Update on Morning Pages [206/365]

For more than a month, I’ve been doing this “exercise” of writing three pages in longhand every morning.

Even though I never go back in time and read, it has meant [and means] a lot of good stuff on a personal level. I never thought I’d hear myself say this; but it has changed things for me. Normally, I wouldn’t really believe that putting pen to paper would make a difference to putting fingers to keyboard, even though a lot of research has been done on this. It does, for me.

This might get a little personal, but I’ve always been prone to dwelling on old [bad] stuff. All of a sudden I could come to think about something that happened ten, twelve years ago, get upset over it again, and the feeling wouldn’t leave me. It would sit in my gut like a big, ugly knot for days. This has actually happened during this month. I wrote about it in the Morning Pages … in three pages I spilled out every detail of it, and examined it. It’s gone! It was such a sense of relief … it was freeing, to realise I will not dwell on that thing again.

I don’t feel in any way committed to doing this. This is something I want to do now, I look forward to it as soon as I get up. While I have the very first sips of coffee, I squiggle my pen and think for a bit … then I’m at it. In one of my earlier posts, I think I said in a comment “it’s like yoga in writing”, and it still feels that way — even though I don’t know what yoga feels like, I can only imagine.

FullSizeRender 19I’ve almost filled up my first Clairefontaine notebook (called Unplugged 🙂), but I have another one in store. This whole handwriting/fountain pen/notebook thing, really came together in a nice way for me.

Today is our second wedding anniversary … even though we’ve been together for twelve years. As I’ve said so many times before; time does indeed fly! We’ll probably go out and have dinner somewhere … in some nice, air-conditioned place 😉.


The things we leave behind [204/365]

For today’s post I was out of subjects. Started to look around in WordPress Daily Post, and found an article “The things we leave behind”. It was interesting and well written.

harnosand_viewWhat first came to my mind was my home. I left pretty much my whole existence behind when I moved in May 2004. I brought a box with me … 20 kilos … that’s what was I deemed important enough to ship. Little items … mementos … Now, all my “stuff” is packed and stored away back in Sweden. It is just that: stuff. I’ve lived here for twelve years now, and haven’t been in any dire need for any of that stuff. How important was it all?!

blue_cupSometimes I think of some little item, fondly, and feel a little tug of the heart strings. Honestly, it can be really silly things, like a towel or a coffee mug!  Then I ask myself what’s important. They are just dead things … not living beings like my husband or our cat. I should be happy that I have had them instead, and I can always look at this, blue cup here in this picture, knowing it’s safely tucked away in a box. Besides, in twelve years, I have accumulated plenty of new stuff that I really like. Should I have to move again, I’d be faced with the same questions … what to leave behind.

I also left behind a whole country … my little hometown … family, friends, co-workers — the list  goes on. Took me close to eight years before I ever went back again. They all made it just fine without me, and likewise I made it fine too. Life goes on, on both continents. Nothing is static. My town had changed, but not so much, at least not visibly. Sometimes it happens that I sense that little tug of the heart strings again, when I think of my hometown, but those times are becoming more and more rare. Strangely, it’s the town in itself, somehow — not necessarily the people in it.

The country seemed to have changed too, but I couldn’t really pin-point what it was — something about the atmosphere — it felt colder. Now it’s been two years since I was there and since then they’ve received 190,000 refugees. That’s a huge amount of people considering how small a country it is. That fact has certainly made a difference. The population of Sweden is approximately ten million people. To put this in perspective; Canada has received 25,000 and it’s a huge country.

Now, this is stuff I know nothing about, but from what I read in the media it has clearly affected the country.

To sum this up: I’ve left a lot behind as you can see and that didn’t mean a thing. Not to me, not to the others. All in all, I think if we’d stop paying such great importance to ourselves, and to “stuff”, we’d see things in a whole different light. That is what I’ve learnt from all of this.

more blue [180/365]

IMG_3016Just received a bottle of blue ink, that I’d ordered from Amazon. This little glass bottle was delivered by FedEx.

It’s something about FedEx … I always expect it to be at least a box of some sort, not a lightweight envelope. Anyway, it’s here now. I’ve found this Cross ink to be the most fast-drying, even when I write on the extremely, smooth paper in my Clairefontaine notebook. I still write with my hand in the hooked position, so I keep dragging it over the text. Not one sign of smudging!

The other day, I learned something new, from an acquaintance. He’d posted a photo of his new fountain pen on Facebook, and we started talking a little about that. Turns out I can fill up the empty cartridges with regular ink, by using a syringe with a long needle. I had no idea, and wouldn’t have come up with it, myself, either.

This whole thing, with the fountain pen, has been such a delightful experience! Just the fact that I can use one, in spite of being left-handed, plus the fact that at this ripe age, I’m getting a fairly decent handwriting — something I always wished for. Not that I have much to write, but there are people who have thought of that already: 18 things to do with an empty notebook. So now I can make use of, at least some, of my notebooks. Not the Moleskine ones, though — they’re not for fountain pens. I write my three Morning Pages still … I’m up to perhaps eight days now, and I still like it.

Moleskine [118/365]

Still practicing with my fountain pen … haven’t give up on that … yet.

It’s as if I have to make up my mind what to do with the whole project: as things stand now, I can use it and write in my ordinary way, but only on certain kinds of paper.

If I use it and write with my arm in a strange, twisted position, I can write anywhere. Then I also get a different handwriting.

So … it’s all a matter of what I want to do.

  • Do I only want to write with it here at home ?
  • Do I want to carry it with me, in order to always be able to bring out this beautiful writing instrument?!

Time will probably tell.

[clickable for better viewing]
This morning, however, I decided to test it in one of my Moleskine Notebooks. I had a Moleskine, ruled, soft-cover lying around here, and I wanted to see what the paper was like … how the pen acted. It wasn’t good — it bled through. I wrote in the twisted postition, by the way. Not sure how a fine nib would have done — I don’t think that’s the issue.


spring light [115/365]

When the daylight comes back, after you’ve lived in almost complete and utter darkness, for several months, I think it screws with your mind. Don’t know what it is, whether it’s hormones or enzymes that’s wreaking havoc, … at least with my mind.

Where I’m from, in Sweden … it’s on 62ºN (we now live on 45ºN), so it’s not the northernmost area, but still … we get very few hours of daylight in wintertime. Up in the real north, they get no daylight.

Spring Thaw

Then the bright light of Spring comes back in full force, and perhaps it gets like a shock to the system. At least, that’s how I felt when I was young. I was seventeen when I started to work, and stayed with that company for twelve years.

One time, early on, this spring-light-thing happened. I was too young to really reflect on what was happening … I didn’t get depressed, but rather wanted change, breaking up, move … anything. I don’t think I even saw the connection until I was in my early twenties. Anyway, I must have been at least eighteen, because I remember I had my car. Went and got a new job, then back to work and handed in my resignation.

In hindsight, I can only imagine what a disaster this would have been, because I actually loved my job, and the place where I was working. Luckily, half an hour later, I was called in to the managing director. He talked to me … asked me what was going on, if something had happened and so on. We talked it over and It so happened that he knew the guy in the new place. He called him up and got me out of this silliness. Later on, I was forever grateful that he did, because those twelve years there, were my best working years of my life.

Other times, I’ve broken up from relationships or  moved apartment, just for the sake of it. That was alright, I guess … each time I thought “this is the last time I move — I don’t want to see another banana box”.  In these days of the Internet, I could have just put a new theme on my blog 😄. I think just about anything new/any kind of change would have done the trick.

Over the years, this diminished, and eventually vanished. It’s spring right now, and I don’t feel it the slightest. Besides, it’s not as dark here, as it is back home, either.

follow-up [111/365]

My new fountain pen and I are doing great. I’m practicing every day, and hopefully, there will be more of these “follow-ups” as I go along.

As long as I stick to the yellow notepad paper I mentioned in previous post on this subject, or if I find a similar, good absorbing paper, I’ll be just fine … in spite of being a southpaw. I’ve given up on holding my hand in a different angle — that was just too painful, and produced an entirely different script. I’d rather make sure the paper and ink is alright instead.

As I was browsing around, here in WordPress this morning, I found that handwriting was the Daily Prompt on the 2nd of April, so lots was posted about this. Thanks to that, I also found this helpful link, about improving one’s handwriting. I’m going to check out those various videos and tips in there, and I’ll post it here now, in case someone is interested: IMPROVE HANDWRITING.

Another thing I learned, while reading various blogs, was that cursive script is no longer  taught in school. Isn’t that kind of sad?! Will the kids be able to read old notes and stuff they’ll find as they grow up?! I had no idea about this.

I’m still ‘affected’ by the handwriting I was taught when I was seven, even though of course I’ve added a lot of personality to my letters. I remember how they pointed out the importance of not to make lowercase n look like u, and that my mother did that anyway 🙂 All her lowercase n:s and m:s looked like u.

Although I’m sixty, I think it’s possible to improve my handwriting — I’ve come to believe that now. It’s something I’ve always wanted, I should have started it before the Internet came around, while I still was writing letters … oodles of them, and long ones too.

Good Friday [85/365]

easter_lilyIt’s early morning of Good Friday. In my native tongue, it would be called Long Friday [Långfredag].

Being a kid, and later teenager, Good Friday certainly felt very long. You were hardly allowed to do anything, and certainly not to go anywhere. As I grew up, at times I tried to rebel against my mum, but was always told the same story: “This is nothing!!! When I was young, I had to wear black ribbons in my hair!!!” That was what it was like back then, in Lutheran but also secularized, Sweden. Later on, some store started to keep open on Good Friday, for a few hours, and she was very upset about that. Not because she was extremely religious, but because she was a  traditionalist.

Living here in Saint John now, I get that old feeling of Good Friday back. Now that I’m certainly not a teenager anymore, wanting to hang out with my friends all the time, I appreciate the stillness of the holiday. Here, everything comes to a grinding halt … the silence is almost palpable and this year, even the weather is playing along. The skies are grey as steel, we have freezing rain, it’s as if the whole atmosphere in itself is grey.