Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Winter Wiew

About a month ago, in my back yard. I was spending a few days by myself, writing and reading, and this was the view from my work table. 
Omtrent en måned siden, i hagen min. Jeg var alene noen dager, skrev og leste, og dette var utsikten fra arbeidsbordet mitt.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Morning by Edvard Munch

This scene was painted by Munch in 1884. It is called Morgen (Morning) or Pike på Sengekanten (Girl sitting on a bed) . It  can be seen IRL at the Art Museums of Bergen, but I got to see it at the big Edvard Munch Exhibit last year at the National Gallery of Oslo.

Edvard Munch painted this when he was only 21 years old, and I think it's maybe his most beautiful work. The scene is so simple, so ordinary, and then again it is all about serenity, hope, future, happiness. I simply love this painting, and while at the gallery, I kept walking back through the crowds, to see it again and again.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Before Midnight

I saw this movie on Valentine's day... And, what a perfect love story. Perfect, because it's not perfect. Because it shows the life of what could be a real couple in their early 40's. Their conversations, their problems, involving work, kids, regret and plans about the future...
There is doubt, anger, fighting and irritation, but their is also laughter, humor, shared memories and lots of love.

Before Midnight closes the trilogy which started with Before Sunrise in 1994 and continued with Before Sunset in 2004. I love these movies, and I've followed this couple through my adult life. When I saw the first one, I was, just like the characters, in my early 20's, and watching the second, and now the third movie about this couple, is much like catching up with old friends.
Richard Linklater directed the three movies, and what I specifically love about them, is that the main actors Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke are present in every single scene. Actually, during most of the 5-6 hours running time, they're not only present, but they talk, with each other, all the time. If you haven't watched the movies yet, you might think this a bit odd, but it works, it really does. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Why not?

Yes, why not?.. 

Artist: Mary Engelbreit
Quote: Mark Twain

Friday, February 14, 2014

Le Voleur d'Ombres (The Stealer of Shadows)

A couple of weeks ago I read this book: Le Voleur d'Ombres by Marc Levy, the most-read French author in the world. His books are translated to more than 40 languages, but this one is not yet published in English. 

I think this novel might be the best I've read by Marc Levy, and I'll repeat what I wrote about Astrid & Veronika, it is a grand, little book. It's not very long, but those pages are filled with so much beauty, sorrow and insight about childhood, growing up, friendship, love and life in general, that I ended up both laughing and crying. 

The main character, a young boy, discovers that he has the ability to switch shadows with other people, and the shadows teach him important truths about them. This may sound strange, but as with a lot of not-normal things, we accept them as we read on. What's important, is his relationships: With his father, who leaves him, with his mother, his best friend and his soulmate...

Once again, one my favorite authors didn't disappoint me! :-)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Single Parents are Champions!

I admire single parents. I really do. I think they are so much more then they ever get credit for! I'm not a single parent, but when my husband is traveling for work, I get to try it. It might be a day or two, or it might be a week or even three. Last week he was gone 8 days, it was busy. Really busy, and I wonder how those single parents manage All. The. Time. And with bigger kids there might be more help, but there is also more mess, more unpredictability, and more complicated matters to consider. 

As usual, being alone with the responsability of 4 kids, I end up feeling like I'm running a medium-size company while having at least a dozen other jobs. Let's see: There is planning, negotiating, economy/buying and mediating, and there is the work of a cook, housekeeper, taxi driver, teacher, therapist, coach and laundry worker.

Then, there were my "out of the family - jobs", teaching french and parenting classes at night, doing photography during the day, preparing next (work) trip to Paris, and last, but absolutely not least: My writing. Which suffered a lot this past week. There simply was no creativity left for serious writing after walking to school with the youngest in the morning, picking him up a few hours later (by car if I needed to get some shopping done in the same outing), picking up after piano lessons, driving to and hanging out at ski practice with my youngest late at night, planning for, doing the shopping and preparing breakfasts, lunches, after-school snacks and dinners, helping with homework, talking with each child/teenager, solving problems, cleaning up everywhere and making sure the house looks a little less like a war zone... There were errands to be run, bills to pay, loads of snow to shovel in front of the house, and I shoveled until my arms ached.

There were two weekends to fill with something nice, like skiing trips, playing in the snow, board games, reading, computer games and wathcing the Olympics on TV. We made a lot of hot chocolate, waffles during these days, and we had pizza or burritos at night. 

Some days I had extra kids at the table, some days there was one less, since my oldest also made a few travels.  There were days where one child needed to bring hot chocolate and a sledge to school, and then one of the others was bringing skis, and I ended up driving her and her friend, since it got complicated to walk with their skis, backpacks and everything. 

Every night there were heaps of soaked clothes/shoes which needed to be dried before the next day. With preparations for next day, I typically end up going to bed much too late, after checking and re-checking that candles are extinguished, doors are locked and cats out of the livingroom. Then, I'm the first to get up around 6AM, so that I can get ready and have breakfast on its way before waking the kids.

I tried to make time for a workout, and while my youngest spent a few hours at a friends house, I drove to the horse center afterwards, to pick up my 10-year-old and her other friend, drive past the friends' house to get some of her stuff, and bring them both back to our house for the evening. That particular night, my 14-year-old cooked dinner, my 17-year-old went to get the 6-year-old from his friend's house, and then, after bathing/showering and teeth brushing, I sat down and read for the two youngest, as I usually do, candles on the coffee table, cats sleeping next to us. Idyllic and wonderful.

I'm not complaining. Not at all. I'm very lucky, and I know it. This last week just make me realize - again - that single parents really are champions!