Archive of ‘Reflections’ category
Frank Leonard Stick – A Viking Mother (1929)
I woke up early yesterday before the stars had fully dimmed, and the moon was still in the sky. I watched it slowly fade as the sun rose, become a ghost moon, waning slowly.
Spring has arrived in full force. There are wildflowers everywhere, blue and white anemones, primroses, crocuses, – the world is a carpet of beauty. I went for a walk by the lake with friends, and the wonders around me made me almost afraid. Afraid to miss out, that spring would fade before I could take it all in. This is such a lovely time, before the rush of tourist, before the heat. The air is still quite cool when the sun isn’t out. And I will miss out on some of it, – I’m going to the US for a few weeks, and I fear the snow will be gone from the mountains by the time I return. I could gaze at those mountains forever.
It’s been a long, somewhat difficult winter. Spring feels like a relief, though also a bit painful. Things tend to be stirred up. It hurts to break open.
My writing and thoughts have changed since I moved to Slovenia. I feel I have to find a new way of being, and not look for the old. I’m no longer quite so immersed in nature, but instead I have the love of friends around me. And I get to walk by the river. But I feel quieter somehow. This place is gentler than the old North. I’m no longer shaken to my soul by wind and storms and cold rain, and dark mountains. Dark forests. Air and lakes and rushing waterfalls that feel like crystal. Clear and sharp.
Instead, there’s a gentler, in some ways even lovelier beauty here. But I feel less stirred into writing about everything I see around. The forest is no longer at my doorstep.
And I wonder if I should share more about the project I’m working on. That I’ve been working on for a long time now. In a sense, I feel I’m learning how to write. How to write a novel. It’s a wonderful though at times difficult journey. And it furthers my healing from all the loss I’ve been through. I feel I’m still guarding some great, old wound. It feels like holding onto poison, not quite knowing how to release it. There are things I went through that I’ve never spoken of. That I was unable to actually voice because it was too horrible and involved people I love. And moments that I’ve just glazed over because it hurts too much to dwell on them. I’ve never fully looked into what those events did to me. It’s easier to explore them through fiction.
But I’m also exploring beauty. Things I wish for. Like an ancient white temple by a cold lake, and of course white mountains beyond. And what would it be like to live the life of a priestess? To follow the will of the gods….the courage and joy and pain that would involve.
Wishing you a beautiful spring or autumn!
I need small moments of beauty, of wonder. An overcast sky with the sun coming through, seagulls floating in the distance, white feathers catching the light. To wake up in the morning to their call, knowing that the ocean is close by.
Christmas has passed. It was a beautiful time for me, especially Advent and the Winter Solstice. Christmas itself is always rather painful since I miss my family, and I feel a pressure to be happy. That I should be happy when instead I’m hurting. It still surprises me that I feel this way after so many years. Maybe you can relate?
My husband and I are spending a few days on the coast of northern Italy. Really, we’re not doing much….just being away from things. Reflecting on the year to come. I walk by the ocean, even though the city is yelling in my ears. I need to be near water – it calms me. And I love watching the ocean. The endless blue, or stormy grey. Its voice that pulls and tugs on me without words, just a deep longing I can’t quite name.
I also wanted to start writing again, because I fell out of my routine during Christmas. And I don’t feel quite right without words and stories in my head.
When I write, something rushes in. A white, beautiful magical wind. I remember to breathe. I remember to listen. The Goddess feels closer – a soft, pink feather in my heart. A gentle smile.
Not sure what else to add. Italy is nice, though I’m not very good at sightseeing. I usually just end up at a cafe, or I aimlessly walk around watching the ocean, or the decorations in the shop windows.
Just wanted to update this blog because I often start on a post and then never finish it. I suppose I put pressure on myself to write something interesting, and then all my words fall away.
A lovely blog of comics that resonate so much with me
My voice froze in me, as it easily does if I let it. My writing journey has been a long, spiritual thaw for me. But when I don’t share because I fear it’s not good enough, or even stupid, it’s like my voice became very small. Stuck in my throat.
But I’m also not sure what I want to share. My life has changed in strange, wonderful ways since I moved from Norway to Slovenia. And there is a different kind of magic here that I’m learning to listen to and interpret. A glittering, gentle presence. The wild stormy sky and dark forest at my doorstep is no more. But in their stead is a warmth that I’m drawing into my bones. Friends and beauty, and a brighter sun that rises early, even in winter.
I’ve been working on getting up early, in the moments before dawn. I’ve been drawn to spirituality and the divine since I was a little girl. I would speak to God as a child because it made me feel safe. The stars were gods gazing back at me. The sky spread out before me was a great, friendly voice that spoke of love. And in the darkness before dawn, I want to listen to the quiet voice in my heart, and light a candle at the feet of the Goddess. I want to be a guided by a clear, steady knowing. I want to be free of the clouds of doubt and worry. There’s a voice ringing through my soul and I want to follow its song.
I want to be a priestess of the Goddess.
That’s why I’m writing a novel about a priestess, and writing my way through old grief. I’m dissecting the path I’m so drawn to step onto, and that also leaves me confused. I need a way to express the thoughts and feelings that move through me. Images of beauty that I wish were real. It would be wonderful to spend time in a white temple by a dark lake. White mountains at my back. To sing worship to the Goddess in everything that I do. To have magic at my fingertips.
It’s taking too long. Writing this book. It’s a spiral journey in ever tightening circles and there’s a lot to overcome within me to be able to put words to the page. It’s a wonderful, magical path when I stop putting pressure on myself. It’s so easy to want to be more than I am, right now, move quickly forward to be worthy to spend time doing the things I love. It makes me very anxious when something is taking so long. Doubt fills me. But I have to write. There’s a clear, almost stern voice telling me there’s no other way. A strong core of stone at my heart. My thoughts are fretful, anxious wings beating against stone, and I know, deep down, that I’m safe.
The world is all white outside my window. White upon white. The snow continues to fall, and I find myself dreaming of a white Christmas. Wishing you a beautiful Advent time. May the light shine in the darkness. A candle forever lit in your heart.
Autumn is here, slowly, gently taking hold of the trees, the sky. The air that I breathe. I love it so much. It’s a time of warm sweaters, of fire and frost. I have a candle burning on my desk as I write this. More candles now. More light in the coming darkness.
I have dreams that I keep in my heart, though I know the world is a fragile place and anything might happen, might change. But what would I do? Without dreams?
I leave my window open as I write this, happy that I no longer have to close it against the heat, against the noise of construction work down below. The world is falling silent.
I brought with me a picture from Norway, that I bought at one of those cozy, soulful cafes I visited. It sits on my desk now, an image of an autumn lake, dark trees around it, stormy skies.
Lately, I’ve been looking forward to mornings because I feel the best then. My energy tends to run out later in the day. But mornings are fresh and gentle, and I walk more softly through the rooms of my apartment, drinking tea. I like to write and dream, and that too feels like stepping between rooms, between worlds. I try to listen to that quiet voice inside, which needs so much silence to be heard. And a lot of the time it’s telling me something unexpected, something that is wonderful and yet hard to believe. Peace it whispers, but I’m not sure I can let go and believe in it. There are so many things to worry about…
I’ve been reading Deep in the Far Away, which I recommend to anyone who loves beauty, love, magic. This book is very special because as I leaf through it I find flowers between its pages, and messages of love, which I touch, hold onto, like beautiful wishes. I felt a bit teary eyed and stressed out one night, and curled up in bed with this beautiful book, and felt much better. Comforted. I think we can bring some light into the world through the things we create.
Rain and snow
I’m listening to the rain, singing, singing outside my window, above the mountains. The forest is veiled in mist. I want it to keep raining for a while longer. Somehow it protects me from the world, from myself, wraps me in my own quiet space. It’s like coming back to myself. The sun can ask so much, too much sometimes. Though soon enough, I will long for that too. The other evening I was surprised to see snow on the most distant mountains. They shone white in the gathering darkness, and I was alone in the streets, watching them. I stood there for a time, leaning into that distant cold, feeling it coming closer, closer.
I become more aware of the light, as the dark season falls slowly, like a curtain onto the world. I step outside and watch the sky, the sun shining through the mist. But I’m not so worried about it here. I don’t have to cling to the light, not knowing when I will see it again. When the sun will show itself again. Here in this place, the sun is warmer, stronger, a more constant presence. I’m not sure why I long for darkness, the cold northern wind. In my mind, it makes no sense. I tell myself it makes no sense. I suppose I will always be longing for something else, no matter where I am.
But the more time I spend in nature, the more walks I take, the more I soften, fall in love with this place all over again. Yesterday I walked in the last bit of sun before it hid behind the mountains. The air was cold, the trees golden at their tips. I sat by the river and saw light reflected in it, saw that black and white bird dive into the water, come back up, dive in again. It would jump onto a rock, dance a bit, then throw itself back into the river.
I continued walking past sun flowers, moon colored flowers, blushing apples on low branches. I’m held in quiet beauty, here in this place. It eases my longing for the north, though when I found a side path my heart beat with longing, rising towards those dark trees, the darker mountains beyond, the forest. But it only took me to the river, and I could not reach deeper into the woods.
Last night a storm blew outside my apartment, howled in the trees, throwing rain against my windows. I loved it. I sat safely on my bed, reading, writing, listening. Thunder shook the sky. Lightning flashed. Slovenia has the best storms.
Sharing a song that I’m sure you know, but that will forever make me think of Slovenia. Edelweiss is their national flower.
And a song that I listen to in the mornings, when I need gentle hope.
Artist – Kim-Yoon-Hee
I used to write here so much, and now I don’t. I guess things change, and maybe they will change again. And maybe I will find a way not to worry about what people might think, or if what I write is good enough, stupid, worth sharing. I’m always afraid to say the wrong thing, and I’m also afraid to look at my own writing, which is something I’m working on. It feels like a process in forgiving myself, my mistakes, who I am. In being open to the world and to learning. I guess I compare myself too much to others. And look too much to what others are thinking, doing, instead of finding a center to rest in, within myself. I would like to make a temple that I can walk into, light a candle, be safe, within my own heart. To make it strong enough so it won’t crumble at the smallest look, thought, word. I want to conserve my energy for the things that truly matter.
I went for a walk today and asked the land what it had to teach me. Quiet it said. And I knew I needed to be here. There are so many times I have ideas about what I want, where I should be. When I returned from the US to Norway, I first wanted to live in a city that I have many happy memories from. But after looking at a few places, I turned to my husband saying; “I just want nature. Silence.” So we searched elsewhere instead. In the western part of Norway at first, where there are steep mountains that I find very beautiful. But something was steering me towards the south, to gentler landscapes, more open sky, more sunlight. And we ended up in a lovely place, where I found silence, people, healing.
Also when I walked today I felt autumn in the air. An early darkness because the sun was already behind the mountains. There were storm clouds, rain. I walked and felt the flashes of lightning right above me, one after another. I swear I felt the heat of that lightning, and I turned around quickly, rushing home.
I’ve learned that no matter where I go, I will miss something about the places I’ve been. I think it will always be like this. Wishing you a beautiful September.
I’m home in Slovenia now, after a beautiful trip to Norway to visit family, to visit those high mountains and shining lakes. I ached to breathe that fresh, clear air, to be part of that wild sky I love so much. It rained heavily when we left to return to Slovenia, which made it easier to let go and cross the ocean to Denmark. I was weary too. It’s good to be back.
We drove along many narrow, winding roads in Norway, and I sat with a hand to my heart because all that beauty hurt me in a wonderful way. It felt like my heart was opening, like a creaking door.
There are mountains, forests, and lakes. Rushing waterfalls. There’s always a lake close to the road, shimmering in the sunlight, or the ocean itself, tucked between fjords.
We slept in a tent in the high mountain, where there are no trees, only moss and heather, and dark lakes. I was cold there and woke up in the night to see a billion stars above me, the silence of the mountain pressing against me, the sound of falling water trickling into my ears. We had camped close to a large patch of cotton grass which shone like drops of snow in the morning. I walked into the sun to warm myself and gathered a bouquet of them. They have such a simple, gentle beauty to them, and remind me of my childhood at our cabin.
I also gathered heather to bring with me home. I love its purple flowers, its honey scent, its fairy magic. It’s one of the loveliest plants I know. At times I felt I could hardly breathe going for walks, especially in the mountain, – there was just so much to take in. I became very silent, falling to my knees in worship…I curled up on the moss by a glittering lake, letting it fill my ears, my eyes, breathing in sweetness, the warm sun. I only wish there had been more time to walk further along those trails, to see where the next bend would lead.
I’m weary and full of happy memories, and some difficult ones too, which tends to go into the mix; But I’m learning to see moments of difficulties like gifts dropped into my lap, for me to hold and turn over, look at more closely. I try to remember to listen and to learn, even though it can be painful.
I felt the beginning of autumn in Norway. I saw how the birch leaves were turning yellow, how the mountain grass was a burnt bronze, and how dark the lakes seemed. I brought home teas and honey, so I will remember.
Even now I ache for the wilderness I knew, the darkness that seemed at the edge of everything. Maybe one day I will return to it and stay. But for now, I’m here, in a different kind of beauty. A gentler beauty, kinder with more flowers. And yet….and yet I feel I’ve left part of my heart behind, and I try to remember that winter is coming and that Slovenia is a better place to face it. Less dark, with sunny days closer together. It was in May this year that I felt such a deep longing to be in Norway, leaving me more restless the further along we went into summer, into the simmering heat. I needed the north then, to breathe colder air, to walk up into the mountains….I just haven’t found any place that makes me feel the same as those mountains, high up, close to the sky. The water there taste like starlight, and there are glaciers, shining blue in the distance. Kings and queens of ice and cold. But it is very lovely to be back in my own place, to rest. I feel refreshed and very tired. I want to listen. I sense I went through a story, a chapter in a book that makes up my own life, and I need to sort through all the lessons given to me and to know what to do next.
I wonder as I write this if what I long for the most are places almost untouched by people. Places untamed. I love the mountains because there’s almost no one there, only a few cabins, sometimes a road. You can feel nature speaking to you in its great, powerful voice, not tired out by people. In a way this makes me sad, because it makes me notice how polluted some places are, how beaten down. This is what I mean by wilderness. That place that is still brimming with spirits, magic, life. And at the same time, I feel that maybe I shouldn’t write this. There are so many lovely places. Places that touch my heart and fill me with beauty. But the mountain is different, – it shakes my soul.
Maybe the things we grew up with has a special place in our hearts.
I will go to sleep now, listening to the sound of rain and hopefully thunder. I returned home to mist and darkening mountains, which felt like friends. There are so many thoughts and feelings running through me. So many things have happened. I’m ready to welcome Autumn, dark and silence. Good night 🙂
And this, because it gives voice to the northern mountains, their chill and cold, and power
I’ve written several posts that I left in drafts. I don’t think I will publish them because they were too full of hurt and anger, grief. But it is better now. It always gets better. Just have to stand in the fire for a while.
I feel very blessed living in the place I live. So full of beauty. To go for morning walks and see the light in the trees, in the beautiful gardens, overflowing with flowers. I like to walk by the river especially. There is something about the water that calms me, soothes me. Without it, I feel parched. The other day I watched a small bird dancing on a rock. It was all black with a white chest. It flew into the water, diving, swimming around. I didn’t know it could do that. It seemed so full of joy.
The days have been less hot, and I welcome the cool air, the mist on the mountains, the wild thunderstorms. I hide away when it gets too hot. I’ve been circling by the butcher shop to get raw goat milk, raw butter. It’s amazing to find such things. Treasures really.
I have my desk where I can sit and write, my own little place finally. And I can see the mountains from my window. All blessings.
In the afternoon I curl up on my bed with a good book and my notepad. Sometimes I need a day when I can fill myself to the brim with writing. To step into the world of dreaming and stay for a while because it’s so easy to be shaken out of it.
She is perfume. She is rose sweet. She is love. The most sacred flower in the depth of your heart. Fragile petals opening in darkness. Strength confused as weakness. She is life, beauty. Love.
Sometimes I fall asleep to the scent of roses (or the feeling of that scent.)
I draw closer to her like this. My Divine Mother. I listen more. And I feel her showing me something that I can’t fully grasp because it goes so much against my stern ideas about life and love. But I want to believe what I start to glimpse inside of me. A truth I didn’t dare to believe in.
I feel letting in love takes courage. To be open and vulnerable. And being so loved, so near my Divine Mother makes me feel unworthy, very small, and yet deeply loved. It’s a strange combination, and it’s easy to run away.
I was reading a book about a girl who lost her parents and sister. And I felt myself in her. It made me feel how great my loss really is. How deep it goes. Deeper than I knew. I still think of my family with a pang of longing, that sense of being a tree in a winter forest, just starting to gather leaves. We can not turn away and forget. We have to walk through things, so I write. My main character goes through a great loss, but it’s easier to write about someone else. To look at things from a distance. And make her learn courage, faith, love, all the things I wish for.
The novel I’m working on is me piecing my soul back together, putting words and understand to my grief loss, without feeling too scared or overwhelmed.
Note: Sarah is soon releasing the updated version of her novel as an ebook. Please check it out. Truly it’s wonderful!
Her soul seemed to have fallen asleep in that vast, silent landscape. She drew a deep breath, feeling a glimmer of a peace that surprised her. For a moment she could not remember her grief. The mountain had such an overpowering voice, that all else seemed to fall silent in its presence. Several places she rode past small black lakes that reflected the sky, the shifting clouds. She would stop for a moment, staring into them, their mirror-like surface, seeing her own reflection. A pale wide-eyed girl, blurring around the edges as a wind brushed past. She felt she was looking at a ghost. Or a very old memory. (From the book I’m working on. Maybe:)
I’m waiting for rain, and the sky is waiting also. And there is a cold gust of wind sometimes, and light. It keeps shifting. I’m starting to enjoy living in the heart of a small town. At first, I wanted to hide away, but now I rather enjoy watching life happening around me. To be in the ebb and flow of the day, people coming and going. And spring is lovely. There are so many colors, so many flowering trees. The snow is almost gone from the mountains. Winter seems far away now, and yet I remember walking through slush and rain, and dark days, early evenings, almost as though it was yesterday.
Behind the fence behind the bakery next to our apartment, there’s a small orchard of white flowering trees and one bright red one. I like pausing a little as I walk, to look into that slightly secret garden.
And there’s a tree on my way back from the shops that hug the side of a building. I’ve been watching it slowly turning green after winter, and now has white flowers, like lace spread over its branches.
Beautiful things sometimes hurt me a little, if I don’t share them.
Have I mentioned that I get up to the sound of church bells? A sweet chime lets me know that it’s 7 am, followed by an insistent ringing that I’m guessing means it’s time to get up. I’m not sure. But I get up anyway. And the sun is already spread across the mountains, the river, so it feels right to start my day.
It’s Easter week, and I feel sleepy. The days feel sleepy. I want to buy a chocolate egg, just because it reminds me of my childhood. Easter feels like pastel colors.
I’ve gone for walks and seen the moon like a white ghost in the sky. A fading memory of the night before. Sometimes I don’t see her at all, but feel her light on me. Even during the day. A full moon, a pink moon they call her. It makes me think of that pink, flowering tree I sometimes walk by. That smells sugary sweet even from a distance.
Really, I just want to close my eyes, curl up and rest. It’s raining now.
How are you?
I write and write, go somewhere, I don’t know where, and then I look up and so much time has passed. It’s like I’ve stepped into another realm and out again. Time passes so quickly, the way it does when you’re asleep, dreaming. And I’m like no no…a little more time, please. I’m not ready to face the rest of the day, to step out of dreaming. But doing this, I also feel I’m practicing listening. So I try to listen during the rest of my day as well and see if I can settle into that core of something inside of me. A truth that balances me.
I could go into my writing space and not come out all day. Yesterday I shared a tender tidbit of something that came to me, on Instagram. I wanted to let you know that I’m working on a book, but I feel rather shy about it. I’m holding it close to my chest, and yet I also want to share more. Maybe slowly, step by step I will be a little braver.
In the early evening, as the sun sets, I go for a walk and I’m breathing in new life. Beauty. The world is brimming with new colors, and flowering trees I didn’t think I’d see again after moving from California. Pink magnolia trees that blossom with all their heart. It looks like a heart to me. A heart that doesn’t hold back, spreading all its beauty openly into the world.
And I walk by the crystal clear river and see the sun in it. I stop and look into the water. I walk down a few stone steps and sit on a stone bench and just listen to the flow of water, watching sunlight playing across its surface. The sun setting in the distances, slipping now and then behind dark gray clouds.
Sometimes when I go grocery shopping I take a long way back, just so I can cross over the river and see flowers in people’s gardens. The other day it kept raining, with the sun pushing through eventually. And I stood beneath a birch tree with tender new leaves, the sky gathering like a small storm behind it. But there was light also, falling over it. And the wonder of it stopped me in my tracks. I could only stare and feel wrapped in some strange, magic cloak.
Wishing you a happy Friday. A beautiful weekend.
Artist – carl emil doepler
There is something about Fridays, isn’t there? The day of the Goddess. It’s a bit more gentle, golden, like Freya herself. And maybe there’s a lightness spreading across the land, a looking forward to the weekend. A deep exhale.
Yesterday I watched this interview, and felt such a longing for the old gods, and remembered stories my mom told me. About Thor riding across the sky making thunder, and I could see it in my mind’s eye, making me shiver with the wild poetry of it. There is something about the old religion that sings to my bones, that makes me see mystery in the mountains, in the cold dark lakes of my homeland. Perhaps one day I will read the Poetic Edda myself. I want to.
And I’ve been reflecting on beauty, how feeling it deep inside of me can make me dream beautiful things at night. Flying above lush landscapes. What hurts me the most is when beauty, nature is being destroyed. It feels like we’re destroying our own soul along with the landscape around us. When instead we should be growing trees, flowers, gardens inside and out.
I’ve gone for long walks among pale yellow fields, among wildflowers gathered beneath trees, along fences. It was beautiful, except for the heavy metal music being played somewhere below, reaching me no matter how far I went. I wanted to be in silence. I reached for the mountains, the sky, wanted to hear bird song only. Oh well. This is what happens when you move back to civilization 🙂
I sat down on the ground, pulling off my shoes, breathing, breathing. I always feel slightly frayed at the end of the day, tired perhaps of fighting a battle with myself. I’m trying to understand it, a guilt about something, always something. And I want to be strong and clear on my path, knowing for sure that the gods are with me.
Now I will dream of flowers to plant together with a beautiful friend.
Wishing you a magical Friday and weekend.
May she look kindly upon you.