Saturday, March 26, 2011


This is a slightly more personal post than most I've written, but I was moved to writing it after listening to the radio last night. The Danish radio channel P3 has a program called "Unga Bunga", where the two hosts Le Gammeltoft and Kjeld Tolstrup played some brilliant music. During the past week, Kjeld Tolstrup passed away only 45 years old, and last night's show was one long tribute to him by Le Gammeltoft and a lot of friends. Kjeld Tolstrup was, apart from being a radio host, the grand old man of the Danish DJ scene, whose influence on other Danish DJs and musicians in and outside Denmark cannot be overestimated - his passing away will leave not only the Danish music scene, but the international music scene, much poorer.

I never met Kjeld Tolstrup, and I've only rarely listened to him play. Yet, even so, he was a presence in the music/DJ scene I was aware of, and which I was happy was there. Now, he isn't there any longer, and I am sorry that I didn't use more opportunities to listen to him.

Regret is not a word I use often, since I find regret to be nonconstructive. I am of the philosophy that one has to look at where one is now, and operate from that point, instead of focusing on what one wish to have done differently in the past. I have, of cause, made wrong decisions in the past, and now pay the debt for it (both literately and metaphorically). Past choices will of cause limit future choices, but unless you can undo those consequences, focusing on the mistakes/unwise decisions, will only drag you down a dark path.

Still, due to past mistakes, I have come slightly risk adverse - this means that I try to avoid limiting my future options. If I have the choice between two paths, I will most likely choose the one that limits my future choices least, even if the other one is more interesting.

So, how does this tie up with yesterday's radio program?

Well, Kjeld Tolstrup was less than 10 years older than me when he died, and he managed to do so much for so many people - many more than I could ever hope to mean anything for, even if I lived till I was twice as old as him.
I am sure he didn't do that by being risk adverse - when he went to Ministry of Sounds and played, it carried much large risks than staying in Denmark, yet because he managed it, it also carried much larger rewards than anything he could have pulled off in Denmark.

This makes me think: Perhaps being risk adverse is actually more limiting than going down the paths that cut of choices? And perhaps those paths only impose limits in my mind, or expand my choices in other directions?

Who knows?

I certainly don't. But I will try to find out. I will try to make sure that I don't just make my choices based on being risk adverse, but instead make my choices based on what I'd prefer to do. I am sure this will be an interesting journey - and one thing I can promise is, there will be no regrets.

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Anonymous vanitas said...

I, too, was risk averse for a large part of my life; it is possible to break out. This quote resonates for me: "Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death."
— Anaïs Nin
You are now aware of your "state" and are prepared to change it. It took the death of an acquaintance to shake me out of my lethargy and I have never been more content with my life. Go for it - live it!

March 26, 2011 9:41 AM  

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