we can’t see it: it is there anyway

In a summer-program from Swedish Radio,I listen to  Norwegian author Karl-Ove Knausgård. He is sitting at the roof of his home in a town in Sweden He is describing his  mixture of feelings the day after the bomb went off in the Government-area, and the shootings at Utøya. As he listens to the sounds of the day – the traffic, the shouts – he is acutely aware of his deep grief and shock, and describing it to us. It hits me right in my gut and heart.

Then – in the middle of that agony- he hears a little child laughing in blissful happiness. He also notices a man’s happy voice, and imagines a father throwing his baby in the air, and the child laughing. I shiver when he mentions the happy laugh: there is such innocence in it. There is only one “place” where this innocence is: Heaven.

He tries to see where the child is, and understands that it must be hidden behind some houses below him. And then he says the words that  send me right into bliss:

“We cannot  see it. It is there anyway. It is that which is home.”

And all at once I recognize this truth – that there might be disasters, agony and grief – and this is there anyway.

I love that Knausgård and non-acimers know it exactly as well as Course-students.


Yesterday I saw a memorial program from the 22nd. The ones who were there was the King, the Royal family, the Government from the Nordic countries, all the survivors and their families, the volunteer-helpers from Utøya who saved lives, the official helpers who had been involved, like Red Cross – everyone who had directly been involved. I was noticing how caring and wise somebody had arranged their seats: in the middle of the great room, the people who were directly involved, and who’s grief was most raw and in need of comfort and holding. Around them in circles, the helpers.

The symbol in this image is wonderful: the central pain, and the circle of Loving Embrace which is there.

And I notice how there in this disaster has been symbols of right minded thinking: everybody in this country cares about the pain of the ones directly involved: we all share it, and the desire to comfort and love. And the involved ones all say the same: healing comes from knowing that their pain is allowed and welcomed.


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Please note that nothing written here is intended as medical advice. Readers who think that they need help with a physical or psychological condition are advised to seek a qualified opinion.

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