Sunday, September 28, 2014

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Flashback nostalgia

Just looking back at some photos I took in the woods I played endlessly in as a kid. The woods I most likely won't see ever again. Details like fallen trees, stones and patches of mushrooms or flowers. I know this forest in and out. And for those of you Norwegians who cares about the history: Deler av kongeveien som går helt fra Oslo til Nidarosdomen går igjennom denne skogen, og hovedstien i skogen er rester av veien. Skogen er fredet, og du finner den langs Enebakk-siden av Nordre Øyern Naturreserat.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Heim te Jæren

In memory of my mom. A song we used to sing together. A song about Jæren, the place she grew up in, and the place I used to visit every summer as a kid. This song was sung by a soloist in her funeral on my request.

Eg vil heim og sjå en sol nedgang på Jæren
nermed havet, der som bølgjer slår mot strand
For bak havets kant, langt ut i atmosfæren
vil hu farga him len raud med eld og brann
Du vert ett med det du ser, og det du føle
er at du og sol og hav og Jærens land
høyre saman i en solned gang på Jæren
nermed havet, der som bølger slår mot strand

Eg vil heim og gå en lange tur på Jæren
gå langs steingard, finna fram i mark og hei
Der er ingen ting eg heller ville gjer enn
det å rusla slik på barndoms sti og vei
Øve lyng - hei øve mark og mo og myra
og langs strendene med rullestein og sand.
Kjenna vinden, kjenna regnet, kjenna solå
høyra havet  der som bølgjer slår mot strand

Eg vil heim te Jærs og høyra fugler syngja
fylgja lerkå på si flukt mot himlen blå
Alt som plagar meg og alt som vil meg tyngja
det forsvinne når eg fuglane får sjå.
Der er erlå, der er vibå, der er spogjen ja, sjøl
måga skreg er verdt å høyra på!
Ja, med vind og sol og fuglasong på Jæren då vert
livet noge godt å satsa på!

Tekst Svein Inge Arrestad

My strenght, my inspiration, my knowledge...

This beautiful lady is my mom.

My mom is the strongest person I know. I will try as best as I can to write down her tragic story.

My mom was born into a big family with 2 brothers (one of them unknown at that time and one yet to come) and 3 sisters. She grew up at a farm where her father took care of them working on a fabric close by. My mom was born with a hip condition that was so severe; she was actually born without the hip wings, and there was no place to attach her thighs. This was the start of a long life spent in pain and away from her family. She was alone at the hospital for months by herself, refused visitors (Norwegian hospitals were cruel back in the 50'ies). Of what she told me, the worst part was when they did visit her, cause she didn't want to be pitied. Her older brother always got so jealous of the attention she got that he made the small pleasures she got, into nightmares. He was so jealous when she got her first bike (though she was recommended not to cycle with her operated hips) that he run it to pieces. The same thing happened over and over again over the years when my mom was most voulnerable. (Her older brother later shot himself)

Later she grew up just to be bossed around the house by her mom who showed more fist than heart. Also being one of the youngest, she was always the one everyone asked for a lending hand. She was beautiful like that. Never showed them how much they had harmed her in the past, but spread love as best as she could. Not to mention the attempted assault by family members, and even her own father.

She grew up to be a beautiful 16 year old. Yet she was picked on about her weight. Her sisters told her she was ugly, but yet she was always there ready to wash their clothes and curl their hair. She went through many operations as she grew. The hips had to be replaced to fit her size. At age 16 she was raped. And in a small town like that, it ended up with her loosing the case against her violator. She told me in confidentiality, that the threatening by knife and the actual raping wasnt close to as bad as being rejected by your community. Her parents then decided, being old fashioned and all, that she should find someone who would marry her, despite her being "used". This she did, and in 11 tormenting years she was told she wasnt good enough for anything. She was forced to give him two children, which grew to become her only reason to live. For her children. During these 11 years she went through many surgeries on her hips, but also on her back.

Then, she had enough of it. She moved and met my dad. Together they got three childrens. Two of them with difficulties from birth. No, I was none of the needing ones. She brought her second son with her, the first was old enough to decide himself. My mom finally lived with love around her. She got friends and she had her kids surrounding her. Around year 2000 and 2001 she got her last hip-replacement and I remember her sqeeky knees whent silent after that. What I didn't know until later was that all of this made her very depressed. In 2002 we went to our first and only flight south to crete. I had an accident there, and my mom had her first panick attack because of me.

In 2007, a year before I moved from home. She grew ill. She was only 52 years old, but her smoking had been wearing down her lungs. She went through a very serious lung infection that fall, and never got to herself again after. In the fight to get better, she grew more and more anxious. She was now growing incapable of taking care of her children, the only thing she had been living for her whole life. With the lung decease she was growing severely ill psychologically. She went to shrinks, to therapy to hospital. But no one really knew what was wrong with her. Most of her problems was continous infections in her lungs. She was a lot of ill on and off, and never got back to her own self. She grew incapable of takeing care of herself. Then, she lost weight. She's always been a healthy 68kg, but after all this she was too often down at merely 40 kg. The panick attacks took their tall on her, several a day. The pills she needed for treatment were withheld by her doctor, because it was waved off as something entirely psychological. Something she was imagening. She almost died many times. It was hospital visits one after another. This was later though, the first years she didn't want to realize she was ill, and her local doctor didn't see her situation as severe.

A year ago, she moved to my oldest brother, her first born. She went through a lot of systems to try to get the help she needed. And she grew better for a short period. These photos are from that period, where she hoped that she could fight it off. But then it got worse. And worse. And worse. I felt bad for always reminding her to eat more, but I knew that somewhere inside herself, the constant dieting youth she had, was secretly enjoying the weight loss. No one could call her fat again. Her not being able to put on weight lead to some serious hospital visits. We were told more than once that she might not make it. Her body was fighting to survive. I remember it too well, seeing her there in the hospital bed, her tiny body being attached to various instruments including one that was breathing for her. Her tiny chest being filled with air. Her beautiful red hair that was messy from sweat.

The last months of her life, she was granted a permanent place in a care center. She could finally just rest and get the help she needed.

The last week of her life. She was very frustrated and scared. She couldn't move her body. Not even enough to get a sigarette which she was very desperate about. She was both angry and scared and I hated that I couldn't do anything to help her with that. She even called me in desperation, telling me that the staff was poisoning her. She was paralyzed and it didn't occur to any of us that it was the final battle of her body. It had given up and was dying.

I was in Spain when I got called from the hospital, telling me she might not make it another time. An hour later she was gone And two hours later, I felt her presence with me.

She deserves all the credit in the world for racing 5 children with a body that was never intended to give birth to even one. She had nothing but love to give. Despite all her pain. All her fears. She tought me everything I know. This doesnt tell you about my relationship with my mom, but I can say that we were very close.

Written 25th july 2014: She passed away yesterday. And even though we saw it comming and it was a long, hard and brave fight: I'm in shock. I'm so indescribably proud of you, mom!
I love you.

Again, I love you mom.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Autumn 2014

The autumn of twothousandandfourteen is a little colder than the 22 previous autumns of my life. This particular autumn is a little darker than any of the ones i can recall. This autumn is a little less colorful than it should be. This autumn is specifically a little more lonley than what I remember. It's a little less tasteful; a little too soundproof; and my sight is blurred. This is the first autumn of many more, that I will have to spend without her. This is the first ending of a year I will have to do completely by myself - because that is exactly how it feels. This is a rebirth. A realization. A call. And a loss.

I still sing our songs; I still bake your cakes; I still laugh at your jokes; I still cry in your arms; I still feel your presence; I still hear your voice; I still talk about you as if you are here and you keep inspiring me - But I miss you so much.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

I laughed. Did you?

Friday, September 12, 2014

The small things

  A tiny beauty I found in Central Park.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Pale Blue Dot

I love this story told and accompanied by the magnificent soundtrack of The Island.