Marian: I have found that if I am true to myself and do my best, then destiny is not my concern. I have been in situations where my death could be a possible outcome. What to do? Walk away or accept the risk. I have chosen to accept. It is such a relief. Whether destiny is pre-ordained or not? - will we ever know while alive? Really it doesn’t matter. We can’t do anything about it anyway. All we can do is to become as strong and beautiful inside as possible so we can celebrate the beautiful gift called life. Walk the sky, dance the earth, and swim the sea.
Q: One of the interpretations of your book is that society today cages people and that they need to be freed – would you agree with this?
Marian: Absolutely. People are being caged by society today – often in a way so “clever” that many are not even aware of it. I don’t agree though in their need to be freed. People have to want to get free, and then do it. Nobody has the right to decide for others whether they need this or that. And nobody has the right to act upon these decisions either. In a way that is how society cages people today – for safety reasons, for health reasons, for security reasons. At least those are the words used as an excuse for the actions taken. To me it is clear, - they don’t have the right either.
Q: It must have taken great courage for you to have written this book and been very open with the readers about your life – or did it feel like a great burden had been lifted once you started writing?
Marian: I didn’t want to write this book first. I had another book almost ready – about being a human being and particularly about communication between man and woman. I wanted the books about the stones to be number two, because I knew it would be a strange concept for many. I felt the stones deserved better. Again, I had no choice. The stones overruled me. This book had to be written. I suppose it was a good experience for me to implement my “new wisdom”. No more hiding like the oyster. Instead coming out in the open and show who I am. And it worked. Being open made me stronger.
Q: What did you learn from your travels?
Marian: That the earth is my home, - and mankind is my people. I found kindness everywhere, I found real people many places. I found that as long as there are stones, wind, trees, plants, birds, animals, water – there is room for people too. I got to know that a strong connection to the natural world and the acceptance of being a part of it, - is the foundation of home.
Q: What did you learn from your travels in India?
Marian: I have lived more than a year in India, and it has been a wonderful and deep experience. There are so many people who carry the beauty of the heart, that the collective vibration is present wherever you go. Never have I met people respecting other people and living beings like I have in India. The acceptance to learn from other beings is natural in India – like nowhere else. Coming to India first time as a Western woman can be quite overwhelming. The amount of attention is beyond what I had ever experienced before. I have learned the most about myself in India, - and India has forever a sacred place in my heart. Beauty, heart, respect, peace, laughter. India is more civilized (in the positive aspect) than anywhere I have been.
Q: Are you still travelling and is this the purpose of your life?
Marian: My purpose of life – speaking of India – I went for a walk in a village in Northern India. A man stepped out from a house and approached me. He said, “Welcome to our village. What is your purpose in life?” This only happens in India!
Peace has been a deep wish inside me since my childhood. I always felt it was so simple. Just respect ourselves and others. Then there would be no reason for fight. Later on I felt that even more important to me is peace between man and earth. We have been given so much, we have taken too much, - time has come to give back to Earth. That is my deepest wish - to help showing that it is possible – and highly needed. Not just for the Earth, but also for the sake of mankind. Our evolution should be a sacred path in harmony – if not, we are not worthy of being part of Earth.
I have found a deep love to a man who has the same kind of connection to Earth. He is the most beautiful and gentle soul – and we have for a while explored the secrets of Earth and her “boarders”. We have grown organic vegetables and herbs on less than ¼ acre to feed ourselves the year round. It has been amazing. The bond to the land, the friendship, peace, balance – we have found wisdom and truth. …. and we have no idea where life will be taking us tomorrow.