A little personal project that I started during my internship. Photographing the Fjord every week. Because we have had such a quick winter, you can really see the drastic difference week to week.
"The winter of our physical and emotional world is on the horizon.
Tomorrow we unravel. Until we break through the spring ice with new skin.
This is the work.
I can feel it."
I think the spring ice is here.
Suddenly I can sit in the big rooms again without shivering and I'm even daring enough to take short walks without a scarf tightly wound around my neck. the soil in the fields outside my window are half exposed and the pathways are filled with slush and rocks. I'm no expert on winter, but damn that was short.
It should be snowing but instead there is the rain that melts and ice's the snow over. The rain makes me feel alive and I am great full for the sound it gives. Our internships are on it's fourth week and coming to a close just as I'm starting to pick up the thread again.
The beginning of my internship was strange and hard.
How to describe the muffling quality of the snow that weighted me down and left me feeling alone but not lonely.
All consuming silence.
I truly forgot the point and remembering myself all at once, I took walks into foggy places and wandered in circles for days.
I asked to see myself and I didn't like what I saw.
Without the crutch of a relationship I had to catch myself over and over again and every day felt a little more pointless.
I have not hit a place this dark or this hard in some years, and even though I knew it was coming it still took my breath and left me.... scared.
I've really been experimenting with failure.
I decided to stay because some layers have to be taken off by yourself. When I was 12 my aunty told me not to fear depression, but to use it as a time sit inside. To channel it out in a different way. For the first 17 days I watched and listened to the video below and wrestled myself away from staring at a wall to instead writing. I made daily lists of tasks so that I could remember where I had been, and see where I still had to go. In between I exercised a lot so that I could know the feel of my body again. I wrote letters, called friends and ate orange after orange, trying to remember why I was here and what I was doing. I should have been furious with myself but instead I was just tired.
How to explain that one Sunday morning when I woke up and had the sudden strength to say "enough". Oh the relief of being able to hold a conversation without getting stuck in my throat. Oh the joy of the steady clicking back into place and the ease of walking fully in ones skin again.
To lose myself is to experience myself.
Some things I just have to do alone.
There could never be a way to know all the ways to do life.
This much I've figured.
I'm drinking my daily smoothie, when yesterday it was all about the eggs.
Life is composed of overlapping phases that lay the tracks for the twisting turns of this life.
I've picked up old and familiar patterns worn down by a once upon a time every day wear. I'm on the ground, at the desk, in my head and walking at a rapid pace across the snow covered forest floor. Everything is crisp, sharpened by the wind that washes through clouds filled with weather. I want to be practical, but in the evenings my head fills because on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, I'm at the desk.
I'm at the desk in the daytime pulling at a knot. A never ending string that slowly unwinds itself from my brain and extends into my fingertips that type and flip through pages. I'm taking breaths as I reach into the crevices of my memory and drawing out pieces that match the ones on my screen. I'm on espresso and when I take a break and let my eyes look out the window, the white pulsates and blinds me for an instant, calling me out for air.
And yet, somehow I've fallen back into the seemingly endless spaces of my body that I had almost been to scared to approach. It's my home these yawning places that use my breath as their sustenance and demand every day attention. Except that it's different this time. I'm laughing through it all, and I am counting all the moments in every day existance that lend themselves to cultivating my attention. I noticed for the first time today the tree that lives outside of my door, and it's underwings are painted red.
I've had to give myself permission to remember that I like to stay up past my bed time every night and that the dark makes me come alive, My brain works better here in the night when I can pull madness from the air and lie it on the ground at my feet. From above it is a map and I can see yesterday & today and tomorrow doesn't look to scary.
I'm up to the same old tricks. Songs on repeat and made up words that wipe slates clean.
Stop. Pause. Stop.
I struggle here sometimes.
How to share without revealing my skin.
This ones just for me.
*< For all those who have questioned why I am still here in Sweden scroll all the way down & Enjoy >*
The snow arrived finally two days after the last of my comrades departed. I think this was Ytterjarna's extra special welcome to me for the next five weeks. I am doing my internship here on this campus. I haven't left like everyone else and the world is absolutely quiet now.
I'm unwrapping myself, releasing question after question into the still night air and screaming with my fingers across pages. The answers echo off the heaters and burn my lips dry and I promise I will drink more water tomorrow but today there is uncertainty to shoulder and icy mountains to climb. In the late night I take 100 steps between my student house to the little farm house and the trees creak their usual goodnight as I pass. In the moonlight the snow allows me to believe in glittery perfection again, and I say "Thank You". I leave my jacket unzipped and choke on chilling air that beats it's way past the cashmere, past the layer behind that, into my chest, and then I'm inside again and the chill in the little house is thought to be warmth against the outside, for just a moment.
Kitty runs to the door and follows my every step kitchen, bathroom, bedroom. The house has a funny layout. I walk past the pen on the kitchen table that waits for my morning sit. It makes me feel settled. I've left another pen on the bedroom dresser, my night pen, the xs small, fine point scrawl. I make the bed and tuck in the sides of the comforter. I want it to look inviting. I light two candles and turn off all the lights. Kitty wants attention but so do the pages.
I'm in my very own movie complete with sheer curtains in soft colours and a mosquito net that ca- coons me in and makes me feel exotic. There's a window by my bed to look out of admire the blanket of snow, although I rarely do. Instead I admire the curtains as I've been searching for these exact ones for three years, and somehow the farmers in little Ytterjarna got it right. I set my alarm two hours earlier then I'll get up because I still have hope. I sharply blow out the candles so as not to splatter wax and lay in the night. Uncertainty lies in the cold where his body should be and whispers me to bed wth promises of joy and a net to catch my free falling body.
When I wake I'm alone which is foreign and familiar all at once. The light has turned up here in the north, and I can see Kitty's outline and the half moon in the sky. It is so beautiful.
As part of our curriculum here at YIP we, the participants go on an internship for a month to a country and organization of our choice. This is a chance for us to practice engaging in the world with what we have been learning here at YIP.
We've been in the process of researching, forming groups and deciding where in the world we would go for the past three months. Every outcome is the culmination of hours of dedicated work and difficult conversations that tested ones ability to be confronted on matters that varied from very personal to overall acceptance of 'things just not going your way'.
As my time here continues, it becomes more and more important to me that this documentation serves as a glimpse of 'our' journey here together. I write always from my perspective on my experiences, but my experiences are as rich as they are because of the individuals at my side. I wanted to share what can only always be a peek into the worlds that I am so fortunate to be sharing time with. We are each such a part of each others lives, that when I sat down and took these photos and heard these words, I was so proud and happy for every individual for standing up to this challenge and following through. When Kalani and I were dropping off the Dance Group at the train station we both walked back to the van so in awe over the fact that they, we are doing it. Every individual here picked an internship that would be personally challenging yet seemed absolutely necessary. We wondered without YIP if each of us would be stepping out with the confidence we were, or if even at all.
Below are words from some of my peers. I asked them to each just briefly speak about where and why they are going and what their internship means to them. Below each photo you can find links (if available) to the organizations of their choice.
To check out the full YIP internship map check out the link below ;)
As part of our curriculum here at YIP we, the participants go on an internship for a month to a country and organization of our choice. This is a chance for us to practice engaging in the world with what we have been learning here, at YIP.