birthday boy

Today is April 27, which means I am now the mother to a two-year-old. "Time is fly", as a dear friend of mine once pointed out. Max is counting to ten and pronouncing the Swedish alphabet better then I. Learning to ride a bicycle and loving listening to music and dancing with me. Yesterday we were dancing around the living room, him bouncing in my arms singing a Swedish folk children's song, and the sorrow came up unbidden. Soon there would be a time when the last thing in the world that he would want will be to dance with me. So I need to get a lot of dancing in.

Happy Birthday, Max!


dark thoughts

In a turmoil of grief, anger, disillusionment, confusion, fear, and despondency. And not poetically nor artistically interpreted. I am... raw. I keep asking questions I know the answer for, and questions I will never know the answer for. Questions I should not ask, or maybe I should? By faith the future is hopeful but I dread the great darkness huddling there. I have seen the dark with the lies and hate and gnashing teeth and how it chews up and spits out the sweet and the good and the loving. Am I faithless and unbelieving? Is it in my weakness that He is made strong? Or is it purely unbelief that leaves me flailing and mourning?


Christmas trees

It's 6:37 on a chilly December morning and I can hear the logging machines working away in the distance. They've been a constant growl and hum in the background for two weeks and I have been afraid to walk in that direction and see what beautiful part of our neighborhood they've stripped. What is the sudden fixation with logging out my favourite places to walk?

On the note of cutting down trees, I have been thinking about where we can go find and cut the perfect little pine tree for our teeny-tiny living room. That kind of tree-cutting is okay, I guess. What a hypocrite I am!


goodbye, beautiful trees

Returned to Sweden after a month away, to rather intense autumn sunshine, blowing leaves finding their way through the house -- stuck on our socks and clinging to our hair -- and that certain smell of fall. I'd thought I'd miss it, but that was stupid of me because the rain doesn't usually start for a few more weeks yet. The season for writing is coming -- I have ideas up my sleeve and a storyboard already started.

We returned to our life here in this little village, seemingly dropping out of fifth gear into second or first. From fast-food on every corner to one tiny corner store in the whole village. I have taken a "relaxed" approach to jet-lag, and it's afforded me the ability to half finish a decently extensive biography on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, which I am thoroughly enjoying and wanting to recommend to certain friends.

There was an unpleasant aspect to our return, something that I had not anticipated and shocked me, although I am not really a tree-hugger type (although since moving to Sweden I certainly recycle significantly more than I ever have and was unnerved at what gets thrown away in Canada.) Max and I went for a walk up a path we often take and as I pushed him up the hill we enjoyed the sunshine and smells and the general autumnal aura (lame-sounding but true -- I have a brain-itch right now that keeps running the word "autumnal" over and over.) As we crested the hill and turned the corner where the small  road curves north, I finally looked up into the distance and was so shocked I gasped. Someone and something had clear-cut a large chunk of the forest and left one of it's most beautiful spots -- where the road starts sloping down and there's nothing but fir and pine on the hillside and thick bright-green moss and stones on the ground and it's quiet and cool and dark). Now thanks to Berg's forestry company, it's a lumpy, scarred, nearly-bald hill, roots and stumps and fir branches left piled and wasted, and the smell of freshly cut timber overpowering. I was stunned and angry. It was the first time I have really understood the emotion behind the people who chain themselves to trees and do rather silly things in protection of the forest. I felt so sad walking up to this great, barren, desecrated scape that used to feel like a sanctuary. I wanted to write Berg's a nasty and childish note on their pile of money that smelled like fir. I didn't, of course, probably some young man with a family running the machinery. But I felt sad, and a tad betrayed, although that is ridiculous, but how could this happen while I was gone? I don't think I will want to walk up there again for awhile.


she's back

Is it possible that the last I have felt the creative energy to write was spring? Spring! Summer! And still, by the calendar, yet summer, but the night chill, damp, and falling leaves say an early fall is here and summer is nearly forgotten. How is it possible that time can move so quickly? Only yesterday I was dreaming my dreams of the garden future, and watching Max take his first curious steps out-of-doors. Now, he is running (his funny baby-run) to pick up half-rotten fallen apples and happily declare them to be "pear!" My writing energy was simply replaced by the desire to be outside as much as weather allowed. That, and although we have an excellent, large, functional "new" corner desk/cupboard, it has all the warmth, welcome, and appeal of working in a giant cardboard box. A box with a chair, both of which are ergonomic travesties. Are blogs made for blogging? Yes. They are. Are they also meant for sitting, unfermented but getting old by the moment, hardly read and rarely visited? Yes, that too. 
So now as I am already staring somewhat despondently down that dark hole of Swedish autumn-winter, the writing desire returns. Ah, finally tapping into that famed Swedish artistic despondency!