wind in these sails

Yes, yes, blogs are for blogging. Blogs are not necessarily an outlet for all things emotional. Every time I sat down to write, it became such emotional mumbo jumbo I eventually just gave up. 

It's been quite a journey for me these past months. It's been a little over five months that we've been here in Sweden, and definitely full of what I have lovingly coined "humps and dumps". Most surprising has been the spiritual wringer-washer experience I have had, which was something I didn't foresee. It's been really, really hard at times, but it's really good too, in that strange inexplicable way these kind of things are. 

I am enjoying school these days, having found some like-minded European girls that shower so much love on me daily. It's a daily experience for me to be kissed (quite soundly) by my Russian friend. I had no idea that I would be so grateful for this kind of feminine craziness. 

Martin and I took advantage of a few days off recently to take a weekend on the west coast of Sweden. It was a great weekend for both of us -- Christmas shopping, sightseeing, a gorgeous old hotel room, and time alone. One evening we took a walk in the dark along the coast to a historical fortress built on a cliff on the coastline. The fortress was open for us to walk inside, and up on it's walls. It definitely tops my list of things we've done together in Sweden, and as soon as we returned to our beautiful little hotel room, I wrote about it:

An evening walk through quiet, near-deserted cobblestone streets, the moon a white-gray haze behind the night's clouds. Everything is lit in a dim, pale light. The steady, low roar of the waves pounding at the sea-wall. Two fishermen work for herring with five and more fishing poles, illuminated by two lamps that oversee their efforts with yellow light. One reels in two of the tiny fish and slaps them on the stones at his feet. They flap for seconds.

The cold ocean wind rips through our clothes but it's thrilling to be standing on this tiny limb of land, straight out into the dark ocean, where everything is a shade of black or blue, and the Varberg fortress hulking over us, mysterious and ancient in the night. All it's gates are open and the lanterns lit. The mood of the place is wild, lonely, mysterious, chilling. The air is cold, salty, the wind strong. It's just Martin and I in this ancient lump of rock and arched doorways and cobbled paths, and we climb the steep, uneven narrow staircase of the fortress wall to overlook the city of Varberg, the church steeple outlined in the pinkish hue of lights, and when you turn your back to the modern world I feel like maybe the ancients felt in this fortress, standing at the edge of the known world, nostrils thick with seasalt, winding tearing at your clothes, staring out into the overpowering and awing waters.