The history behind a Christmas card
‘Julekveldsvisa’ The carol of Christmas Eve’ has followed many of us since we were children. During my first years as a watercolour painter my motives were for a period special, old houses. From wanderings in the ‘old houses’ street ‘Øyragata’ in Lærdal, my heart felt for one particular house. It stood out as the poet Alf Prøysen’s house in his home village in Ringsaker in east Norway. A small, redpainted house with friendly windows. This house in my mind ‘became’ the house where ‘Matja the midwife’ lives. The Star shone on the roof of her house. The neighbour’s house were included, like a side scene. The house is white with innumerable small windows. Oda and Bjørg Ellinor, two of my grandchildren, are singing as they are walking with christmas presents to the child. The title of the painting has always been ‘The Midwife Lane’. This was one of my earliest Christmas cards.
Some time later I got to know that in the white house actually the midwife of Lærdal and in the little red house lived the child minder of the Lindstrøm family (the hotel owner nearby)…..
Yes, that was the first time the Christmas star shone,
and later it has been shining in all the countries of the world,
and whatever happens the star is as great as ever
– you’ll see her over the roof where Matja Midwife lives.
Christmas caroling at the home of the elderly
The village choir – this year like last year – ‘is singing Christmas carols for the old folks.
The village choir – this year like every year – is singing Christmas carols for the old folks. As we stood there singing ‘Oh come, let us follow the star up high’, I was pondering over who ‘the old folks’ are…. I counted eleven old choir singers. Not too long ago they stood beside me in the choir…beautiful voices and their song came from their hearts, out of joy of singing. Here they sang together with us and they were still singing from their heart, and they still are young… even a little childlike.. Not too long ago they stood beside me in the choir…beautiful voices and their song came from their hearts, from the joy of singing. Not too long ago they stood beside me in the choir…beautiful voices and their song came from their hearts, from the joy of singing. As Elizabeth so dignified and standing tall put it: ‘It is so good to see that the elderly are with, it is so much more solemn then, and right’….
We are together
on the wandering
in a ‘never-ending row of pilgrims»
and we rejoice in ‘…..the darkness fly
for the light that is amongst us…..’
that sneak onto us…
in the middle of all the misery
sneaking up on us
Old or young ones
does it really matter ….
The Day is turning into night
light after light is being switched off
soon it is going to sleep
– the village
But … look … every house has got a shining star
over the roof
just like in the carol
….a good night they need
after all their work in the day
and before important work tomorrow
some titanic work
like building a tower to heaven
quite down to earth…
All important in the big picture
December the first….
From when I was a little child I had a special feeling for ‘December the first’ , it was the Christmas month!
Here today it is not much that reminds of the December with the ingredients from childhood winter:
White angles, frozen river and snow clad evergreen forests.
A dense fog is heavily hanging on the mountain sides,
sleet showers and some wet snowflakes in-between…
until it gathers in heavy drops of water
You can see so far when it is foggy.
The mountains do not block the view
we are able to look ahead all that is heavy for our mind
and everything that gives us joy
The sun’s warm beams
from last summer fall onto our face
with their cleansing miracle
Oh you wide world
how beautiful the fog is
The Christmas letter
The Christmas cookies were ready to be carefully laid into the cake boxes, with decorations like the The og lagde i kakeboksane, ein med nisse på og ein med juletre og nek og fuglar. Så var det tid for julevasken… ein utriveleg dag med grønnsåpe og salmiakklukt over heile huset. Alle bildene var tekne ned frå veggane, gardiner frå vindaugene… det var i det heile eit kaldt og utriveleg hus. Eg gøymde meg ofte vekk på ein slik dag; helst sneik eg meg inn i skulestova om ettermiddagen og sat og teikna julekort: grankvistar med lys og julehjarte og ‘Gledeleg jol’ eller grantre med julesnø og nek på stang og dompappar…. Eg hugsar enno utanåt diktet som Læraren las i teiknetimar før jul …..
Kom vesle sisik, følg med, følg med
et herlig julekveldsmål jeg vet:
En fattig husmann bak skogen bor,
han gir oss et nek, i år, som i fjor.
Julebrev må skrivast med penn på papir, leggjast i ein konvolutt med namn og adresse, frankere og sendast. Mottakaren set seg ned ei roleg stund, etter pakkopninga og kaffe og kaker på juleaftan……..
Julehelsingar kring jorda
inneheld dei same orda
som i fjor
ord som varmar
ord som lyser
opp ei travel førjulstid
og vi stoggar litt i julestrevet
for å skrive julebrevet
set oss ned …. lar tankar kome
mest om årets mange dagar
kven vi møtte
kva vi gjorde
ryddar i dei gamle breva
knyter band om bunken
føyer år til år
midt i bunken ligg ho
helsinga frå deg
bandet som oss samman binder
Gode tankar rundt vi sender
mest som hender møter hender
knyter til ei hjartleg helsing
som på englevinger fér
:: :: ::
The twilight hour
After Mandela’s death a whole world have written and talked and given memory speeches about what a big man he was. Mandela is now sitting together with the other angels… looking upon their children… wondering… what now…. They will be singing in rejoice if they see more than words………… What is our talent….. something was said about digging it down in the soil…….
When the evenings are long
the time has come
for a good tidying up
in our mind
Find out about
our true feelings
And find out
what to do
I don’t think Madiba is sitting; I can imagine him singing and running around…..after so many years with illness….
Eld ved kveld
Etter krigen var det manko på mykje; mor var glad då ho fekk kjøpt ein heil stuv med ullstoff: tettvove og tjukt…. gråbeige….tenk det! Mor sydde kjeledress til meg og bukser og jakker til storebrørne mine…i minst tre omgangar. Vi var godt kledde for basing i snøen, renne på ski eller kjelke. Ein i kvar syskenflokk hadde rattkjelke. Jo større den var, di fleire fekk plass. I store, lange bakkar var det kjelke, i slake bakkar var sparken best. Så laga vi sparketog. Vi hekta sparkane i kvarandre, den største sparken med den sterkaste sparkaren bakerst…den minste fremst. Eg som minst i leikelaget sat fremst på ‘Veslesparken’ og tok støyten når vi velta viss farten var for stor i svingen…..og det var han ofte…Det sterkaste minnet frå kalde vinterdagar… eg kom inn, full av snø over heile kjeledressen, raud på nase og kinn… det knirta koseleg frå bjørkeved i Jøtulen… langsamt mjukna stivkalde fingrar og tær… og eg las omatt og omatt orda som var smidd inn over omnsdøra….
Eg grev ned min eld
seint om kveld
Gud gjev min eld
aldri sloknar ut
…..vi skulle skrive dikt på ovnane no óg
‘Have you seen one, you have seen them all’
(heard spoken while viewing mountains at the Sognefjord!)
Some years ago I exhibited together with the Norwegian photographer Johan Brun. He brought some pictures from a prvious exhibition named ‘more mountains’ … This title spoke to me and has followed me later…. Norwegian songs …many of them …. have got a touch of ‘fjell’ = mountains.’The old mountains in the far distance… it is something sturdy and solid about these monuments. …… ‘high mountains make a narrow sky’ ….a word says. A rewriting of mine….. ‘high mountains fjell give a high sky’…we have to turn the eyes as high as we can, and so we get a feeling of a higher heaven….
Those mountains and tose valleys we saw ‘during our first childhood’ (qoute from a Norw. song) will stay with us for life…. the same as the stories from the Bible we learnt in school…. For me the absolute ‘top’ mountains are ‘The two horns in Hemsedal valley. The impressions in my mind stays for life. But forty years’ life at the Sognefjord under its mountains also make print of eternal value. All the bends of the fjords that make its way into the land give a mauntain one front side and one ‘behind side’, related to where you liver….and we all want to own ‘a bit’ …
The sun shine on
the snow crystals
and make the cold winter’s day
3 degrees warmer
and 100 % lighter
and wide open
[box style=»rounded» border=»full»]Vindreken er eitt av dei mest markante fjella ved Sognefjorden. Det har eigentleg tre toppar, den inste er 1273 m o h. Spesielt i vinerham kan ein sjå eit løvehovud i teikningar i fjellet.[/box]
Well begun…. half done and a bit more… …
I so dearly want the flowers to climb in the mountain rock like they really did! A foxglove grew out from a crack in the gneiss.The bird’s foot trefoil crept over the ditch of the roadside underneath the steep mountain wall….The butterflies landed on the delicate stems of the harebells where she climbed everywhere …. fearless of the chasm…. The mountain cranberries grew from poor soil on the edge of the ‘cliff’…..and the hip roses behaved like royalty and owners of the whole rock! ……
The celebrity amongst the flowers was the wild orchid who sent out its exotic fragrance towards the evening; The night violet, herself! The more common ones, the dailyday’s toilers, who gave us rejoice all days throughout the summer: The bright yellow buttercups and the violet stork’s beak’s. Two opposite poles in colour range, but in peaceful union and collaboration with Lady’s Mantle.
What a team spirit and knowhow can make them succeed in covering the rock wall like on a flower field!
We have got much to learn from these mountain climbers……
is when the roadsides
come meeting with you
and the Buttecups contributes
with thousands of flower smiles
in the Mid Summer’s Day
… when the harebell
give us a lesson
in climbing art and courage
when the butterflies
flap in the meek wind
I know about
Can’t help being joyful…
Today is an unusual day…so far. Secon day of the second month; outside on the doostep I felt it: something met with me; a light drizzle in mild air breathed my chin … distinctive fragrance fill my lungs. Down at the Ese strands… the majestetic mountain Vindreken is hidden in fog, but Ramnaberget stands clearly forth with its shiny slopes… the fjord is calm… small raindrops are playing tag with rings in the water … the sun is actually not visible at all, it only feels like. On the way home the sun breaks through like a star in the grey … ‘Only the rainbow is missing on a perfect day…. Just as the thought came … I turn… and there the coloured bow appears over Tjuatoten……
Oh, what a day I’ve got!
Now I really want
to start my work!
the sun shines like gold –
and joy is overtaking!
For I am happy, just happy,
Everything shines in the sun.
Look, butterflies dive
into dewy leaves
in slivery and sliky clothing..
Can happiness be described
in any better way?
[box style=»rounded» border=»full»]February is the secon and shortest month of the year. February means cleansing, and in this time of the year the romans had their cleansing feast. In the early roman calendar March was the first and February the last month og the year. In Norway during the nordic time February was named Gjø month after the goddess Gjø (‘soft and fertile) Later on, in fact all the way till 1827 it was written Friendly month in the almanac. The friendly name to the month because the days became noticable longer – See more at: http://www.aktivioslo.no/guide/aret-rundt/februar/#sthash.DYAGe2ly.dpuf[/box]