Viking ways

IMG_5834 (1280x853)This is how I felt today, crowded. By things I should do, by things I would have loved to be doing, by things I have to do, by things I never will come around to do. In short, from where I stand the only calm person to be seen is the viking surveying his town, sword in hand. I have to admit, if a slashing, sword-swinging bout of action could clear my lists, I would do it. As you can see, I am not in a position to do that. I took the picture while wheeling my heavy laden bike through the market of my town Trondheim, the only way to get going was by carefully weaving my way, stopping, waiting, smiling, not hurrying. I had one item to buy at the market, my summer breakfast favorite, honey cake, and kept going.

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But wait, I had the best clutter-clearing, worry-killing, task-quitting weapon at my side. Invisible to you, I was walking with a dear, wise and kind friend, Anita. We were heading home after coffee in town. Slowly we worked and talked, shared and sorted through big and small. Halfway we stopped for another coffee with waffles, kept talking, kept laughing, and suddenly we were home. I was ready to tackle my crowd.

IMG_5842 (1280x853)Then I saw it, the crowd was not an illusion. I had tried to make lists like some of my friends do, I even had bought a sweet blue notebook for it. They just add everything as they think of it, and handle it when they get to it, one item at the time. It did not work for me at all, the tasks felt like a swarm of bees or a crowd of vendors crying for my attention.

IMG_5841 (1280x853)I had to sort, not only by talking and sharing. I still and forever is the indexy type. Admitting for the long lists, I found four bigger index cards, still honouring my thought that what I do should be the four cornerstones of my life. Still knowing  the fact that more than that is simply too much. I sorted my tasks, divided them on the cards and are on my way to conquer them. Grouped like that I see what I do as part of a bigger picture and an ongoing life, not as irritating tasks that keep me from living.

No viking way of getting it done, no way to conquer and subdue for ever. As in life, if its is worth doing, keep at it. If not, let it go! And by all means, have some waffles with a friend while deciding! By the way, I did not find my cake, so instead I’ll find my grandmothers recipe book and make one myself, even if it is not on any card.

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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

Weekly photo challenge: a day in my life

This is just what indexing and organizing and de-cluttering and getting a grip on life is all about, you have to understand this: life does not come in neat and tidy packages. How could you label your life and say: this, this is IT? Life, comes in heaps and  bundles. The thing with trying to get some order, is all about not letting details rule your life, so that you will have energy to handle, confront and enjoy whatever challenges, setbacks and possibilities you’ll encounter. To put it short, you can not go anywhere until you find your car keys, but knowing where your car keys is, won’t take you anywhere either.

I have been thinking about this on different levels for  quite a long time, and this photo challenge just got me started again. No matter what level I choose, something of my life will not be in it. Some instances, yesterday we spent hours trying to solve some software problems….we have nothing to show for that struggle. Except it did not make us especially happy, even then we went on an excursion to the court-house ( a wonderful storybook building) and to the art gallery. Do the pictures I took show my enchantment with the place or my impatience of not having solved my problem? Another instance, we did not see any of our children yesterday, still they are at the heart of everything I think, feel and do. And lastly, it was Good Friday yesterday, which is at the core of my beliefs, I did not go anywhere near a church though, so how could my pictures show it?

Even then, to me, every picture I take, is a reflection of my soul. Every image I share and every word I write is an invitation to listen to your soul, what do you think when you see this? How will we grow when we share our reflections? There then, the glory, and wonder of humankind, we are able to reach out to each other, to understand more, to love more, just form glimpses, just from tiny sparks and ideas. So – ten images from yesterday, from my day, what do you see?!