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lördag 28 januari 2017

The calender of arrivals and departures - in life

On our kitchen wall we have a calender, actually two because october is missing from one of them. 
In this calender we add peoples birthdays mostly. Recent years, however, we have started to add other things as well, like dates of christening, first tooth, first steps.
And , and that is the topic for this post , date of death, or departure.
Today I add another sad message to this departurelist - John Hurt .
And, as it happends, also Lennart Nilsson, the very gifted photographer who won world fame when he filmed the forthcoming of life , human life, from the very moment of conception to the actual birth of the small new person.
This is what made him world famous, but througout his career he took several hundreds of thousand picture of celebrities, nature, you name it. He died today in the age of 94 so you can say he had a long, good life and gave the world thousands of great, wonderful, magical and inspiring pictures.  Thank you, Lennart!!

The other departure is a bit more difficult to handle ,  sir John Hurt is another one of these talented and great actors that has brought so much joy to my life, being the cineast that I am!
I knew he got cancer a couple of years ago . This friday he passed away, family being with him. My first contact with this brilliant actor and voice actor, was in the film "Elephant man", from 1980, a sad story about a kind and disabled man in the 18th century, reduced to be the "freak".   Memorable is also his performance of Caligula in I Claudius. And the voice of Hazel, in that wonderful film "Watership Down"!!
John was born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, in 1940, and studied, amongst other places in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.  He was knighted by her Majesty the Queen Elisabeth ll, in 2015, after he got his pancreatic cancer.  He got several rewards, Bafta for instance,  and recognitions and was also nominated for an Oscar with both  Elephant Man and Midnight Express. Our children loved and remembered him mostly for his part as Ollivander in Harry Potter. 
He has taken his leave and I for one believe that he is dwelling somewhere now where life goes on without magic wands!
Thank you, John Hurt, for all memorable moments!!!!

And yes, being a parish minister, I do follow many people to their departure. Sometimes I have the great privilige to be present when they go, those moments are very special. But every death must be noticed, every person leaving deserves to be cried over and spoken about. Every moment of grieving calls for comfort and listening. Whoever we are.

It's not only the departure of famous people that matters, but as I have said before, they are the ones that goes public whatever they do, and so we can speak freely and sincerely about death and how we feel about sorrow and grief without having to connect it to someone close.
There will come a day when we have to face close losses and heartbroken grief.  Perhaps we then can recall what we spoke of when that famous actor or singer died, and see if it can be related, at least in part, to what we are feeling.  
I speak of death as departure or separation from life as we know it, but dying is also an arrival. We wave goodbye and someone else greets with a warm Welcome,  we are never abandoned.  The gospel of tomorrow is from Mathew, when Peter tries and fails to walk on water, but the Lord reaches out and pulls him out of the raging waves, mildly scoulding him. Never abandoned, even if we fail. Never abandoned even in death, he will pull us out, that is my belief. 

In our calender, life has it's ups and downs, its highlights and shadows, arrivals and departures, life is like that - always in motion. 

fredag 20 januari 2017

And there he is!!

This december we went to Stockholm to see the Tatinof with the english Youtubers Dan and Phil. My oldest, the greatest fan you can imagine, keep saying to me:
"I can't believe it really happend,mum, I can't believe they really stood there, within my reach.
Imagine that I saw that, I was there, it really happend!!!!"

Well, after those 35 words, after that hug, after that speach, I put my words in the same fashion, but the feeling is VERY DIFFERENT. I can't believe that this happend. That he was actually standing there, saying what he said, promising those things, waving that fist.
Is that greatness? Is that the promise of a brighter future?  What makes a person great? I can't hold my head clear, my heart is aching and praying is more important than ever and I admit;
I don't hold the answers but other people actually try to bring us them:
I chose to bring you two swedish films  that can be of some comfort, not just because of DT, there are plenty of leaders to worry about right now......If you need to be encouraged, please read about those films on my other blog , Novels and true stories.   
Goodnight, friends, God bless America and us all.

fredag 13 januari 2017


There are trails of light to follow in this world of darkness.

I read in the paper that people who stay up late have higher IQ. That is certainly not the issue here, anyway.
I've had some problems with this sleeping thing, I fall asleep during the evening, easily and then stay up late. Uneasily. But I think this is a time for insomnia, not just for me. We are going through a rather bad time in our family, that puts everything in motion inside.
Outside , however, there are sufficient causes for insomnia and nightmares. It's hard to tell what threat is the worst, the silent moving evil in the peaceful neighbourhoods we used to have, or the blizzards and thunders coming out from King Kong the 27th and other crackpots that are ruling the world or intending to. I am , in spite of all this, at ease , the words " You have no power over me" could be pointed at any of these as well as at Evil itself.

However strong in faith I may be, the suffering going on amongst fellow human beings, is horrifying. The single most horrifying about it is that I do very little to prevent it. I don't mean anyone of us could walk up to the nearest high and mighty and say" enough now!".  But there is much pain very close at hand, and very little is done to stop even that. Perhaps we are overwhelmed with this?
Looking closely and more sensible at this, there really ARE things being done, not by me as often as I would wish, but by others.

There are also organizations in which one can cooperate with others and create a stronger voice and stronger action against darker powers. In the church of Sweden we give aid through the ACT-alliance and the WCC. We can contribute through f.i ECPAT, UNICEF, SOS-childrens villages, Red Cross and many others that are willing to do the close-up work I fear I could never cope with.
I am challenged by the happenings very close to me, the refugees, the beggers, the homeless, the hidden violence behind closed doors and the growing shadows in what used to be peaceful streets .
Almost every day there are shootings in my hometown and very often someone dies. That is new to us. The burning cars and houses also. Ferocious fights with hundreds of participants take place all over. New Years eve was a "warzone" in some places, gangs aiming fireworks at eachother and all over.
In the middle of all this we have the leaders, the rulers, the selfappointed, "Godgiven", blindfolded leaders that has lost all sense of love for those they lead. They say that people get the leader they deserve, elections and all but we know that is not always true. Bad times can twist peoples minds, fear can create panic and with panic you take the wrong actions and make bad decisions.

You are a very sensible and warmhearted lot, you who sometimes visit this blog and whos blogs I gladly visit. I believe that very often we do more than we think. I also believe we have our chances to do good, some of us are not the kind rushing in and starting a movement of good, but sufficiently many are good followers. Everyone of us have got one or two great gifts to be used when needed, and it doesn't have to be any great deeds. Just making the best of family and friendship, loving ones work and being nice to who ever we meet, makes a difference. Evil gets weaker when people resist bitterness and unkindness. When we have hope. When we keep speaking up, even if we are not in the frontline. When we insist in caring and getting emotionally involved.
 The easiest way is to turn our backs and mind our own business, thinking it's too much for anyone to deal with.
But that is not what most people do, even if it is getting cold in peoples hearts, just as Jesus predicted, but I pray enough will stay warm.  And that I dare to be more than just a talker. Sigh!

Right now the actual cold is the worst threat to many and people are dying in southern Europe, mostly those without homes...no water, no electricity, no roads, no food. Famine and natures disasters can at least be dealt with through sufficient aid and money from us who have plenty.
The evil in war and human interactions is more difficult to handle, but we must remember we are not alone here, praying and keeping faith  and hope will eventually cure the insomnia, but the nightmares will stay on until daylight finally breaks through and darkness is no more.
There is a trail of light to follow, and so much love still to find in humans, I think I'll go to sleep now!

fredag 6 januari 2017

The road is suitable for skaters and ducks

Good evening, this the 6th of january, celebrating the arrival of the three wise men, three kings or the astronomers.  Caspar, Melchior, Balthazar .
Surface and depths are present all over, even in us!!
Celebrating the meeting when the child is seen for who he really is. Surface gone, depths revealed!!!
Meetings are important to us, indeed. Some meetings leaves us untouched and some don't.
To some meetings we come prepared but not for some.
Some meetings leaves us in the dark and some makes us understand one or two things .
Sometimes the meeting leaves us in bitterness when we realize the true nature of the one we met, sometimes, often enough its the opposite and we leave with a bright feeling inside.
The meeting with the holy child can take place any time and any place , when we read about it today we may think we are met with yet another fairytale but the truth of it is soo much larger than our imagination. What if Herod actually had dared the meeting? The only thing he now met was his own greed and fears.  The wise men went home much richer, Herod was left in souldeep poverty.   In church today we celebrated with lights and singing and the christening of a small girl called Ines. Later today I went to one of our chapels and celebrated with the small crowd there. That particular community celebrates 130 years this year!!! The songs we sang there are just as old.

Hereby I declare Winter. As far as it goes that is, snow is still nonexistent in our parts!!
This is actually the same field where the major tent has its place during the Jazzfestivals, now a world of ice.
No chance to reach your house...

Another meeting that has taken place in our part of the world was that with winter and water.

Temperature was dropping quickly and the wind was amounting to top speed.
This is a coastal are, the coastline and the harbours lining up from east to west, are somewhat vunerable and so several parts of several towns have been waterfilled right up to those streets called f.i Harbourstreet or Beachalley. Cars, trolleys and bikes found themselves drowned in water, people couldn't reach their parkinglots and in many cases, their own gardens. And then arrived mr Frost.
My collegue came home from a small trip to his daughter down south, and couldn't park, he would have needed a boat. It was a road suitable for ducks, as was the surrounding garden and the common walkingsite.  Today, come 11 degrees celcius, we have gardens, roads and smaller parkareas suitable for skaters instead. TV broadcasted watercovered roads with ducks peacefully swimming across the highway .  Winter came in a different manner, no snow but OH the ice!!
A couple of days ago the beach was grey and the temperature around 10 celcius.
And so the water rushed up and froze where we usually walk in peace...

Here is that very same beach a couple of days later, read;today, -13 degrees celcius and icicles covering the pebbles and the seaweed.
I just heard on the radio that a smaller town south of us are without centralheating and electricity has been gone for hours, about 14000 households .
Still, we have people sleeping on parkinglots and under bridges tonight, some of them may not survive. The families we know of went back home when the cold came, thank God, but there are still people out there . I pray they will have shelter.
God bless all of you, may your meetings be joyous and warm!!!