From Norway

A dear friend shared this beautiful writing with me in an email…

There are winds blowing across the great northern sea tonight. I hear them shifting the boards in the roof above my head. It is raining heavily upon the ocean, water into water, swirling into an abyss of departing light, where schools of fish swarm in a blind panic. The coasts are washing away little by little; piers are sinking, tethered boats break free of their mildewed posts and travel alone into dark clouds distant the land. Out there, beyond the churning blackness at the mouth of the bay, fishermen set a course for shore, and far afield of them, alone and silent, blanketed whalers cast their eyes away from moaning towers of ice.

From my window, I can see that the glacier is gone. The snowy mountains and St. Sunniva have vanished in a white sky. The cold air smells of salt and rain.

Men will drown tonight; men will drown. Names will be recorded in large, black ledgers by clergymen and notaries, perching their glasses upon their dry noses, winter sealskins upon their backs. Outside, the winds will continue to howl, but the boats will be empty. Far underneath the sea, the fishermen will hang, lashed in weeds and crushed down by the eternal pressure of the currents. Their names will appear in coming months in newspaper columns and upon church walls and a new memorial to drowned seamen, hewn of circular and polished granite.

Two fjords north, a lighthouse keeper brings his dog inside and puts his cigarette out. A mass of salmon will greet him in the morning out on the nes, drowned on dry land.

– I hope nothing of this, my friend, than for you to share your talents and perspective with the world.


One thought on “From Norway

  1. If this girl who wrote this magnificent passage is even marginally cute, I’ll marry her. It goes back to cultural differences producing people of different textures as it’s so beautifully grim and Nordic, like something out of an Edda: dark, deathly and poetic in structure, the world seen through frozen rime.

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