But it feels like no matter how carefully worded your write it or how thoughtfully and insightfully you approach a lot of topics these days you are going to be slammed from all perspectives and opposing views. And it’s not just the blaring opposite opinions and beliefs it’s all the dozens of other of nuanced and slightly variant views as well. I feel like most people agree with each other more than they think, but they get so stuck on 2% or 5% that separates them from others.
I spent two, maybe three hours, last week writing on a blog. It just didn’t turn out, which is why nothing was posted last week. So this is attempt number #2 and its Monday. I am not sure where the time goes. Its already September and I am 24 weeks into this pregnancy. Over half way there. Its basically still summer here in Norway, but the days are getting colder and rainier. No frost yet, so the flowers are still blooming and there is still a few apples on the trees and berries on the bushes. The kids boots are crusted with mud each day after school and dripping rain suits hang in our entry hall. We still sleep with our windows open at night, but all snuggled under our down Norwegian duvet comforters.
I rolled out the dusty, crinkled and weather-beaten old battle map with a tired snap. Dust exploded in a small gust of tiny granules throughout the air of the tent. The map unrolled slowly outward across the round, oaken table. My captains and lieutenants circled about, wide shoulders hunched over in grief, armor beaten and dented in, crimson blood smeared across their stalwart faces and muscled arms. I could see the the defeat and despair as they avoided eye contact, the brightness gone from their gaze. My entire body was sagging in hopelessness. I leaned forward across the map, pressing my palms onto the ink stained paper to brace my shaking arms.
I am girl from small town USA. I’m used to simple and easy and right and wrong. I may have grown up, gained perspective in college, learned to ask questions when I became a parent and then widened my understanding even more with living overseas, but still at heart, life is simple and straightforward to me. You can’t take that black and white perspective away. It’s how I see God, how I see people, how I see culture and it shapes how I make choices in life. I’m so thankful for it, because the more I discover the world, the more I see gray. There are too many options, too many opinions, too many choices to choose from, too many things that can be wrongly understood and badly interpreted no matter your intent.
No matter how well you adjust a part of you will always feel foreign. As an American in Norway I will always feel a bit louder, a bit more direct, a bit more opinionated and a bit more emotional. At first I think I gave myself too much pressure to adapt and become “norwegian” but now I am learning the balance of being myself and keeping my own personality and cultural traits while at the same time embracing and honoring the culture I live in.
My sword dripped blood. I gripped the leather strap on the inside of my cracked and chipped shield, dragging it beside me. The bones from wrist to my shoulder ached from the tension and strength it took to keep my shield steady through every attacker’s onslaught. I gratefully sat my shield and sword against a heavy boulder on the edge of the battlefield and painfully sank onto the soft earth beside it. I winced, leaning against the giant rock and gazed out with bleary eyes at the view before me. Black and heavy swirling smoke poured out of gaping holes that pock marked the valley floor. The dead were sprawled out in ugly piles of twisted limbs. The eerie wails of the dying echoed through the haze and smoke. I could see a few soldiers struggling to carry the wounded off the field towards the forest.