In the world today
we need thick skin
can our skin get?
Mine seem to
my vains are
we need thick skin
in the world today
go right through it
I have friends that are such animal lovers that they almost prefer animals to human relations. Normally I don’t consider myself to be one of those, I like animals, especially cats, but I can easily be afraid of big barking dogs. Today has been different, though. We are in the middle of winter, we have snow and it is cold, and as for most people, the majority of my days are spent indoors. Today I went to the zoo. And I met a lot of beautiful majestic animals and combined with a lot of fresh and cold air this day brought me a renewed joy for life.
-all photos are taken in the Kristiansand Zoo, Norway
Sometimes I wonder, why do I write?
And my instant answer is;
This Christmas I got a new jewellery box. It was one I saw online and I told my Dad that I had a Christmas wish. Normally I don’t get that expensive gifts from him anymore, but this year was a bit different.
Last Christmas, I didn’t get anything from him. My Dad is in his eighties, and he has never been very much into the gift scene. It was always my Mom that picked up our birthday and Christmas gifts, and for her, the act of giving was her language of love. All the presents she bought were well thought on, and they were always beautiful wrapped and decorated, and very often accompanied by a lovely poem or some good words on a card.
That was her thing. I’ve never expected my Dad to pick up my Moms traditions, when she passed away some years ago. And he has been brutally honest and said that he does not know what to do with present, and he has asked me for help. So I help him with presents.
And there are a lot of presents, especially for Christmas. I have two brothers, both married, and they both have two sons. And I have my sister, also married, and she has four children. The two eldest are married as well, and one of them has a baby-daughter. And then there is my aunt, my Moms sister. So all in all, I arranged 20 presents for him at Christmas.
I thought I had remembered everything, I bought wine and books for my brothers, theatre tickets for my sisters-in-laws, toys for the kids, educational board games, music and other wishes were granted. But I forgot about myself.
When Christmas Eve came, and I didn’t get a gift from my Dad, my feelings took me on a roller-coaster ride that was unexpected for me. I felt unappreciated, I felt overlooked. I felt like I was five years old, and didn’t get to play with my elder siblings. And in the middle of my hurt feelings, I also felt ridiculous.
I’m a grown woman. My Dad is an old man. I should not expect him to think of a gift for me. But then again, I am hurt that nobody in my big family could think of asking him if he needed help to buy me a gift. I have a sister and two sister-in-laws, and I have two brothers, and they all can find their way to the mall in the pre-Christmas spirit and time. They just didn’t think about it. Maybe they thought that someone else would do it. They probably thought my Dad thought about it.
So, even though I still think somebody should have helped him, I’m not indulging in bad and sad feelings. But, when I saw this beautiful jewellery box in an internet store, I decided to ask for it.
Of course he said yes. He is a kind man, and if I had told him how hurt I was last year, he would have been really upset. As I said, I’m a grown woman. And sometimes, especially around Christmas time, I feel like a little girl.
So I bought the jewellery box online, paid for it myself, and went to the post and fetched it when it was delivered. I did not open the carton it was in, but I used a roll of wrapping paper to make a beautiful gift as the one my Mom used to give me.
The reason I wanted a Jewellery Box was my mother’s jewellery. If you have read my blog earlier, you will now that last spring, my siblings and I emptied and sold our childhood home. As a part of that process my sister and I divided our mom’s jewellery. She had quite a lot, and looking through her boxes, was a long trip down memory lane for both of us. There were the ear-rings that she always wore for Christmas; there were her pearls she used when she went to funerals or business dinners. And there were the brooches that we used to play with, when we played with our Barbie dolls, and they got dressed up for a big event.
We divided everything, and I was really proud to be the new owner of some of her most precious pieces. Not that they were all that precious money-wise, but in memory. I know my sister had the same feelings, and with three daughters she also had someone to pass them on to. That’s why I let her take all the rings, and most of the brooches. I only wanted pieces that I had a strong memory of, or that I saw I could use today, to accessorise my outfits.
In the process of tidy up and empting our childhood house, I also found my old jewellery boxes; the one with the turning ballerina and the ones that my aunt has painted for me. They were filled with my childhood jewellery and a lot of plastic creations from my youth in the 80s. So all in all, I suddenly had seven small and four bigger jewellery boxes, all filled with things.
That’s why the big, fresh and new jewellery box was so appealing to me.
When I asked for the jewellery box, I explained to my Dad that I felt I had so many nice pieces of jewellery, and I needed a storage place for them all. He thought it was a splendid idea, and told me to order it, and make it a present to me from him.
I did. And I used most of the evening on the 25.of December to move into my new box. It has to be mentioned here that in our country we give the gifts for Christmas on Christmas Eve the 24.th, so when I was home again, in my beautiful and silent home, I had my favourite Christmas movie on the telly, and I was covering the couch and my coffee table with all the things I found in my boxes.
I felt like moving into a new home, and it was almost as I could feel their excitement of getting a new place to stay. The beautiful gold-pieces I have from my mother moved into the top floor of my box. The ones that were sparkly and silver went into the next “floor” just beyond the penthouse. I also put the small jewellery that I got when I was a baby in that floor. My crazy bling and souvenir pieces from my travelling around the world went into the left pocket of my box. In the right pocket of the box, I got all the jewellery for my Norwegian folkloric costume. All my earrings went into the first floor of the box, and the last floor is made out of a special travelling box, that can be taken out of the box. In there I put some everyday jewellery, and my watches.
And then the “Inn” was full. I looked at the rest of my treasures on my coffee table, and divided them into “thrash” and “fun presents for little nieces”. I kept the two small heart-boxes my aunt has painted for me, and in there I put brooches in the first one and an especially ugly necklace in the other one. My Mom loved that necklace; she called it the “American” one, even though we all knew she had bought it on the ferry to Denmark. I don’t like it, and there are no room for it in my new jewellery box. But it’s not thrash and not a suitable gift for young girls. It’s a memory, and it fits into a heart shaped hand painted memory box.
My new jewellery box was a present from my Dad. It is filled with presents from my Mom. And it’s filled with memories of a happy childhood and a good life. And when I look at my dresser where my beautiful white jewellery box is reigning, I feel organized and grown up, but most of all I feel blessed and thankful. I love my new jewellery box.
I got a very cute message this morning, from a very handsome cat, Mr.O’Mally and his assistant. They were out in their garden to check if they could start harvesting some apples, and they had brought my book, “3898 words about life” with them.
I love this. Not only because it’s my book. No, the idea of sharing poetry in your everyday life, that’s amazing. And to share my poems with the cat is just great.
I’ll have to try harder to make this work with my cats as well!
This is not the first time Mr O’Mally listens to my poems though. Earlier this year he was waiting for his morning walk patiently, while his assistant had her morning read.
Thank you for making my day, Mr O’Mally!
I like to write. Some days I even love to write. I want to make my days full of writing opportunities. And some days I don’t like to write. Some days I don’t even think I can write.
But I always love to have written. (ref: Gloria Steinem)
How can I make my writing become a great story, instead of ramblings around a good idea?
I have days where my writing just keep going, my fantasy feed my story with new ideas and great conversations, themes and plots come effortless up on my computer screen. And then there are times where all I get from my fantasies are other people’s ideas, things I’ve read before, and words that have been used in the same contexts by others.
I just read the first chapter of my book again, and met clichés where I thought I had put originality. I know what I want to say, but I need to find a way to say it sharper. And in between my good ideas, I need to tell the rest of the story. Today I find it hard. I don’t know how to continue. Should it be so hard? Should I give up?
The only reason I can’t give up today, is that I need to know the rest of my story. If I don’t write it, I will never know. And I need to know. So I need to write.
I don’t always like to write. But I love to have written.