TIME magazine, dare to be the person of the year 2013, daily prompt

Big waves at Jalama

Big waves at Jalama

If life only was as simple as that, I’d start indexing and cataloguing every known person, right this minute. Would it not be neat if we could label a person once and for all? HAH, don’t YOU try to do something good, I know your sort! Or the other way around, I am sure he did not mean that, he is such a wonderful person!

IMG_0948 snartIf we had humankind labeled like this it would save such a lot of time. No need to sit down and reflect together, no need to ask for forgiveness and absolutely not grant it. Aristotle says “One swallow does not make summer”. He elaborates that by stating that our main business in life is to learn from every situation we are in, how we can create the good life for one another, and until our life is complete, we do not know if or how we did that. It takes many swallows, made of good choices and deeds to make summer of our shared existence.

IMG_1027 touchdownI do think we can learn from another, and I do think that persons who do good things and show integrity and truth through their lives may inspire us to go on, to try once more. I know that they can do that only when we let them be humans, not less and not more than any other human. I know that we each have a calling to be” person of the year” in our own life. Not as heroes, not as celebrities, but by not holding back the wisdom we are given through our experiences. To be a person is to show your face, your persona, who you really are. If we do that we can grow and learn together. If not, we will have heroes and villains, masses and mobs. But we will not have persons, neither this year nor the next.

IMG_1042 slutt

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It is not my story – writing challenge on what I never would tell

IMG_0196 heart of heartsWhen I saw the picture of those two chefs in this weeks writing challenge I knew at once what the story was. It would not be fiction though, as it is one of my treasured memories. An impromptu wedding in an alpine flower field. A poetic wedding service with towering, snow-clad swiss alps as backdrop. A glowing bride walking up to the improvised altar while the wind played with her veil and someone played a joyful tune on a wooden flute. Leading up to this was only two days of preparing, an unprecedented whirl of activity. There was not much money, but everyone had searched their hearts and mind to find what they could contribute. Those two chefs, who never had worked together before, were able to  create a colorful and well tasting feast from meagre ingredients. One girl knew how to give a massage and went through the preparing crowds easing the strain, some of us picked wild flowers, some were scrubbing floors or doing laundry to prepare for guests. The strongest carried tables and chairs from all the village to the biggest lawn.

Setting of another marvellous wedding

Setting of another marvellous wedding

Then, this is what I saw, and what I took part in, which would only be romantic, not fabulous if it were not for the rest of the story. Why this haste? Who were married? When was this? Did they live happily forever after? I know only part of those answers, I have no way to check up on what I do not know, and I know that if I write more, someone could recognize this setting and be hurt if I did not tell the story right. I know what version I have of the truth, and that is enough to know that the rest is not my story to tell. To me that goes with all blogging and writing, knowing what to tell and what to keep. If I was listening to someone sharing their troubles or joys in confidence, I would not open the windows and shout into the streets, listen to this great story! Even when I took part in the story, only my part is the one to share. You would have loved to be in that wedding though, and then we could have shared our memories of the probably most glorious romantic story we ever witnessed. As it is, it’s up to you to imagine!

Have you eaten today? Blue pills and red pills

Come on, breakfast is ready, where is everybody?

Come on, breakfast is ready, where is everybody?

It was a late saturday evening. I was in hospital, seriously ill, and not able to eat at all. The nurses went in and out while I was more or less asleep. Hospital doors shut in their own way, they just glide silently at slow speed until they are almost closed. Then they stop, and shut in a final quick swish. Just as the door closed, this last swish brought with it a vanilla waft and a peal of laughter. Someone was baking waffles in the nurse’s kitchen, hoping for  an easy shift with time for socializing and friendship.

Trying to fool me with a blue pill are you?

Trying to fool me with a blue pill are you?

That smell brought so many memories of my grandmother’s tradition of serving waffles to everybody on saturday afternoon, of happy meals in the garden and by the fireplace. It brought longings for companionship and joy. It brought regrets for  the times I had not appreciated being with my family or taking time to share a meal with a friend. The smell of that simple and unpretentious food brought resolve to never take fellowship or sustenance as a given. To me it is not about what we eat, but eating together, sharing meals that take so long that thoughts, questions and reflections have time to arise and be dwelt upon.

I want to take part in the fun

I want to take part in the fun

I have been told that the chinese used to greet each other with ” have you eaten?”. The most important thing to know, implicating that if you had food, your day must be good. We know that many could not answer positively to that. Even today, we will find hunger, malnutrition and need very close to us. So, on the other hand, if developing pills that would take care of everybody’s need was possible, if I could eat pills so that all of us were given the chance to live, then I would do it. Until then I am happy to being able to eat. Until then, you’re welcome to sit down at my table sharing a meal.

Having a cup of coffee by the lake, come join me!

Having a cup of coffee by the lake, come join me!

To go and to be – a daily post on going

IMG_2407 lonely treeI get to travel a lot. Both through work and for leisure. Even when we technically already are on a travel, we go somewhere else, to see, to explore, to understand and to take photos  of course. Even so there are more places I have not visited, than places I’ve been, which is totally OK. I do not really have an urge to travel.

IMG_2652 mapsWhat I would love to do though is getting even braver at talking to people where I go. When we are driving, even on roads at home which I know so well, I catch myself looking into windows, wondering how it is to live just here, and there and what about here? How are our lives influenced by geography, history, beliefs, health,political and economical limitations and possibilities? What longings do we share, what dreams do we want to make real together?

IMG_2433 really fallI do love the in-between travels, some times I have had the opportunity to go places where my husband will work, and I will have no responsibilities. I walk at my leisure, almost meditating, through parks, woods, libraries, galleries and museums. I take photos, talk to people, have long lunches where I write and think, and then we will meet up for dinner or have some days together after the conference or whatever.

IMG_2481 the colours of St.PetersburgThis way I get to see the sights, have fun with my husband, and savour the place and the people in my own pace. I do not know anybody who is so slow in taking in a new place like me, and who actually wants to sit on a bench pondering over life, when there are shops or sights everywhere. But I do, and I love it.

IMG_1754 spilt bloodEven more I treasure the years we have been living abroad, in the Netherlands, in Indiana and now in California. To live in a different culture and get to understand more, to take part in charities, community life, making new friends, really makes my life richer. Even in traveling I believe that we see “through a glass darkly” and need to tell each other about our lives to be able to understand more of the total picture called LIFE.

IMG_2490 hiddel cathedralThen of course, there is no need to go anywhere, I do not know everyone in my own home town or even in my own street, so no: I go, learn and reflect and love it. But, I do not need to go or long to go anywhere.

The pictures in this post is from solitary and wonderful walks through Saint Petersburg last October.