This weekend... one for the books, I suppose. Started off strong. Too strong. Finished it slow... perfectly slow.
I attended my first sittning on Thursday (a few photos above). It was more fantastic than I could have guessed. Everyone had to wear wigs. There was so much fist pumping and story telling and singing that I barely had more than a bite of my food. I was welcomed as the first American, or really, the first non-Swede to attend one the sittnings put on by this group... and I even survived the secret dare I was assigned by my friends throwing the party to perform in front of the group. And then much later that evening, I learned that on sittning nights, you need to pace yourself. Noted.
The next night, after things closed down in town, I got onto a bus at 3 am, crammed in with a couple hundred others, bound for a secret afterparty destination outside of town. I found myself dancing under the stars, lights flashing, dj spinning. A couple hours later, I crept past a cathedral to retrieve my bike, and rode home against the light blue sky of dawn, smiling at how great and temperate the air felt, a change from the cold previous nights.
Saturday and Sunday I spent quietly. Contemplatively. Long walks through the wooded pathways and open fields near my house. Bon Iver and Ingrid Michaelson keeping me company. Long bike rides around town, exploring parks and neighborhoods and pathways I've never seen before. Oasis and Sigur Ros playing in the background. Hours at a cafe. Hours at home, cooking and reading.
Life in Lund will have a lot more of this strong and slow, I know. It will be back and forth. There will continue to be bruises on me that accumulate from surviving leaving my house at night. There will be more dancing as hard as I can in the wee hours of the morning and being pushed around. There will certainly be a great deal of biking through downpours and icy wind and arriving home to hang my soaked clothing. And then there will be the slow, what I knew I needed more of in California and looked forward to having here... there will be long dark hours spent reading, meals by the fireplaces in the nations or in the homes of friends, solitary walks between the trees. And I think it will take awhile to find the right balance of the strong and slow for me here. How much strong is too strong... how much slow is too slow... Questions to ponder.