Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Last night there was something about my room that reminded me of staying at my grandparents’. It was the strangest thing. I hadn’t been thinking about them before I went to bed. Then all the sudden my room felt different. The light, the air, the weight of my covers. The upstairs and/or downstairs neighbors’ lights were on, casting a dim light in my dark room. Something about the dim light was so peaceful. The way the meeting of the wall and the ceiling was unclear. Everything soft and gradual. And the rain falling down. And strangely, my sheets and covers even felt like Swedish ones. Sheets and covers always feel a specific way to me in Sweden. It’s like they’re all some uniform weight and texture there, that they are not here. My body feels different under them. I had shaved my legs recently and the smoothness felt different. I felt a bit like a child. Protected and calm, the way I felt at my grandparents’.
Then I started worrying about forgetting all the ways my granparents’ house(s) felt. All the objects and rooms where they lived (in Vallsta, pa Kungsholmen in Stockholm and at Edsatra). And them. Started crying and crying worrying about forgetting. Mormor’s death felt real for the first time really since it happened in December. I guess it’s normal that it can take a while to feel the absence. In between the crying, the peaceful feeling in my room remained.
So many of my likes and dislikes are formed by my childhood experiences of my grandparents’ houses. The strangest things. Old scissors. I remember my grandparents had all these old timey metal scissors at Vallsta. They hung by the old timey stove on pegs. And the scissors followed them in their move to Stockholm and followed my mormor in her move to Edsatra. Other kitchen items I have a fondness for - a carrot peeler, a bread crumb maker, dishes. My favorite fruits are berries. I’m sure this is related to the raspberry, blueberry and wild strawberry picking we did at Vallsta. I love whipped cream, which I’m sure is related to the whipped cream my mormor made. Sure these are all good things and I’d probably like them anyway*, but there’s a certain way in which tasting, seeing these things gives a momentary feeling of wholeness to me or something. It’s not just being sentimental (though I can’t deny I’m terribly sentimental), but it’s related to how I was formed??
I think back to my friends’ houses when I was little and even friends’ houses now. They all have such a specific feel to them. It's neat how everyone's space has its own feeling. And it’s not that I would choose to furnish my house the way my grandparents did. But I still loved the feeling of their house because it felt like them. It was filled with them. I’m sure sights, smells etc. will remind me of them and the feeling in their house, like the way my room reminded me last night. But it’s sad to think I’ll never be able to physically enter their house again, be among only their things, with them.
*I do also like Emser tabletter, which are not very popular among young people. They are considered old lady candies/throat lozenges, but I like them. I remember mormor having them on her nightstand at Vallsta and letting me share her Emser tabletter. Some of my cousins like them too and I bet that’s related to our memories.