Sunday, March 23, 2003

Stockholm's pulse slows down to nearly nothing in the dark months of winter, speeding up only with the advent of the sun as the vernal equinox is passed. It's taken a couple of years, but my heart now seems to beat nicely in synchonicity with Stockholm. Which is not to say that it's nice. Going into hibernation is a numbing experience, just this side of depression.

Last night, the husband and I made one last play at staving off the sadness of winter, which I desperately hope is in its death throes, spending a night in the brightly lit kitchen, making empanadas of beef and sultanas and garlic and onion and tomato and egg, just like his mother used to make. It is a luxury to spend a late afternoon and evening preparing elaborate food, remembering that gathering and preparing food took all the time and energy of our ancestors. Remembering that we could be living just now in a hinge of time, our fingers stuck in the door of a war that could mean profound changes for us, difficult changes, ugly changes. Or mean nothing, nothing at all. Did it feel like this when the Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated? One never knows until afterwards.

In lieu of certainty, we're now giving the apartment what I hope is a spring cleaning, the windows wide and the sun streaming in, unstoppable.

The Swedish word for the day is påtaglig. It means obvious.

- by Francis S.

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