how håkan hellström inspires us to keep going

i’ve been excited about sharing this post with you for a week. a post about a truly inspiring + magical concert that lina and i attended last weekend. however, right now, as i watch live news from the united states, my heart is heavy and my excitement has been replaced by sadness, frustration, and anger.

last night, in orlando, florida, 50 people were killed and 53 were injured in a gay nightclub by a gunman who has now caused the worst mass shooting ever in the united states.

the news anchors are speaking of terrorism, hate crimes, and trying to figure out why this happened.

and while i blame the shooter for carrying out this horrifically devastating moment in american history, i also blame all of us to some degree. how the fuck long is it going to take before we wake the fuck up and understand that this will continue as long as our gun laws are ridiculously lenient. how freaking irresponsible can we continue to be?! children have been killed, people praying in a church lost their lives, teens in schools, random people simply going about their daily business, and last night, LGBT people just out for a good time, enjoying life. of course the list goes on and on… which is sick. and i just wonder… how long?! how much more?! when in the world will something change?!

and, even more so, when will we learn to live with love instead of hate?

as i sit here, feeling enraged and disappointed and mourning the loss of life once again (which happens regularly in other parts of the world as well), i am irritated because this was not at all how intended this post to be… this post about a magical, inspiration, beautiful night that i experienced one week ago.

and, yet, somehow, the message + magic of last week’s incredible concert is absolutely spot on for this moment in time. for this day. for this post.

lina me concert

my love and i left early on sunday morning + got picked up by a friend of lina’s (and her friend’s sister). and the four of us road tripped 3.5 hours to gothenburg, sweden.

we had fought hard for two tickets to a concert, and we were two of the fortunate ones who would join what turned out to be a record-breaking gathering of 70,144 people. crazy, huh?!

all 70, 144 of us were all there to see håkan hellström, a swedish legend that everyone seems to either love or hate.

i’d describe him as a folk pop artist, someone very much like bob dylan (in my opinion). he has a crazy, raspy, special voice; but more than that, he writes lyrics that are poetry, that have a message of love and hope and holding on.

and that’s why his music is exactly appropriate for today.

håkan doesn’t just sing songs that everyone knows all of the lyrics to, but he also speaks a message of love and hope, as i said before, as he transitions through songs. his heart is on his sleeve. he wants the world to be a better place. he wants us to hold on. he inspires deeply. and all 70,144 of us last weekend were right there with him. singing and believing and hoping. there was a magical vibe that cannot be described, but one of complete unity and peace and positivity.

so, i filmed as much of it as i could, without missing out on just living in the moment myself. and i want to share it with you. it’s long, and there are a lot of songs included (in swedish, of course), but it is so worth watching. i believe that some of the magic is possible to feel even just in the video.

ullevi concert håkan hellström ullevi concert håkan hellström

ullevi concert håkan hellström ullevi concert håkan hellström

to prepare you for the last song, when it is the darkest out and the lights are blue, i have translated the lyrics.

they are perfect for today – and, even though i lost my enthusiasm for this post in the beginning, due to the terrible killings in orlando, i see now that this song has an incredible message for all of us, both today and as we go forward.

Du är snart där // You are soon there

Continue when darkness comes and everything hurts
Continue like an autumn leaf in the spring’s first river
As a heart that refuses to stop beating
After each prayer has been spent, continue
When I fall heavily
On your memory scrap heap
Find me anytime
On the same streets as Cederhök

Been kicked around a few times
As some of us must be
To understand what it is that means something
And who can be trusted.
But when you are with me
The music never stops
You get me to hang, hang om

Continue after they have lynched the last hope
Continue when all you lived for is seen as a joke
There, under the trees, behind the fence
Is a path for you, continue
When you get old
And when you fall asleep
Thinking of the last thing they said to you at your door
“Hakan, you were better before”

Been kicked around a few times
As some of us must be
To understand what it is that means something
And who can be trusted.
But when you are with me
The music never stops
You just get me to hang, hang on
For I believe
That as we go through time
All the best
Has not happened yet

(this last chorus is repeated over + over again).

please, do yourself a favor + watch it. it is absolutely pure, inspirational magic

Jag tror // I believe
När vi går genom tiden // As we go through life
Att allt det bästa // That all the best
Inte hänt än // Hasn’t happened yet

and for just one night, every single one of us there believe it: the best hasn’t happened yet. the best is yet to come.

may we all go forward with that hope in our hearts. taking all of the hurt and pain and confusion and violence we feel, and transforming it into opportunities + possibilities to respond with peace and love and inclusion. oh, how it hurts now… but let us keep going. and never give up.

let. us. keep. going.

and with all of us gathering together, from all over the world, clasping hands, and working against everything that incites violence + oppression + hate, we will bring about love and equality and peace. i deeply believe that… there is always hope. the best is yet to come.

xoxo. liz.

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