few brief sketches of sweden
Another brief text post of a few memories over the last 2 weeks, all from Sweden this time.
-A full day spent in the forest measuring lichens, moss is ankle deep on boulders, light comes glancing through the canopy sideways making large patches of nettles seem to be glowing between enormous oak trees, some up to 900 years old.
- Swimming in Lake Erken during the sunset of a bare point of rock at the end of a spit of forest, staying out long enough for the sky to start to fade to deep black-blue and the first stars to wink on. A brief possible glimpse of the northern lights before fog rolls in and covers all visible forest around the lake.
- Learning about lagom, probably one of the best words to describe swedish culture and attitude towards life. Theres no direct translation but it means something like “exactly the right amount”, any more or less would not be lagom, and lagom is exactly right. There is an ideal state of happiness, sadness, money, work, spices in a dish, eccentricity, rain, etc… It extends to every facet of life, and really exemplifies the swedish approach to existence. Find the ideal and keep it.
- Getting taught in swedish about the appropriate use of a sauna, steaming up in the remote swedish forest in an incredibly well built cedar sauna. Running into the cold lake water to contrast, then laying back to see the milky way. ”The swedish way is to be silent until the silence hits your ears like a drum”.
- Eating apples from an apple tree which Linneaus also ate apples from, at his summer house.
- Trolling for pike at night on Lake Erken, as the wind picks up and silent nervous energy in the boat is palpable. The moon disappears and it gets incredibly dark very quickly. No luck. About to turn back, head home to drink beers and play kubb all night. Mattias finally catching an enormous pike, sliding a slimy monster over the side of the boat, completely surprised.