death

calling out for mama

calling out for mama

June 6, 2020
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She showed me the trailer to American son on Netflix, and in no time at all, I asked if we couldn’t watch it. So we did. Had us frustrated, irritated, annoyed, upset and shocked.

Then a friend in The Creative’s Workshop discovered Stabat Mater, the piece Jens Bragdell Eriksson, my choirmaster, wrote in 2016 for my choir. Listening she wrote, having me put the album on myself, so I can listen knowing she’s doing the same, on the other side of the world. Together, at a time like this. Important. Vital. Rejuvenating. 

American Son.

Stabat Mater.
At the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to her Son to the last.

And George Floyd calling out for his mama, before dying.
(Click this link. Read it. Promise me, you’ll read it. Then come back here.)

The synchronicity of it hitting me hard.
Parents. Children.
Death. Dying.
Life. Living. 

Trying to make sense of experiences I cannot possibly experience, asking when I don’t, taking in the differences in what it is to be human, in someone else’s body. 

There’s so much to learn, and I intend to continue learning.
Listening. Reading. Watching. Conversing. Asking. Writing. 

Being. And Doing.

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When earth shrinks and the universe opens wide

April 15, 2019
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Once in a while, significant events take place. Such as …

Birth.
Death.
Marriage.
Divorce.

Those are a few of the more obvious significant events in life. But there are more. Events that make earth shrink and turn minuscule, all the while the universe opens up, ready to be explored.

Patterns are broken, limiting stories cease to be true, a life is being lived – in its totality.

Told D who, wise as always, told me (paraphrasing) Write, write, write, about all that has just taken place. Write to yourself, and open the letter at the earliest in a year. Write, as a gift to you.

So I lit a candle, filled up my teacup with warm water, and wrote, wrote, wrote. Three full pages. To me. About an event that made the earth shrink and turn minuscule. An event that made the universe open wide, ready to be explored.

By me.

Universe.
Here I come!

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#blogg100 – All that is to come.

June 8, 2017
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”Every moment is a death
of all that has gone before,
and a birth
of all that is to come.”

Here I am, in a moment that is the death of the #blogg100 challenge 2017 – writing one hundred blog posts over one hundred days. Challenge completed. One hundred blog posts later, I am thrilled at the theme I picked for the challenge this year: writing about and reflecting on sentences or phrases I have read in books. I’ve blogged in English and Swedish both, and have a hard time grasping the fact that this is the last blog post of the hundred. It’s been such a joy to dive even deeper into the chosen books – finally giving myself an outlet for all the wise, witty, funny, amazing, thought provoking, beautiful and moving passages that touch me, that I mark off with a pencilled in star, exclamation mark, wiggly line, or simply by taking a snapshot of the page, saving it in my Evernote.

Here I am, in a moment that is the birth of all that is to come. I will continue to blog in this style, the way I’ve done it during the challenge, because I have so much more to reflect upon around the books I am reading. I have but skimmed the surface, with reflections on snippets from seven books I’ve read and written about in English, and nine in Swedish. It will, likely, not be a daily post, but then again, who knows what is to come…

What I do know is that just from the sixteen books I’ve referenced so far, I’ve still got material for hundreds more blog posts! There is so much wonderfully written wisdom to be had at easy access in books – those I’ve read, and those I’ve not yet opened – that I could continue on this theme forever if it would suit me. There’s so much more I also want to share in my writings, that I will not limit myself to this – but what I do notice is how my ability to be fully present to the Now, to feel, to observe, to note what happens inside as well as outside of me, is expanding. I have been enjoying the books I’ve read, unusually so, and the same goes for everything else in life as well.

Hugging my kids. Sitting on a train watching the fast-moving and beautiful vistas outside the window. The color and smell of the blooming lilacs.

Enjoying life, because I can.

lilacs

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 100 of 100.
The book “The parents Tao Te Ching” by William Martin.
English posts here, Swedish at herothecoach.com.

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#blogg100 – A nothingness enters.

April 7, 2017
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”There is no evidence of the soul except in its sudden absence. A nothingness enters, taking the place where something was before. A night without starts falls and for a moment covers everything in the room.”

Bruce Springsteen writes about the death of The Big Man, Clarence Clemons. As I sit here, horrified by the events today – one wreaked havoc and caused deaths on a street in Stockholm this afternoon. Another the less public and Kafkaesque experience, of sitting in on a ”return dialogue” at the Swedish Migration Agency, where all I wanted to do was shout This is not dignified! We cannot treat human beings as if they are pawns in a chess game! – I remember Bruce words, that affected me so a few nights ago, as I read it.

me and ekmanA nothingness enters… and all I am left with is a resounding sense of regret. Regret at what we humans are capable of doing towards and against one another. Dehumanizing our brothers and sisters, and in one fell swoop dehumanizing ourselves at the same time.

I don’t want to become numb. So I ration my exposure to the horrors of the world. Knowing I show up more loving when I do. And yet. Sometimes it is hard to resist, the numbness alluring, like the song of the siren… But even more enticing is the love, the generosity, the human instinct to look after one another, to care for our brothers and sisters. With that sense of love and compassion, I go to bed, lucky me and my loved ones are safe, sending out a warm heartfelt embrace to those less lucky.

”There is no evidence of the soul except in its sudden absence. A nothingness enters, taking the place where something was before. A night without starts falls and for a moment covers everything in the room.”

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 38 of 100.
The book “Born to run” by Bruce Springsteen.
English posts here, Swedish at
herothecoach.com.

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When breath becomes air

February 4, 2017
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in Tip
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When breath becomes airWowed.
By the beauty of the language.
By the vulnerability and gentleness of Paul.
By the hard-earnedness of the insights shared.

A must-read.
A book I know I will be able to read, over and over again, and always find something new in.

The foreword alone, is a magnificent read – by Abraham Verghese, author of another book that wowed me, in much the same way. Similar and yet, different. But the language. The beauty of the language, the skill of using words, of stringing them together, into sentences and paragraphs that move me, shaking me to my core. Brings tears to my eyes, and lets me soar high on the winds of possibility. All at the same time.

In the acceptance, the experience, of death, Paul Kalanithi generously shares with us a gift, that lasts long after his passing. A passing I cannot help feel was premature. So much he could have continued to give, to his loved ones, patients and colleagues, and to the world.

But I had perhaps not heard of him then – and the same might go for many a people. And it becomes apparent to me, as I read, that the focus within, that says this was not fair, he should have lived much longer, isn’t serving me. It retracts from the message of the book, and so I let it go. Stop resisting, and fall into acceptance, as I read, feverishly, page after page, turning them quickly, not wanting to miss a word and at the same time eager for the next page to reveal its beauty to me. And in accepting, the gift of Paul sharing what he learns as he walks into the valley of death, expands my world, with every breath I take. And then…. breath becomes air.

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