Things that go Bump in the Light

Summer has officially arrived in Sweden, and for me personally that tends to entail a lot less of the sun worshipping that my fellow countrymen and women practise with such fervour. To say that I enjoy Summer as much as any other person, would simply not be true. That does not mean that I dislike it. Truthfully, though, I will admit to being more of an Autumn kind of person with romantic notions about Winter that don’t quite match the reality of things.

What, then, is it about summer fanaticism that disagree with me? Well, as my fellow Autumn folk might have guessed, it is the abundance of light. Now, here in Sweden we don’t really see the sun that much for most of the year so I can understand the zeal with which some worship the sun here. For me though, having only a few hours of darkness (or zero for those who live all the way up north) is problematic.

I am currently unable to do much about the temperature indoors, which in conjunction with the absurd amount of daylight mentioned above means that my sleep suffers greatly during Summer. Part of this is my own fault, instead of savouring the scarce darkness in a lucid state I could sleep, could being the operative word.

So there you have it, the reasons Summer spells blackout curtains, cold showers, and sleep deprevation for this particular Night Owl.

PS. Don’t forget sun block when you’re out and about! Sun damage is dangerous and permanent. DS.

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Bereft

Upon the shore she stood,
Next to a sacrificial pyre,
As she spoke to the Gods ~
‘Hail Njord of Vanheim, a harrowed woman I am, and offer you this sacrifice.
Carry my words to the bottom of the sea,
to my brother’s ear.’
Her mouth donned a smile,
Though her heart still stung,
She shed silent tears for her brother,
Who had died so young.
‘It is a cruel thing, Brother, that forged our fates such as they are.
The promise of glory pains me so,
Even though I know,
That I will die, sword in hand,
And dine in Allfather’s hall ~
With whom shall I share the tales,
The laughter, and the Ale?
I am bereft, dearest brother,
my closest friend.’
Her hands produced a waterskin,
Filled to the brim with mead,
She drank one gulp and poured,
The rest into the sea.
‘Hail once more, Njord of the Sea, receive my thanks and another gift for thee.’

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The Dragon of Solitude

What is an adventurer without a party?
What meaning is there to a quest,
When there’s no one to share the reward with?
What purpose is there in saving a world,
In which no one holds your love?
Yet that is the path we choose,
The one if the lone adventurer ~
The abandoned wolf with no pack,
A guildless random,
A cardboard cut-out.
Why do we explore this vast wilderness full of empty faces?
Can you hear it beckon?
Do you feel the calling in your spine?
Are you one of the empty faces?
Or will you enter the dungeon,
And face the Dragon of Solitude?

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The Internet Returns: creativity rant

Internet is back up after having been out for a while and I suppose things have returned to relative normalcy. When it was down I watched a good amount of Sci-Fi and a realisation came to me when I reread what I have been writing on lately.

When my internet connection was down I re-watched some Firefly episodes. Herein lay my realisation. Often when I experience a good story arch or a good set of characters I can’t help but feel the urge to emulate. At least by now I’ve come far enough to recognize it for what it is, but my main issue is trying to make something my own instead of just rehashing the original.

Brings us back to the question that plague me so often: is there such a thing as a completely original story?

Regardless of the answer I believe that all stories that are told well have something of their own. Sometimes that something is strong and characteristic enough to blaze a new trail. If not exactly always new, opening up a path less traveled to a broader audience.

I suppose we all desire that uniqueness. Innovative work is hard work. Stories never write themselves even if we sometimes wish they did.

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Sleep of the Broken

With a finger he traced the fractures that spidered across the broken display of his iPhone. Broken, but still functional. Like him. The distorted reflection of his face twisted into a grimace. Putting the phone down he reached for the glass of water he knew waited for him on his night stand. Glass in one hand, he snapped two pills out of their plastic and foil encapsulation and chugged them down along with the water in the glass. They were weak, not enough to defang the beast and barely enough to make it sleep. Sleep would come for him too, eventually, but he craved it with reluctance – desire born out of necessity.

Closing his eyes he summoned the residue of a familiar dream. It played before his mind’s eye like a partially corrupted file. Static and scattered images here and there. What it was about it he found so comforting he didn’t quite know. Perhaps it was nothing more than white noise to drown out all thoughts and hints of pain. Not having to listen to his complaining body was as good an excuse as any, he supposed as he turned over to lie on his good side.

A bedroom window stood partially open not far from where he lay. The wind murmured its usual winter lullaby as it stepped through between frame and windowsill. Half asleep he stirred, annoyed even in his delirium that he had to get up again. Groggy, he rose and made his way toward the bathroom.

Sleep would come eventually, but not quite yet. Sleep would come.

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Why do you write?

Relying on the desire to write as the foundation to accomplish anything is in my case perhaps a little naive. Desire is a fickle and unpredictable thing, but it can also be a rush like no other. The desire to do some things can completely obliterate the will to do others.

In one way, I am lucky. Even when I fall off the writing-wagon it doesn’t take too long before I catch a glimpse of whatever it is that made me see stories in the first place. I haven’t got the foggiest as to what it actually is, but sooner or later the visions return to me. It is a good thing that my feet are not afraid of walking. I suspect I’ll be doing a lot of it until I catch up with that wagon.

Desire was never the reason I started, nor was it why I stuck with it. It isn’t the reason I continue either. So then, why do I write? Most likely, because I must. Like I said, sooner or later I start seeing stories again. How else would I get them out of my heart and through my head?

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Exploration, Culture, Identity

Culture is something that fascinates me, whether it be the lack of a distinct culture or the more colourful ones. Personally, I find that most cultures have aspects I find beautiful or appealing. People all have something to say, after all, do they not? To me it has never been a question of if it would be worth my time to sit down and listen, it has always been when can I make the time? Perhaps my fascination with language partly stems in my fondness of exploring the unfamiliar and often exuberant and brilliant alien world of other people’s normality.

That’s another interesting aspect of culture, the blindness that sometimes occur when we try to look at our own culture. In Sweden, at least, I feel like this is often true. It almost feels like we’re part of a no-culture kind of culture here. Well, we’re gravitating toward one but that may not be a bad thing. As long as it allows more of us to be open and receptive to other cultures, and maybe even adapting parts of them in our own lives.

It could very well be the in the nature of us seekers to look at all of the different answers in an attempt to form our own one where spirituality is concerned. The spiritual is, from where I’m sitting, intimately linked with culture. Both are extremely broad terms, but I’m not going to define them beyond factors that influence the way of life for those belonging or adhering to them.

Where identity is concerned, belonging is important ~
but so is the courage to explore and grow. Without it there’s no breaking out of the mould.

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