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and I hope you do, will.

My mother lives by the ocean. It´s a tiny town named Lønstrup, her garden is lush and you can always hear the slow, steady sound of the waves rolling in.

My mamma and I didn´t always see eye to eye but we do now and it means the world to me.
The strong love and the equally strong stubbornness that governs every truce. The respect that grows out of the time. The acceptance, forgiveness and understanding that none of us can live without.

My mother finds old worn wooden boards down by the seaside

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and then she paints them and hangs them on the wall

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Now that both she and her husband, my stepfather, have retired they have committed themselves full-time to the arts.
They used to be kinda super bosses and work all the time but now he´s a singer/songwriter (featured on Dansktoppen!) and she paints, knits, makes collages and create the most beautiful pieces of crocheting and embroidery.

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(I totally recommend this book!)

As you know we are going through some hard times in our family right now.
You go through stages of chok, denial, anger, remorse, back to anger, back to self loathing, back to sorrow back to being a viking warrior, braided hair, shield, let´s go and that´s just how life is to me and that´s just how life was to us and that´s just how it is and maybe it won´t continue to be that way. But it´s ok. Because I know how to make meaning, I know how to create content, I know how to weave stories and stitch the wounds together with the thin red thread.

Sometimes you just need your mother though.
And sometimes you just need your sister.
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And sometimes you just need a freggin chicken asparagus patty shell and a cold beer
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And patience while your mother experiment with the shutter speed

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I don´t see them a lot.

I live in the wild woods far, far away and they live by the beloved sea.
We live different lives, have different standards maybe even different values… but it´s funny how my mother, in her retirement, has begun prioritizing the creative expressions of art, and it´s funny how my sister reads books every night and it´s funny how good it is to feel those family bonds, that kind of support, those threads.

Soon I´m going back to the wilderness, little Thunderboy Rubysword (his chosen last name) and my husband.
We are getting married again.
We´ll be tying the knots and strengthening the bonds because you need to do that… once in a while.

I have launched a subscription service to this blog and to my work in general.
I have also reopened my facebook account.
I would like to work for YOU and not the machine, I would like to do videos and strengthen the conversation about climate change, sustainability, homesteading and nature in general ( maybe book groups as someone suggested – wonderful idea!). This is my chosen path. This is my work.
It is helpful to work. To do. To act.

My mother and my sister promised to subscribe (I´m holding you up to that, support the arts!) but I hope you will too because see, my mother worked so, so hard and so much for all of her life- now she has the money and the time to paint homes and crochet blankets like the one that covers me right now and that´s good and I don´t know what our lives would have looked like if she had chosen the arts instead and it dosn´t matter, we can chose different paths, it´s all good.
What matters are the bonds and the ties and the connections and the conversations.

And the deep rumble of the rolling waves.

And that was a subscription page. Right here.

11 comments on “Strengthening the bonds

  1. Andrea, I’m your patron. I’m pledging the same monthly support that I give to Ben Hewitt. I hope this helps you do your work. Love, Renee

    Liked by 1 person

  2. PS I want one of those chicken asparagus thingy’s with a beer! I think I’m the same age as your ma. I retired and am making my art, too. I worked pretty hard all my life but I didn’t make enough money, I guess, because I’m still poor but that won’t matter as long as my health holds up. Right now. Right here. I am happy. Very happy.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It´s good to hear, Renee.
      My perspective on being poor has changed a lot after I went to the woods. Steady income and all that has changed…. I used to think I would DIE if I didn´t have the social security net underneath me (it used to be a rather elaborate social security net here in the well fare state socialist Scandinavian countries), I used to think we would DIE if we chose a different path than that which was layed out in front of us.
      But we didn´t.

      For americans I think this (my fear) can sometimes be hard to understand because you live in countries where the DIY attitude and maybe general poverty is bigger, you have had to rely soley on yourselves right from the beginning whereas I grew up thinking that I could actually rely on someone else.

      Huge shift in mindset!
      (and so I appreciate your support much more than you know- both the monetary support but also the commenting and the sharing and the general sense of “not being alone” that we nurture on this blog and blogs like it (bens for instance… I HAVE to write about him soon! 🙂

      Like

      1. Well, I’ve been poor my whole life except for about 15 years in the middle so I’m well versed in being poor. I think being poor is better than being rich because being poor makes a person more self sufficient and sensible (well, it can, and I’ve seen poor people who make very bad choices). However, being old and poor is a lot different than being young and poor because when one is young one’s health carries one through. If one is old, poor and in bad health that is a bad combination. Right now I am reasonably healthy but I am still only 64 years old. I sometimes worry how it will be (if I’m still alive) when I’m 74, 84 or 94. I haven’t figured out a solution.

        I think we have a pretty robust welfare system in this country and people avail themselves of it but, yes. Americans generally are rugged individualists. At least they are when they live in the country like we do!

        I am pleased to be able to contribute to your work. It is my honor. Even though it is small I believe every bit helps.

        Like

  3. Every bit does help! Encouragement comes in many forms and shapes- I´ve begun to be super nice to people on the streets, small talking, saying something funny, spreading a positve vibe. It´s an act of protest and rebellion to the ways things are going!
    Renee, you can always come to the forest. I´ll chop your wood any day of the week and twice on a sunday! 😉

    Like

  4. ncfarmchick says:

    Sounds like you’ve found some happiness in the midst of your recent worries. Good to hear! Your mom and sister sound like good folk. Sometimes it is comforting to be around people who have known you your whole life even if things have been rocky at times.
    I wish I could contribute financially to your work but that is just not in the cards right now. I know the admiration and appreciation of others doesn’t pay the bills but I hope you know how much your words mean to me. Peace!

    Like

    1. Oh, money dosn´t matter like that! I love your support, your comments and the way we share thoughts. Thanks for being here! 🙂

      Like

      1. ncfarmchick says:

        So happy to have found you!

        Like

  5. nicoleaugust says:

    Yeah Andrea ! This makes it so much easier for people in other countries to support you !

    Like

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