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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Rain is falling as I write. Remainders of a year that is ready for the  final act are being washed down the drain. Almost all whiteness has surrendered to greyness, and slippery patches of ice call for vigilance.

melt

Merchandise is on sale, the new collections are up on the shelves and the Christmas decorum already looks obsolete. People walk around carrying the  well-known turquoise and purple coloured bags from the Systembolaget – New Year’s Eve has to be bubbly and spirited.

In the midst of this general feeling of liquidation we packed our small household for yet another  move. We took a deep breath and moved most of our belongings in a good hour.

packed

I am ready for a twinkling puff of gold-dust, before entering the shapeless nothingness of January and this unwritten coming year. I hope we’ll get along.

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Mellandagarna, the in between days…Snugly engineered to fit into the narrow space  between two major festivities.

Some days of welcome slacking after an entire month of momentum-building a la suedoise. A month of December full of saffron rolls, ginger bread, concerts, mulled wine, work parties,  anticipation and logistics, gives way to the new beginning, lurking around the corner. Time to lean back, slip into something more comfortable, start on a new book, or just be.

study

This ebbing out of the holiday rush must be a relief for all those who find holidays depressing. I can relate to that –  I am always disappointed at how fast Christmas is over. I am often left with a feeling of dissatisfaction.

I believe that as grown ups we are still hoping to re-live some kind of magic experienced in childhood. Spending unspoiled time with family, going through the excitement of opening presents and then taking in the crisp  feeling of things new would work for me as a little girl.

white

Now, I am, as many others, redefining Christmas. New things are not that tempting, and heaps of food feels out of place.  Curbing expectations and cutting down on things of little importance make all the more sense.

Because it is true: it takes a certain elasticity to expand to the holiday mode/mood and then go back to normality without sacking. That capacity is not to be taken for granted – hence the ground for the season’s  blues.

background

For thousands  of years, in the very core of all traditions, wether pagan or Christian, this time of the year has been dedicated to light as a life-giving source. And that is not to be forgotten. Our everyday life takes place in a wonder-land made of carbon-based molecules nurtured by the sun. Cod-liver oil is just another tangible proof of that fact.

shine on bright

These days in the end, are about feeling light and alive. Whether this sensation manifests over a traditional dinner with friends and family, in church, in silent contemplation,  or at a sunny beach in Thailand it is all the same.

I have spent the last few days preping for the coming holiday.

invitation

A  nice little makeshift tree complete with homemade decorations and a colourful light-garland now adorns our little studio.

let there be lights

Oranges, apples, pine-twigs, glitter and cloves have been arranged in festive compositions.

teatime

A small pile of books from the library promises moments of recreational book-hopping,  according to my whims.

Christmas porridge

We have already had Christmas porridge for breakfast twice, been to an evening mass for the ‘peace of mind’ and cooked some vegetarian dishes for tonight’s traditionally big and long dinner.

mass

I think of my grandparents these days. How they always used to be close to us in spirit every Christmas, despite the physical distance. How they would send us tons of books and soft presents wrapped by the gentle hands of my grandmother.

corner

Tonight I will not be celebrating Christmas in their company,  but at a level I cannot describe I will be  tightly holding them by the hand and thanking them for all those years.

I wonder if there are people out there who are deeply disappointed that today is another day. People who just hate Scarlett O’Hara’s guts.

I personally hate prophecies. I cannot imagine the life of people who have dedicated themselves to predicting humanity’s dire end, in a time safely distant to their own realities. People who have eloquently described omens of destruction as their  legacy for future generations.

Of course, behind every apocalyptic tale of the world going under, there is an underlying, springing hope of something new taking its place. Something better and more worthwhile.

But I think that  there is already extreme suffering around us. There has been and there still is. For so many people, daily, the world falls apart and the earth crumbles under their feet.

As a journalist pointed out in an article I recently read, December 21 may not be the end of the world,  but we are sure making our best to exhaust the planet’s resources and to make climate change an indisputably threatening fact.

Despite all this, the darkest night of the year is behind us. We are moving towards days of increased luminosity. At a greater level, this may be a turning point for the human species where new perspectives and deeper changes become inevitable because time is calling for them.

In the meantime, if you’ve had a bad hair-day, your car has broken down, holiday plans have gotten cancelled in the last minute, or your partner has forgotten your anniversary,  don’t get carried away. Because it is really, really NOT the end of the world.

I am nesting in my new temporary abode. The last 24 hours went by softly and patiently, giving my mind and body the time and space to land after a long and tiring trip.

snöskrud

My clothes have found their place in the closet, and my books are stacked on shelves. I have stocked up with supplies and squeezed them into the tiny kitchen cupboards….

I’ve made  lunch with Swedish kale, and taken a  long walk in the white lanscape.

lunch

Then, in the evening, a humble but delectable supper, before moving over to the sofa. Candlelight, a book on my lap, a film on the TV screen and mother’s company.

supper

After a perfect loop,  I got up this morning while it was still pitch-dark outside. I took a shower and sat down by the kitchen table, just letting the velvety darkness  sooth my mind.

earlymorning

I waited patiently for the day to perform its miracle. The promise of a new day materialised as  dawn broke and turned black into white.

light

Now tiny snowflakes are swirling in the air, drowslily  fighting gravity on their way to the ground.

Its a new day. Its a new dawn.

The mornings start out with a couple of minus degrees. The air is cold and crisp these days. The sun is shining and water puddles are flaked with ice.

bush

My transfer to a colder Scandinavia is eminent and suddenly, apart from having to deal with packing, I am cought in an interfering Christmas rush.

giftcard

I set my self at work and make Christmas tree ornaments and craft cards for my friends from afar. I tuck them into the all times classic white and blue envelopes and imagine how the red glitter glued on them will leave shining traces on its intercontinental  quest.

airmail

I can almost visualise how my post enters a mail cloud spreading around the globe to convey the most trivial of wishes.

But despite the obvious lack of originality, I think that we have the potential of releasing megatons of real, transformational energy, just by letting our wishes break free from etiquette and the mechanics of tradition and materialise.

retrogarland

This Christmas, my personal challenge is to set my wishes free.


I leave the whimsical weather of Thessaloniki behind and

RainpromenadeI board a train full of thoughts…

train of thoughtsKilometre after kilometre I marvel at the thousands of tiny evergreen leaves, as they  reflect the sun-beams like microscopic mirrors made of dewy, humid membrane.

Midway, the train pauses. Engine change and makeshift cigarette-break. Dry foliage in sparkling shades of yellow, orange and brown are softly strewn over the rails.

Rifts and fissures, steep rocks and far away-villages make up the magnificent landscape of the  rail-route to Athens. Time goes by slowly, probably on purpose.

landscape

Several hours later, I am in Attica.  I always use to think how beautiful this place once must have been. I imagine a timescape when marbles were still colourful and cypresses did not need to compete with tall buildings. A time when shepherds would graze their livestock in abundant pastures and quench their thirst with clean, flowing water.

ViewThe Athenian sky is still bright-blue over the standing tribute to a virgin goddess. A faithful consolation on a solid piece of rock.

ParthenonThen, too hurriedly, I rewind back to where I came from.

The trees are still auburn. The landscape is still magnificent, the cliffs are abrupt and the hours pass with no rush at all.

on the goMy destination is my point of departure in a small, but perfect loop.

Next time, I might learn not to hurry.

sofiawise

Clockwise, otherwise & likewise

The Chick on a Pea

Clockwise, otherwise & likewise

Buttercupgoeswest

Buttercup is a newborn and we are taking her on a 5000 KM journey from Ahmedabad to Kanyakumari

Sadness Theory

Music with passion for the environment

zee pause café

taking a moment, having a coffee, writing down some thoughts