The Cold North

I went to Iceland with my husband. And I’ve seen many beautiful things. It’s so strange being on an island, surrounded by the cold ocean, so similar to my own home, and yet very different. Listening to a language I feel I should understand, but don’t. It feels like listening to an old memory. A distant past.

We had a small storm today, here in Reykjavik. I spent the morning and early afternoon indoors, growing restless, watching the trees wave outside my window. And then I felt it call to me, that wind, and the sun came through the rain and so I went outside. I walked to the sea and watched it tossing around, silver gray and white and endless. And some words came to me out there, that I wanted to write down. I’ve felt pretty empty lately.

I had to be careful to not fall over in the wind, and I turned back, headed to a small coffee shop. I like watching people, without interacting, but just observing life and things happening around me. There are several people with computers, some reading the newspaper, most just talking over a beer, over soup and sandwiches. I order lemongrass peppermint tea and a slice of chocolate cake with cream.

I’m enjoying my last few days here in Iceland. I know I will blink and it will be gone.

Hope to write more, later 🙂 

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Stop. Let me love you.

Grimm’s Fairy Tales illustrated by Daniela Drescher

Sometimes, or often I wake up full of fear. And I resist the daylight outside my window. I want to curl up and hide. But then it gets easier, as I take the first few steps into the morning, drink my tea, say hello to the white sky above the treetops.

I write for a bit, slowly, painfully, and then with joy. Usually. My writing helps me tremendously, to think, to feel, to connect with something outside myself, and deep within. To unseen things around me. And I’m not sure where this pain comes from, when there is nothing wrong, really. I just always seem to be wading through it in some way or another.

And I’m very happy too. I guess I’m a mix of things.

The other night I couldn’t sleep, and there was a bright, star with a red heart, outside my window, above the housetops. I watched it for a while. I think stars can speak to us, that they have a voice, a memory we share with them.

Once I felt inside of me, almost like a voice asking “Why do you run? Why won’t you stop and let me love you.” And I felt I was always running. So afraid to stop and let myself feel. So sure there wouldn’t be anything there anyway, least of all love.

I went for a walk yesterday and tried to feel the Goddess walking with me. I came to a snow lit field with white mists coming down from the mountains as the sun was setting. I felt it whisper sleep, rest, and I turned around, walked back. There is a lovely river next to where I live, looking almost black against the snow. I stood on a bridge for a moment, gazing down into it, the last of the sunlight glittering against its surface. 

February is almost here. More light. Spring drawing closer. Are you enjoying winter? Summer? 

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At the Shrine of Beauty

“Sometimes I go about in pity for myself, and all the while, a great wind carries me across the sky.” -Ojibwe saying

At times she felt only half part of this world. Like she could walk right out of it if she wasn’t flesh and blood. That she was walking the middle path of two worlds intersecting.

I don’t go for a lot of walks in the sunlight these days. Instead, I wander outside at dusk, when it’s almost dark, and the first few stars are already out. I wander along those snow filled fields and trace out the beaten path as best as I can. I want silence and the whispers of the distant mountains. I try to listen and hear the voice of this new place, this new country I’ve moved to. Sometimes I want the sky to grow wild and raging so I can hear it better. It’s more difficult to hear things when a place has already been touched by many voices, many feet, when the cars are always driving by, filling the evening with noise and smoke. But I think I need to connect with this place, make it a friend. Not long for those misty forests of my previous home.

I knelt in the snow yesterday when I was sure no one was watching, or could even see me in the darkness. I sat and lifted my hands to the gray sky. I’m not sure why this helps, but it does. I long to actually touch things, connect with the world around me. Somehow it calms me. The trees growing along that path are too far away, or they stand behind fences and wire, but the ground is always there, so I knelt down on that instead. I breathed and prayed without words. Kneeling like that I felt closer to something I can’t name. But it’s there. I felt it even as a child, sitting outside in the evening, watching the sun set behind the mountains. I’m always reaching for it, been holding out my hands to it as long as I can remember. Do you feel something like that too?

I recently finished reading the books about Emily of New Moon. The descriptions of nature always touch me, makes me dream of beauty, and of a simpler time of more quiet, more trees. Less smog. I’ve shared a moment from the books below. Isn’t it lovely?

*

Then came the northern lights–drifts of pale fire over the sky–spears of light, as of empyrean armies–pale, elusive hosts retreating and advancing. Emily lay and watched them in rapture. Her soul was washed pure in that great bath of splendour. She was a high priestess of loveliness assisting at the divine rites of her worship–and she knew her goddess smiled.

She was glad Ilse was asleep. Any human companionship, even the dearest and most perfect, would have been alien to her then. She was sufficient unto herself, needing not love nor comradeship nor any human emotion to round out her felicity. Such moments come rarely in any life, but when they do come they are inexpressibly wonderful–as if the finite were for a second infinity–as if humanity were for a space uplifted into divinity–as if all ugliness had vanished, leaving only flawless beauty. Oh–beauty–Emily shivered with the pure ecstasy of it. She loved it–it filled her being to-night as never before. She was afraid to move or breathe lest she break the current of beauty that was flowing through her. Life seemed like a wonderful instrument on which to play supernal harmonies.

“Oh, God, make me worthy of it–oh, make me worthy of it,” she prayed. Could she ever be worthy of such a message–could she dare try to carry some of the loveliness of that “dialogue divine” back to the everyday world of sordid market-place and clamorous street? She must give it–she could not keep it to herself. Would the world listen–understand–feel? Only if she were faithful to the trust and gave out that which was committed to her, careless of blame or praise. High priestess of beauty–yes, she would serve at no other shrine!

Lucy Maud Montgomery – Emily Climbs

*

There is a lovely light coming through the window now. Winter light. The sky is white and grayish blue behind the trees. And the church bells are ringing. They ring a lot here, and I like listening to them. I enjoy waking up to them at 7 in the morning. Wishing you a beautiful rest of the week. 

*

I just went for a walk in the witch light (is that something? Just felt like the right description) Past gray misty mountains and trees. I saw a fox trotting towards me in the snow, in the almost dark, next to a small stream. I watched him for a bit. He kept coming closer, and I moved a little so he would notice me. He ran away after that. I felt a bit disappointed in myself. Why do I always feel afraid? 

The other day, in the bright sunlight, a mouse scurried across my path. He didn’t see me either and I stood and watched him gnaw through small twigs and even some ice. Perhaps he was thirsty. I like little moments like that. 

This evening I even heard an owl calling from one of the trees. It made me happy. It’s one of my favorite, most haunting sounds, an owl calling in the night. 

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Something New

Cinderella-by-Elenore-Abbott

I realize as I sit here now, what a darling little place I’ve moved to. It’s a small town, surrounded by mountains, with a river running through it just at my doorstep. I didn’t want to move somewhere big. I didn’t want to go back to the big city, but at the same time, I longed to go to a cozy cafe more often. To have that quiet time of drinking tea and studying people coming and going. And so here I am, in this small place with a cozy cafe that I can go to only minutes away. I feel very blessed right now. 

And outside the snow has fallen. Everything is white, fairy dusted and covered with angel wings. We drove up the mountain on Sunday and I almost held my breath with the quiet beauty of it. The clear blue sky behind snowy trees. I’m so glad winter finally came, fully, deeply. 

I made a small altar out of a shelf and put a statue of Mary there, holding the baby Jesus. There are fairy lights around her, and a violet scarf like clouds at her feet. I like that she’s the first thing I see when I look up from my computer. 

On that note, I wanted to share an article that I wrote, about how I first connected with the Goddess. Lately, I’ve felt a longing to share more about my experiences and spiritual journey. I’ve been holding it all close to my chest for a long time, afraid of what people might think. I think my spirituality is the path of the heart. I want to follow love and my inner guidance. The Goddess is love to me. 

More sharings:

The Magician’s wife is sharing her beautiful poetry again. So so lovely.

My friend has started a business of selling healthy, delicious chocolates. Try some 🙂

Music 

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The Return of Light

Here I am, back again. Writing from Slovenia. My husband and I moved from Norway to Slovenia, and then again within Slovenia. We’re now in a small, lovely town with more sunlight than my Norwegian-self think is normal for winter. It is wonderful, but somehow it makes me think a storm is coming. It’s almost like being back in California, though much colder of course. 

I like going for walks, watching the mountains. And I feel I’m settling down now, slowly. So many things have happened, and it’s been hard for me to find the quiet within myself to write. And whenever I do write something (I have several unpublished drafts) I feel afraid to share it. Perhaps I’ve been a bit raw, feeling vulnerable. Scared of not being enough, or too much. All of that stuff. But 2017 brings new beginnings. A new year, a new cycle. 

The Winter Solstice

I don’t want to move into the New Year without mentioning the Winter Solstice. It was especially beautiful this time around as I celebrated it with friends, on the top of the mountain, above the clouds. It truly felt like we were in a different land, far far above everything and everyone else. In a different world. We climbed the mountain beneath an orange sky, and at the top, we did a ceremony together. We sang and watched the sun come up. I remember the pink edge of the clouds and how they stretched out like an ocean below us. And the incense, drifting like smoke above the ground around us. We were all robed in white and yellow, and a friend stood in the center of the circle, dressed as the Divine Mother. She lit a candle as the sun rose, and it felt like magic. A gift. I’ve always wanted to celebrate the Solstices and Equinoxes as long as I’ve known they existed. And now I’m finally part of a group that brings that old magic back to life. 

Christmas

Christmas was also beautiful and spent among friends. I felt I was given small gifts of moments, of meaningful discoveries. Gifts of love. And I went for a walk in the dusk of Christmas Eve, standing for a long time under the Christmas star, praying, hoping. Asking for help. I always feel sad on that day, missing my family. I just can’t help it, even after all these years. I always feel broken open and hurting a bit. But I was reminded that I’m very lucky to have received so much love growing up. It fed me and helped me have hope in life, and in other people. I still feel I’m carrying that love inside of me, like a golden seed. 

Wishing everyone a beautiful 2017. I would love to hear from you. How are you? 

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New Beginnings

The-Sensitive-Plant-study-Sir-Frank-Dicksee

The-Sensitive-Plant-study-Sir-Frank-Dicksee

“Attention is the beginning of devotion.” –Mary Oliver

I’ve been in Slovenia a little over a month now. It feels strange. Time has passed by so quickly, and yet also very slowly. So much has happened.

This place also has mountains, lakes, forests. But it seems a bit gentler somehow, than Norway. The sun is warmer, even up here in the Alps, and the rocks are white, not dark, the rivers are pale and see through, not wild and almost black. 

Sometimes I miss the wild, stormy nature of home, but this place is gentling me, and it’s so so beautiful. Like a place out of a fairytale, a hidden gem that you don’t know existed until suddenly you’re here. 

There is a dusting of snow on the mountains now. Winter is coming. 

At the beginning of October, I felt a deep need to write, like the nature around me was asking me to. Like I could wait no longer. There was so much beauty to breathe in. And it seems most of my creative energy is going to the novel I’m working on. My first novel.

And I’ve been drawn to Mary Oliver for some time now, and yesterday I finally bought a book of hers and fell in love. She makes me want to go outside and touch trees, speak to them, see them, just notice life around me. God is out there, somehow. And also right here, with me, around me. 

Some things I wrote yesterday evening, this morning. 

I went into the forest today, again when it was already getting dark. And I remember it now, lying in bed. How my heart wanted to break open. How I wanted to cry, though I never did. The trees were all dark around me, though there was a light above them, in the sky. The last bit of light before nightfall.

White mist is hugging my windows, so I can see nothing but odd faint shapes in the distance, shapes of trees perhaps, of mountains. But mostly the world is white and silent, leaving me space to dream, to be soft and silent within myself also. The outside world is forgotten. It’s only me and my words now, and a steaming cup of hot tea. Let me dream please, let me have the whole sky to write in, endless horizons, great wide fields of time for dreaming.

A few Instagram pictures. 

And something I wrote for a scene in my novel, maybe, inspired by a moment in the forest after a long, morning walk with a friend. Speaking about and sharing my writing makes me feel afraid, and strong and frail all at the same time. Do you feel the same?

She saw light fall to her feet, like white strands of water, swimming along the forest ground. She drew a breath, feeling the cold October air run through her, raising her hands towards the sky, to the sun between the leaves, letting it play over her fingers. The wind whispered gentle music and the moss covered rock felt warm beneath her, supporting her. She sighed. I’m tired whispered her bones, her heart. Let me rest. Please.

God is here, right here. Now.

Her eyes went to the deep blue sky, the gold and ruby leaves lacing its edges, and she remembered the first frost on the ground that very morning. The world was going to sleep in the most beautiful way possible, fire and ice blossoming together side by side, and she wished to be in it, to follow it, melt into it, disappear.

Sometimes the beauty around her hurt, made her want to cry, made he want to worship the trees, the earth, the moss, all the light around her.

One time she had seen a small birch tree without its leaves, all covered in silver, while around it maples and oak burned with fire and gold, and she could not walk further until she had heard what it had to tell her. 

If only she could walk in peace, forever, along the silver grass with trees burning all around her, the air sharp and cold, and new. If only she could keep away that flicker of worry, the fear that made her remember her dreams, the man, the frosty ground, the blackened sky. He would be coming soon, with the beginning of winter. If he was coming at all. She couldn’t decide if she wanted him to.

***

Also wanted to say that I’ve read this book for the third time now. Would recommend it to anyone, everyone 🙂 Deep in the far away.  And all of her writing.

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Golden leaves

There are golden flowers, and golden leaves outside my window, shining in a world of green. When I woke up this morning, the sun was coming over the mountain, through a mist-filled forest. All the sounds around me were that of water, tinkling like fairy bells. I’m dreaming of a new place now, a new home. I feel a little anxious too, about our move to Slovenia, and trying to get everything packed and cleaned in time.

I listen to calming music. I broke my own rule of not listening to Christmas carols before December, but I love this song. There is something were soothing and beautiful about Mary singing to her child. 

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Light and Beauty

zula kenyon 1

Artist – Zula Kenyon

It is the dream language. As you watch nature, as you watch your dreams, and as you listen, you will learn to interpret it. Your heart always knows, but it takes time, trust and courage, to learn to follow it. – (from my novel)

I’m writing now, as the day begins, the sun filling the world outside, filling the birch trees with green light. There is that touch of autumn in the air, just a chill of something, a few golden leaves. It is still warm, but it’s as though I can feel it coming, autumn, coming over the mountains in the distance, inching across the ground, whispering in the wind. Somehow, this time of year feels like a new beginning, more than the end of something. Normal life is starting up again, after a beautiful summer.

I saw the moon yesterday, it was bright and glowing against a deep blue sky. The stars were back too. All signs of a darker season.

I’ve been picking mushrooms and blueberries in the forest. Crouching down among moss and heather, the ground swimming with light and shadows.

Yesterday was the commemoration of the ascension of the Virgin Mary. A friend shared it with me. It’s not something I have celebrated in the past. Mary was pretty much absent from the church that I went to growing up, but I always feel drawn to her when I see pictures of her, statues, painted windows.

Some of us met, prayed and sang together. I felt there was a rose inside of me, and I asked silent questions, looking for guidance, and I felt them being answered.

I always carry this small, fragile question inside of me, that I ask the sky, my heart, that I whisper to the night. Am I loved?

I’m not sure why I still struggle with this, but I do. Maybe that’s why I’m so drawn to Mary, to her love, forgiveness. To me, she is the Divine Mother, the Goddess.

Sharing a beautiful interview with a woman who can see and speak with angels 

And this, about the queen of angels 

And my book is available in paperback. 

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Forest voices

Painting by Victor Nizovtsev

Painting by Victor Nizovtsev

I’ve been roaming the woods again, picking blueberries, raspberries, gathering mushrooms. Forest gold.

I want to listen, and be quiet, fall into myself and hear forest voices, tree voices, sink into a white, silent space inside of me. Deep as my bones. I want to be where the trees are, the birds are, even the moss that I stop to brush my hand against. I’m not sure if I’m making sense. But there is a peace out there that I long for, that I want. That all the things of the forest, of nature, holds inside of themselves. A deep quiet that I can’t quite grasp, but that makes me return to the woods to see if I can get a little closer, hear it a bit better, feel it inside of me.

Yesterday I went for a swim. Waded past yellow water lilies, and dove in, smelling fish as I did. One jumped up as I swam, creating ripples, making me laugh out loud in surprise. The water was black velvet, the sky the palest blue. 

 

I’m leaving the cold north soon, to go to Slovenia. Leaving the darkness that seems to be in everything here, in the black mountains, the earth, even the lakes. It will be a nice change, I think. A different kind of beauty. 

Wanted to mention that my book is now available in paperback. 

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Crystal Light

Alexa Wilding (1879)

Alexa Wilding (1879)

I feel as though I’ve stepped out of time, into a white and silent space. Perhaps it’s because of summer, all the long days that has pushed away the night, leaving only a shadow of darkness. Perhaps it’s because so many people are on vacation, and everything is a little more quiet than usual.

I wander the forest, looking around me at all the things I will be leaving very soon. That will soon be a mere memory. I was surprised to find mushrooms and blueberries and felt it was a gift from the earth, from the Goddess.

I feel I’m wrapping up my life here, in more ways than just packing things into boxes (we’re moving to Slovenia). I’m reflecting on all the things that have happened in this small, hidden away place. How its silence has healed something in me. After years in the city, it was amazing to hear birds and the wind, and the gentle lapping of waves, the rustle of leaves. Nature sounds and nothing else. Of course, there are cars driving by, but more often than not there are just long gaps of silence. I wanted this. I needed a place to be quiet and to listen, to hear what was whispering deep down inside of me.

This is where I first started writing. Really writing. Really looking at the grief that had been a part of me for so long.

It feels like a gift, everything that has happened. A beautiful, magical gift. I want to whisper “thank you” as I make tea, as I greet or say goodbye to the day, as I stare up at the green, pine forest outside my window.

I’m sitting at the computer now, next a vase of fading pink roses, and watching the evening light play over my hands as I type. The sun is just about to set over the mountains behind me, and the birch trees sway gently in the wind.

What gifts have you been given lately?

I’m wishing you a beautiful weekend. Blessings.

Also sharing the song of an owl, that I’ve been listening to so often as I fall asleep. Isn’t lovely? Somehow I feel it’s a song that opens doors, night doors to other dimensions. 

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