Popular posts

torsdag 27 april 2017

Schooldays - pondering on how my world looked 1979

Part four of schooldays will be right here with links to the others. I will add pictures, just wanted to get started!!

Before I start this I will do some digging and see what I can find about those days and the places that are now long gone.  In Sweden we mostly graduate from high school at 19, but some programmes went on for four years and in those days, just as now, people came and went, took time off, went to the states to study or work or just plain dropped school altogether and started working at 16.  It was much easier then, today every line of work demands many years of studies, if you have no head for books, you have to be very strongheaded, determined and naturally skilled to get a job. It helps if you have connections too. If not you will be set aside, perhaps even have to retire at 25 because your health grows bad when life comes to a halt.  Money is scarce, you have to depend on savings, parents, social wellfare aso.  I see it from time to time, but also some young people are quite good at getting odd jobs and constantly have a positive outlook on things.  Some are not. 

1979 there was still lots of work to find, second generation of immigrants from Hungary, Yugoslavia and Italy were firmly established. We also had a large amount of people from Finland, some arrived here during the war, as children, some established themselves in the decades to come. That is why we have whole communities where the finnish language is spoken by 50% of the population. We have sisu-radio and sisu-tv and many congregations advertice for bilingual ministers and deacons, swedish-finnish.

We now got used to Chinese restaurants and pizza-bars, panpizza as well.  Hamburger bars could be found all over and downtown was a proper paradise for teenagers with no money, at least I never had any, unemployment and failing health made the following years tough for my mother, the block where we lived had started to decay, people were moving, mums best friend Eva moved to Stockholm with her husband and her children, leaving us in a vaccuum.
My hometown had begun it's change, old blocks torn down, new, modern , anonymous buildings took their place, the areas with 8-16 storey buildings with small apartments, started to pop up every where in the outskirts. It started already in the 1960's.

I applied for the most popular schools, the one with most prestige was Latin School, but there was also St Peter High School.  My oldest cousin, wanting to become a physician, finished at Latin School and went on to the University in Lund.  But I was accepted at Pildamms skolan. If you remember the great park where I spent much time, partly because of the outdoor theatre, you may also recall the ponds once dug out by prisoners .  Those ponds gave name to my school, but first it was called St Johns.  The more modern school was built close by in the 1960's, very close to the church where I started to sing in choir.  It housed about 2000 students, a huge establishment . I knew absolutely no one and was terrified!

onsdag 19 april 2017

Happy Eastmas or Merry Christer??

Here is spring for you!!
We are celebrating Easter and the victory and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ!!!
You see the flowerpot and the garden chairs!! Used just a couple of days ago in the warm sun....
Usually we do that in the amazing and hot springtime with flowers abloom all over, and the grass growing. That was the case until this saturday when the snow came....almost 3 inches at the most, we in the southern parts of the county had about 1,6 inches but that was quite sufficient.

A solitary fishingboat lies in the shallow water when we walk by monday evening

Painted eggshells anyone?
The girls creations assorted!
 Temperature dropped and this morning there was a thick layer of ice on the windscreen. Yesterday me and my colleague payed the neighbouring parish a visit with a bundle of songs for one of their gatherings. Snow absolutely filled the air for hours but this time just airborne. It was a bit strange to sing about springtime and easter with that view outside the windows.
Easter services have been very serene and nice, churchchoir on some, violin on some, solo on some and then Sunday with 12 of the children from our younger choirs, entering the church with the cross and hands filled with daffodils . Afterwards everyone got a flower to take home. We celebrated in both our churches and also in the chapel on the island in our parish.

The songs of Easter are so beautiful, church choir only sang on Good Friday so Ave Verum by Edward Elgar was one. Here sung by a brittish choir, St James's perhaps?

Here is one for Easter Sunday, and the lead singer here, Lena-Maria, is one of our most devoted Footpainters, she is a great inspiration for the Foot and Mouth painters in Sweden and the rest of us for that matter. The lyrics is: Your hands are full of flowers, whom were they meant for? They were meant for the tomb of Christ, but the tomb was empty and he wasn't there!!! Hallelujah!!

My husband made this flower arrangement for Easter this year. What say you about this, John?

Easter is the Lords answer to mans eternal questions and fears concerning death and evil. So much happening, like the poisin gas attack that Assad actually denies and the acid attacks on young women in India and Pakistan. We are hoping for mercy and understanding, we are hoping for the dehumanizing thinking to stop, we are praying for an awakening among those with the power to take lives and keep people in fear.  Still the darkness is heavy , still hope is hard to keep strong,  still we have tough days ahead, we are going to need all the faith, all the courage and be convinced that as long as we keep the truth in the dark we won't get anywhere . Truth hurts but will be healed as soon as it's revealed willingly.
Change always starts within and it has to start somewhere, like Michael Jackson sung: "I'm starting with me" .
But our real hope doesn't lie in our own ability to better ourselves, it lies in the mercy and grace of the Saviour.  Easter brings the message, the Gospel  of Gods open arms towards his bewildered and lost children.  We are not lost and forgotten, we are saved and forgiven. We can start changing without fear .
So Happy Easter, everyone, whether you are strong in faith or not a believer at all. I hope that when we meet, the light of Easter will shine through in everything we say and do. No cold hearts. We are all part of one and the same human race and can't afford to argue about details.  The world is hurting and there is much to do.
It's springtime, growingtime, plantingtime, prayingtime and singingtime!!

tisdag 11 april 2017

Flower power and the power of Love

Yesterday we went for a walk on our mountain. To tell you the truth it wasn't one of our most pleasant walks, partly because it was rather chilly and very windy, and partly because life is rather heavy on us right now so the conversation was more dull than the cloudy sky. However, the Lord is generous and it's difficult to stay gloomy for long. The anemones are plenty, the blue hepatica is almost gone but the white is everywhere, like snowflakes.
So we took the path right up from our small chapel and started walking.  The weekend has been filled with the most various events, personally and nationally.

They are warmly antecipated and many people stay alert to be the first to publish a picture. It starts already with the snowdrop and the winter aconites. Recent years it has become warmer and so they arrive earlier, The warmer climate makes life difficult for the reindeers, this winter the temperature has changed more than 35 degrees celcius, over night, freezing the smell from the pasture below and creating ice where there usually is snow, easy to dig up with the hoofs.
Take a good look, in a couple of days they will be gone!!!
I come to think about the trees you can find in Shire, reading Tolkiens books as a teenager I could imagine what the surroundings looked like. Today all I see is the scenery from the films but that is alright. 
My google translate tells me that these are called Pasqueflowers. In Swedish they are known as Hill anemone.  They are protected just like the blue beauties above.
As you can see I am much more movable than this time last year and can go down on my knee to take pictures ( but I'm not suppposed to.....)

From a distance we heard the cows, but couldn't tell where they were gracing. As we came walking in to the part of the forest with most flowers, we saw them lying along the path and slowed down. They have calfes right now.  All of a sudden we heard a sound from behind us and there she was - the very angry mother with two youngsters.  She lowered her head, bellowed loudly and- sat off towards us in gallop!! Mooooo!!
Well, we decided to slightly alter our route....for a while!
More of those beauties!!!
A very convenient little house when nature calls ( nature calls in nature...?)

No, this is not a common and official roadsign in Sweden. It's Emelie who has a very childish heart , that put the sign up and filled that little part of the forest with trolls and ogres in all sizes. As you know they are afraid of the light and impossible to thousands  catch on film so I have no proof to bring.  Children find this very amusing!!!
Well, after an hours walk we returned home and put the kettle on for a nice cup of tea.
The news this evening, like every news report since 14.53 this friday has been all about the same thing:
Sweden has experienced it's first really bad terrorattack. Many of you that read this know what it's like to have these attacks, but we don't.  It was an uzbeki born man who stole a tradetruck on it's way to deliver beer and other beverages in central Stockholm. He drove the truck towards the largest shopping site, hit several people on the way and crashed into one of the largest stores. Somehow he got out and escaped but they took him quickly. The police acted in a very swift and professional way so now people have been covering their cars with flowers and hugging them.
The man has killed four people and severly injured 10-12 people, children too.
The chock and horror was huge, I was on the train home when I heard.
If his goal was to frighten people to stay indoors and not dare live like normal, he was badly mistaken. People has gathered, all weekend, in thousands, crying, hugging, praying, singing and putting flowers.  There have been several speakers, several artistic contributions, not only in Stockholm but all over. It was the same in Paris and in Nice and everywhere these attacks have been made in Europe. It's important to us to show sympathy and care.
It is also important to sorter out what happend and why. How can we prevent more attacks, how can we best support the victims.  A minute of silence was announced yesterday, everything went quiet, people, busses, cars, factories, schools.

And I say that the death of innocent people is horrible where ever it takes place, but when it's next door, we tend to make it bigger and more important. My thoughts goes to the unhappy ones, here and all over the world. I mean, think about the poor people in that koptic church in Egypt, the horrible attack with chemicals in Syriah, so much to pray for, around the world!! How can people do this, why is this happening?  Why did Jesus have to die?  Because this is the world we live in, and in this world people do horrible things and if they want to repent and be forgiven, God makes it possible.  Perhaps I find it difficult to forgive and understand, but God doesn't. "They who comes to me I will not turn away"

And those who need hope and comfort when the most terrible happend, can come to Him that carry our burdens.  He knows the pain but he also knows the way out of death!!!I couldn't stand what happends in the world if I didn't put my faith in this promise but I am also proud to see how people reach out and support total strangers when a thing like this happends.  

Flowers, notes, lights, people. The king was there, the princess Victoria came to pay her respect, and it goes on.  Love is strong.  Easter is within reach!!
These are my feelings and thoughts around this very different and strange weekend. For a while, our own heavy burdens seem unimportant and small.   Blessings!!

söndag 2 april 2017

New schoolday stories


I have finished part three of my schoolday collage, please join me!!

måndag 27 mars 2017

Springtime - a hope for brighter days!!!!

Yes, they are blue, a bit halfclosed when the sun has gone. Soon this little spot will also be covered in white and I'm not talking snow here!!!!

When we take our walk after sunset, the toads and froggies go walking too. This one had in his mind to be disguised, so he covered up with some nice pine needles. We had no difficulties spotting him any way and it really annoyed him.  

This is Baa, eventually renamed Charlie, because that is a name for both genders and Baa had no intention of letting us look under the skirt. He/she was born with a dry mother, no milk today so the father decided to make an end of him. Our neighbours couldn't stand the thought so now he lives in the kitchen until he is strong enough to join the other sheep again. He has the cutest "baaaaaaaa!!" 

A field full of croci, that is really something!!! In my last post I gave you cows as well.

There is something challenging about springtime. Life as it turns out right now, through the news, is  really dark and gruesome.  There seem to be no end of the suffering, the death, the destruction and the famish. And also I never could understand the unbelievable rate of injustice and corruption that lives on in so called civilized countries. The valuation of human lifes is fearfully low and I don't speak only of IS and other terrorist groups. I also speak of trafficking, childabuse, underpayed workers to benefit our lifestyle, I speak of undermining natures resources to optain ever higher standards in the richer world.
So much we take for granted and have no idea of the cost for others. Heron arose the topic on the darker side of mobile and computer industries.  We can't prevent progress but we can redirect it so that more can benefit in a smaller scale, to make the impact on people and nature more sustainable.
In all this, life plunges in. Easter will remind us of the strenght that lies in the resurrection,
there is no way we can turn everything right on our own. Mankind is strong, yes, love is a strong power, yes, but our efforts through time has not been very successful.  Why do we fail? Why don't we learn?  Well, because mankind is not the highest standard, the values we hold high are good and grand, but they can't fight the core of the darkness and evil. For some time yes, and we must keep fighting, but in us all lies darkness, and given free spin, it will do us harm.
 I am a christian, and I believe that I can only be free to fight for love and kindness if I can myself be forgiven, loved and saved.  If I know that life is stronger than death because God wants it, if I believe Evil can and will be totally defeated because God acted, if I am certain that I never walk alone and that someone knows my name and will keep my soul safe, then I can cope with the pain and struggle my life is right now causing me. I won't stop crying and I won't stop caring.  I will be scared and downhearted, I will try to fend for those who lack strenght. I will fail, I will fall, but I will never totally loose hope.
All because of everything that Easter and the glowing, burning and promising spring will tell me!!
I believe that God loves all people and so I can't be the judge of anyone.  The pain of a loss or an injury or an injustice or famine or abuse is the same whether you are sikh, jew, muslim, buddhist, christian, hindhu or non believer.  Mistakes and great acts of kindness takes place in us all.  And we have to take our responsibility. We often do.
Evil is no physiological thing, nothing that can be blamed on  mental illness or handicap, nothing to do with origin, race, gender or religious beliefs.  Anyone can suddenly step right into it, acting in a way that hurts someone else. It's simply human, yes, but it keeps the inbalance going.  Easter tells me that it's not hopeless, if we had to turn it away by our own force, we would not succeed but we are not alone, that is my belief.
You don't have to agree, this is my faith, what I live for, hope for, rest in, take comfort and strenght from and rely on.
When people now and then start to mock and abuse my faith, I tell them that they may think it silly, oldfashioned and of no interest to anyone, but its still the foundation of my life. but hasn't always been. I gave God an opening, and he plunged in. One day, I will tell you the entire story, but not today.
I wish you all a very blessed, bright and lovely spring, as far as it goes right now!!!! Tomorrow I will meet up with some colleagues for a retreat, right now I really need it!!!
A walk when the sun is setting and the air is still clear and almost warm! The beloved child leads the way through the forest!! Our glorious 14-year old!!

söndag 19 mars 2017

The green pastures

Good evening!
You should see it covered in ice!!
As I am watching the news tonight my mind is a bit bewildered. We have a problem it seems, Swedish authorities find it hard to treat homecoming terrorists in a proper way. Well, why am I not surprised??? We are used to dealing with healthcare that fails, daycarecentres that needs repainting, roads that needs to be mended, the issue of grocerystores or pizzashops in the vacant facilities. But we have no experience of young men coming home from Syria, having served with the IS.  How to treat them, cure them, handle their misbehaviour.

Apart from this very important issue, today was a good day for a walk on the mountain. A beef stew was cooking in the oven, the birds were singing,  many were out to look for flowers and signs of spring.
I took a walk yesterday as well, while visiting a friend some miles away!!

Our small mountain , going down!!  We went up to the top and sat down for a while.  In absolute silence, one solitary crane came gliding right over our heads. One! In a month they will be gathered in thousands!!

Treetrunks. Sturdy, beautiful in every season!!

Along the trails on our mountain cows, sheep and goats also walk. Today, however, cows and calfs have a nice rest in the green pastures. Not so much to eat as yet, the farmer provides what they need until the meadows are covered with goodies!!!

This walk today and some serious thinking about todays gospel and what matters in this world and in my own life, have cleared my mind. We are having some very heavy burdens right now, but so have many more. Since I started to blog, I have come to know and appreciate many bloggers around the world. Some of them are having a hard time right now, and my thoughts and prayers are with them.
Now I hope that springtime will bring light and hope to many. The state of the world is alarming, so much to be done. But so much is actually BEING done, so many brave and caring people working round the clock to rescue and encourage.  Evil is always present, but good is the stronger opponent.  Jesus speaks of the truth being the key to the chains holding us.  Once every crime and every hurting action against a fellow human being will be confessed and reconciled , evil will fade and die, loosing it's purpose. I spoke of monsters yesterday, I realized that was a bit confusing but I used the term only as a metaphor.
Lent and easter have lost most of it's deeper values in society, leaving only candy eggs, yellow tablecloths and porceline chickens.  That is of no importance really, it's not in our hands anyway, Easter will live it's own life!!! 

lördag 18 mars 2017

React, repent, return, ressurect

In war, they say, there are no winners. No, that is probably very true.
I have no experience of war, except for those we fight among ourselves on daily bases. The domestic little wars have casualties as well, that's for sure. 
I know and you know that keeping peace in the family and close by is one of the most important things we have to tend to. It should be easy enough, but never is.  Love your enemies, Jesus tells us, to set the standards right. There is no greatness in doing good for those you already love and care for.  Still we can't do even that from time to time. That is why we need the blessings of grace.
For your benefit, here is the water of the river, released from it's icy shroud and preparing for springtime , salmonfishing and the beautiful view of the King Fisher.

This weekend, not even gone yet, have been filled with disasters and miracles, all at the same time and spot it seems.
Some taken place close, some bringing pain to others. I do get tired sometimes, wish I could do more. But sometimes, we have to take a break, praying, reading, walking,watching movies, yes.
We went to the Filmstudio on thursday to see Almodovars "Julieta".  Issues of guilt, repentence and reconcilliation, splendid filming, good portraits. My first Almodovar-film- 

Friday, tossed right into the sparkling and highpitched world of Disney, we had promised the girls to go and see" Beauty and the Beast" with Emma Watson as Belle and Emma Thompson, disguised as a tea pot.... The miracle in this is that our youngest have been feeling very bad for a long time, not wanting to go outside the house even. Missed several films she wanted to see .
And a lot more, as you can understand.
But now she actually came along!!!! She brought a good friend along, as did the oldest one and as did we. 
In this story , it's hard to know who is the monster. Who is different and who is normal and what is normal?  Is it okey to be a monster as long as you don't harm anyone or are you no longer a monster when the urge to harm fades away?? 
In some cases, people that really appears to be prince Charming actually turn into monsters, never to be reversed?
But when love returns to the monster, loving and sacrificing, the monsters gets a chance to repent. 
Or maybe I can just rest in the joy of the film, the music, the colours, the animations and the acting.  It has been a great fuzz about Disneys Gay-moments, well, someone else will have to tell me whether those moments were valid or not. Or just plain Disney glamorous?

Finally, this evening, we opened the film that has been calling from the shelf for some time now " The eye in the sky" with Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman.  Brilliantly played and horrifying. How can we turn this lunacy?? How can a war become calculated risks?  Has that always been the case, how great risks we are prepared to take to win the war?
The warlords of the centuries has altered between joining in side by side, and keeping a safe distance, calculating with other mens life. The tale of two cities comes to mind, with the sacrifice of one for the sake of many. The gospel comes to mind.
God made his calculations and took the decision of being the casualty AND the winner.  But he chose not to be at safe distance.  In this film, the option is attack with the help of drones and autopiloted missiles. The obsticle is a small child, selling bred outside the targetarea. How many percent risk is too high not to send the missile off? On a safe distance the discussion is on, political, calculated, lawyers, ministers, generals and attackpilots. The giant monitors that displays every horrible detail, the two inside the house, being dressed up with bomb belts, the girl in the street, people in the market.

War is fought every second somewhere in the world. Trump calls for stronger defence budget, Northern Korea is sending missiles, Rakka is under siege, terror is threatening every airport, every tourist event, anytime, massacre upon massacre.
Who is the beast? Who is the monster?  Is there something less frightening in the calculated attack with low percentage of casualties? More humane? I can't judge those who try to defend people, try to fight evil in it's most horrible sense.
But I can react, and think that the only thing I really can do, is to keep peace where I am and return again and again to repent and be reassured that grace is holding, God didn't keep the distance, he dies with every calculated casualty and weeps with every devastated parent.  Evil won't prevail, monsters will eventually meet the sacrificing love and there will be no more tears.  When I hurt someone, even if I don't mean to, I become the monster.  When I stop reacting to what is going on around us, it's just as bad.  When ressurection day is at hand, the pain will leave us.  But until that day we must react, return and repent so that grace can be visible through us, right where we are.  And pray for those who have to make these horrible decisions, every day.....
Yes, what a weekend this has been, and it's not gone yet!
But thank you Lord, for the miracles shining through the disasters!!!