I’m not sorry that I didn’t post much the past two months. I appreciate my readers one by one but unfortunately I had a lot on my plate that needed to be cleared up. I don’t like sharing negative thoughts but I realize they make me more honest so I will share it, just not this time. Thank you for understanding and I hope you’ll be happy with the little moments that brightened up my days instead.
It was the smell of the soil and the mud on my boots that I found the spirit of the nature. We have had a wet summer but there were days of intense warmth and brightness. With the swinging basket in one hand I tried to find a way through the soft black sand on the pathway. I’m walking on my dad’s side in the forest and we talk about how much we love to be in the nature as a train rumbles through. We’re picking blackberries and our harvest isn’t as much as we hoped but we’re still glad in the end. We make marmelade out of it and it was a treat to eat it with rice crackers.
In between a chaos of emotions I meet Jessica in Utrecht. I’ve made a plan beforehand about looking for yarn shops and I can never quite control myself over the many beautiful yarns. We dug into a beadies shop that we both fall in love with. Coming back from my trip, I’m overwhelmed with a familiar feeling of home. It feels good to lie in bed with my fluffy little cat. She licks my face like a small dog as if I was gone for a whole month.
It’s 27th of August and my dad and I spent most of our day driving to my grandmother for her birthday and have a celebration at her place and in a nearby secondhand-store. She’s all I have left as a grandparent and I share a side of myself with her that I hardly share with others. Not many people understand the part of me of how connected I feel to the environment around me. It inspires me throughout all the art I’ve been creating for the past four years.
Meanwhile my grandmother and my father get into a conversation, I see my way to sneak into my grandmothers art gallery. She’s a painter by intuition and documents what she sees and what she feels.
One day, Melissa comes to visit me all the way to this place and I am left with infinite gratitude. ‘I was there for her when she needed it, now it was her time to return the favor’, although I never expected it. I am almost in tears of happiness when I see her. I am hyper from the coffee I drank and we talk the afternoon away in a language only we understand.
The quiet streets of the village that I live in has left me quite isolated from friends. The tranquility is calming but it is also leaving me with a certain boredom. I have night-walks in perfect solitude to clear my mind.
These moments of joy leave me soaring above the ground. I can feel the gravity letting me go and I’m so light it lifts me up. I could see everything from above. Not everything is clear enough to see and I wonder what my part is in all this. Sometimes with a little distance, events seem to change so much that it leaves you startled. It’s not exactly panic but you become aware that there might be more to it that you initially thought there was. Sometimes it leaves me broken. However, I can’t deny it affects my perspective. Is that why I need the distance. Is that what is happening to me? That I set my feelings apart, the joy and the sorrow? Somehow I am more calm about it than I have ever been. Everything will be fine in the end. I know it.
my grandmother’s self-portrait
My grandmother’s painting of me when I was younger.
My grandmother’s painting of the image my father took two years ago on her birthday A rare self-portrait of me.
My life’s ‘rune’. (and Yoko in the background).
When I’m writing this I am naked and eating rocket popsicles. Rereading my notes from my laptop and the things I wrote in my journal. Trying to make sense of all the things I’ve experienced.
My life is filled with extra-ordinary people. My first experience with some one who understood passion as much as I did was Natalia. The kind-hearted make up artist from Canada. That connection that we shared was passion. Although my passion was photography and hers was make up. It was there and it felt good.
In one of those extra-ordinary situations I met Min via the wonderful ways of the internet. She had already made plans to visit Amsterdam, my hometown and we decided to meet up. The first time we met; there I was pouring out my life story to a girl I hardly knew but she understood me. The meetings with her that followed I noticed that the people she chose to surround herself with, were exceptional. On the last day that I saw her I gave her something that was once a treasure of mine. It was my old hat that my former lover had gifted to me. It was a token of our friendship which was in fleeting moments at the time. The hat was a special symbol for the travels that I made on my own. The independence and the discovery of the earth. The adventure that came along with it. It was a symbol of how I pursuit love across the ocean. The romance that had set my soul on fire during the time I flew to the USA. It was a symbol for fighting for my originality because yes I wanted to be the only one with that 8 dollar hat.
It’s been three years since I sat in the chairs at the gate alone, waiting for the plane. I sat there with almost the same excitement. This time with more tranquillity. The sun shines from my back and the air is extremely humid. The plane is an hour late and when we’re finally boarded we are entering a bright blue-pinkish sky. The radio doesn’t work so I’m forced to listen to the engine and the countless voices of my co-passengers.
I hadn’t been writing whole-heartedly for some time. I struggled finding my uniqueness. Among the chaos of blogs and writings from others I became very occupied by staying true to myself. I tried to find ways of putting sentences together without words that weren’t overused or words that weren’t too simple. I wanted that what is most dear to me; ‘being original’. And I couldn’t find those words for a very long time that it had actually kept me from writing.
Another obstacle which kept me from writing was the lack of feeling. I had become so aware of other people’s feelings that I had almost forgotten how to feel for myself. And yes it’s hard explaining in words how mixed and confusing that was. I’m going to try it anyway.
Even though my stay in Stockholm wasn’t very long, I experienced it like it was a life time in terms of moments. Seven days long I stayed in a place in Björkhagen with a snorting old dog outside my bedroom. I’ve been mostly roaming around until I grew blisters on my feet. On the national Sweden day I was invited to a dinner. A fresh atmosphere hung in the air and we toasted on Sweden. When the night fell, the candles were being lit and I couldn’t imagine a more blissful evening that the one I had there.
The day after I woke up with heavy nose bleeds and an aching tummy. I went out to explore nearby parks, finding a place where I could be alone. I set up a picnic, watched chipmunks from a distance and read.
My other day of picnicking was some where outside the centre of Stockholm. Sweden is ravishing.
I spent the last three days at Min’s place. Without a clear idea of a plan my arrival went with a detour. Min’s neighbor took me in while I was waiting. This lovely lady had two beautiful kids that were so curious about me but we weren’t able to communicate as I did not speak Swedish nor did they speak English. I love how I connect with people of all ages. Will it be a toddler, a child my age or a mother of nearly 40. And not limited to that range of age. We spoke about motherhood, electronics, wifi, the beautiful sight of Sweden and so much more.
While her youngest child fell asleep on the couch, her eldest daughter Flora was too excited. Even when Min came to pick me up, she couldn’t stop smiling at us.
The following day we had breakfast at Min’s friends’ place which was bliss again. It wasn’t so much about the taste of the food but the company that sat around the table. It’s so easy to feel at home in places where you are welcomed with open arms. I missed shooting models so I stole one of Min’s friends and took pictures of him until the rest of his friends called him back. That same night we stuffed ourselves with strawberries. While we sat on the balcony we made circles of smoke and the taste of strawberries made place for the taste of cigars. A scent of whiskey in the air and two bright blue eyes looking at me. We chatted until sunrise. I couldn’t remember falling asleep when we woke up by noon.
On my last night I met some of Min’s other friends and we ate in a Chinese restaurant and hurried to the kayak rental. With our individual kayaks we floated on the river close by midnight. Sweden never becomes really dark at night in the summer so it didn’t feel like it was late at all. It’s easy to lose track of time. Back to shore we walked back home and said our goodbyes.