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.

The one place wherein everything is contained – an icon

January

January

To me, the problem is not finding something to write about. To me, there is never nothing to take pictures of. To me, there is always something to do, to explore, to create. The challenge is to stay focused. There is this picture in the Bible of man being an earthen vessel, while God is the potter. I keep being reminded of my struggles in pottery class when I read that, the whole point was getting the clay centered. If not, everything became a mess.

March

March

To me that is a true fact of life too, when I am centered on what matters most, everything else fall into place. This is perhaps the most important organizing principle of them all, know your values, know your core. Then make that decide the what, the where, the hows and with whom in your life.

May

May

This week’s writing challenge is about icons. Icons is of course first of all a holy picture, made to remind the viewer of a bigger truth that can not be contained in words or a normal image.

July

July

In a larger meaning an icon is the center of the potter’s wheel, a picture of the place in my world that combines soul and wisdom, energy and effort into something far bigger than what the picture itself shows. As the potter makes both everyday and extraordinary pieces, not everything I am or do is glorious, wonderful, special or even what we could call iconic adventures. As the potter knows, I know that everything has to have the same center though.

August

August

A big baking bowl for everyday bread, a tiny pot for the most precious oil, the same center.  It is not the center on an exact wheel that makes it special, but the fact of  it being the center, the point where every thing connects. I travel a lot, and I would be lost if I had to do everything the  same way no matter where I am. I would be equally lost if I did not carry my core with me.

Old boathouses at the shore

Old boathouses at the shore

Perhaps that is how some pictures, some places and some persons become icons? They do not carry only what we see, but also an echo of something that resounds in our soul, an essence only to be seen with our heart, reflected through the core of our being.

Ruffy playing

Ruffy playing

To be true to that, I went through my pictures to see if there was a recurring theme, a place that was the backdrop to my life, somewhere that always had more to show, while always being the same. To me, if a location could show that, it would be iconic. I did not have to look long. All the pictures in this post is from the norwegian mountain valley, Gjevillvassdalen, or rather the big lake in the center of this valley.

September

September

It is an iconic place in the common sense, as it adores postcard and calendars as a typical norwegian scene. It is iconic in the historic sense, as it still farmed as mountain farmland, telling a story of the toil and labour that made Norway into what it is today. To me and my family it is iconic as it is where we have our cabin, it is the place of our children’s childhood and our marriage. It is the place where we have walked in joy and sorrow, awe and wonder. It is the geographical place which symbols love, friendship, family and growth. No matter where we go, it is always in our hearts.

December

December