Category Archives: Reflections on Family

My parents´shoes

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There is this feeling. That I get when I put clothes on in the morning and find myself wearing my mom´s cool cardigan that she let me inherit, the nice skater shoes that were too small for my sister, and jeans my soul sister girlfriend used to own… It makes me feel closer to them all in some peculiar way.

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This is a painting of my “farfar”, father´s father. Whose house I grew up in, so I could actually climb the stairs up to his flat before I could walk! He was my daycare; when all the other adults in the house went to work, him and I hung out playing pirate ship underneath his frontroom table, playing Ludo with 12 dice (and I always won), picking plums and apples in the garden, mowing the lawn and weeding, taking naps on the sofa together, going out in his car to pick up grandma from her job in the telephone central…
He made me a doll´s house once, and stilts, and a wooden gun that could shoot rubber bands for real!
He was my superhero. With a capital S.

I also have an item of clothing after him, a dark blue and white knitted cardican that he wore a lot.
I have clothes after my dad as well, who left us in 2010. His red hand knitted woollen jumper that my mom made him, and the last pair of Ecco shoes that he bought for himself. I wear them for a month or two every autumn/spring.

Some weeks ago I was visiting my mother for Summer holiday, and I was in my car driving alone, whilst wearing a pair of expensive sneakers she´d just given me as it hurt her feet to wear them. Suddenly I had the urge to write these words on a scrap of paper:

Inheritance

My parents´ shoes are only
one small size too large for me
they fit me rather comfortably
both physically and metaphorically

I´d rather that their footsteps be
a size I can´t fill easily
an example to follow gratefully
to grow into step by step

glass refillable

With that poster I aim to move into saying that by no means were my parents perfect in my childhood. They were human, and they did the best they could. They have openly told me a bunch of times how they didn´t quite understand how to deal with me when I was little. I was just different to the other kids. I didn´t play in the sandbox, I watched as the others played… stuff like that.

My mother taught me to read age 4 and a half.
I read a lot ever since, and wrote short stories from age 5. (About how Santa cancelled xmas, for example, because the humans were too materialistic about it, all they wanted was new things).
They got me a piano. Which I played with a teacher for 6 years. So those were two very good things I am grateful for.

Although in some ways they were too strict,  too controlling and didn´t see my sensitivity or intentions…  they always meant well.  I don´t think there are many of us who don´t have issues we need to digest and forgive about our upbringing.
It´s a natural thing between parents and children, where one party has all the power and the other party is forced to obey… to say it in black and white, of course there are always many shades of gray in everything.

I told my dad on his deathbed. I thanked him for always trying his best for me.
I recognize his good intentions. He did really well in some ways, and less well in others. A man of his time and of his own life conditions. For example, he saw his own dad for the first time when he was 3 years old!
As his dad had been out to sea for that long. They did, back then, where I come from. Sailed to China, and Cuba, gone for years at a time… my mother´s dad was a sailor as well. Both were chefs on board their ships.

My parents had a traffic school that they ran together, and it was very successful. All the local 17-18-yearolds got their driver´s licences through them, and they always came and told me how wonderful my parents were. Caring and funny and helpful, both my dad in his car and my mom in their office. My dad touched a lot of people´s hearts whilst teaching them how to drive, to believe in their own abilities, to forgive themselves for making mistakes, to be relaxed yet alert at the same time…stuff you need to learn to master driving.
In his spare time when I was little, he started the first soccer team for girls in my hometown, and I played soccer there from age 8-16.

I´m very proud of them both.
And could tell you a lot more they did and do, that makes me love them so much.

I could also give a lot of examples of times I was hurt by their words or actions.

As  probably all of us can, about our parents.

I wonder how my kids will talk about their upbringing when they become grownups.
All I can do is to try my best for them. And hope that the wounds I cause, will be healable with the help of them knowing that I love them with all my heart.

broken men

But.
Broken (wo-)men can be repaired. The glass is refillable. We develope and grow and change all the way thoughout our lifetimes.

The Japanese have this really nice concept in their thinking, look:

image

And with that, I finish this post. And wish you progress, in whatever area it is you are choosing to grow at the moment.

May the force be with you.  🙂

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Letting Go

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To me, it is not so easy to let go.
Be it things or be it people, they hold value to me and so.
The luggage from the past continues to grow.
Making my dusting and tidying slow.

broken plate

This is a plate of mine, which I have had since I was little, 70s or 80s. Isn´t it cute?
My eldest daughter broke it on the kitchen floor yesterday. As happens. She wants to glue it back together. I said let´s just throw it away, this is what life does. It breaks things. Everything here is temporary, and with one old item gone, there is room for a new item, symbolizing the present moving into the future, rather than the memory of times bygone. New memories to be made.

We will see. She is crafty, my daughter. I have not thrown it away yet, will give her the chance to try and fix it. (Although glued I´m not sure it will be hygienic to eat from anymore… oh well. Probably I can throw it away in a week, after she has had a time limit and postponed past it).

She is a lot like myself, my eldest daughter. Sees opportunities and meaning in everything. Anything can be used in many ways. Give her a piece of bubble wrap and she makes a dress and a pair of shoes out of it in half an hour! 🙂 (That example actually did happen).

In the bathrooom we have her drawings on the walls. Actually her drawings are all over the house. As she is really talented! Her choice of colours… her drawing style… way beyond any level I will ever reach.

But our house is little, and wall space is scarce, so we actually need to put up shelves where we can. We are five people after all.

This art piece of hers has been hanging in the bathroom for a year or so.

skovmonster total

Its title is “Forest Monster”. I adore it.
But of late, it has lost two pins holding it up, and so today I decided to take it down. That piece of wall would be great for a shelf, for all her newly aquired make-up. Which it would be nice to keep out of reach of the 5 – and especially the 3- yearold.

I took her art piece outside in the yard and photographed it. I ended up taking pics of the details as well.
I think they could make nice backgrounds for a poem. As well as visual pieces for a video poem…

skovmonster detalje 1

Haha, I so love the way she has used the yarn…

skovmonster detalje 2

The butterfly up there…. makes me believe that the elastic band next to it, is a horse fly…
(Have to ask her, though. Not sure my interpretation matches her intention. Then again, such is art. Its meaning is up to both the maker and the receiver, I think art is better when it gives the “reader” space, for his/her own interpretation of its meaning…)

skovmonster detalje 3

Love the horizontal feather.
Love feathers in general. Symbolizing both flight, air, thought and writing. To me.

A third item I will try to let go of, is this beautiful lady here. Who my father´s father brought home from one of his many long trips at sea. From Cuba 1950 possibly. She used to hang on the wall in their hallway, I grew up downstairs from them so she has fascinated me since I could crawl up the stairs, she was somehow greeting me on arrival, next to the copper key cupboard with a raindeer on it. (Which yes of course, I have held on to that as well, it´s keeping our keys safe in our hallway as we speak…)!

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Isn´t she lovely… to say it with that nice tune from Stevie Wonder…

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Alas, she is broken. Made of plaster. Part of the palm tree trunk is missing. And the piece with her water jar, is loose, I just lay it carefully next to her for the photo…

Me I´m not a very practical person. Or I would just glue her, paint her… Maybe I can give her to an artist friend of mine. I have several of them, who may want to spend time and love on her.
I don´t even have a wall to hang her on if she wasn´t broken, though.

Can you hear how hard this is for me? To let her go?
She is valuable to me. Carries memories of my deep love for my grandparents, who now both have departed.
I thought these photos could allow me to throw the object itself away, now I have captured her spirit so to speak, in the picture. But I think I will have to talk to my artist friends and see if someone can use her in some way. She is far too beautiful to end her days in a dumpster.

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This next item, I have already let go of. I gave it to a friend´s daughter for her birthday.

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It´s a skirt that Viola found in a fancy store in Chantabury in Thailand, March 2013, she was almost 3.
She fell in love with this skirt, I think it was the most expensive thing we bought on our whole 8 week long trip! Hahaha…. She has always been so decisive about what she wants to wear and not. Much different from her older sister Lava, who would just wear what I suggested, until age 5-6-7 somewhere.

(I remember taking Viola to find a new dress for christmas, later that same year. She was in no doubt whatsoever, just picked the dress straight away and to all the alternatives I presented, she just shook her head. Then she found the shoes. And in 5 minutes she had chosen the shoes she wanted. No hesitation. Amazing to see). 🙂

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The inside of the garment. So well made. I almost regret having given it away. But hey.
I already have a chest full of baby clothes that I could not get rid of as they grew out of it. That I will give to grand children some day. I can NOT house much more of that stuff!
Also because I have in store inherited clothes for all three of them. I save a lot of money that way, and I save hurting the planet as well. An ecological as well as an economical consideration.
But it takes up a lot of room. That we basically don´t really have. So. Yeah. It is a nice skirt and it holds a wonderful memory, and now we can remember it when we see the picture. Basta! 🙂

Of course it is also nice to know it will make another little girl we love, happy, wearing it.

Here is one more thing leaving our house these days:

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It is a picture Lava has made. Well. She made the palm leaves and had not finished Jesus on the donkey.
And then she was at home ill the day they were to finish their pictures, so a class mate was told by the teacher to finish Lava´s. How stupid is that?! Who would want an other person to finish their picture?!

I have held on to it because I think it is such a clever idea to paint the scene from bird perspective, as we call it in Norwegian… to see something from above…
But it will leave us now. Lava hates the look of Jesus and the donkey, and I have to agree it isn´t… Well, it could certainly look better.

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This picture I took last time we visited my mother-inlaw´s grave.
“In the heart kept, never forgotten.”
It was herself that chose the stone and the words, back when her husband Paul Walter died in October 2007. She also made sure there was a little vase in the corner of the stone, just big enough for a small bouquet of wild flowers. Or the kind of pot that we always buy in the same shop on the way there, these days.

She died 30.of September last year. Suddenly and shockingly. We miss her a lot. But grieving luckily changes form and content as time passes. We cry a lot less now. It will make her happy to see that.

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One day each one of us will leave it all behind. All material things. Every gathered item and photo.
Take with us only what we have stored in our consciousness. And move on into the life between lives.

Let me finish up by sharing my favourite Leonard Cohen song.
The video is a bit odd, but. Nothing I directly object to in it, so. Let´s enjoy the interpreting of the added meaning.

This song is for you Ellen Leonhardt, my dear sweet wise mother-inlaw. I don´t think I got to play this one for you. I´m pretty sure you like it. 🙂

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Bottle of waterfall water, anyone?

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Langfoss på flaske

Check this out! Langfoss on the photo here, is the biggest one in Norway, and it is owned by my aunt Nina and uncle Øystein! How is that for claim to fame, huh ?! 🙂
Bit silly that humans by (human) law can own a waterfall, but. A nice illusion it is.
Especially when it is MY family it belongs to. Hahaha…

The waterfall has been voted one of the ten most beautiful waterfalls in the world, by CNN.

They have the plans ready now, to make a new, better plateau around the waterfall… It is one of the best places to visit if you go to Norway this Summer. Even the bus ride there, is spectacularly beautiful. Along the fjord… some enter by cruise ship…

The photo shows a bottle of waterfall water, which one now can purchase by the waterfall. Clever idea!

Here is their link and info about it all:

http://www.langfoss.com/

Sadly we don´t get to visit Eljervik this Summer. Schedule has to fit for 5 busy parties when we hook up with closest family these next couple of holiday weeks. But we will go back to Eljervik again as soon as possible. Lovely people, and truely a soul soothing place to be.
Plus I have always wanted to try that tractor safari up the hill side!

I will for sure be posting about Langfoss in Eljervik again in the future.
Right now I´m busy packing the car, getting ready for two weeks of roadtripping, staying at friends´and family in Bergen, Karmøy and Flekkefjord, and ending up in a theme park in Kristiansand, where Captain Sabertooth resides, in the bay next to Kardemommeby and a splash world and a zoo…

Three kids in the backseat. One iPad, one Nintendo and one dvd player.
Plus crayons, lego, books, dolls… aaaand some sweets and biscuits in the basket up in mama´s control tower front seat. Luckily the stretches to drive are interrupted by ferryrides. Tomorrow night we enter a huge ferry, and we arrive early afternoon next day, in Bergen. Lovely way to travel with kids. Cabin with bunk beds, and there is play spaces next to seated areas for tired parents who then can get to enjoy a book or just some uninterrupted daydreams…

Well. I better go continue the packing.
See you later, gators!

Ps:
Please add a comment if you have been to see Langfoss,
it would be great to hear your story from the visit!
Ds.

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First Summer Holiday Day, Hurray!

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selfie in hammock

This is me in our new hammock, about a week ago, one of the far too few hours we have had so far where the sun has been shining warmth down on us light-thirsting Scandinavians. Summer comes very late here this year. And as soon as we get a day of warm weather and we think that now it begins, next day an autumn like storm wind is whipping our sorry backsides… BIG SIGH…

Anyways. Couple of weeks ago we were also lucky one afternoon when we were going to friends´ in the neighbouring village, for dinner:

på cykel til Rindby

Denmark is famous, like Holland, for their bicycling everywhere, there´s path lanes made especially for bikes. In Norway we don´t have much of that. Easily explained; Denmark and Holland are flat savannahs, whilst Norway is built in the mountains.

On Fanø, the island where I live, the tourists rent a bike when they are here, and go everywhere on it. Beach, woods, and between the three villages. Lovely mode of silent transport, when the warm wind gently carresses one´s skin on one´s way from A to B.

We have a wonderful garden. High hedges give shelter from the world, it is a completely private space.
Took this one the other day; called it “One snail and two siblings”.

snail and siblings

Here is another shot of the garden, from last summer, I think:

two garden umbrellaholders

In some weeks we will go visit family and friends on the south west coast of Norway.
First a week in Bergen, where I lived for 15 years, going to uni and having jobs. Wow do I look forward to seeing my girlfriends there! One of them I haven´t seen since 2011, when I was pregnant with my youngest child! We have gone through thick and thin together, shared our twenties… In Bergen we will also visit the old sardine factory turned into culture house down by the waterfront, for a walk in its gallery and some prawns in the café outside on the dock. We will visit a museum or two, and of course the playground with the trolls up on top of Fløien, one of the seven mountains in the city centre… hopefully there will be weather for picnics and barbecues.

Here we are on top of the mountain Ulriken in 2010. Majestic.

ulriken 10

And here are some of my friends, last time we were there, in 2013. We went to the museum for “nature´s history”, where all the kids could run in long hallways filled with stuffed, real animals, a whale skeleton, anything from butterflies to snakes, monkeys, moose, giant hedgehog, a snake, bear… the birds´section, the geology section… a brilliant place for adults and kids alike.

bergen friends summer 13

After a week there, we drive 3 hours southwards and come to the island where I grew up, Karmøy. There we will stay at my mom´s for a week, catching up with all our lovely family members, and again some outings into nature and possibly the local little zoo which we enjoyed so much last time, a couple of summers ago.

torvastad zoo 10

(Actually it was way back in 2010, I now realize)!

We go to Norway every two Summers. Though in 2012 we didn´t, as we got married, so all relatives and friends came here to us instead, for our big wedding party in the woods. Hence it became 2013, and now this year again.

Many times we go to my uncle and aunt´s place, at the end of the Aaker fjord, where they own Norways biggest waterfall, actually. Hahahaha…. so funny to say that out loud. As if human beings can own mother earth. But there you go. Such is the human illusion of ownership.

I will write a different post about that place later. They have built a tourist welcome centre there now, so cruise ships come in and get a local traditional meal, and are transported with tractor up to the top of the mountain to see there they kept goats in earlier times…

I´m afraid we won´t get time to visit them this Summer, as we have promised the children to go see Captain Sabertooth Kingdom in Kristiansand. All Norwegian kids go there, including my kids´ cousins, so.
It´s a rite de passage. Gonna cost us anarm, a leg and then some, but. What to do. It must be done.

“Heev ohoi, soon the treasure is ours, and we can take it easy the next one houndred years…”

On our way to Kristiansand, we stop at one of my best friends´ place in Flekkefjord, where she has a house in the woods by the sea. As the drive from my mom´s to Captain Sabertooth´s takes about 6 hours.
So we make a stop and stay over at my friend´s there, whome I used to study anthropology with and live together with in Bergen, 95-99 I think it must have been. Her daughter will be there too, with her babygirl who was born in South Africa and is a year old now, so I finally get to see her! They have been living in Cape town to do a phd in criminology. Haven´t seen them I think since I moved from Bergen in 08. Looking very much forward to catching up with them too…

Yeah. So that will be our main trip this Summer. 15 days in Norway. Sailing with the big ferry, which is an ace way to travel with kids. And their luggage. Packed in a car, so we can easily get from town to town on the coast there. Where ferryrides lie close, for crossing fjords, and there are no trains and buses are scarce.

Apart from our roadtrip, I hope to spend some time in my listening hut in the garden, meditating, reading for my exam in August, and updating my blog. Here is the view from the hut the other day:

view from listeninghut

And then I hope we will be lucky and receive some visitors from here and there, family and friends, for some barbecues and wine bottles and guitar singing sessions into warm summer evenings in our garden.
And maybe a party or two in other people´s gardens as well. And the street theatre festival first weekend in August, which is the annual event we always attend to here on Fanø.
Plenty of entertainment on Fanø in the summertime, so I´m sure we will find things to do, and if not, we can always go for a bikeride and camp for a couple of nights… We take it as it comes. As few plans as possible gives the best holiday feeling for us. Room for improvisation, spontaneous happenings.

So school holiday starts today. And we are really all just very tired, because dad has been away all week making exam parties for his music students at the college university where he works. He´s going to work today as well. And I need to find something to do with the kids. It would actually be nice if the day developed like the afternoon when I took this photo of my son after he came home from kindergarten:

Linus sover med dvd i hånden

Happy holidays´ people!
Get some rest in, and some fun and some lovin´,
and some new nice memories to keep our hearts warm through the next long, dark and cold wintertime…!
LET THE SUNSHINE BEGIN !!!
🙂

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Too tired for fun

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todo-list, calm, light.listen within

Today my husband is making a samba parade with his bigband, for a load of school- and kindergartenkids in Esbjerg. I could bring our fiveyearold and threeyearold to see the parade. It is a rare opportunity. I really feel I should make the effort, for him and the children and also for myself. But I just don´t have the energy for it! I really just don´t feel I can manage such a programme instead of leaving them in kindergarten and getting some quiet time alone.
I feel…well, I tell myself not to feel guilty about it. And my husband certainly does not put pressure on me in that way. I feel sad that we are missing out on this opportunity. At the same time I guess I also feel grateful to myself for making the decision that allows me to rest.

We are also invited to friends for dinner tonight. My husband said he can make it, we can go straight to theirs after he comes from work. To me it just sounded like stress. Fridays the kids get sweets and watch children´s tv 7pm. The only time a week they get candy and chocolate. Of course we could bring it out to our friends, we have done that before. And we love those people, and hang out with them happily any time. But I just felt I need to relax at home. My eldest daughter too came and asked me; “Can we not just stay home Friday?” I think it´s the last weekend, 4 days of non stop outings, that is catching up with us…

So I asked myself, what DO I feel like doing, these hours that I now have to myself, until 1 pm?
And immediately came this thought that I want to realize the idea I have had for a long time now, to go to the old cemetary outside the village in the south end of this island, and bring a packed lunch and some coffee. And most importantly bring the notebook in which I am writing a story about a 9 yearold girl whose mother dies of cancer. It is a story inspired by my late motherinlaw´s life. A story in which I have room to grieve losses, and to heal some of my own relationships. I discovered.

I don´t know if that story will ever be published. Maybe yes. But that is not why I am writing it.
The girl has been left in a small cottage in the woods for a long time now. I left her there and I have no idea what she will do next. So I feel curious! But also a bit scared of the possibility that I won´t be able to move her forwards! Hehehehe…. the joys of writing…. I clearly just need to sit down and listen within and see what comes forth. If nothing, then nothing. Nothing is something too.

So yes. Once I have finished this blogpost, I pack some food and coffee, and drive the 15 minutes to the old cemetary. I love old cemetaries, always have done. To read the inscriptions on the stones. To sit on a bench and hear wind in trees, there´s a special kid of quiet in cemetaries.
I never actually sat writing in one before.
But I have this thoughtfeeling, that there is a good spot there for me to just be in writing,
supported by the cemetary tranquility.

Let me finish with a song that I love. By an artist that I love. Nick Cave.

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Rainy gray weather & festival holidays

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Hello people!

Goodness gracious, it is hailing!! Just started this instant, tapping vigorously on my home office window here now… It´s past mid May, for crying out loud!!

Well, that makes my improvized post title even more relevant then.
I don´t know what to write about today. It´s been a whole week since my last update! Because I have been too busy partying. As in partying with the kids, mainly, though.

We had this 4 day long holiday, because Jesus showed himself to the disciples after his death last Thursday, a few thousand years ago. So Thursday we went to the opening of “The Art Festival”, where about 30 local autodidact artists exhibited and held workshops, in the school cantine.
They had gotten a cake made with their logo on it!
Here´s a picture of my two littlest trolls, contemplating whether they may have a piece. 🙂

opening art festival 2015

After the exhibition we drove down to the harbour, where the library for the festival had placed a tiny little cute book-bus. And an ngo I´m a founding member of (The Incredibles, it has its own post on the blog, under the category Fanoe my home island), we had a stand there, sharing space with the library, handing out flyers and showing a local tv programme on a dvd screen, of the children´s circus we used to have on Fanoe, and that we want to help rise again.

It was windy and cold. One of my co ngo members did magic tricks, and sweets appeared, so my little ones just did not want to go home with me! I had to force them into the car so I could get home and warm up again, haha…

Friday, we went to a drum and dance workshop, at another festival, Oriental Dance. It was so great. Children and adults together, we learned some rhythms on the Arabic drums, and some bellydancing moves… perfect fun for families. My little boy got a bellydancing cape around his neck, and he ran and ran and ran, circling the big sportshall floor, shouting “I can flyyy! Look at me, I can flyyyy…!!”

In the afternoon he totally crashed out on the sofa, and my husband took our daughters to see the dance and drum group do a performance up in the art festival space at the school. In the evening I saw them perform, at the local corner bar. And as I love to drum and dance myself, and we were invited to join the dancefloor after the performance, it got quite late. Great fun.

Saturday, we went to a third festival. (I call Fanoe “The Island of Festivals”, I think we should use that in its branding, as there really are so many festivals here in the tourist season, from easter until end of autumn holiday in October).
This was a music festival, called “Fanoe Rocks”. Down at the harbour. My bonus son Kasper was playing guitar and singing, with his band The Grenadines on the P4 RadioStage. Here´s a video I shot:

(The disturbance of the sound is the wind blowing into the iPad…)
The toddler is my son Linus-Ferdinand. And Kasper is the guy to the right. (They are four guys, but one was ill that day. You should check their music out, they have an album out, and a facebook page).

Shame it was so windy and rainy. Ice cold on the harbour of an island when there is wind and rain.
Apart from The Grenadines, I saw a john Lennon tribute, with different Danish artists, and I discovered Kira Skov and Soeren Sko. Names previously unknown to me, which I will youtube. Great voices!

Kira sang A workingclass hero. Giving me goosebumps. Well done. I´m sceptical to cover versions. To me, if you want to do covers, then make sure it is a version that has its own identity, that it has something to add to the original. I HATE when people just sing out someone´s classic without total presence or soul, making it a poor copy of someone’s masterpiece, it agonizes me, it makes me livid!

Anyways.
After that act I went home and joined the rest of the family who had left the cold site after brother Kasper’s show. My husband went back to the festival while I fell asleep on the sofa next to our son. Our daughters were over at their friend’s next door, planning to stay the night there at hers.

After a couple of hours, us two sleepyheads went and joined dad at the festival again. After an hour or so, of enjoying being just us two and one child, Linus-Ferdinand and dad went home, and I stayed for another concert, with Loveshop, a pretty good Danish band also new to me. Then I went to the corner bar and found lots of other cold festival escapers there, happily removing their rain gear, scarves and hats.

Well so that was the Saturday of our holiday.
Sunday I was pretty tired. But it was Norway’s national day! A huge event back in Norway. And on Fanoe, us Norwegians always meet up and eat pancakes with icecream and sing some of the songs which are sung in the big parade by all the school children all over Norway, celebrating us being a free and independent nation. (Which Norway only has been since 1905).

We brought the booklets of song lyrics, and the guitar, and the kids reasonably well dressed, and off we went to the pancake place. A local woman recited a famous very long poem by Henrik Ibsen, about Terje Vigen, a man who travelled from Norway to Denmark in his rowing boat (!)…

Here´s a short video glimpse of her recital. Excuse my daughter there in the foreground, posing for the camera! hahaha… she is only five. No harm intended. (I hope the quality of the video looks better on your screen than on mine. It´s perfect on my iPad…hope it´s just my screen or I will have to delete it from my youtube channel and try to upload again I guess…mysterious).

Here’s a picture of the flagpole of the restaurant. Normally we sit outside in their garden, underneath parasols. This year there was hail on our return walk home! Rainy grayness.

17 may fanø

Five pm that Sunday I was on my sofa, refusing to move another millimetre until Monday morning! Hahaha…. not quite that bad. Not hung over actually, I managed to not drink too much at the music festival, thank goodness. But just the lack of sleep, and the busy programme of moving our five piece self from place to place, for set times…. yeah. Parents need a holiday after kids’ holidays! 🙂

Good fun though. Wonderful art seen, and drumming done, and bellydancing show, and big brother’s gig, and other gigs, and Norway’s 17.of May celebration enjoyed.

Now we have Wednesday, and our son started in kindergarten Monday.
Had his last day in nursery last Wednesday before the holiday.
I have spent these last two days mainly in the kindergarten together with him.
Leaving for an hour or two. Today I left 09.15 am and will go pick him up at 1pm.
So finally I have the space and time to update my blog.

While I’ve been gone, the blog has set a new record of amount of reads, on May 18.! So that is encouraging. That there are still readers, even when I don’t manage to write every couple of days.

I stop here. Lots of things awaiting my attention in our house now that we have had a busy holiday, and I have spent the last two days in kindergarten! 🙂

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dealing with death. Kübler-Ross, Jung and Tolle.

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This is Elizabeth Kübler-Ross. One of my greatest heroes. I have read most of her books. Discovered her in my teens. She is a psychiatrist from Switzerland. The one who began research into near death experiences. Her book from 1969, “On death and dying”, with the theory of the five stages of grief, should be on the curriculum for every teenager on this planet.

The short video moves me deeply. “…or is there also purpose, in learning how to receive…? It is a gift to your children to mother you as you have mothered them, and to see your love and courage when you receive their care…”

It brings tears to my eyes. It is such a compassionate message to the dying lady and her children…
And her way of communicating with the lady, so warm and honest and smilingly…

Here is another little gem of a videopiece about her. (There is loads more on Youtube. Also, her colleague Raymond Moody is worth looking into when it comes to the field of Near death experiences).

An other hero of mine is Carl Gustav Jung.
Here he talks about death. (Shame the sound quality is not the best, but. It´s so lovely to see him as he speaks).

A third person who inspires me greatly, is Eckhart Tolle.
“The power of now”, “A new earth”… amazing books.

Here he is asked about his thoughts on death…:

You know I lost my motherinlaw 30.of September. 7 months ago today, actually.
I still think of her many times every day. Her passing was such a sudden shock.
(It is described in the post RollercoasterRide).

She is … a vital part missing in my everyday life with my husband and children.
I talk to her a lot. I do receive signs she is here.
(In the category Spirituality I write about my education in clairvoyance… The Clairvoyance school on Fanoe especially…)

Yeah. This is just what I felt like sharing today for some reason.
It is important to talk about death. The only thing certain about life.
I hope you find these sources of inspiration useful.
They have helped me a lot in my life, in dealing with the passing of my beloved ones.
For that I am very grateful.

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Dane-land in the Usa; an immigrants´community

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Oh I simply HAVE to share this one with you as well. A very charming documentary indeed!
Don´t worry about the Danish voice-over in the start, the film is 95% in English.
(They should have subtitled the Danish voice into English, I reckon. But the film must be meant for a Danish audience, and they didn´t think any further. Which. They should have thought about, as they have loaded it up onto Youtube)!

Anyways.
This is a charming documentary about Danish emigrants who settled in the Usa.

A lot similar to stories I have heard from Norway.
I have a lot of family over in the Usa.
My grandfather John Andreas, was the only child of my great grandmother Lava, who stayed behind. He was the only child that his mother got to keep close. All his siblings left for the states.
It must have been so hard for her.
But they were so poor. And “over there” was opportunity, a chance for a good life.

So “America” has been a part of my growing up always. Some old aunties and uncles whome I never met, sent dollars to my grandparents from time to time. There were letters read out loud every christmas…
My cousin Roar, went to the states as an exchange student in his teens, and then he travelled all over that amazingly large country, visiting our relatives.

I would really like to do that too one day. Travel around and visit relatives in the Usa. Bring my kids. It´s too late for me, but maybe my kids would like to be exchange students when the time comes.
I would for sure encourage it.

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Children and swearing

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tommyogtigern, swearwords

My Viola, who just turned 5, came home one day from kindergarten and asked me if she may swear. I told her, yes, you may say anything you want, sweetheart.
She said that in kindergarten they are not allowed to swear, but she only swears for fun! I told her that because there are so many kids in kindergarten, then if everyone was swearing all the time for fun, that would be a lot, and it doesn´t sound so nice. Many adults don´t like to hear swearwords, even if they are only said for fun. So in kindergarten, it is easier for everyone if they just make a rule about it, and say it is not allowed.
But in her own home, she is allowed to say anything she wants, I told her. And if she needs to swear a lot, and people around her feel disturbed by it, then she can go to her bedroom and swear, where no one can hear it.

She was quite pleased with that answer.

I mean. What good does forbiddance do? To make subjects taboo, fill them with shame, make them impossible to talk about… and we all know how much we want to do something if it is forbidden. Why give that power to swear words?

I fully understand and support the rule in the kindergarten. I guess. It would take a long time to make all the children understand the nuances about swearing. But public space is public, and private space is private. At home we have as few rules as possible. This is the place to relax and just be as we are, swear words and all.

The rules I do have, are about violence. Noone is allowed to hurt another person. Not physically, and not emotionally by teasing. Nobody gets to call others names. Nobody is ever stupid. Everybody does stupid things from time to time, but it means they did a stupid action, it does not mean they ARE stupid.
There are no stupid people. Only stupid actions.

I tell them often that I will always love them no matter what they choose to do. Even if they kill someone or do something else very stupid, I will love them the same, with all my heart, for ever.

I tell them that I hope that when they at some point in time do something which is not so clever, like every human being tends to do while he or she is young… I hope they will come to me and tell me and allow me to help them. That they never need to feel afraid to tell me anything. I might get angry that they did something stupid, but I will love them the same and try to help them find a solution.
Also, if there is anything they want to know, they can always ask me and I will do my best to find the information for them if I don´t know the answer myself.

I want them to be socially conscious. To understand why it is that adults are against children swearing, while they swear themselves from time to time! Why the double standard?
I want them to know what swearing is for, its function. And to be aware that for such and such a reason it may be unpopular if they do it in public, but in their own home they can always let it loose and feel free if they want to swear. Swearing isn´t such a big deal. Hence, I believe it becomes less interesting to them.

Luckily, I don´t believe there is a Satan in hell, waiting to catch us swearing so he can pierce us with a barbecue stick and enjoy torturing us in the flames of sins and shames.
The image of God being vengeful, eager to condemn and punish, strict and violent… it doesn´t ring true to me. It rings like some powersick church people made it up to scare people into giving them land and money, and to do what they told them to do.

I believe we are created with free will, and we are allowed to make our own experiences in life. I think we probably receive an evaluation of our actions´ consequences when we die, but I don´t think we are judged for it, just made to realize our effect on others´ lives… I will be enormously surprised if my swearing, or allowing my children to swear at home, will cause havoc or reincarnation into snails and spiders.

tommygodchicken

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To death and the beyond

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“Death makes angels of us all and gives us wings where we had shoulders, smoothe as ravens´ claws…”

One of my favourite lines written about death. Or that I have read, at least. There´s a lot of fantastic stuff written that I know nothing about.
I dedicated this song to my father, Leif, the moment I heard he had passed. 26.of October 2010. I had seen him ten days prior to his crossing over. Cancer. They said he was healed but. Then we just wanted him in hospital for some water and nourishment, since he wouldn´t eat and drink much. They found cancer everywhere. Three weeks later he was gone. Age 65.

I think of him often, but today it´s because my mother has been here this weekend. With my sister´s six year old boy. They have just left. Back to their hometown, their everyday life.
My parents were together until he died, from before I was born. So when she comes, he is missing.
He never made it to Fanoe to see my new life here. He was just gonna wait until he was well from the cancer operation. Note to self, don´t wait for such things if you can avoid it.

He has never been here. That can not be solved.
But my grandma has! Last Summer, fresh from her cancer operation, in a wheelchair! She joined 13 other family members, they rented two summerhouses here and stayed for a week. That really meant a lot to me.
A lot. I can´t explain it.
It´s a big deal to live abroad. Away from the rest of the bunch. It has its pluses too, like when we meet we sleep in the same house together, see eachother a lot. And we get to miss eachother, absence makes the heart grow fonder…

I am very grateful my husband got to meet my dad before he departed. My dad told me he really liked this new guy I had found. Oh well, he is not perfect, I told him. Of course, nobody is perfect, my dad said. But I think that the two of you can deal with eachother´s imperfections in a nice way…
I never heard him talk that positively about any of my other boyfriends. My father was very good at reading people. He had his own traffic school, taught many many young adults how to drive a car. He was sensitive and wise. At his funeral the church was filled to the brim with old pupils of his. He touched many people´s hearts.
It makes me proud. He worked a lot, though. I did not get to bond with him as closely as I would have liked to. I was looking forward to bonding closer with him together with my kids, his grandchildren. But it was not to be.

I met my husband´s dad five times. He too had cancer. Died in 2007. Autumn. I had only met my husband that spring. They invited me along to their diamond wedding party. Over a hundred guests. We sang dozens of songs written about the couple by their family and friends. As my husband´s mother was a professional birthday song writer herself… yes I did get to meet Paul, his father. I am grateful for that.

It´s strange. To lose a parent. Makes me feel one generation older, all of a sudden. Everybody jumps up the ladder of age somehow. One generational step up. Even more so when both parents have died. We lost my motherinlaw 30.of September last year. She has left an enormous gap. And my husband is now somehow the tribe´s eldest. Strange.

Well. I´m just glad he stays alive.
Three important men in my life have died, one 03.08 2013, one 05.03 2014 and one 13.03 this year. One year and 8 days after the one who died in 2014.
The first one was my good friend and lover through some years. He drowned, age 41. (I wrote about him in the post So Easy).
The second was a Dutch man I lived with for three years and thought I would marry. Cancer, age 47. The third man, who just died, I lived with for six years. English. We had a home in Wales together, and travelled a lot, as he worked in the oil industry. Cancer, age 63.

Yes it does feel a bit…weird. And much. In a row like that. All reasonably young.

I´m not afraid of dying myself. I think it´s probably the greatest, nicest thing that happens all life.
I have read a lot about near death experiences. (Raymond Moody, Elizabeth Kübler-Ross; the pioneers). Those who have crossed the line and returned, all seem to have had the same experience. None of them are afraid to die anymore. And they all shift their focus from work and prestige to focus on loving relationships and doing good.
I´m not afraid of dying.
I´m not afraid of losing others either. I have lost quite a few. I know grief well. I´m not afraid of losing loved ones, because I feel certain that we will meet again on the other side.
But all the same, it hurts. Hurts real bad. I´d much prefer to die myself than to lose loved ones.
Such choice is not given though, is it. Life deals its cards and we are dragged along for a ride. Some times life is wonderful, other times life is dreadful. And then in the end we come free. From our bodies, our spaceships.

Fathers are very important people. As are men one has loved romantically. Very important people in one´s lifetime.
The ones that we let in all the way into our hearts. The ones we listen to, give power to. Allow their opinions to weigh heavy in our decision making.

I don´t see God as a father figure though. Why would God be a father?! If it was a human like figure, it would surely have to be a woman, the life-producing part of the humans…
I belive in a higher force. Without a doubt.
But to me it has more the “shape” of a feeling… words like Love, Bliss, Home…Light…AllOne… to me death is a birth. The gateway back to home, the LoveLight where we are AllOne, free from the illusion of separateness that Life has us believe in…

I want to play this song Maya (“illusion” in Hindi) to honour the memory of Richard, Bart and Derek.
You meant a lot to me. Thank you for what we shared. To me you have not disappeared, you have simply walked ahead of the rest of us.
I hope you are having a fun and enlightening time right now. Relaxing, joyful, exciting. Know you are missed by your friends and family you left behind.
Love is eternal.

As for you, dad. I trust you have met my husband´s parents by now, and introduced them to all our funny and warm hearted relatives on the “other side” there, and together made a party in celebration of Home Comforts and Bodily Freedom. Looking forward to joining you, when my time is right.

Here is Maya. A wonderful song that I love. Thanks for all we´ve shared so far.

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