Thanks for dropping by my blog. Taking time to read my writtens. Hope it smittens; that you’ll be back and read some more. If you leave a comment I will be extremely overjoyous. But no duty. I´m thankful for your presence, is the essence.
I just woke up, and thought “I must write a chrismas post”. So here I am, typing away, at my desk by the window upstairs in my house, while it´s still pitch black outside my window. Let´s see where the “pen” takes us:
Yesterday I went with my husband and 3 kids (10, soon 5 and soon 3) to the mainland, the town of Esbjerg. As there is the cutest little gallery there, hidden away in a backyard, called Henneberghus, which is the surname of its owner, Tina.
Now she is a whole story of her own. A painter, a fairytale writer and a hostess so bubbly and gentle and happy and sweet it attracts 30 people every month to her Litterature Salons (I had the pleasure of reading my Norwegian poetry there once too)… musicians from the music academy entertain between the read-ups (Don´t know if read-up is a word but it should be)! … People come back again and again, me for one I´m there every time. A very rare athmosphere, so intimate and relaxed, and spiced with genuine smiles and comfortable laughter. Tina senses any tension present and just simply says something that makes it disappear. True treasure. A word oasis, as she once called her litterature space. That word is hers. Do not take it from this blog and obuse it or say you made it up yourself, you hear! :o)
So we went there, as Tina had invited for christmas “hygge” (a very important Danish word they use all the time, meaning… cosyness…). There were 25 people, or thereabouts, which makes the little gallery in the backyard quite full yet not unpleasantly so. There were chrismas cookies and gløgg (red wine warmed up with cinnamon, raisins and chopped almonds), cocoa and soft drinks, and chairs around a table, sofa along the back wall. So there we were. Meeting up with many faces familiar from the litterature salons through the year that has passed, saying hello to a couple of new faces, and just. Being and smiling. My kids soon met other kids, they started chasing each other around the table, so they were encouraged to go outside and play in the yard, where we could enjoy watching them through the window without hearing them quite as clearly. Handy thing, that backyard placing.
Two ladies from Greenland sang christmas carols for us in their language. I always love hearing people from Greenland sing. Quite something else. Unique style. Heartwarming.
After two hours in the gallery, we left the party after a round of merry christmas-see you in the new year-hugs. We entered Esbjerg bathed in sunlight and joined the stream of shoppers in the walking street. Father christmas came by, driving a small, red train loaded with people. My kids waved at him, he waved back, big white beard and very fat looking. Just like he´s supposed to look. Lovely.
We found a christmas present for a new relative in my family this year, my sister´s boyfriend´s son, 14 years of age. I bet my niece and nephew (8 and 5) are well chuffed and immensely proud that they now have a big brother! Soon they will all move into a brand new house they are building together. For now they all live in my sister´s house. I so appreciate that my family is not only losing members (talking about my motherinlaw who left 30.09.this year, and my father who left 26.10.2010 especially… the list is long really). My family is not only losing members, but also gaining new ones. I deeply appreciate that.
After that present being bought, the long queue survived with 3 kids and a husband not really wanting to spend their time in there, I left them by the skating ice on the mid town square, that the city always arrange there for the winter months. I left my bunch there to watch all the people skate, and went into another shop. Quickly found what I wanted to buy for my bonus daughter´s boyfriend, but the queue was so long that I decided to drop it. As we had more on our programme, and the clock was ticking.
I went back to the ice, and we decided to go and eat. On the way we saw a man carving Saint Lucy out of a block of ice! Sankta Lucia. Who walks with candles, singing a beautiful, simple hymn of moving with light into the darkness. 13.of December is St.Lucia day in Scandinavia. I don´t know if it´s international. I don´t even know the story behind the tradition properly. It´s one I would like to learn some day. It is very moving to see children in white robes carrying a candle, walking slowly in a long row, while they sing that same, beautiful song I have heard so many times before. It does my heart in. 🙂
We went for a quick burger meal (Sunset, one notch healthier than the other burger chains avalable on the main street there), and then went back to our car and drove to a church a bit out of town. Treenighedskirken. The trinity church, It is a modern white church, inside it has 4 huge triangles meeting in a star shaped point in the middle of the ceiling. 3 of the triangles are glass windows, and my little son said they look like sails which I can only agree with. The fourth triangle holds a balcony where the big church organ is placed. The ceiling is white, with lots of circular “holes” stamped into it, pardon my lack of English skills in explaining this one. All I really want with this description is to say that I appreciate the beauty of church architecture, and I get so pleased when I enter a modern looking church and find they have gone to great length to create a space of esthetics, serenity, sacredness and not the least, good acoustics.
The reason we were in this church, was that my husband´s grown up son Kasper (you can read about his recent wedding elsewhere in my blog)… Kasper used to be a member of the men´s quoir in this church. Which is one of the best quoirs in Denmark, as they have a conductor who actively goes around to the local schools testing boys from the tender age of 8, recruiting the best voices into her quoir, which really functions as a singing school, and they go for trips all around the world together, all these men and the little boys and her, Lone the conductor, isn´t that just greatly inspiring?!
Kasper used to be in this quoir until he moved to Copenhagen to study music. And yesterday they celebrated their 50.birthday and so they invited all the previous members to join the quoir for a concert and following reception and dinner.
The church was full. My youngest one fell asleep in his pram on our way into the building. So he missed the entrance of the quoir, They came in through a double door just next to my seat. They were quite old men, most of them. Then, from the main door, came little boys. They all quietly started singing Deilig er jorden, my favourite chrismas hymn, as they walked in slowly, until they formed a circle around the audience. My skin got all goose bumpy, and remained so for the hour their concert lasted.
I think it´s that goose bumpy feeling that made me wake up knowing I had to write a christmas spirit post today. Christmas is all about goose bumps and teared-up eyes and melted hearts, isn´t it. (For the lucky ones). All about the baby and the mother, the wonder of the mystery, the hope for support and a brighter future. Acknowledging our relations, showing our love for one another through exchanging presents in each other´s appreciated presence. Enjoying the expressions of gratitude, of excited children. Sharing rituals of food and tv programmes and hand held singing around a pine tree decorated with things daddy made when he was a school boy… for example…Rituals. Things we do together, again and again, in a set pattern and rhythm. It is soul language. It is nurturing our roots, reassuring our belonging in a group. Which is a human instinct. To belong.
After half an hour, my little son woke up, pretty confued, as he wasn´t in the church when he fell asleep. But I managed to pick him up and get his hat and coat off without him making a single sound to disturb the music. He surprised me by just sitting on my lap, all quiet, listening intently. Once, where the soprano voices of the young singers reached a crescendo, he made a gasp. I looked at him. He could feel it just like I could! His eyes all wide, mouth open, he could hardly believe his ears, or maybe rather, he recognized that bell-like sound from somewhere deep in his unconscious…
I whispered to him: “when you are eight years old, you may sing with the other boys there. Would you like that?” “Yes.” he said, not a moment´s hesitation, nodding eagerly. I was quite amazed at that.
Time will tell. What will be will be. Let it come.
(The only thing I wish for my children, is that they are happy. Whether they sing in quoirs or not, is not connected to my sense of honour. Their path is theirs to find, and I will support them no matter what it is they choose for their happiness).
I think I will fade our of this little snapshot of my yesterday, with the opening poem of my book “Heart Matters”, titled:
Let it come
Patience, precious mode of being
Waiting, watching, feeling, seeing
Landscapes from an eagle´s view
The Flow will guide the Adventure of You
Dear reader. I wish you a peaceful christmas time. With good health and a warm heart, with many smiles and a profound feeling of gratitude filling your excistence.
I know it´s not always possible. But this is still my wish.
For you, and for every living creature on this globe.
(And if I knew how to incorporate an image of a video piece here, I would import from Youtube the music video of my favourite christmas popsong, “Do they know it´s christmas?” You know, the one with all the pop stars of Britain in it, collecting money for drought victims in Ethiopia. Bob Geldof, Boy George, Duran Duran, Wham, u2, Midge Ure, Darryl Hannah, Sting, Ultravox, …the two guys behind the great song “you´re in the army now`, what´s their names again… …And all the rest of them eighties popstar people, Thanks for that song. I was about 12 when it came out, and it strongly impacted my idea of what christmas is all about).
And may the next year be the best year we have ever seen.
May the best be yet to come.