Here are some geese making a test flight before they set off south. We are doing the same. A final walk along the fjære as the beach is called here. The impressions pour in. Each step a hundred stones. Stones, the word is prosaic and yet each one a gem in its uniqueness.
The tang and tare, the two types of seaweed. Tang is from the forests of the deep sea, which loses its leaves to float up to the strand. Tare is that which grows here on the beach. And a magnificent food it is both for the beasts and for us, but for some reason we don’t use it, though Mari and I have been checking some recipes from her great great grandmother. We’re singing along the road.
The work and harvest of this journey has been in three layers.
One, the stories. Stories of people’s lives much harder and more raw than we have known. Full of powerful sorrows and joys. Compared to us far nearer a sustainable life. And woven with these, stories of the parallel worlds of the spirits and of the other plants and creatures.
Layer two was my walk. How to read the map, get totally wet and lost and fall down mountains. Where to sleep and what to eat. I had an aim to eat local food and to walk the whole way. I failed in both these.
The aim of local food was naive. Had I had done it I would lived on fish, meat, milk and cheese. Plus the syre and alpine distort (harerug) I found. I would often have had days without food. But this aim helped me find stories about how humans and nature are connected.
It also meant that I ate mainly local and delicious food.
Walking the whole way. I walked most of the way but there were parts of the journey where there were long tunnels through the mountains where I didn’t want or was forbidden to walk. Another reason for taking the bus or hitching was that I had to reach the festivals where I had a job telling.
But walking has been totally necessary to digest the enormous numbers of stories.
It’s been quite funny people look at you as if you are SO WEIRD when you say you are walking. “You mean you don’t have a car or even a bike you are WALKING?!” Yet their grandparents were walking like that most days and thinking nothing of it.
Layer 3 of the journey was how to pass it on to you. I didn’t bring a computer so I spent quite a lot of time the first weeks tracking down a machine on the way. After I maybe damaged someone’s pc I finally bought an iPad and worked out how to use it. Then which of the immense mass of stories would I tell and how, at the festivals on the way. Here I am trying to understand.
Where’s it leading? That is a secret I don’t yet know the answer to. I have been telling some of the stories but I think it might be something else too. I’ll let you know…
I have so enjoyed reading your posts, dipping into the lives and cultures and landscapes that you have passed. What an amazing brave adventure. Good luck with the next stage and look forward to hearing how it grows x