Music is a wonderful thing, it has the power to inspire and the simplicity to provide a soundtrack to your life. My soundtrack for traveling will act as recall mechanism for which I can remember these walks with just a listen. Years from now I will listen to the same songs, maybe at home and maybe by accident in a cafe in another foreign land and smile as I remember the wind and the sunshine of the coming spring. Maybe one day I will be in a hard place in life and one of these songs, attached to one of these experiences, will help shine a light on the shadows and inspire me to push myself as I am pushing myself now. Currently my soundtrack is full of Sam Cooke classics, Bruce Springsteen providing a lyrical picture to connect me with my home and America, Otis Redding and Adele bring some soul. I am not sure if there is a more smile inducing melody then the opening and first line.." I've got sunshine on a cloudy day..." This comes across my playlist and I cant help but stop walking, take in the sunshine by the sea, and smile. I don't care who sees. It is a moment like that, a moment of clarity, when all the trouble in your life seems to melt away like the snow, if only for a moment, and you stand in the spring of life soaking up the sun. I am literally soaking up the sun and I am also thinking of how lucky I am. This is hard, I mean it is hard to be in strange land alone. Being away from all familiar is almost unbearable. Fear of defeat, fear that this could be in vain is a constant battle inside me but in moments like these, with just a simple lyric, provide relief from the fear and a pure and simple happiness and warmth. I continue my walk, with a little bit of soul, through the streets of Ostermalm and I think about songs I may not know that can provide a new soundtrack. I wonder what other peoples travel or life soundtracks are. Seriously, I would like to know so share if you would like. Maybe I can hear one and think of home and when I write about it you can be here with me traveling too. After a little train misadventure, which I can't avoid, I find the right one home and gaze out of the windows watching the ice breakaway across the sea as the spears of sunlight break through the clouds. I listen and contemplate the day, my choices and what is next. I have been talking to someone in the film industry here and hope to get to collaborate on some writing sessions and hopefully spend some time in front of the camera. I am working on setting up a day to head into a bakery and learning how to make traditional Swedish treats and find out some more of culture and the pastry's long history in that culture and sharing that here with you.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
"The winds of change are blowing wild and free..." The winds of change are blowing in full force this day. Bringing dust up from the ground to dance down the distance of the tracks as I sit beneath the shaking of the trees and watch as the dust rises and falls, to be washed away in the melting snow. Winter is dying by the second and giving way to the waters of spring here in Sweden. On a bench, by the tracks, I silently sit and take in the idea of change. All around me the cold wind blows with the mighty desire to turn itself into the warm winds of summer. The Earth shakes, and I sit as a solo audience to it all. The melting is giving way to muddy feet and to an excitement in the air. I train into the city to enjoy a walk in the sunshine and to feel the oxymoron-ical warm-clod breeze flying through my hair coming from the aged green brass rooftops of Stockholm's Ostermalm. People are out in numbers to enjoy the sunshine and to enjoy a fika. Fika is best translated as having a coffee and snack, most commonly a pastry, just for the fun of it. Swed's love there fika and there coffee. I read that some Swedes have 4.5 cups a day. It does help to fight against the blustery winds of winter and the last remaining sea winds that seem to bowl one over with their force. Stockholm is a large-small city. It has a population around the size of San Francisco. It has within its limits many, many cafes where you can find Swedes and people from around the world enjoying a fika and watching as the change from winter to spring is happening outside. I walk the streets trying to contain my smile and resisting the urges to dance or at the least walk to the rhythm of the song in my ears.