välkomna till

you come when it is nearly dark
(I wonder if you are lost)
crunching, crushing up the path
with something in your hands

you scrape and knock and welcome me
singing the way they sing here
speaking in any language
(and I wonder how stupid I sound)

you welcome me and invite me
and I stutter, carefully, feebly
wishing wishing wishing very hard
for some eloquence

you leave the thing in my cold fingertips
with the edges of my mouth in a smile
having spoken stuttered sung
over roses in a white box


every day: every hour

I am listening to Radiohead and reveling in the fact that we finally have an Internet connection. I can sit at our desk and blissfully type while overlooking the neighbors garden. It feels darn near luxurious.

Martin and I went for a walk yesterday afternoon (down the road, right into the forest, up the steady incline) and came back with muddy shoes, wet feet, and high spirits. The forest was enchanting, part deep and dark, sheltered with old trees and cushioned with moss. Here the bright red-and-white poisonous mushrooms grew large and garish like neon signs, forbidding and completely drawing. If you continue on, over the rotted and slippery foresters "footbridge" and find another slow incline, the forest turns to tall red pines, bare of branches for some 30 feet. Here the blueberries and ferns can grow underfoot. A little further and we come across a living sea of ivy, spread out under the branches of oak and maple, covering every inch of ground in glossy, shining green. Once you step back out onto the road you feel as if you have, quite literally, stepped out into another world. Someone said to me that this area of the world was their "Narnia", and now I can completely understand, only it's not through a wardrobe I step, but through the front door.

We have had many little projects going around the house but I am most grateful to have a snug, black roof over our heads and soon, after we get the weather stripping on, snug winter-ready windows. I am working on "finishing" the baseboards in the living room and kitchen, and Martin and Janne finished some electrical jobs today. We've a stack of firewood (although I think we may need more, judging by our neighbors gargantuan stack of firewood) and the damp chill in the air signifies summer is over and now autumn, then winter. School starts in less than a week, am I ready? 

When I have no idea what I am in for, it's hard to say. I guess I will buy some notebooks and sharpen my pencils, so to speak, and be as ready as I will ever be. I am the only married student, the only student living "off campus", and surely one of the oldest students as well, and I wonder whether I can melt in or not.

My fingers are cold and I wonder about turning on the heating element behind the desk, but as many things go here, I don't know how hot it gets and is it safe or a good idea near the printer and electrical cords? etc. etc. I find at times I am really quite useless. I can't read a cellphone instructions or driving directions, faltering in the most basic of Swedish, can't yet really even grocery shop or buy stamps on my own. Maybe it's not that I can't, but that I am afraid to. Pride is the most fearful thing, really, as I feel this emotional barrier against putting myself out to (I think) failure, ridicule, or appearing stupid. I sometimes find the thing I could attempt (a simple sentence or expression) and instead opt to speak in English as, for whatever reason (pride, shame, embarrassment, insecurity, frustration), I can't seem to spit the words out. With time I hope this changes... My Swedish for immigrants class begins next week, and I know I am getting thrown in with people at all levels of Swedish (my level is that of a child of perhaps three). 

I am daily in awe of the fact that we've "done it", done the thing we talked about as an "if" and "maybe when", made this move and here we are, living in this beautiful, green, calming place, with toads living under our back step and a washing machine in our bathroom, with rather large spiders and a large old piano, creaking floorboards, white white walls, and mercilessly quick sunsets. Out from under the pressure of work and emotional strain and partially overlapping schedules, away from the blast of sirens and street church, and the brooding boredom of a lonely apartment, I feel inspired to write. It's been sometime since I felt that inspiration, that love. It got flattened out between my plasticky pre-fab desk, jargon, writing on things I neither knew, experienced, touched, tasted, nor smelled. It was flattened as thin and pale as me: strained, sharpened, tired. I can feel it's fulsomeness returning, fattening on what? good bread, rich cheese, delicious clean air and water without chlorine? or calm, long sleeps, a complete dismissing of stress? Whatever it grows on, I want inspiriation to be fat and positively bursting.