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Friday, February 3, 2012

its easy

It’s easy to die here. Its dark, its cold it’s white. Sometimes when am walking I get distracted by the oblivion that is snow. White, white, white.

There are places where the quiet is almost overwhelming, there is no sound for what feels like miles and miles. In this different~from~any~other~experience-I-have-had atmosphere it seems more real to talk in terms of miles than kilometres, yards than metres, though it’s a wholly American obsession having nothing to do with the Nordic folk. The wind is the only whisper you hear at these times, there is not a breath of another human being in any direction for any distance. You can forget that civilisation exists in those moments except that there are footsteps and that even in this most hidden of outback the occasional Norwegian will bump into you, raise their heads in acknowledgement, or startlement more likely, maybe squeeze out a high-pitched “hei.” before they go on their way.

The silence is good for thoughts, it’s amazing for those. You stand and fix your eyes on the sky which looks just like the ground which looks just like the falling snow and in that moment that's all there is you and nature. There is a park near where I live that speaks of this perfectly, it’s near the mountain and you can hear from afar the running of water down that structure. The snow is virtually undisturbed, Euclidean in parts, geometrical like a sculptor had stood and taken his scissor-hands to it. It’s a place that thoughts can range free and wild, not constrained by buildings or people, unbound by sounds and noises, unfettered from interruptions and distractions. Except that when you stand there your legs are nearly buried in the snow and soon this starts to bite through your shoes and leave your toes hurting and hurting.

I looked at the snowflakes disappearing into the blackwater of the sea once. They fell from the heavens a manner of manna. They danced their way to the ground, small unique, perfect and then they got swallowed up by the sea. Behind them is an endless line of others falling too. I tried to stare straight ahead, to see to the horizon but gentle persuasion would have none of that, it kept bowing me, look down at how we float, oh so gently, oh so wonderfully. Look how we disappear, oh so quickly, oh so permanently not having left a mark on the earth.

It’s easy to stay indoors, too easy. Everything is skewed towards you not leaving the house. You don't want to put on your gloves, you don’t want  to put on your scarf, you don’t want to put on your hat, to put on your woollen leggings, to put on your jacket. You don't want to face the cold because in spite of all these preparations some of it still steals its way up your back, some of it still wraps around your legs, some of it still haunts and hunts your face. Some of it still does. You don't want to walk through the snow. And it’s dark most of the time. Endless fiction and non-fiction has been pumped out about snowstorms and someone crawling for miles, dragged by dogs, drugged by willpower, beaten by the  elements, bitten by the cold. All he needs is a cabin for the night, the sight of another human being, some food, water, warmth. It makes more sense to me now.

Inside its warm and toasty, inside its perfect, the yellow light bulb, the book  to read, the food to cook and eat, the thoughts to think. It’s not that far from home, it is a little Kenya. Then you are tired, I am, I get tired pretty quickly. When am outside this problem is solved but I enter and I take a glass of hot Ribena, I begin to read and I drift away, we prepare food for 1 and a half hours, eat for one and then sit back contented before anyone has the energy to get up and move, to clean the dishes, to clear the table. Short bursts of discussion range, heavy issues, necessity of assimilation and integration of cultures for immigrants, the problems with legality of abortion, the evolution of religions and whether that actually exists or can happen. This makes me think and question a lot of my fast held beliefs then it makes me tired.

So it’s easy to die here. It’s easy to crawl into bed at ten am and fall fast asleep, it’s easier to wake up nine/ten hours later and whistle away a whole day in the preparation of food. It’s easy to miss most of what Norway has to offer. You have to be active we are told over and over. A social life here does not materialise out of thin air. It is the preserve of those who strive for it who stretch out their arms and grab it. You have to be active. You have to leave the home that's encircling you and telling you to stay. You have to walk out in the snow and cold. You have to look for activity like you would a speck in the snow, an eye in the ice.

Yesterday{Monday} I did nothing at all and the feelings of guilt about letting a full day pass have bled all over this post. It’s easy to die here. Or more specifically not to live. The snow does that, the cold does that, the clothing does that. But there's a lot pulling you out at the same time. The sun has begun to shine through the clouds and what a sun it is. Fighting through the white and shine. And one day I saw the sun and the moon occupy the same patch of sky. It was strange, it reminded me of that powerpuff girls episode where the mayor says
“there’s a ball of fire in the sky.”
“it’s called the sun.” everyone choruses. But in that show the emperor was also the boy who saw him naked and was proved right(comet shower.)

It looked like the sun. it shoe, it was round, but it moved too fast, I could look at it and it seemed so close. And if that was the sun, what was the other thing that was lighting up a section of cloud. Then it hit me. Moon and sun, together and not for an eclipse, not to break dawn and not at twilight(couldn’t help myself.)

So there’s a lot to see, a lot to feel in this magic snowonderland and its out there just past the window.


  1. You sound positively depressed! Don't they have any girls there?

  2. i do sound depresses here, i shouldn't stay indoors for that long i think. and yes they have girls here, beautiful, beautiful girls, another reason i shouldn't stay inside so long