Thursday Thoughts – Sitting

Today I came across this picture, which is a much treasured one, because the bench and the roses are no more. In the header you will find the most relaxing place I have ever been to – the Amazon. Sitting in one of those hammocks, listening to the sounds of the djungle…I have never felt or slept better in my entire life. I brought home some of those sounds.

I kept searching for places where I have much liked to sit down and contemplate life and the beauty around us. The lovely bench with a rose garden, was in Ronneby, our summer town. We went there at least once every year, but now the mansion is sold and the garden is down.
In another file I found this colourful tent from a park in Madrid, and I know I visited it at least twice with my students. A very colourful and harmonious place.

In 2016 we traveled in Spain and followed parts of the Camino. This friendly hostel along the road had a wonderful man in charge – with his Alsatian as a trusted companion. I can still feel the silence in that yard.

A cafe’ in Lodz, Poland, became a favourite I visited several times. I must love colours…and harmony…but who doesn’t?

My most loved place to sit is of course in nature, but the next best thing was on the stone steps to my grandmother’s house. But they are no more. So, stone steps it is, now at our summer house. I love sitting there, on the sun warm steps, mornings, evenings, – yes, any time of the day. Watching the sunset, the terns diving and the swallows sweeping over the sea for some late evening food.

Thursday Thoughts and Thursday’s Special

Today, I have tried to leave the Christmas chores behind, and went for my favourite challenge – Thursday’s Special from

Paula

…. this time with the photos and the assigned words that celebrate children and the child in each and every one of us. Join in if you feel like visiting that child!

Hope you had a great weekend and are enjoying the Holiday Season. Good health, peace and joy to you all!

INTROSPECTIVE

BEFRIENDING

WISH

CHOICES

Thursday Thoughts – The Most Beautiful Boy in the World

I have been to the cinema…first time since covid started. I knew there had been made a documentary of Björn Andrésen – once a young boy who was called the most beautiful boy in the world. I was his age, back then in the 70’s, and how I loved him. Like a teenager can…His face, the serenity, sensitivity and the vulnerability in his eyes. But little did I know what really happened to him, how he was used and abused.

The Most Beautiful Boy in the World is a 2021 documentary film about Björn Andrésen and the effects of fame thrust upon him when he appeared in Luchino Visconti’s 1971 film, Death in Venice. The movie was built on a novel by Thomas Mann. Andrésen was just 16 when the film was released, and he was an innocent and very shy boy, totally unprepared for instantly becoming an international celebrity. So, a timely documentary theme, because these things happen – over and over again.

The title of the film came from a remark that Visconti made about Andrésen at the premiere of Death in Venice in London, and that shadow still weighs upon Björn Andrésen’s life.

Björn Andrésen wanted to be a concert pianist – not a movie star at all. Throughout the movie we hear him playing the piano, his own compositions and pieces by famous composers such as Chopin and Rachmaninov.

He had no father, and his mother committed suicide before Björn reached his teens. So, he grew up with his grandparents, and as his grandmother wanted to have a movie star grandson, she had him listed for numerous auditions…Björn was a fragile and sweet boy, so of course he did what he was told. Then came the famous Visconti, to Stockholm – and found him. The casting process was filmed, and I cried when I saw how awkward the young boy was when told to take off his clothes and pose for the film director.

Nobody seemed to notice. Nobody helped him or looked after him – and he was just a child. He had no one to turn to. How does an innocent young boy handle screaming crowds and hysterical Japanese girls – without a parent or mentor? Nobody seemed to care. He was just pushed around, trapped in a written three – year contract on his face. In the documentary he silently says, that he just wanted to be somebody else and somewhere else.

It is a deeply moving film, a tragedy, a life not taken good care of, not given a chance. Björn is still today, at 66, in my eyes, strikingly and otherworldly beautiful, but as he says himself – what has that ever done to help him with his inner demons? Years of depression and drugs, a crashed marriage and a son dead. He has a daughter though, but he feels he failed her as well. ”Nothing matters”, he says… because he has lost so much that there is nothing left to lose. A broken man, but, he has got his faith – and he wouldn’t have been here today without it.

"Fun facts" - In the documentary we go with Björn to Italy and Japan to meet, among others,  the famous manga artist Riyoko Ikeda. She is most famous for her series The Rose of Versailles. And she reveals that her drawing of the hero (Oscar Francois de Jarjayes)  is totally built on Björn Andrésen. His visit to Japan after Death in Venice started an idol worship bigger than ever, and in fact he is supposed to be the model for most of the blonde manga heroes.

Fair use. By This is a screenshot taken from an optical disc, television broadcast, web page, computer software or streaming media broadcast. Copyright Riyoko Ikeda.

I recommend you to see this movie. Not because he was a great teenage ”love” of mine and many youngsters in those days, but because it is a serenely and honestly made documentary that maintains its grip on the audience throughout the 11/2 hours. It openly shows parts of Björn’s turbulent life, but just as much as he is willing to reveal, and he is never trampled on. I feel this documentary was made with love and dignity. Thank you to the directors, Kristina Lindström and Kristian Petri who made this a film to remember, and thank you Björn, for saying yes to make it come true. It is an important document of our times. May we learn something about child abuse, use and misuse, how it can destroy their whole life. Instead we must support and help our young realize their own dreams – not somebody else’s.

29 January, 2021, World Premiere, Sundance Film Festival, USA

Waiting for Green – Life in Colour

So much fun with Jude’s challenge – I found two whole galleries. Maybe the sign for how much I long for green right now?

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, now…

For Debbie’s SixWordSaturday. The photo was taken through a stained glass mirror.

Lens-Artists Challenge #129 – Favourite Photos of 2020

Our team is back and we wish you welcome to 2021. This New Year comes with much hope for the future. Maybe more than ever –

It was as if the land opened its lips and breathed again, and was made anew.
― Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Our “Favorite Images of the Year ” challenge will be a bit different – as this whole year, 2020, has been different. No visits to foreign lands or faraway places. Instead it opens for images that tell something of our own journey for 2020. For me, this year meant living in my bubble, struggling to stay reasonably sane. So much less camera…and so much less energy – but still, here’s my year through lens and sense.

I begin with my absolute favourite image for 2020 – the broken window with wine leaves and the last rays of sun. From here I will travel backwards in time, down to when it all started, somewhere in January/February.

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.
― Oprah Winfrey

A friend of mine said to me, ”…this image is like a symbol of 2020: restriction and restraint for everything beautiful.” Maybe so, but, being a person who constantly seeks beauty, I will always try to find it, and to portray it – no matter what.
Letting ourselves and the dogs as free as possible – giving room and space for more uplifting thinking. We are fortunate to live near nature and the possibility to spend several hours a day in the great outdoors.
One of the few sunny minutes this autumn. For several years I have tried to catch this road in its Autumn glory – and finally, the golden moment arrived. Unfortunately this happened on one of my ”low” days, so, I felt… nothing of the expected joy. Still, here it is – the once much longed for image…
This year brought many opportunities for close-ups and macro photography – finding new worlds in small spaces. Never has William Blake’s words rung more true to me:

To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower 

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 

And Eternity in an hour

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. —Lao Tzu

In September my mother left us. Unexpectedly and unforeseen. And Autumn darkness at the door. After the funeral I went from feeling low to feeling exhausted and powerless. No recharging at hand. Even on our hikes I seldom brought my camera.

And now let us welcome the new year, full of things that never were.”
—Rainer Maria Rilke

A highlight in the autumn darkness was the visit to IFÖ center and the artists’ studios there. I brought my camera… Creativity is contagious – not dangerous.
If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. – Cicero

My garden was a special joy this summer. And I finally got my glasshouse – hopefully there will be new plants in spring!
The beginning is always today.—Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

New life is slowly growing where my forest once was. I clearly remember this uplifting day watching the clouds sailing low, like cottonballs dropped from the sky.
NO treat beats an outing with my daughter and son.
This year I discovered the swirl through some other bloggers – and loved juggling with it. I even made a none favourite animal look more handsome. (Still not a favourite though…) So, swirling became a distraction from the nightmare situation in the world.
Every moment is a fresh beginning. —T.S. Eliot

A new hiking area – we walked all familiar areas and even some new ones this Spring. Nothing compares to Mother Nature when it comes to healing. A sunny day, open fields, lovely old houses – the closest we could get to an ordinary day and a normal life.

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. – Khalil Gibran

In the sandy soil of southwestern Skåne…you will find the most beautiful of spring flowers – the Pasqueflower. Only about 7 centimeters high, but abundant here. It felt comforting to lie down and touch the earth, knowing it is still there…

I was fortunate to attend a spectacular event – letting two young Eurasian eagle-owls take off for freedom! And how I wished I could just fly away with them.
Waiting for the train in Stockholm. On that train home from Umeå, I learned about the new Corona virus’ arrival in the world. Everything turned sci-fi, and I was shivering to the bones. My husband was traveling somewhere in Asia, and I texted him to return home immediately.

A lovely winter’s morning before the world changed… before everything we knew as normal was … gone.

In retrospect, I realize I have made more images than I knew of… despite this invisible invader and its impact on all our lives. Now we can only wish the vaccine will help us come back to easier and brighter days. The wiser. The first thing I would do… is go to a café for a nice cup of coffee and a tasty piece of cake – and quietly sit down to watch smiling people passing by.

We are excited to announce that next week’s challenge will be guest hosted by Slow Shutter Speed’s Anne Sandler. Do stop by her blog this week to see her beautiful photography and don’t miss her post next Saturday at noon EST.

May 2021 bring peace, health, and happy moments to us all. We look forward to seeing Your favorite images of 2020 and understanding why you’ve chosen them. Please link them to Tina’s original post, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you. As always, we greatly appreciate your continued support of our challenge and the inventive creativity of your responses.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #127 Precious Moments

Amy is hosting this week, and she says: ”This week, as we are approaching the end of 2020, let us share some of the precious moments we have had, before or during the pandemic.”

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? – Mary Oliver

So, my images are all from before the pandemic – when planning was possible.

Vielha, Spain

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love. – Marcus Aurelius

Sunrise, Fryksås, Orsa Lake, Dalarna

Frosty morning, Hovdala meadows

The most precious resource we have is time. – Adam Neumann

Birthday

Life is short, and every moment is precious. – Gad Saad

Sand sculptures, Denmark

Levada hiking, Madeira

My favourite class graduating (Immediate connection and some of them are still in contact with me)

Stray dog and friend, Georgia

Christmas market, Skåne

We invite you to share your own precious moments, from traveling, holidays or with family and friends. Include a link to Amy’s post here and use the lens-Artists tag so that everyone can find your post in the WP Reader. We look forward to seeing your creative work.

Special thanks to Patti for her inspirational “Subjects That Begin with the Letter A.” Marvelous!

Finally – stay tuned for December 19, when I, Leya, will be your host. Until then, be safe and well.

Thursday Thoughts – Younger Days II

I was born and raised in a tiny village, consisting of about 15 houses situated on a ridge above the school house. Here I spent every day of my first 12 years, climbing and running, strolling and roaming the farm land, meadows and forests. I had a happy childhood.

This is the gate I climbed every day – or, this might be a newer one, but it still looks the same to me… There are huge stones in the meadow above, and we used to bring buns and milk to feast on when we had finished climbing and settled on top of the highest one. To us they were mountains – but in reality, boulders from the ice age, left here when the ice moved away.

In this house lived the grandmother of my best friend at school, and her grandson (my friend’s elder brother). A small farm I loved to walk up to every day. My own grandmother’s house was just 5 minutes down the road.
Maybe you remember I posted before on this barn, the cats and a duck behind the yellow door. My childhood friend’s brother still lives here, but the farm animals are not that many anymore. He always keeps his ”Grålle” tractor (Ferguson) in excellent shape.
They used to have sheep, pigs, geese, hens, rabbits, cats and dogs. There’s only two sheep left, a duck and … loads of cats. Being a farmer is a tough life, so it has got to be a ”living your dream” scenario. It takes All of you to manage and make it thrive.
But the two sheep seemed happy in their golden meadow, and the farmer – well, he was just like I remembered him from younger days. I will return a sunny day in spring so we can climb some stones again. That would be just great.