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Ready to Fly

We were on our way to Frankfurt, Germany. My dad had invited me along on a business trip to a tobacco trade show in the German city. Excited to fly for the very first time, I boarded the Lufthansa airplane, happy to be with my dad. I was on summer vacation from school and with this trip dad had given me carte blanche to enjoy myself, away from household and sibling duties. I sat at the window, taking in the sights on my short journey from Copenhagen. Mingled with pride… Read more Ready to Fly

Expectations

“You did what?” I was explaining to my dad that I had dropped out of the school of journalism after a year of attendance. I just didn’t make the cut to move on. My grades were poor, and my final report on a mobile home community had me drunk with strong coffee and empty of any meaningful human story. “But you have to be persistent and determined,” he pushed on. I could tell he was disappointed. I felt disappointed. It was the field for me, ideally and logically; I had… Read more Expectations

Persistence

“Fremad soldater, vi står i lort til knæene!” In Danish, that means: Let’s go soldiers, we are in shit to our knees! My father and I were hiking around the lake, a three-kilometer trek and he was ordering me to get going, jokingly. I was earning my scout brand and my dad was helping me. “How far do you have to walk for this scout brand?” he asked. “I think five kilometers.” “Then we have to walk around the lake one more time,” he sighed. “Is that okay? I ventured… Read more Persistence

The Artist

My father’s favorite music was the blues, tightly followed by jazz. Anything from the primitive sound of Sonny Boy Williamson to the elegant tunes of Duke Ellington. Every evening he would put on vocals or instrumentals emanating from the depths of souls with a passion for the pure language of melody. Often, he would dance, and I would dance with him and our connection defied all other differences between us. Those were happy moments by which I saw a glimpse of my father’s true soul: the artist, and not the… Read more The Artist

The Painting

The painting measured three by seven feet: a horizontal space with eight women clustered in groups of two or three. The background colors in bright orange, cadmium yellow, hunter’s green and cerulean blue were laid on thick to create texture to the flat board. As his foreground figures he arranged eight black women with head scarves and sitting on short stools. I used to watch him paint. Instead of a brush he used a palette knife. Sensing my awe, he said: “I use a palette knife to keep the colors… Read more The Painting

Death

He was dying. He knew but I didn’t quite know. Years earlier he had been diagnosed with bladder cancer. Typical for a heavy smoker. But they had contained it. He needed to stop smoking. But he didn’t. He didn’t stop drinking, either. He lived his life his way. The cancer came back and had jumped the bladder wall into his bowels. He weakened and lost his focus. He was shaky when driving and driving was his passion. He lost a love. Another love was music. He played the trumpet and… Read more Death

Dad

He was lying on his left side, facing away from me. His full head of hair had gone quite grey lately, even though I thought of it as the shiny black I knew so well. He had the comforter tucked around his shoulder, touching his ear, and his head was resting on the soft pillow. He gave off short grunts of contentment. I stroked his soft hair and kissed his cheek, just like he used to do, when I was a young girl and tucked myself into his chest with… Read more Dad

100 Words

In December I wrote 100 words every day. I could write anything each day but I chose to write on a relationship, a love affair, in fact. Each day was a different scene, a different situation between two people, and the 31 scenes together show a story of a man and a woman and their love. I am doing it again here in January, where I’m writing about my father and I. I love the way it shows me the truth behind a relationship, and I will continue writing like… Read more 100 Words

Again, again

Another year, another effort. Yes, time for goals, as always. I do want to write every day. I love to write. I like the habit. Last year I attended a writing boot camp and another writing discipline. The former had us write 1000 words each day for 10 days, the latter had us write 100 words each day for a full month (I did this in December). At the boot camp we received prompts, so my writing took all kinds of forms and shapes: from memoir, to fiction, to stream-of-consciousness,… Read more Again, again

You want to know the concept of HYGGE

The concept of HYGGE [hoo-ga] – a Danish term, and I grew up in Denmark – is an interesting one to define in English. It looks like this: family and/or friends visiting with each other over a meal or a drink or coffee, hosted in a home, anytime of day, with candles lit (do not confuse with a romantic dinner), conversation going, sharing stories, relaxing into time. It feels like this: happy to be alive, enjoying the moment, comfortable and content, happy to share, warm and fuzzy, ‘this is where I… Read more You want to know the concept of HYGGE

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