My long walk


There’s this song that I keep coming back to, time and time again.

Kari Bremnes, a Norwegian singer/songwriter, has a way with words that often makes me stop and ponder.
Many of her songs are on the melancholy side, but still carry a message that resonates deep within me. I wouldn’t say that I am a melancholy person, but for the last year I’ve just about worn out one of her tracks on Spotify.

Her song E du nord? (Are you in the north?) begins with the words; (freely interpreted)
Things don’t always go
just as you had them planned
You do not always reach
the ferry you’d needed to take
You only see its lights in the distance
on the way to another place
And you who were only four minutes away
From a new beginning…

Sometimes I feel I’ve missed several “ferries” in my life, watching them sail away from me.
In a sense, the words in this song are a metaphor of what I’ve felt for the last couple of years, struggling with physical pain and the mental challenges that comes with long term pain. Not only have I not “reached the other side”, I felt that I didn’t even catch “the ferry.”

You can’t see the sun in December
the sun knows better than that
The night is eating from your day
and never seems satisfied…
Are you north in the country then?
will you just let the darkness reign
One evening, one evening
the veil is pulled away
and then comes a light of God’s grace…

Last week was the 1 year anniversary of my back surgery.
A long time before the operation, and for quite a while after, darkness was reigning in my mind. Even though positive thinking is something I’ve practised for the last years, there were times when the “night was eating from my day” like a big monster that never seemed satisfied.
There were moments when I was convinced that pain and cans of pills would be my companions for the rest of my days.
At those times knitting often kept me from despair.
But then; dawn.
The veil was pulled away and I felt relief and the “light of God’s grace.”
The pain didn’t disappear in an instant, but ever so slowly that I didn’t really notice it.
I remember the first moment of being pain free, while reaching a mountaintop in Lofoten, in northern Norway on a beautiful day this summer. I was not mentally prepared and felt gobsmacked when it dawned on me;
I haven’t felt pain for many weeks!
Emotional tears welled up in my eyes and I felt a need for a little rest.
What better way to celebrate than having a short knitting break while sending up a prayer of thanks.
I was “through the darkest of times.”
I truly felt like on the top of the world and at the top of my life, and still do.
Knitting with a view

Another testimony to being on top physically, I felt last weekend.
For the last few years I’ve participated in a military march competition together with a few friends as a team. This is normally quite a tough race and although I was looking forward to it this year, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to pull it off.
Despite hiking all through the pitch dark night with a backpack that was way too heavy, I was thrilled to realise that I never felt any pain in my back! Even though I had to throw in the towel the next day because of other pains caused by wrong choice of footwear, I still felt like a winner.
The winning team, finished strong without me

Using time wisely while waiting for my morning coffee
You my friend, who struggle with pains, physical or mental or other difficulties and feel like you’re in complete darkness; hang in there, you’re not alone. One thing I tried to remind myself of during the dark times was;
Nothing ever stays the same in this life. Things WILL change! And you’re never alone! Try to focus on even the smallest ray of sunshine, and hang on to it.

You do not always reach
the land, because of changing winds
Things do not always go
just like you had thought
But in that you are not alone
we’re many who’re rowing there
and pass each other in darkness
crossing an open fjord
Are you north in the country then?
are you through the darkest of times
Spring has seen you and shoved you away
soon you’ll be on the other side

For me, exciting changes are happening and I can’t wait to take this next step.
It looks like I finally caught “my ferry”. I’ll soon begin on a new chapter, towards brand new goals.
In the meantime I’ll keep on knitting

2 thoughts on “My long walk

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