Sunday, September 30, 2012


The new meds for my rheumatism seem to be working quite well, which is nice. The new sleeping med. seems to be working nice as well. I went to bed at 11pm yesterday and slept like a log until 4 30 in the morning. 5.5 hours is a truckload when you're used to only half of that. I woke at 4 30 feeling wide awake, but just lay there listening to hubby and Georg snoring happily away, grunting every now and then as if in response to each other's dreams. Until it became rather boring and I decided to get up and make some coffee and just enjoy the silence.

Checked my blog list and visited Neil Gaiman's Journal and watched his  performance at the Moth
And I realized that waiting around for hours at end as a child, is something Neil and I share. Whether it was waiting for my parents to pick me up, or to finish with whatever they were doing, or be allowed indoor again, waiting around was a big part of my childhood. And perhaps a reason why Silence became my best friend.

There is something extraordinary comfortable listening to the silence of late night or early morning, to me at least. I've always thought that. I come from a big family, but since there are almost 9 years btw my older sister  and I, and 7 years btw my youngest sister and I, it was a little bit like I was an only child in many ways. Seeing as we spent most of our time at the farm when school was out, it meant that I had to play alone. Seeing as I was a somewhat hyper kid, that meant spending time alone outdoors. A lot. I didn't mind, at least I don't recall being sorry for myself for having to spend most days outside regardless of weather. I had warm clothes. And I was oout of reach from mothers and older sisters who felt the need of letting their frustration out on me. Let me tell yahs, mothers and older sisters in their teens  with their raging hormones and frustrations are a terror I don't wish upon my worst enemy.

Silence became a familiar, comforting friend. With a little imagination, Silence could take on any shape or form I wanted it to. I had more imaginary friends than I could count. Not all were human. Not all were nice, but they were useful. The not nice ones came in very handy when I had the need to practice arguing. Unnecessary to say, I never became good at arguing...

When I moved to Oslo with Runar, silence was one of the things I missed the most. Oslo is our biggest city. there were noises everywhere, all the time, accept, I found out, at the small hours of nigh. I would sometimes get up at 4 am and sneak out onto the little balcony we shared with the 7 other students living in our 12th floor hallway. I felt very privileged to be living where we did. The student block was close to the woods 10 min away and above the downtown area. I could hear the birds and the forest animals at 4 am in the morning, when the city was asleep. Most of the city, at least. You'd have the really late hip students coming home from their nightclubbing, or your average dopefiend arguing with himself while leafing through garbage cans looking for something or other, disrupting the quiet, but other than that, I felt alone and safe in my company with the moon, the stars and the forest creatures and I could breath in deep and feel happy. And safe. For a little while, at least.

I still love sneaking out on the veranda late at night, or early mornings while the rest of the world() is asleep.  Here in Mandal, there are owls hooting in the night. Their long somewhat pitiful hooting accompanied by the random screech of some predator bird, or the ugly loud screech of seagulls - seagulls come quite high up on my list of animals I hate - and during the summer months - the quick flapping of wings from bats catching moths under streetlights are sounds that speak directly to my heart. No matter how much pain, how many worries, I can stand on the veranda with a warm blanket around me, listening to the silence, only broken sporadically by animal sounds and feel my shoulder sagging and my breathing becoming easier.

Standing on the front steps up at the farm, a cold winter night watching the stars and the moon is nothing more than magical. There are no streetlights up there. When there's snow, the moon and the stars actually light up the field and the forest in a magic carpet of soft blue light. If I could bottle and sell the feeling you get watching it and listening to the silence, I'd be filthy rich and then some!

Tomorrow - scratch that - later today, we're driving to Stavanger to take Helene and her bf out to dinner. It's a 3 hour drive both ways, but her bday was Friday and we have neither seen her new flat, nor met her new bf. Should be fun.


  1. You painted a beautiful picture. Your childhood description was similar to my experience. My outside was "safe", but not silent. Cattle, small animals, and insects all contributed to the symphony. No human, however, was talking (or yelling) at me for being a hyper kid.

    When I was a teen, I saw it snow for the first time. I was amazed at how totally quiet it was.

  2. I'm so glad you found a medication that works and that you are happy.

    Minus getting kicked out of the house to play outside, our childhoods couldn't be more different. I grew up in a neighborhood comprised of three streets and around 50 houses. I had a large group of friends that prowled the neighborhood with me on a regular basis. We also had another neighborhood, a larger one, on the other side of the woods that we would also roam. Ashley, on the other hand, enjoyed both aspects growing up. In the summer she stayed on the family farm and the rest of the year was spent in neighborhoods.

  3. As long as we could stay outside, us hyper kids were alright, eh?!? =)

    Yes, snow covers the world in a remarkably silent carpet. Even traffic sounds different

    As Ashley, I enjoyed both as well. By the age of 6 I was allowed to visit friends in the neighbourhood. We were quite a bunch and we had a lot of fun. It was the weekends and school breaks/summer vacations we spent up at the farm.

    I pity the kids growing up today not allowed playing outside as we did. It seems playtime today is regulated and organized down to the smallest detail. What will happen to children's imagination and initiative if everything in their lives are organized by adults?

  4. Silence is awesome. :-))

    I spent 21 years living in the countryside. Nothing but fields, woods, and farms, and two other houses nearby. There were no street lights; we had to depend on torches to see our way home on a winters night. Stargazing was, indeed, magical - galaxies, comets, and meteorite showers - were always there, always magnificent on every clear frosty night.

    Oh, I wish I was still there. Life was delightful in the countryside. Sleep was deep, and full of wonderful dreams. Then came the dawn chorus. I can remember counting at least fifteen different birds.

  5. =) Meteorite showers. I remember calling it 'raining stardust' for lack of better knowledge. Spectacular, indeed!