May 30, 2011

One Good Friend.

“Everyone needs friends. At least one good one”.

I remember those words like it was yesterday, uttered by my very first online acquaintance.

I met her in the beginning of the nineties. Internet and online communications were in their infancy, yet I already then developed an avid interest for online communities, as suddenly a whole new world of interactions was opening up to my perception.

She became my real close friend for a couple of years, a confidant that I shared my thoughts with. There was something safe in the fact that I shared my secrets with basically a stranger, thousands of miles away from me, someone I never met, yet a living, breathing soul who could offer words of empathy and comfort.

Being far away from my established friends and my family, having left everything behind on another continent a few years prior, I realized that making real life friends as an adult was a task light years removed from the time when I was a child.

Me and My Best Friend in 1989
As a little girl I made friends easily. I lost them easily too, but in no time new would come along and I never ever recall being a solitary child or having the feeling of being left out. I had an overabundance of friends at all times; some were children I admired, some were those who admired me and then there was at least one good friend. My very best friend that liked me exactly for who I was and shared my innermost secrets and dreams with me. Already then I perceived easily how important this very fact was.

Once my parents immigrated to Sweden, our family went through a mental transition, one that deserves its own exclusive post. To leave ones country - what at that time was assumed as forever - is not something one easily recovers from and the experiences of immigration shaped my early teenager years.
Nevertheless, I still made friends. I found quickly that initially I was drawn to other children, which just like me found themselves as foreigners in another country. We were brought together due to our similar fate and felt unified due to our situation.
As time progressed and my family became successfully integrated in the new society and our new country became our home, as a teenager I slowly made friends with Swedish kids, even though I with amusement must admit that they all had foreign ties, in one way or another.

Me And My Sister In 1994
During this time, my sister became my very best friend. I recall still today our long daily talks. We discussed everything between heaven and earth and I always looked forward to finding her at home when I returned from school, as we would sit in mine or her room for hours, recollecting our day.

I kept my university friends when I started to work and when I moved away from home on my own, I had a well-established network with only a few friends, but still friends I liked and could count on. The phone was never off the hook and I never felt alone – in fact at times I wish I was.

When I left Sweden as a young adult and moved to the other side of the Atlantic, I quickly found myself in a situation that required solitude and discretion and making friends became suddenly impossible.
And then one day it just happened, as I went through life’s ups and downs, traveled the paths less traveled I found that as an adult I became scrutinized by others, at times viewed as threat and interference and felt unwelcome into new established friendship circles. At the best I could make brief and superficial acquaintances.
It dawned on me then that the connections we make as young are golden.

Whether it is the mindset of younger years, the ability to bounce back so easily or whether it is the will and interest to genuinely get to know people - nevertheless, childhood friends are the ones we should try to keep. There is something infinitely comforting to have known - and have been known by - someone for decades, to have followed them through life’s turmoil and to have shared so many unforgettable moments. It is a magic I will sadly never experience.

I still keep in touch with many of my old friends, those that I made during my teenage years. Still, life has brought us in different directions and the closeness we once felt is long gone. Today, after having lived more than a decade in a new country, I cannot state to have made many new friends.
However life has taught me that it is not the quantity but the quality that counts in the end.
Maybe that is the difference between the friendships we strike as young and the one we do as adults.

Me And Elizabeth
Thus I would like to dedicate this post to my one and only true confidant, my very best adult friend Elizabeth who has become my light in the dark – and serendipitously we met through our common love for a nearby lighthouse.
Her concern and genuine care has kept me sane through many recent storms over the past two years. She has shared my deepest secrets and I hers and her beautiful and unblemished mind and candid empathy has made me once again trust in the goodness of people, corroborating my belief that we should pay attention to who destiny brings our way. Each and every encounter has a higher meaning and the people we meet always have a role to play in our lives.

I have today reached the conclusion that we cannot go thorough life alone. As much as we need shelter and food, we also need love and companionship. And at least one good friend.

There are no rules that define a true friend; however often it is the hardship of life that shows us that true friendship can come from the most unusual and unexpected places.

May 26, 2011

Accession To Midnight Sun.

In about twenty days, we will reach the enticing Summer Solstice. The time when daylight rules our world and the midnight sun colours the heavens.
Thus the month of May and June comprises my absolute favorite time of the year, one that is defined by light. Additionally, it is signified by almost daily sunsets that take my breath away, combined with stunning views of the evening sky.

I will never ever get tired of my late spring - early summer vistas, as I watch - almost daily - when the fiery disc meets the horizon in a covert kiss, colouring it by plethora of fiery brushstrokes, causing it to blush upon this romantic encounter. As the sun vanishes beneath the dark silhouette of the Earth, the heavens turn slowly orange and then purple. Shortly after midnight they gain the hue of silver blue - however never ebony.
The sun is absent for only a portion of the night, yet its imminent presence can clearly be felt throughout the time of twilight, until it reappears in the small hours of the morning, submerging my world in a rosy sunrise.

This is the culmination of the white nights, a countdown to midnight sun. A time of magic and enchantment here in Scandinavia.
Yet, no matter the culture or location, the sun has been worshiped by humans all across our world for millennia - ever since the primitive man recognized its vital potential.
The allure of the golden star continues to mesmerize us even today and will in the future, despite the progress and technology which rule and explain our reality. Humanity will endlessly maintain a strong urge to hold onto that which is beyond our control and beyond any clarification, that which entices us and keeps us standing back in awe.

(Below a selection of May sunsets and evening/early night skies, as seen from my windows. Please click each image for larger view.)

May 23, 2011

A Safe Harbour.

These days, my entire being is consumed by feelings of unfamiliar content. A certain kind of absolute happiness, which I yet have to adequately grasp, in order to precisely define, as it is so unknown to my perception.

I have been happy before, but NEVER like this.

The emotions that consume me are so very difficult to convey - however I feel that I am exactly at the right place with the right person.
I have never felt so much at home.
Nor have I ever before made anyone feel exactly the same way in return.

A realization occurred to me recently.

A notion that life does progress in stages.
It is my belief that we need to complete each stage in the order it is presented to us. We can not bypass any predicaments, however painful and unfair they might appear and we can not escape that which is predestined.
Today I understand the there is a master plan behind every event, even those that leave us in bitter tears and despair. As when we endure those times, we will encounter occurrences that surpass everything we have ever known.
We will enter a place in time and space that defies that which we comprehend and we will experience unforgettable moments. Those that leave us breathless and reinforce our belief in the magical and enchanting.
In the spiritual and in the divine.

These days my life seems altered.
As if it has been redefined in a novel way. The pieces finally fit and everything around me seems brighter. The sunshine, the skies, the vernal bloom. Even the faces of strangers. My senses are heightened and my perception transformed.  My whole being feels like an intricate and delicate clockwork, one that has been still and silent for what seems like an eternity and which has suddenly started to function and move because the right hands have mended it.

All those journeys that I have undertaken, many in raging storms and hostile seas, seem so removed from my perception as I have sailed into a safe harbour.
For the first time in my adult life I experience a strong urge to drop anchors - for extended period of time.

Perhaps - finally - for good.

(Images: Photobucket)

May 19, 2011

White Stallion.

Recently I experienced a couple of days of absolute magic.

A weekend filled with unforgettable moments spend in the company of two special people -
my very dear friend Elizabeth, my greatest confidant and sister from another mother - and the man that makes my heart soar like an eagle. A man like no other, one that has changed my world around...

In my perception, happiness is measured by experiences that leave us wanting more. Time etched in our memory, creating recollections that will last a life time.

The weekend included a memorable walk near my home, on a beautiful evening, so very defined by the white light of Scandinavian summer nights and the vigor of the northern air.
As we walked towards the sunset, taking in the allure of the moment, our faces were caressed by vernal wind gusts and our eyes mesmerized by the sight of dramatic skies and breathtaking views...

At one point we made an enchanting encounter with a stunning White Stallion. This beautiful animal, full of stamina and vitality left an everlasting impression upon all of us.
A symbolic representation of purity, grace, endurance, loyalty, romance and chivalry - it in no uncertain terms illustrates so very eloquently the current state of my mind and the contents of my life...

(All the photographs in this post are taken by me, by the man that makes me endlessly happy and by my dear friend Elizabeth. Please click each image for a larger view.)

May 17, 2011

The Allure Of Time.

Lately, I have been thinking a great deal about the relativity of time.

A few years back I wrote a post related to this issue and recently I returned to it, re-reading the thoughts of my younger self, wondering whether the same sentiments still occupy my contemplation.
I have realized that although basically my views are still the same, my affection for and my perception of time has certainly shifted.

When I wrote that piece, just a year prior I ended a prodigal and trying period of my life. I felt terribly derelict, as I indeed failed on so many levels in my life and was left drained, disillusioned and feeling very old. Today of course I look back at that time with wiser eyes and a tranquil mind. It no longer feels like a failure, but rather a vital experience that was essential in shaping me into who I am.

I have realized that much of my younger years were spent in the waiting line. For as long as I recall, I always waited for something or someone.
Something to come my way, something to resolve, something to come true, something to at last occur. Someone to finally see me. Want me. To find me.

Months turned into years and time became my enemy. It felt wasted and it moved slowly, lacking in progress, draining my energy. I felt paralyzed and disillusioned as none of what I expected and dreamed about came to pass. A sense of panic kept rising within me constantly, while I wondered whether I simply expected too much or whether I was on the wrong path, one that was leading nowhere.

I guess wisdom came to me with age.
I realized in my maturity that stepping out into the unknown was the key to unlocking the allure of time. To completely give into and surrender to ones feelings, to trust ones instincts and to remain completely honest  - with oneself and others - without fear. To never shun away from making changes, however challenging they appear.
To take a true leap of faith.
Good things can indeed come to us even late in the game. Our age certainly does not limit our possibilities nor lower our capabilities.

Within the last eight months I have experienced more than I ever had in the course of several years in my past, even in my youth. I have had the privilege to encounter life's altering events and have felt a plethora of emotions, within a broad spectra; anything from exhilarating happiness to tragic sadness.
Time has been completely redefined in my perception.
An hour has today the potential to bring about incredible progress. The term "What a difference a day makes" has never rang more true in my ears. The realization that life can change so much in a blink of an eye has shifted the way I live.

Today I know that we are the true masterminds of our time.
Despite the fact that we indeed hold very little control over our future, we still have the power to shift the direction of our present.

Time is the greatest gift we have been given and its allure is endless if we only seize each and every day, like it is our last.
I am glad that I stepped out of the waiting line.

(Images: Photobucket)

May 15, 2011

Vernal Culmination.

As the second season reaches its peak, my surroundings are now saturated with the colour of vibrant bloom, mixed with that delicate soft green of young foliage, making me at all times stand back in awe and admiration. I try to hold onto these moments in time, with all my senses and my perception, knowing that they are so very fleeting an elusive.

Late spring of the North is magical at the best. It signifies the onset of the absolute best that nature here has to offer. Brilliance of platinum sunshine, turning into stunning sunsets and sunrises, that alternately set the sky on fire or submerge it into a silvery mist. The onset of extensive light evenings, the tender yet fervent bloom and the softness and the fresh scent of the air - it all holds an aura of endless enchantment.

Ultimately, spring brings about a collective atmosphere of happiness and joy, as nature awakens once gain. It reminds us of the continuum that is the circle of life -  that one single constant in the chaotic existence of humanity.

May 09, 2011

Phoenix Rising.

My adulthood has always been an endless cycle of ups and downs. As high as I fly, as deeply do I fall and I seem never to be able to enjoy a smooth, event-less flight. In no uncertain terms - I am the one who make my journeys progress this way and even though I at times long for something stable, everlasting and substantial, I am not quite sure whether I would find satisfaction in the calm waters I encounter while I sail the oceans of my life.

However, I often wonder if this might be due to one simple reason; I am yet to find a harbour that I would like to anchor in for extended period of time. I am still looking for that place of magic, of which existence I am certain, yet which my restless heart has not located. Therefore I find myself embarking on new adventures times and times again. I get lost in raging storms at sea constantly - still - as soon I find my bearings, my mind is already looking for that endless horizon, setting my sails to the wind.

Thus bouncing back and moving on has become something I am at this point highly proficient at – whether it is due to practice or just a simple resilience and a passion for life that I harbour within.

My personality thankfully makes these transitions somewhat smooth and almost effortless. Just like a true cancerian, when threatened and in danger, I withdraw into my shell, devoid of interference from others – but for what feels to many only an instant. Quickly emerging seemingly unharmed I posses the talent to rapidly move on. I do not linger too long with yesterday and I do not shut myself away from the world, sitting in darkness licking my wounds for months, questioning the cruelty of fate and life’s unfairness.
No, not me. Like the majestic phoenix, I rise from the ashes instantly and powerfully, as that is the only way I know how to recover.

Perhaps I bounce back so easily, as I never shun away from anything while I am in the process of living through my ordeals. I deal with every situation as it unfolds, right then and there. I follow my heart and my instincts and I always put myself in the line of the fire. I let myself be swept completely by my emotions, giving into them with a fiery passion, never holding back. I risk everything and I give my all, walking away from every battle - even the ones I lose - with a sense of victory.

Looking back at my past, I hold no regrets. It is my personal belief that the ultimate magic of living lies not in the success stories, but in the experiences born from events that went terribly wrong.
I am endlessly inspired by others, who just like me had to endure failures, over and over again, yet never lost their optimism, kindness nor integrity. Those who never became cynical or disillusioned and who despite their experiences refuse to live with caution and in fear.

As I move on for the millionth time, the pain of my recent losses is slowly turning into a plethora of bittersweet memories. No longer willing to offer my time or the energy of my thoughts to people that do not deserve them, I step out of my past, refusing to waste even a single moment of the magic that is my present.

Ultimately, I am ready to once again lay my gaze upon the endless horizon that is my future, as I set my sails anew, embarking on a pristine journey. At the present, I watch the brilliance of a fresh and enticing adventure, as it unfolds slowly in my view, beckoning me to give into it's allure with all my being.
And thus I set out, forever hopeful and eager to find that enchanted harbour of my dreams...

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it is worth watching."

(Images: Photobucket)

May 05, 2011

Return To Light.

As we enter the fifth month, we also return to the time of light. The fifth day in the fifth month is perpetually special in my perception, as it is signifies the commencement of the White Nights in Scandinavia.

If I ever would leave the cold North, the light of the summer nights is what I will miss the most. The magic of the endless sunsets never seizes to captivate me, reinforcing my belief in the importance of the sun and the enchantment of the seasonal changes.

Below is a selection of our recent evening skies, depicting the celestial shows that once again take place in my views, making me marvel over natural wonders - and helping me heal as I slowly return to light within as well...

May 02, 2011

Faith, Hope And Love.

When I left the world of writing a few weeks back, it was to return to my life, in order to get accustomed to the new direction in which it was heading.

Since then, new events took place in it, reverting it on course once again. Thus I returned to the familiar old tracks, regressing onto the journey which defined my reality a few months ago, before my life took a drastic turn.
I am back, but I am not the same, nor will I ever be.

I have experienced a loss.
I lost someone I loved, that kind of love that transcends everything and leaves us breathless and makes time stand still.
It was a devastating loss, unlike any I recall, one that left a deep wound in my heart and which in its turn lead to an even greater loss all together. It lead to a demise that I was unprepared for, even though I always deep within knew it could occur. Or rather, I was unprepared for the immense sadness and devastation that surfaced within me, upon loosing something that was mine for such a very short time. And I was truly unprepared for all the other losses that followed in its wake.
The loss of self esteem, loss of self worth and a loss of happiness. I came very close to lose my faith, my belief in love and the worst loss of them all - I almost lost my hope.

I ended up contemplating life and death itself, while I struggled with the emptiness within me and the unfairness of my fate, the self doubt in my abilities and the endless dark abyss staring back at me late at night, when I felt so alone and abandoned, while my thoughts were running wild.

Nevertheless, I made it through this ordeal  - as time in my eyes is too precious to waste away living in sorrow, even though the pain will linger around for a while. With the incredible help and support of a few great people that care about me deeply and due to my strong passion and appetite for life and my conviction that all happens for a reason, I found the old tracks again.

Despite everything, looking back, I have absolutely no regrets. I would not change a thing. I accept all that occurred and all that I went trough, as those are the cards I was dealt and I kept on playing.
When my pain subsided and my tears vanished to clear my view, I realized that all that mattered was that I walked away alive from this moment in time. Something within me did die, but in turn - something else was awakened and reshaped me as a human being.
For the better.

Our interactions, our actions and our decisions have at all times consequences. When we truly live and love passionately and without apprehension, we get a privilege to experience exhilarating happiness, yet risk to simultaneously encounter a deep, devastating pain as well.
Still, I rather have both, then protect myself from experiencing either.

Faith, Hope And Love - when everything else is gone, as long as we continue to carry these within, we have more than enough. Despite my ordeals, ultimately I am thankful that I never lost the most important thing of them all - I never lost myself.

(Images: Photobucket )