COURAGE

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‘It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.


It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.


I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.’

Oriah Mountain Dreamer

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This is the last of three posts during my break this summer which combines the profound words from the beginning of ‘The Invitation’ by Oriah Mountain Dreamer with pictures from a beautiful calendar which our company gave out many years ago. It features watercolours of lives during the Viking Age. Never having the heart to throw away the calendar I welcome the opportunity to show these images here accompanied by the inspiring words of Oriah, who I recently came across here on WP. Since I am just back from my long visit abroad, I am at last connected to wifi and look forward to your comments about this series of posts, words and pictures. Wishing you all a very Happy Sunday!

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TRUE TO YOURSELF

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‘It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”’

Oriah Mountain Dreamer

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This is the second of three posts during my break this summer which combines  the profound words from the beginning of ‘The Invitation’ by Oriah Mountain Dreamer with pictures from a beautiful calendar which our company gave out many years ago. It features watercolours of lives during the Viking Age. Never having the heart to throw away the calendar I welcome the opportunity to show these images here accompanied by the inspiring words of Oriah, who I recently came across here on WP.  I’ve turned off comments for this post.

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FOOL FOR YOUR DREAM

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‘It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain!I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.’

Oriah Mountain Dreamer

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This is the first of three posts during my break this summer which combines the profound words from the beginning of ‘The Invitation’ by Oriah Mountain Dreamer with pictures from a beautiful calendar which our company gave out many years ago. It features watercolours of lives during the Viking Age. Never having the heart to throw away the calendar I welcome the opportunity to show these images here accompanied by the inspiring words of Oriah, who I recently came across here on WP.  I’ve turned off comments for this post.

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VIKINGS – CREATIVE ARTISTS

The Oseberg Ship. Photo by Mårten Teigen of Museum of Cultural History, Oslo
The Oseberg Ship. Photo by Mårten Teigen of Museum of Cultural History, Oslo

Like subterranean explorers we travelled for miles along the network of tunnels approaching Oslo. This was quite unlike any city approach I had experienced.

The occasional car swished past on the cavernous carriageway of Bjørvika Tunnel and soon we made our exit from the urban roads. Within minutes we arrived on Bygdøy, a small rural island which boosts an array of tantalising museums. Among them is the Kon-Tiki Museum. Thor Heyerdahl’s book made a huge impression on me as young and one day I must return for this pilgrimage. For now our destination was The Viking Ship Museum which was  easy to find with the aid of the long-suffering SatNav struggling on with the Norwegian pronunciation.

Overhead shot of The Oseberg Ship
Overhead shot of The Oseberg Ship

On seeing the Oseberg Ship I initially gasped in awe and immediately felt a humbling stirring in my soul. Over a thousand years old and our fore-fathers had not only created a vast sea-worthy craft but had done so with great sense of beauty and elegance. This was no clumsily constructed vessel, rather the wonder of craftsmanship shone from every angle, the soft planed oak boards with the carved keel, the perfect round-headed iron fastenings, then looking up to the bow I spotted the magnificently carved snake head spiral.

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The ship, the largest intact Viking ship in the world, was built around 820 AD and could be either sailed or rowed with 30 oarsmen. Fourteen years later The Oseberg Ship was used as a burial ship for two women, one in her 70s the other in her 50s.

Burial Chamber
Burial Chamber

They were placed in a specially made burial chamber which resembled a small log cabin and with them were placed various items to help them in the after-life, including kitchenware, sledges, clothes, as well as horses and dogs. The remains of a peacock was one of the more exotic and unusual animals discovered. There would have been jewellery and weapons but these were looted within a hundred years of burial.

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The artistic wonder continued as we wandered further into the museum. To be so aesthetically delighted was totally unexpected. We looked with awe at the beautifully carved sledges, a wagon, animal-head posts as well as the paraphernalia of the every day. The perfectly formed spades would not be amiss in a local B&Q; I could just imagine the price tag dangling on the top.

My wonder at these explorers of the past shifted to admiration of the early 20th Century archeologists whose care and dedication strove to rescue and persevere the finds which had been buried in the blue clay. Seeing the collapsed nature of the buried boats – oh yes, I forgot to mention the shock and amazement of discovering two further complete Viking Ships at the museum; The Gokstad Ship and The Tune Ship, tucked into opposing sides of the large cross-roads shaped museum.

Buried boats and artefacts were discovered tumbled to the side like giant wooden dominoes. All askew. All topsy-turvy. Looking so fragile in the photographs from the era, now the power and force resonated from the ships, silencing the large crowd mingling around us.

Our experience at the museum was tinged with sadness and poignancy as we learned my son’s generation might be to last to view the artefacts on display. The seemingly perfect objects were preserved with alum and they are slowly corroding from the inside out whilst scientists are working hard to find a solution to the chemical disintegration.

Replete in spirit and mind we left in mutual silence, our musings loud in our own heads, our hearts full of raw emotions from our millennium journey in the previous hours. It was time to leave this island of tranquility and head to our next destination – our hotel in Oslo city centre.

http://www.khm.uio.no/english/visit-us/viking-ship-museum/

http://www.kon-tiki.no