My 15 year old daughter Nora came home last evening and called out “Come and look, I bought something really cool today!”
We gathered curiously around her while she picked out the most beautiful book from her Kånken backpack. It was an old leather-bound book printed in 1876 with the text “Johan Ludvig Runebergs samlade skrifter” embossed in gold on the front cover. Later she randomly picked a poem “the Rose” and read it out loud to us and while she did, I slowly realized two things.
The first thing: The poem is beautiful – but obviously written in the 1800s.
Second thing: I realized was that we have never have been in a greater need of poetry than we are right now. What I mean is I think we can have good use of it to answer questions such (eternal) questions as Who am I?
We try to find our selves through the adoption of a lifestyles. Wether we turn Grunge, Vegan, Millionaire, Raw fooder, hip-hopper, Skater, Biker, Family-guy, Artist we adopt to a social template.
Some try not to care. But that can also be reduced to just another life style with just as nice, fuzzy borders as sp many other niche groups.
The good thing is that we can quite easily go from one style to another. Change your clothes, your job and pick up a few new friends and you will soon be on another experiential trip in your life. The bad thing is that no one gets away, we all have a stamp in the forehead of who we are wether we like it or not.
Is there a problem with that? Yes it is, because few has the time to stop and look inwards. Few takes the kind of time to make room for input like Runeberg’s poems gave the fellows that lived in his times. Most of us today are immersed in keeping up with the pace that is going supernova and hardly realizing that we are in the middle of the historic transition to the age of the Anthropocene where human activities are the greatest force shaping the planet.
The problem is that so many are so blind and that almost all of us are becoming increasingly disconnected from our deeper selves. I am blind and disconnected too. I do my best to stay in tune with eh ..cosmos for lack of a better word. I really should meditate more, take time in nature more – But heck, I ain’t doin’ no good on it.
What do you do to keep in touch with your deeper self?
Here is Poem by Runeberg. Unfortunatly in Swedish. I won’t even try to translate it but its about time and solitude, the power of the moment and how fleeting it is. Its a nice poem to contemplate.
Den ende stunden
Allena var jag,
han kom allena;
Förbi min bana hans bana ledde.
Han dröjde icke,
han talte icke,
men ögat talte.
Du obekante, du välbekante!
En dag försvinner,
ett år förflyter,
det ena minnet det andra jagar;
Den korta stunden blef hos mig evigt,
den bittre stunden,
den ljufva stunden.