[By Nic Lindh on Wednesday, 04 August 2004]
Been experiencing some homesickness lately, wanting to experience the Swedish summer with its verdant greenery, endless soft light and even the interminable rain. Been wanting to sit on a cliff and watch the sun set over the ocean and other such romantic notions.
Pining for the fjords you might say, if I happened to be Norwegian.
This has lead to the inevitable dredging up of Swedish books, movies and music in order to create some little simulacra in my mind of what might be called the Swedish Experience.
It may be a cliché, but like all of them, it contains a kernel of truth: One of the things that really sets the Swedish Experience apart from the American is an acceptance, even something of a morbid fascination, with Death.
You will die. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not for 50 years, but sooner or later your existence will end. No stopping it.
It might be a good thing to stop the rushing around for a little while and think about how your days are numbered. After a sufficiently long period of time, it really won’t matter one whit what you did–your name and deeds will be lost. Perhaps some little part of your DNA will walk the Earth, embedded in some other creature, mixed in with pieces of many others, but all memories of you will be gone.
And to think they say we’re a depressing bunch…
Incidentally, the music selection for this post comes from an excellent album to give you a bit of Swedish insta-angst, Vittrad by Garmarna.