There are days, like today, when I feel everything has already been written, and been written way better than I will ever be able to write it and on those days, like today, I'm panicking a bit cause what shall I do then, at this age, when I don't know how to do anything else?
What should I have been instead? A teacher? Is it too late?
You have them? Lately seem to get those cold sores all the time. Is there any medication? I want to nuke the strain causing it. I use zovirax, any of you out there know of anything even more effective?
It's not that I'm losing my religion, I've never really had one beyond family, friends and a comforting sense of belonging - all of which have helped a great deal. But there are times, every so often, when I wished I had a religion beyond that. Some kind of guidance. A framework. Centuries-old tradition of knowing who to turn to and of that person/higher power really being able to help or console. Like any young person I searched all over for something to believe in, tried the various major religions on for size. Didn't fit. With many of them, the organized religions' treatment of women within and beyond their ranks killed it for me. If their God/Gods didn't even treat the sexes equally, then it wasn't my God. Same with so many other practices, like the constant urging to appease the God with prayers. It might well work that way with God, what do I know, but it's not the kind of God I'm looking for. In times of crisis I've had to come up with other sources of consolation. And it's often religious/Christian art that brings on the peace. Not so much Jesus on the cross. More Mary with baby Jesus - the composition called Glykophilousa - Greek for "sweet kisses" with baby Jesus so tender with his momma, the two of them oozing love way beyond any specified religion. That's what God must be like, not the pictured people per se but the overwhelming feeling of love and care, compassion and forgiveness. So yes, perhaps I already know God?
Could also be all the amassed energy by people who've previously turned to the very same images for consolation. Or perhaps the phenomenal artistry of the painters appointed to carry out the art. Doesn't matter so much. The Met is my church. I went there today, was comforted by many a loving baby Jesus-Marys, a currant scone and some ancient Egyptians. El Greco wakes me up too, shakes me up a little, in a good way. I'll take whatever works. Ps. Top painting is in Europe though - in Antwerp. I go to the Met to see a very similar version from Van Eyck's workshop. Strangely, the supreme contemporary copy is not as overwhelming as Van Eyck's original. Don't understand it, am not usually so picky. Perhaps some higher power is involved after all. Ps 2. I grew up in museums. When I'm this far from my first family, the familiar world of art and the company of trees are the two main means to beat the longing for the people I love on a different continent. Ps 3. People! If you're in London, don't miss this - in February. So tempted to go. Dad, care to join? This is for us!
We're always or almost always 5. 3 kids, 2 adults. It's hard/impossible to make sure everyone is happy at all times. I usually take Anders and myself out of any equation and think "1/3 happy, always something".
As long as 3/3 aren't discontent (that often happens too), I can manage.
Every other monday, I have a column in a Swedish daily (yes, that is one very smug headshot). I've written for a year and have recently been told my time's up. That's just how it is.
I'll miss writing for them, it is a great job, pays fine and whatever I write has been read for real, by commuters who sometimes write back.
When I was first assigned; I told the paper that I was perhaps not the kind of columnist they were seeking as I rarely upset people and rarely if ever seek to say controversial things. "I'm an entertainer" I told them but then, when hired, I went on to write about cemeteries and grief.
I only have two more columns to write and would like to keep up the gloom.
Here's what I want to write about: I wonder what happens when you die. I mean that deja-vu thing you're supposed to experience right before it's all over.
Is it a feast of all those memories we love to return to or can one even hope for a director's cut - material only seen once before and then forgotten? Will it be a selection of feel-good stuff or does the brain not discriminate on emotional grounds? Will it simply be impressions of sounds and sights with no emotional editing involved?
I know I have doctors and nurses and scientifically and spiritually interested people among my readers.
And all sorts of other people.
Therefore I want to ask you, as this is a matter that will concern all of us in the end:
I LOVE when Anders goes running with other men I love (or have loved).
Like when he runs with my brother or ex-boyfriends.
It gives me such a warm, fuzzy feeling.
Don't understand it at all, think it must be some remnant from paleo-times when the thought of people you love working out showing signs of physical prowess together was imperative. Strong clan-mentality.
Don't yet know how I'd feel if he ran with women I love (or have loved) but think I would be pro that too.
Meanwhile, I'm inside, typing/writing, candles lit, kids in school, aaaah.
A while back I asked you what you'd like to know and lots of you said "what's life like now?" and "How are the kids doing?"
We arrived here on July 2nd in the middle of extreme New York Summer heat. Yesterday we went ice skating in extreme cold in Central Park. We dabble in extremes.
The kids have adjusted to their new city but still often say they want to go home as in move back to Sweden ASAP.
Niki says it the least, Joel the most. But I think Vanja is really the one who longs for Sweden the most.
As for myself, I'm a bit torn.
I love New York City, how could you not?
I love the theatre of life playing every day in every street corner. I love the food and the extroverted norm of the New Yorkers.
I miss having my family close. I miss the comfort of old old friendship - people who know you almost better than you know yourself,
Then again am so happy and grateful for the new friends.
I miss trees and when the tree missing gets serious, I go to Central Park and it's almost religious - the calm those trees bring.
Speaking of religion - I love my Brooklyn gym, where people of every creed go to work out - the hasidic men dressed in crisp white shirts, black pants and real leather belts, the women in below-the-knee skirts nylons and shawls.
I love living in close proximity to the Met, my favorite place in the world.
I hate the fact that my three kids have to practice hiding in closets because this nation has seen so many school shootings, everyone has to be prepared for the worst, at all times.
I love the prospect of being here for real, of living here, not being a stressed out tourist trying to cover every sight in a few days' time.
I feel really conflicted about my professional life - where is it going - what do I do?
Am just now finishing off work on a kids novel, trying to interest the publisher in another idea too.
Have decided will most likely keep the camera. will share more shots shortly.
Anything in particular you'd like to see? Beyond Niki enjoying her minestrone?