wednesday wisdom. the words of cornel west.

photo from pinterest.

photo from pinterest.

“The country is in deep trouble. We’ve forgotten that a rich life consists fundamentally of serving others, trying to leave the world a little better than you found it. We need the courage to question the powers that be, the courage to be impatient with evil and patient with people, the courage to fight for social justice. In many instances we will be stepping out on nothing, and just hoping to land on something. But that’s the struggle. To live is to wrestle with despair, yet never allow despair to have the last word.” ~ Cornel West

cornel west is a political activist, philosopher, theologian, author, and all-around amazing person, in my opinion. his words will leave you shaking and squirming in your seat – challenging you to truly live a life of love and justice and integrity. calling you to question everything, to look at this world with a critical eye, to get yourself all mixed up with the messiness of life – like a great blues & jazz musician, to stand up straight, to raise your voice, and to never, ever lose hope.

in the end, after listening to cornel west last night at the university of north carolina at asheville (UNCA – my love’s uni), i was left with one burning question:

what kind of person am i gonna be?

peace, justice, and love.

six senses sunday.

it’s sunday night and before i tuck myself in, i thought i’d reflect on the past week with a little six senses sunday. it’s where i take some photos from the week and share how those moments awakened my senses. i suppose it’s a way for me to try to appreciate the present moment and a creative way to do an “i’m grateful for…” list. there is a lot for which i am thankful. and every day presents at least one moment that touches me.

when i think about it, there is actually a lot of stuff going on in my life right now. both good and not so good, or rather, challenging. and when i stop and think back on the past, oh i don’t know, 5 months, i realize that much of it’s not been easy. and the past 2 months have been really weird and tough in some ways. and yet, i have so much hope. i am still so thankful for where i/we am right now, for the life that i have. i realize and accept that everything that is swirling about me is all part of the process. it’s all part of my life. because it is life. and it is beautiful. and light comes from the darkness. i know that even as i walk through the dark times, hands in front of me, groping for anything that will help guide me. there is always a little sliver of light off in the distance. and that makes all the difference.

there are some amazing things going on too, right now. for one, i keep falling in love with my wife over and over again. every day. that woman is amazing. she is my inspiration. a fighter, a lover, and a chaser of life. i cannot even begin to express the respect and admiration i have for her. she is my world. and even though we’re not together all the time right now, the moments and times that we have, i cherish.

and also this: back in january, when we were visiting my family and asheville, we visited an apartment complex and took a tour of an apartment. we loved it. like, totally, man. so, i emailed them as soon as we were back in sweden to tell them we were interested. weeeellll, last week we got a phone call from them that one of the apartments we are interested in will be available in july (and we’re moving in july!). did we want it?! oh yeah. so, we began the process of emailing, scanning papers, printing out papers, filling in applications, copying financial info, etc. it has been crazy trying to complete everything, but we qualify for the apartment & are now waiting for the screening process to be done (background checks, etc.). hopefully we will hear something this coming week and the apartment will be officially ours!! soooo exciting! needless to say, we are now obessed with gathering inspiration and such on pinterest. please wish us luck!

anyway, on with my six senses sunday!

industrial landscape fair trade bling trees mocha frappe daydreaming blueberry french toast pink tree zola reading river wine!taste: blueberry french toast on saturday morning. a most delicious mocha frappe i grabbed on my way home from work one afternoon.

touch: the warm sun on my face. the bare pavement as i go shoeless! the freezing cold frappe in my hands.

feel: peace & relaxation as i read the wisdom lao tzu. happiness during a glass of afternoon wine while i prepare dinner.

see: my part of the world bursting with my favorite shade of green everywhere. the threes, the sun, the river, the sky. norrköping is lovely right now.

hear: the sweet meows and conversation with our adorable kitty, zola. the hustle and bustle of people coming out of hibernation & sitting in cafes & parks.

smell: the blooms on the pink tree. so fragrant and fresh.

so, my friends, what has perked up your sense lately? anything? do tell!

peace & love.

the fight.


my love is going back to the hospital today. it’s necessary and totally the right thing. that doesn’t make it any easier though. still, she is amazing. strong. and fearless even though she’s scared. but, she’ll make it. we’ll make it. and we’re blessed to have an amazing friend (who hopped on a plane from ireland yesterday) with us today, who will be staying with me until monday.

inside i’m shaking and my head is spinning as i prepare to leave my love at the hospital again.

love, prayers, good vibes, and positive energy for my love and for me are welcomed.

hug the ones you love. tight. peace.

celebrating renewal!

easter sunrise 2009. cocoa beach, florida. road trip with my love to the florida keys for spring break.

easter sunrise 2009. cocoa beach, florida. road trip with my love to the florida keys for spring break.

“the secret to living the life of your dreams is to start living the life of your dreams today, in every little way you possible can.” ~ mike dooley

“i have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.” ~ j.b. priestly

“easter is the demonstration of god that life is essentially spiritual and timeless.” ~charles m. crowe

“there is a fragrance in the air, a certain passage of a song, an old photograph falling out from the pages of a book, the sound of somebody’s voice in the hall that makes your heart leap and fills your eyes with tears. who can say when or how it will be that something easters up out of the dimness to remind us of a time before we were born and after we will die?” ~ frederick beuchner

“things are always better in the morning.” ~ harper lee

“i couldn’t imagine living in a state that didn’t reach the ocean. it was a giant reset button. you could go to the edge of the land and see infinity and feel renewed.”
~ Avery Sawyer.

“reshaping life! people who can say that have never understood a thing about life—they have never felt its breath, its heartbeat—however much they have seen or done. they look on it as a lump of raw material that needs to be processed by them, to be ennobled by their touch. But life is never a material, a substance to be molded. if you want to know, life is the principle of self-renewal, it is constantly renewing and remaking and changing and transfiguring itself, it is infinitely beyond your or my obtuse theories about it.”
― boris pasternak

“i believe that when you stop renewing and are no longer open to change and the possibilities that continually unfold, you stop being alive and are just getting through the years. transformation doesn’t happen unless you’re willing: it’s your choice.” ~ oprah winfrey

“perhaps the earth can teach us. as when everything seems dead, and later proves to be alive.” ~ pablo neruda

come out of the darkness. celebrate the light. a new day is upon us! with the morning, life is renewed once again. we have a new beginning.  a new chance to follow our dreams, to live life, to be who exactly who we are. the question is… what are our dreams? who are we? and what are we going to do with our life today?! one thing is for sure, we have one more opportunity to celebrate life!

happy easter, everyone! peace, light, & love.


this morning my love & i sipped coffee and talked about emptiness. about feeling empty inside. lost. unrest.

we talked about what makes a person good.

we talked about learning to love ourselves and others.

and we talked about the places & people that fill up the emptiness that is inside. we realized that there is no one magical thing that fills up the emptiness within, but, instead it’s a bunch of little things that fill our soul bit by bit. and perhaps the goal of life is to fill our souls constantly…perhaps to live life to the fullest means to do just that. we seek to know who we are, what touches us, and what fills us. and when we allow ourselves to seek those people and things, then we are living from our soul. and the emptiness is not so overwhelming.

of course, perhaps we are never completely filled with everlasting fullness and peace. life is more of a balancing act. there are days that we wake up and feel empty and we don’t know why. then there are other days that we feel so full that we are overflowing. and there are days that we feel everything in between. but, to achieve that sense of inner peace, and to fill up those empty holes of hopelessness as much as possible, is an ongoing journey. it is the journey of life.

we are meant to be full, to live life to the fullest, to feel peace that comes from deep within, to laugh, love, dance, enjoy. getting to know ourselves, finding those things that fill and touch our souls, and living life surrounded by those people, places, things, and activities that fill our soul… these all give us a sense of being. a sense of peace & love. and a life that is worth living.

in the christian world, today is a dark, empty, hopeless day. jesus is dead and in the tomb. his followers are crushed. confused. disappointed. and completely without hope. i am reminded of all of the others in my life who have already died and been laid to rest. and i feel how much i miss them all. i am also thinking of all of the others in the world who live life every day feeling crushed. confused. disappointed. and hopeless. i am aware of how we all just want to run and hide because of all of the emptiness we feel. how we all just want to feel that life is worth living.

the journey is almost over, though. the journey through the darkness. it’s time to remember that even though we feel empty and hopeless, there is always light and hope. there is new life, a new chance, new opportunities, and new inspiration just around the corner. the darkness and emptiness does not last. death will be defeated. pain and suffering will end. and, in the end, love will win. we just have to keep holding on… keep filling our souls with the things that give us life.

so, today, if you feel empty somewhere inside, be aware of it. feel the emptiness & hopelessness. and then, seek out something or someone that fills your soul. let it fill you with peace and hope. and then fall madly in love with your life again.

i’m gonna do just that. i’m spending the day with my love & her family. the sun is shining. i’m anticipating much laughter and craziness. and then, tonight, i’m gonna tuck myself into my cozy bed, with my love by my side, and take a deep breath and remind myself…

life is good. i am blessed. and love is the purpose of it all.


And if your strife strikes at your sleep
Remember spring swaps snow for leaves
You’ll be happy and wholesome again
When the city clears and sun ascends

~mumford and sons

hoping that your saturday fills your soul with peace.

skulls and flowers for friday.

oh, my dear readers, this just might be the week from hell.

on top of the whole “holy week” focus on death thing, so many other things have been happening as well. my love’s fierce battle with her sickness. fixing everything regarding the cancelled trip to china.  the emotional and physical exhaustion of dealing with a death in the family and everything that goes with being part of the funeral (which was yesterday). tons of house guests (funeral and not funeral-related) – which have been amazing, but still, something that is out of the ordinary. making sure we alert all of the practical places about our upcoming move (phone company, apartment landlord, etc). everything has to be communicated 3 months before we move out, which is now. it’s still cold & wintery in sweden – though today might have been a sign that spring will come one day. oh yeah, and work.

i feel as if i’m having an out of body experience. my love & i are on autopilot right now. perhaps just going through the motions. and i think we’ll stay that way until sunday at some point. and then, i’m off. since i’d already planned on taking 2 weeks vacation, i am just gonna stay home next week. rest. go shopping. write. do what i want. we’ll see what i do about my second week of vacation…. but i’m not gonna concern myself with that until next week. i must say, though, it feels amazing to know that next week i am free. perhaps i’ll take a day retreat by myself.

for now, it’s just time to push on through. i’m working pretty much all day tomorrow. the depressing death of jesus day. but, a day that i believe must be faced. christian or not, a believer or not, i think that it’s a day that symbolizes the human struggle between light and dark. fear and courage. disappointment and hope. violence and peace. injustice and equality. death and life. these are all part of the human condition. and i believe that we must be willing to stare our tough times in the eye. we can’t just run away. because all that’s tough and painful, will always follow us. it is part of life. instead, we must go through it all. deal with it. suck it up. let it be as it is. embrace the pain… and know that something will come from it.


that’s the thing i’ve been thinking about this week as everything seems to feel heavier & heavier in my heart and soul. in a way that perhaps i have never known before, i know tonight as i write this, from deep within, that this heaviness, this pain, this suffering ends with transformation.

the power of easter is that from death comes life. from darkness comes light. from pain & suffering we are transformed. we grow. we change. and that, my friends, is good news. it’s great news. the suffering is gonna exist. but, we can let it change & transform us unto better versions of ourselves. or we can become victims. stuck in a cycle of pain & disappointment, never really experiencing the joy of being alive. through the transformation, we become better at being who we are. i become a better me. you become a better you. but, we can’t run away from the dark times. the dark times, the burning fire, the time spent stuck and trapped, transforms us and our lives. and soon, we realize that we feel more alive than we ever thought possible.

yes, this week has been hell. but, without it, i would not know the joy of life. i would not be reminded, once again, that life is precious. that i must say & do the things that i want to say & do before i lose the chance. that disappointment makes me stronger. that struggles inspire & challenge me. that the pain of this week will make me a better person. i may not know how, i may not understand everything now, but one day it will all make sense. you see, without confronting and embracing death & suffering,  i cannot be transformed into a person who understands the fleeting nature of life is so that i can truly be alive.

so, dear ones, i say this to you, but mostly to me: keep holding on.

death is coming for now; but life, a life that is inspiring and amazing and whole, is coming after. you & i were made for this. we were made to live life to the fullest. we are more than strong enough to face death and pain and suffering head on, and to dance through life anyway. we were made to be exactly who we are, and to use our lives for good.

skull and flowers

peace and love. even in the darkness.

a spring in my step.


i don’t really have a spring in my step. actually it’s the exact opposite. i am snuggling under covers as much as humanly possible whenever i have free time. but today i’m also practicing the power of positive thinking. hehe.

anyway… happy first day of spring!! yay!

though it doesn’t feel or look like it at all here in sweden, or in many other places as i’ve heard. it is darn-freaking cold. super blustery. and it’s been snowing for over 36 hours now. every time i step outside, i feel the bitter wind chill and chap my face instantly, and my bones feel like they have ice crystals forming on them. i am shivering from the inside. it is most definitely,  uncomfortably NOT SPRING here. nor does it seem that it is ever coming.

while i can’t see any sign of spring outside, i know that those little signs lie just beneath the snow. i know that there is movement under the earth and that things are moving through the branches on the trees. nature is still preparing herself. the earth will burst open with color in due time. although that time is moving too slowly for me right now, it seems.

so, in all of my impatience, what have i done? i’ve surrounded myself with as many pretty, pastel-colored things as possible. i’ve taken pictures of them with my instagram app. and now, i’m sharing them with you!




“The alchemist was dazed and dumbfounded, as the true meaning of the magic was revealed: *The dead will rise from glade to glen and ancient will be young again*. The dead had, after all, risen. From dead and dry things there was growth, and new life everywhere. And the endlessly long winter had at last turned to spring. From life to death and back again to life. It was indeed the greatest magic in the world.” ― Lauren Oliver

happy spring, y’all!

pastel colors, love, & peace.

her words.

she may just be the most amazing person i have ever met. no. not may. she is.

last summer my love was in the hospital for just a few days shy of three months. it was a horrible time for her, and for me. i came close to losing her. but she fought her way home again and has been under the care of daily treatment ever since. there have been good days and bad days since then, but it’s a difficult thing to deal with, to heal from.

i haven’t written much about this part of her life, of my life, here because it’s really personal and private. and it’s up to my love to decide what she does and does not want to reveal about her life. i understand and support that 110%. in the meantime, i have been actively (gladly) participating in her treatment in the ways i can and should. but, here, on my blog. i’ve been silent.

tonight, as we sat on the bed, each engaged in our own things, i turned to see my love was into something intense on her computer, fingers clicking furiously with a few moments to stop & breathe every now and then. i hugged her a minute, and then let her be. i just felt that was what i should do. something was going on with her. she was working on something with great concentration and tons of emotion.

suddenly she said she had something she wanted to read to me. i moved my computer away, focused on her, and listened as she read me these words:

One day I’m gonna be free.

Posted on 2013/03/06

Sometimes I just click in to the website just to get that great, happy, and warm feeling inside of me. Every day I check the Facebook group I’m now part of, because I’m one of them. Every now and then I just have to grab the catalogue and read the detailed information I’ve already read several times. I’m also writing, through social media, to some of my soon to be class mates. How crazy is that? It’s all getting closer. My dream is about to come true. The dream of being in the States and studying. I can’t believe this is really happening. Liz and I are doing research about cars, checking out apartments (as much as we can from Sweden), talking about things we’re gonna move and things we are going to sell or throw away. I’m blown away of this opportunity in my life. In our lives. It all sounds so amazing. And it is.

But in the midst of all the moving preparations and fulfilling my dream, I’m actually living a life that’s pretty tough right now. People don’t see it completely because I’m working hard to not show it, or not to put myself in to situations where I can’t handle everything good or ok. I’m getting pretty personal now, but I guess it’s ok, even though it’s a bit scary. Many people don’t see the everyday life I’m living, they just see a few glimpses. Everyday is a fight, and some days it’s just really hard to fight those fights. Not only one time, but several times per day. Plural. Something that’s natural for many, has become so hard for me for some reasons. The professionals are telling me that I have to stop thinking, just do it, and repeat it over and over and over again. Once it’s over, just leave it behind and focus on the future. Future as the next hour, not months or years ahead. Easier said than done. I’m not really good at that, but at least I’ve heard what the professionals have said, and one day I might follow through with it completely.

I’ve never mentioned that much why I spent some months in the hospital, why I’m not working right now, and what kind of treatment I’m doing. I think it’s too private to get into details (and I don’t want this blog to be all about that either, as I’ve said before), but I also have a hard time understanding it all completely myself. I’ve talked with my main therapist a few times this week about this. She mentions the word acceptance pretty often and one of my issues is to accept my life situation or issues. In order to get well, I’ll have to know that I’m not well, which has been the hardest part from my side. I haven’t accepted everything. I read my diagnosis on the piece of paper that the doctor has signed, and I can’t get it in to my mind. I can’t fill in forms where I need to write that word/name/diagnosis. I can’t say it out loud. I’ve tried. Why is this so hard? I guess because I’m scared? But why? What am I scared of? I know I need to change my life, because if I continue I’ll die. For real. I was close once, but the professionals, and Liz, saved my life. It is time for a change, for real. I’ve been writing some about hope, get better, sickness, and to live life. But…I haven’t really said this before. Ever.

I’m sick. I have an eating disorder and it’s called Anorexia Nervosa.

That was hard. But, it’s ok. Feelings and emotions are good, it’s how you face or handle them that can be good or bad for you. I have to recover (= get way better than I’m now, but no pressure to be “perfect”) in order to be able to fulfill my dream and so my dream will turn out as good as possible. I’m gonna work hard. I’m gonna try to just focus on my main therapist’s words, not the other side. I’m, for once, gonna let her take part of me and my deep, deep inner thoughts, so she can help me to help myself go against the other side, and start to live life completely. The other side is not gonna take over. I’m gonna be 100% Lina or first, I’m gonna find out who Lina is. To be honest, I haven’t let Lina be 100% Lina for many years. It’s about time to explore that with help from Liz, my therapist/(s), and others close to me.

One day I’m gonna be free.



unbelievable. tears streamed down my face. i could not believe this. and yet i have believed in her all along. and i always will.

this is why my wife is my inspiration. my muse. she amazes me. and i am so proud of her. the courage, bravery, and honesty she found within herself teaches me to never give up. to never stop fighting. to live life to the fullest, every single moment that i am given.

the most important thing to know is who we are, and that who we are right now is just fine. no matter what. but, that sense of having dreams and reaching for them, that is when we listen to our souls, or at least try to. that is the moment when we break the silence within ourselves and begin to discover the “me” that is inside. the me that is beautiful from the inside, out.

to all my dear readers, i encourage you click on over to my love’s blog. follow her. i promise you that her creativity, her words, her photos will inspire you. because she is completely amazing.

peace on your journey.