Edith, Astrid and Tove…and a little bit of Scarlett as well

Whom shall I choose first? They are all equally thick and alluring. And I got them as birthday presents. Edith was born first so in all fairness or no fairness at all she will be first out. Even if we read about all three at school and I devoured any book by Astrid Lindgren as a child I actually do not know that much about these three women. Tove Jansson is the one I am most familiar with and I have actually had the great luck of meeting her once! But I never was much of a Moomin fan, I rather preferred Pippi Longstocking. Yet I know next to nothing about the life of the author behind all these books that I read in my childhood years as if my life depended on it.

Naturally the poems of Edith Södergran are familiar to me and yes I do have some very superficial knowledge about her background. But I was never much into poetry in my younger years, something that slowly has started to shift. The book about Edith’s life is about four hundred pages long so I guess I am in for a treat.

So where does Scarlett fit into all of this? In my early teens my Mum gave me ‘Gone with the wind’ as a Birthday present. That summer I was completely unreachable and when visiting my relatives during the summer holidays I showed up for meals with my head deeply buried between the pages. Before reading the book I had already seen the movie several times. An obsession had started. Suddenly the dolls in my doll´s house got a complete ‘Gone with the Wind’ wardrobe, as well as my paper dolls. As a grown up I bought a Scarlett O´Hara limited edition Barbie doll that now collects dust in a cupboard. And my book shelf have a selection of different ‘Gone with the Wind’ related books. There is even one in French!  Every day when I log onto our home computer I am greeted by Rhett and Scarlett embracing each other in the scene where Scarlett is mourning her second husband (or was it third?) and Rhett has asked her to marry her. The desktop picture being a birthday gift from my daughter some years ago. An obsession indeed.

And what do all these four women have in common, one of which is actually fictional? They have all been heroines in their own lives and have been highly creative each one in their own special way. Sensitive, fierce, feisty, bold and more or less unconventional.

As a young child I wanted to change the world, to become a missionary and eradicate hunger. My goal was not not to spread Christianity but rather to work against poverty in Africa so the occupation I probably was aiming at was being a volunteer worker. The injustice of the world was completely uncomprehending to me and yet I loved a book that described those who were fighting against slavery as brutes. A book that was glamorizing a lifestyle upheld by these very slaves. But ‘Gone with the Wind’ has always been more about a heroine´s journey than the story of a system that never should have existed in the first place.

For some reason Scarlett has resonated deeply with me and now it´s time to find out how I am going to get along with Edith, Astrid and Tove.

TheTrio Edith GoneWithTheWind


Teatime teatime
rings the bell.
Time to savor the day
and gather together.
Enjoy food.
Enjoy family.
Enjoy time together.
Darkness outside
candle light, twinkle and warmth inside.

This is a ‘poem’ I wrote during the Luscious Legacy project last Autumn under the guidance of Sue Ann Gleason. I Cannot bring myself to call it a real poem since that´s the form of writing I struggle the most with. As as a child one of my fondest memories is from those Sunday evenings when we had tea. Tea meant black Earl Grey tea with milk and or sugar and with warm sandwiches straight from the oven. This was in the late seventies and Mum had found a new recipe where you combined bananas with ham and melted cheese on top. Ahh, I can still smell and taste those yummy warm sandwiches and the different flavors melting in the mouth.

Family heirloom
My Mum´s recipe journals from 1974!

What makes this memory so special is that teatime was sometimes accompanied by Dad taking out the film projector and we would watch the films from last summer. Still films with no voice. Of all childhood memories this particular one I miss the most. Feeling completely happy. I wrote a short passage reminiscing on this as a testimonial for the LLP that you can read here.


Magic and Meaning

Finally! I have been brewing over this like a pot of hot tea for long enough. Visualizing myself at a trendy yet cosy café writing on my novel on my fancy laptop. Today the stars must be aligned because here I am.  Using what is left of one of my gift cards and writing my Magic Monday blog post on an ipad that I borrowed from work. You create magic out of meaning and make meaning out of what you have.

The tea is colour-coordinated with the ipad 🙂

There have been Mondays completely devoid of any magic or any meaning whatsoever. Or so it felt. And that is why I have been reflecting on the importance of creating magic even when it seems impossible and then to afterwords look for the hidden meaning. To put undue stress on the poor Monday to be the sole bearer of magic seems a bit unfair, so from now on my Magic Mondays will be magical and meaningful just because they are Mondays. Just as we human beings have intrinsic value just by being humans.

Slowly I have started to accept that I am a bit like a mad rabbit jumping around chasing the next new excitement and that it´s fine to be like this. Yes it is exhausting and I might not necessarily find what I am looking for as I am not entirely sure what that even is. But my enthusiasm and optimism is what’s keeping me alive. Even if it means joining writing challenges like Writing101 and only complete one blog post out of 21. Even if it means joining various Facebook communities where you take pictures and journal and take part in discussions and share something every day for a month or once a week and you slowly start to think you are loosing it. Because let’s face it a day has only so many hours and the older you get the more important it feels to use these hours wisely.

That is why it might be necessary for the mad rabbit to slow down a bit and start to listen more before she starts chasing that next alluring carrot aka writing challenge, online course, blogger, Facebook community. Just not yet 🙂

Still a little left No more left

Challenge accepted!

Since it is Monday it´s quite appropriate for me to blog – however my Magic Monday will be tomorrow on a Tuesday and today I will focus on the challenge of writing a blog post everyday. I have signed up for WordPress own course “Writing 101: Building a Blogging Habit” and it starts today with an enticing writing prompt called “Unlock the Mind”. The idea is that you get a writing prompt everyday starting today and ending May 1st. Phew! What have I got myself into!!

So this first blog post is about free writing for twenty minutes and no thinking. This is the kind of exercise I actually love to do. In my creative writing course we always start each session with about 10 minutes of free writing. But the stuff I write is definitely not worth publishing. So right now I am cheating… I could of course scribble with a pen and paper but I feel lazy and will instead keep my fingers locked to the keyboard.

OK, one of the cats wants to go out so hang on for a minute, I´ll be right back. So where was I. Free writing. Now I got really stuck and my beautiful stream of consciousness got cut off. The cat actually did not want to go out so I could have let him ramble on just like I´m rambling on here at the computer. So I am going to cheat big time. I think I have been writing for no more than three minutes and I will end here. Since there are no rules and this is my blog I can do whatever I want. Right?

OK, cat´s rambling on some more and I just have to check on him. Back again for the second time. He did not want to go out and I don´t blame him. The sun is shining and it seems to be a splendid weather but it´s quite chilly out on our balcony. It´s the kind of weather that people tell you that you have to go out and enjoy which means that I probably will stay inside today. As soon as I can smell even the slightest hint of a “I have to or You should” I retreat and don´t even change from my PJ:s into decent clothes. And besides I have a gorgeous view from my window! And no I will not try and photograph it, our windows haven´t been cleaned for ages and quite frankly I have been trying to take picture from this window before and the view look much more flat than in real life. The cheating doesn´t go very well. I think I am into my fifth or seventh minute already. And now I´ve  got company, the same company that did not want to go out. Maybe he just wanted to be with me! And somehow had to lure the other cat away.

I´ll end with a picture of some hanging nobs  – I have absolutely no idea of how you properly call these things – it´s for hanging your clothes and they can be seen on the wall on the second floor of this lovely cafe called Tiirikkala