They have stories here, stories rooted in the land itself, in the mountains and in the spring-wells, in the deep, dark, damp forests that not even the roman empire (I spit) could invade.
Unfortunately we later cut down all of the trees and the deep, dark, damp woods of our ancestors, the wild tribes of the north, mostly disappeared but the fairy tales did not. The stories did not. As I said, they are here.
They have been recorded by monks and folklorists, researchers and historians and some are even still being told to this day; see now, give the tooth to the tooth-fairy, little one and she will bless you with luck. Hang your pacifier on this tree, as an offering to the good spirits of the land and they will be your friends. Crawl through this hole in this tree. Drink this water from this well. Fear the wolf. Do not look into the surface water of the lake for too long or the creature of the lake will take you. On christmas night you place a bowl of porridge on the attic to the guardian spirit of your home. If you find a four-leaf clover you keep it for good luck. Never go to the wetlands or the bogs for they are haunted, people died there, there´ll be bottomless pits and ghosts for the wetlands are portals to the underworld, beware!
A lot of the stories doesnt make sense anymore.
A lot of them seem absurd but it´s not because they are irelevant, it´s because we dont understand. I believe it is a problem of translation.
Take the internet for example.
If there ever was a place worthy of the name “the other world”….
The stories are very clear about the other world; you can go there and you can find answers, wisdom – but also death and many monsters. Most people die if they go to the internet- and if they stay there for too long.
It a very dangerous place.
As for the elves and the fairies; so beautiful they are, more beautiful than anything in the whole wide world, their songs, their dances… but they are hollow in the back, you see, and if you dance with them you will be lost to the real world forever. Be careful of the elves and the fairies for they will lure you in and tell you what you want to hear and they will keep you in their tight grip forever and forever and forever and forever.
As will the mountain king; the troll. He will present himself as rich and very knowledgeable – but he prefers to attack the young women and he will snatch them and trick them and keep them in his cold prison forever.
The first book I wrote was a children’s novel about Ragnarok. I wrote it because of the internet; because somebody had read one of my blogs and thought that I could write well and so asked me to write that novel.
The second book I wrote is called “Andrea Hejlskov” because I though my self to be a construction, an identity negotiated- it was the first “facebook book” in my country and it consisted of inbox messages and notes I had written, status updates and conversations. The second novel was the book about how and why we ran into the wild.
The third book, the one I am working on now, will be the last book in this trilogy of mine; a triology of freedom, identity, me.
I don’t think I want to write autofiction/nonfiction anymore.
So as I sit here contemplating the nature of my work and where I want to go, I realize how much the internet have been a part of it.
I was there when internet arrived. I remember it clearly. I was sitting in my bed with a friend of mine, we found a forum, created an avatar and within seconds we were speaking to somebody across the globe. We were so exhilarated, we screamed and jumped around in the bed in excitement.
A couple of years later I created my facebook account which I have now deleted. I don´t believe in facebook anymore- but oh god, I did! I used to believe in facebook with the conviction of a born again christian.
I believed in it so much.
I believed in the people, in taking back the power, I believed in solidarity and in the importance of sharing stories. I believed in US. That is also why I blogged a lot, I have blogged for so many years, had so many blogs… even when we ran into the wilderness I would crawl up on the mountain from time to time to upload a blog post.
I believed in transparency.
I believed that if we all stepped forth and showed our selves, had the courage to, the world would become a better place for we would see, all of us, that we are not alone and that we have been constricted in the straitjacket of popular culture for too long, we could break free. Together!
As for my coming book I think the internet plays a role too because to write it I had to unplug. I had to stop the stream of consciousness, my uploading to the communal cloud of the human race. I had to turn not to the sky- but to the land, to the soil, to the ground beneath my feet. Face down.
I fear the internet now.
I fear it with conviction. I am uneasy about it and when I go there I go there with caution.
I think I have been consumed by the internet. Eaten. I think I have danced with the fairies, around and around and around it went, I became so dizzy, so confused.
This is what I know about the internet; it is a place to go and for the shaman and the witches of this world it is important to go there – for there is wisdom and answers and knowledge and things that we need there. Cross the border of consciousness, ride the edges of language. But don’t stay there for too long and dont go there too often and when you go; go with caution, be aware.
I take breaks now.
Whenever I feel consumed I unplug for a couple of days. It makes me feel behind, left out, such a looser. Fear of missing out and everything, yes, it gives me the creeps to unplug, I feel uneasy when I do; all the pretty people all the pretty places all the important work. And I’m just here sitting in a house in the middle of the forest; what for?
But then the feeling eases and I begin to notice everything here again. How the trees communicate to me, the boulders and the forest floor, how everything here is ALIVE.
And I remember who I am.
And I don´t care if I´m not the prettiest woman of them all. Mirror, mirror on the wall.
A friend came to visit.
We were talking about the state of the world because these are things that needs to be talked about. I said “you know what? I feel like it’s getting better”.
My friend stared at me and told me that really it is not. It´s not getting better. Not at all. It is continously getting worse. Worse and worse.
She said that it is because I am here, surrounded by oaks and wetlands and bogs “this little paradise of yours” she said and I dont know what she meant because it dosnt feel like a paradise at all. She said it is because this place has given me a false sense of optimism. She said “Its because you´re not online anymore”
I remember how much of a whiny asshole I was and maybe still am. I remember how I used to complain that everybody wanted me to be happy in nature but that I was not.
I had to whine, I don´t regret it, it was necessary for me to become who I am now- and I still think the images produced and offered into popular culture about rewilding and simple living are nothing but commercials but ok; to call me an optimist… I still think its kind of a stretch.
So I laughed at my friend and we went to swim in the black lake.
But here is the thing. I have been thinking about it a lot: I honestly don´t think the trees are afraid.