“ Strange fascination, fascinating me
Changes are taking the pace…”
– David Bowie, Changes
Recently, I came across “#ilovenorway” on Instagram. I had to take “et øyeblikk” or “a moment” and think about this hashtag for a while. With some reflection, I think I may love Norway. How bizarre is this since the weather is terribly cold and/or rainy all the time! My body craves heat and sunshine. Norway has neither. Together. Ever.
Besides missing family and friends, I realize I miss the incredible landscapes and photo ops. I am not able to capture all its beauty like other Instagrammers but I do love trying. Inspiration comes in many forms, doesn’t it?When I look out the window, the morning sky greets us with spectacular hues – like gold ribbons dancing across the sky.
On this day, the sun was inviting us to go out towards the akebakke (pronounced aw-keh-bawk-keh) or toboggan hill. Yes I almost got run over by a sled or two. Boy, they go fast but it was worth it with hillside views like this.Although I have walked this path many times, the mood seems to change in every season. A car drove by and provided the much needed light I needed for this picture. I like to call this “lining my ducks in a row.” I may have been shivering so I consider it a blessing that it wasn’t blurry either.
Occasionally, I manage to take pictures of people. Okay they are family but they still count. Apparently, I have been told, no one was dressed appropriately for -10 degrees C. It’s no surprise, though, that the only person that complained about the weather was me. As we left Oslo on the train heading towards Stockholm, we came across a blizzard. I didn’t mind because 1) I was not actually standing in the blizzard 2) I now have whispering scenes of a wintry lake landscape. Believe it or not, it really was that gray. There is extraordinary in the ordinary. It is everywhere. Freeze frame. Very challenging on a moving train with snow flurries but I am over the moon that I managed to get trees. Oh how I love trees!
I was about to put my camera away when I saw a red car in the distance driving through the blizzard. We were racing. I know it’s not as spectacular as other photos on Instagram but it is one of my favorite pictures. Some things simply cannot be explained.
If you’re interested in Norwegian language or culture, here are a few goodies (in no particular order) I have enjoyed:
Teach Yourself Norwegian by Margartha Danbolt Simons – one of the better language books I have used to learn Norwegian.
Nordmenn by Julien S. Bourrelle – illustrated guidebook on understanding behavior; the author also makes an appearance on TedxTrondheim – How Culture Drives Behaviors – “to confront, complain or conform” that is the question.
Kristen Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset – translated by Tiina Nunnally; a beautifully written trilogy about social, political and religious ways of life in 14th century Norway. Also released as a film in 1995.
Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson – a quiet, reflective novel about a 67 year old man living in an isolated cabin in Norway; translated into English.
Headhunters -a fast paced thriller based on Jo Nesbø’s book of the same title; Rated R (NOT for kids!!)
O’Horton – an endearing film about a retiring train engineer and the meaning of existence
Kitchen Stories – a light hearted film about scientific observations from a farmhouse kitchen corner and friendship
Travel is a privilege and I feel honored to have opportunities to do so. In stillness, I like to embrace the joy with “tusen takk” or literally, “a thousand thank yous.” I know I am fortunate to collect pictures to remind me of moments that will never be again because sometimes, “et øyeblikk” is all we have.