There are so many in-between moments in life, like the walk to work or plane ride to a meeting in Amsterdam. And I’ve tended to think of trips to Chicago to my parents as a kind of in-between moment, but that’s the wrong way to look at them. Really they’re more like mortar holding together the bricks of my life.
I never miss the U.S. when I’m at home in Stockholm, but a visit to Chicago – last week it was with the husband, the priest and the policeman and their five-year-old, who is our goddaughter – almost always leaves me feeling sentimental, melancholy and wanting more. I brood, for some reason thinking about all the times of my life where things seem to be at the hinge of a door, about to open onto one thing and close on another. Like the whole crazy seven months I lived in Barcelona, which were a prelude to moving to Sweden, looking back on it. Despite the brooding, it’s a lovely bittersweet feeling.
But what makes the visit mortar, I suppose, is that it brings me back to my most fundamental self, where I came from and what makes me me. As if the Stockholm me were some other me, which it isn’t. It’s the same me. Well, maybe just slightly different, sort of laid on top of the other me with the edges not quite matched.
The Swedish word for the day is lager. It means layer.
- by Francis S.