Saturday, January 07, 2006

älskade mormor

i've just come back from sweden where my mormor died dec. 26, 2005. there are so many thoughts in my head and heart about the trip, the funeral, my many memories of mormor and the kind of person she was and what she meant/means to me and to others. i know i have a lot to write down about all this, but right now the web doesn't seem like the place. maybe later it will.

i have a picture, which for some reason i don't want to post here but will describe instead. it was taken before i was born i think, or shortly thereafter. it is of the dirt, gravel road/path leading up to my grandparents' vallsta summer house, where my family spent many summers. the forest and mossy ground is in silhouette on either side of the narrow road. at the top of the road's incline lies vallsta, but because of the way the sun is shining on it, one can barely make out its outline, just the peak of its roof is visible. walking up the road, their backs to the picturetaker, are my grandparents, whose figures are small and a bit faint, but are so clearly them.

i look at this picture and think of a poem mormor told me morfar (grandfather) asked mormor to read to him near the end of his life. it is a love poem written by sten selander called luftslott. (directly translated luftslott means air castle. not knowing exactly how swedes read this, i read it as castle in the air, or heavenly castle.) in the poem, the poet writes in his old age to his wife about their growing old together and about their loved summer house where they will soon go (their luftslott), far from reality where everything is beautiful. he describes the house in a way that one can tell it is a real place, but at the same time it might also be heaven. when i look at the picture of my grandparents walking up the road to vallsta with the bright summer light ahead of them, i see them walking to their luftslott and feel like they are together there now.

the below picture is of my grandparents, in the early 70's i'd guess, in front of vallsta.



(for swedes, you can read sten selander's luftslott poem here.)

19 comments:

lyn said...

What a wonderful, happy, loving photograph.
Thinking of you.
xxx

nichola said...

Sorry to hear about your Grandma. What a wonderful picture of the two of them. xx

Fiona said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to read about your Mormor. Take care. xo

strangelittlemama said...

thinking of you.
your mormor looks like a fun & feisty woman.

Di said...

I'm so sorry for you and your family. Thankyou for sharing such beautiful and moving post. Your description of the photo was wonderful and brought vivid images to my mind.

shobhana said...

your words about your grandparents are beautiful.

my heart goes out to you.

stephanie said...

beautiful sentiments. such a great quality in that photo.

i'm sorry for your loss. happy new year.

Nicole said...

So sorry for your loss. Beautiful memories. big hugs.

michelle said...

So sorry for your loss, give yourself time to heal. In the blog sort of way we are all here with you and send you our best :).

Ayelet said...

So sorry about your loss. I read your blog for quite a while now and always enjoyed seeing your photos of your grandma. She looks like she was a loved person.

Camilla Engman said...

Kerstin, vad ledsamt att höra om din mormor...

Anya said...

Sending you lots of love and tears from me here in Ohio... I love you, Kerstin! ((hugs))

Anya said...

I'm re-reading your blog again... the poem is amazing... so perfect. I hope it gives you some comfort now...

tania said...

oh I am so sorry about your loss.
what beautiful imagery... I hope my dad is that the luftslott too.
it sounds peaceful.
-thoughts to you-

Elise said...

I've never commented on your journal before, even though I've been reading it for awhile. But I wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss. It always made me smile to read your posts about your mormor. I had the world's greatest mormor too, who also passed away on Christmas some years ago.

The poem is lovely. I would describe luftslott as a grand and unrealistic dream that never comes true in life...

Again, I'm sorry.

jess said...

I am so sorry.

mav said...

oh. i am so sorry about mormor. the images you posted of her from your last trip are very fresh in my mind. i know what it is like to lose a grandparent after just having seen them and it all stays so fresh in your mind... the images. all i can say is that i will hold you in my heart and be wishing you well! mav

Michele (no longer in Boston) said...

I'm so sorry about your Mormor. You are in my thoughts...
Your description of Selander's poem and its significance is incredibly moving -- I wish I could read Swedish.

poppy said...

very sorry to hear of your mormor's passing. she really looked like a sweet and beautiful person. and i'm sure she was even more than that. it is so sad to loose our grandparents as they are so wise and unconditionally loving. my thoughts are with you shash.