A serial of summer experiences is what I plan to share with you followers of my blog, in the days ahead. Having had some interesting and exciting summer days, which is now at an end; at this last summer day of August, knowing fall is around the corner tomorrow. I thought by giving you a little insight, we might manage to extend that emotional feeling of what a joyful summer can bring. I hope you will might enjoy reading just a little of what happened. It`s been a vibrant and creative travel experience, one for the memories of a lifetime, for the books to keep, and for the pictures to repeat.
Just reestablishing and rebuilding this story, and putting words to these emotions, these feelings, this experience; is and has been an experience of great importance. I hope by sharing some of them with you, I can make you go back in time and maybe make you rekindle with your own experiences, from childhood/early teenage years of what you might have had with your own fathers. What these moments means for the bond between sons and their father. Memories of love, joy, lessons of life and learning. Enjoy!
The Summer vacation of a lifetime with my son !
Bergen seen from Mount Ulriken, about 600 meter above sea level
Five A.M., it’s another morning, a hot summer. The sun’s blazing heat creeps into my window. It’s July, but no ordinary morning, this was real special. It was a long awaited important event, for my 15 year old son and I. We were about to have our first real summer vacation, only us two, together for the first time, and for 4 entire weeks. .
The energy in the air was filled with excitement, we didn’t really sleep much the night before, knowing we were travelling outside of Norway for this first time. This journey was going to be the beginning of a great summer for the future, one for the memories. This was a dream come true, to travel together. We packed our things for camping, a tent, sleeping bags, some basics, we’d be roughing it. Most importantly being together, while spending some nights in our tent under the moon and stars of the northern Danish sky..
The Port of the City of Stavanger
The journey from Bergen to Denmark and Copenhagen, with Bergen famous Fjord Line, a coastal shipping route, known as a part of the “Norway in a Nutshell” tour, a journey synonymous with Norway’s deep pristine fjords and scenic coastline. The overnight journey took us to the port of Stavanger, a small city on southeastern coast of Norway, the major base for Norway’s offshore oil productions. By 10 p.m. we were on our way for the long crossing of North Sea, scheduled to arrive at 7:30 a.m. in the Port of Hirtshals, Denmark.
During the long crossing my son had I had plenty of time sharing stories, eating pizza, playing games, filming and documenting this wonderful feeling of freedom, experiencing the world together as father and son.
“Dad, we are finally traveling for the first time in my life”. “I am so happy!”
“This is the best day of my life.” “I am never going to forget this, for the rest of my life”; he said.
“Yes”, I answered. “This is just the beginning”…
We looked into each other’s eyes, smiling shaking hands, accompanied with big hugs.
It was late, as we settled down for the long night crossing, from Norway to Denmark. Was this a serendipity moment? A magical silver moonlight guided our passageway, while the serene silence of the sea sent us into a deep sleep. A dream of our life to be together, traveling as father and son, was finally happening. I was humbled and thankful, and privately my heart pounded with pride, so much love and joy.This was a dream come true.
Morning arrived greeted by a blazing bright sun with not a cloud in the beautiful Danish blue sky on a glorious summer morning..
Welcome to Denmark!
The Port of Hirtshals, Denmark.
All smiles, gathering our bags as we navigated the summer crowd, we were fast and first at the disembarkment door, ready for the adventure ahead of us. We took a 10 minute bus ride to a local train that we took for 30 mins to another train, that was departing for the Copenhagen at 9:00am. A ride which took us on a 6 hour journey into the capital, through the flat terrains, scattered with some small hills of moraine ridges, passing through small villages, backyard roads and stopping at a couple of towns with many red bricked houses. The weather was exceptionally beautiful on this summer morning. We took our first bite out of Denmark, Danish cakes and coffee. Hmmm…, my son suddenly pulls out his Gopro camera, with a big smile on his face, he says: “Smile!” and laughs out loud.
I feel the cold nightmare of death lurking, its icy indifference shadowing my steps everywhere. Day in, day out, never leaving me a moment’s rest. Cruel in its finality. It is a relentless troublesome companion; close, stifling, leering. It sleeps, yet oh so terribly awake. My very own portable custom-made gallows, staring at me in the bright sunshine, in the cool shadows, always ready, always grasping. I am hounded by a sourceless unshakable sadness. It is becoming an intricate part of my mind, forcing me to try and balance my consciousness on the cutting edge of a knife – Rage on one side, the other, life without meaning. Why? What is going on here? Where did it start?
Last year, everything seemed to move forward. Life had a purpose. I was taking a stand, the goal was to get my book published. Which I have been writing on for some time. Then something happened. The emotional ride, the roller coaster of everything that has been going on these last few years. It hit me, hit me really hard, straight in the gut, my heart, my soul, it broke me…or so it felt. Almost. Darkness roamed, making each day after another a struggle to get through. Getting out of the threshold of my 4 walls, surrounding my increasingly smaller space was an achievement. An endless stream, a river of emotional pain flushed over me, bringing me down from the mountain I was climbing. Tears of not feeling good enough. Struggling to find where the ends met, economically, financially and life wise. It was sucking every inch of life, emotion and love out of me. I became afraid that I had nothing more to give. Tears, moistfull red eyed tears, they all dried up. Now it is enough. Now this has to end. Now !!!
Now I’m picking up the pieces. The broken puzzle. A grown man, a father, a brother, an artist, most importantly a human being. So where is this road out of perdition, this damnation I felt had been brought upon me, had I created it myself. Was it my fault everything, did I do this injustice, did I deserve it, this creation of constant suffering pain? Having asked these questions numerous times, over and over again, what could I have done different. I came to a realization. I have to leave all this behind, but how? By leaving this country, this small town. Leaving my kids behind, and start all over again at this phase in life. NO!!! Though, but what choices do I have? It`s an all familiar human trade. We flee, we move, we run. When life becomes increasingly hard to live. Just think about the reason why people emigrate. How a better prosperous life seems to be somewhere else, and given my former work and experience, I can’t deny that my opportunities here are much more limited. So what to do? The only solution. Finishing the process of what I started and then move forward. YES !!! An undeniable yes, but how?
Looking at my teenage son’s I am reminded of that beauty of being a family, being alive when we are together. I miss seeing them everyday. They are still young, growing, purely honest and in so many ways innocent. I want to embellish them with love, wisdom, care and knowledge. I wish only the best for them, to take away the pain, distress conflict and agony of divorce. My goal to give them the best I can. That is why I must fight for my justice to be a father for my son’s. This is a story that continues, that is very much alive and needs to be told. As each precious day passes, I acknowledge there are other’s like me out there. Many, many more than I ever imagined or knew before this all started. Experiencing that they are denied the possibilities of being a part of their children’s life, denied the right to be a father.
It is my obligation to be the best father that I can to my boy’s in spite of the intrepid obstacles that I have faced over the past 2 decades. A very good friend told me,”hang in there, your story will find resonance among other fathers”, him being one of them. His words and thoughts gave me reassurance that all of it, this blog, this upcoming book, which I will need all the help that I can get to make it happen, will finally come through. “The Journey”. Either through the Kickstarter project to be released soon or through the feedback and support I feel you my readers give, and from other fathers sharing the same kind of pain. I humbly thank all of you, and my few very close friends for being there for me in these past months. Thank you! Belive in yourself !