Posts in autumn
September Days III - Cold

I’m currently home from work, on my couch, with a proper September cold. The last week or so I’ve felt my energy draining day by day. Perhaps it was naive for me to think that, on my day off last Thursday, a pool day would solve it all. But I’ve wanted to go to Kitsilano salt-water pool since the start of the summer, and on this particular September afternoon the sun was out, I was off. It felt like it was my very last change to go. So I did.

Before going to the pool that day, I went to an optometry center to get my eyes checked. I haven’t done this in year. Maybe 10-15 years, I’m not sure. My eyesight is actually amazing, however recently I’ve been noticing my left eye straining quite a bit. I usually get cluster headaches right behind my left eye, and I have almost a constant twitch on that side as well. My insurance covered the visit, so I thought why not! I was right, my eyesight is slightly worse on the left eye which is causing a strain. So I got a prescription and had a look on some of the options there. I’ll do some more extensive research on frames later. It was quite an eye opener (pun intended) to realize how many hours a day I spend in front of a screen though. If I’m not working in front of the computer (my work is all computer work), I’m either on my kindle, phone or in front of the tv. That really needs to change as well.

Looking back, swimming in the (although slightly heated) pool right next to the ocean with its breeze probably triggered the cold even more. Anyway, here we are!


Andrew was able to join me after work, which rarely happens, so I ended up having an amazing day. Afterwards we decided to go out for dinner instead of going straight home. We went to our local and most visited place The Main on Main Street. We had our usual dishes, sitting by the window and letting the sunset warm us up. From outside we all of a sudden heard some strange noises, and peeked back only to see this little guy looking right at us.


Dont worry, his owner was a couple of meters away having a pint. The parrot loved sitting where he could observe people walking by, admiring him. He probably loved the attention.

Today it’s grey outside, and the forecast for the week is all grey skies and rain. September weather, just like April, wants you to have it all really. I’m not complaining.

September Days II - Home

There’s so much delicious magic in nesting. I feel like my life so far has been a long search for home. A longing to go home. I’ve moved all my life, having separated parents means going back and forth. Meeting in parking lots, moving from one car to another. Your mom’s new boyfriend, and their new flat together. You move in there. Your dad’s new girlfriend’s house, you move in there too. During the summers I slept over at grandma’s summerhouse with my cousins. The color coded toothbrushes for all of the blonde children, grandpa next to the fireplace and grandma making black-current cordial in the kitchen - that was home. At fifteen I moved away all on my own, to stay with other high school girls in a far away city. We survived on oatmeal and mom’s frozen taco pies. In the evening we talked about home, missing home. I lasted a year, before I went back to mom’s lake house.

Four years later I moved continents, to California. Thinking I belonged there, thinking I would discover home next to the beaches and palm trees. After every semester I moved place, looking for room-mates and apartments that felt like home. Not counting those random motel rooms and in-between places, I rented six different rooms. The only thing I brought from house to house was my mattress and a red lamp with a tiger foot. Once the honeymoon years were over, I craved Europe and didn’t feel at home in the land of yoga and wine and cobb salads anymore. I took the train to the airport; I listened to To Build A Home by The Cinematic Orchestra thinking ‘I will remember this moment for the rest of my life’. And here we are, I remember.

I didn’t feel home “at home”. The years away had alienated me; I didn’t belong in the north west Swedish small town among the birch and pine trees anymore. Even the language didn’t feel like home anymore, or how people didn’t smile when meeting me at the grocery store. In the midst of panic, feeling like I didn’t belong, I took the first opportunity I could get and moved countries again. This time to Ireland.

Ireland felt like home. The farmers markets, the sea, the rain and the book shops. People seemed stuck in a different century here, listening to music popular 10 or 20 years ago. Their hobbies hadn’t changed with time: people gathered in pubs and actually talked with each other. But finding a home, an actual place to stay at, was more than difficult. I was forced to stay in a hostel for three months, surrounded by strangers. Home was no longer a physical place, due to necessity it had to be a state of mind. A Starbucks, a friend’s place, the school library. I searched for home wherever I could find it. I found Andrew, then, and he became a place of home.

Close to the three year mark in Ireland, I started to miss home. Again, not knowing what that meant. I thought it meant Sweden, so I went back for half a year. I tried my hardest to nest (painting my room at dad’s place, buying decorative figures and books) and feel a sense of belonging. And I did, but not as much as I craved. The feeling wasn’t strong enough to keep me there, Andrew was missing me so I went back to Ireland. Stayed for another year. It wasn’t a good time, it wasn’t home, but we tried. We tried our absolute best, while daydreaming of creating something new, together. In Canada.

Cut to the present time. We’ve been here for almost two years now. We spent the first couple of months in an AirBnB, and then moved to a basement apartment a couple of blocks away. And while the apartment is not truly ours, whatever that means, it feels like home. The furniture is not ours, so everything is not handpicked by us. But we try to make it as much ours as possible.

One day I’ll have a place that’s completely mine. A small little place, close to nature but not too far away from the roads either. I’ll enjoy that then. Right now, I’m enjoying this. The more you romanticize your own life, the more magic you create. The more you realize you can find joy in the most average of places and things, the happier you get. I think I believe that now.

Having A Coke With You

(Poem of the week)

Having a Coke with You

is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles

and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them

I look
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together for the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully as the horse

it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I’m telling you about it

// Frank O'Hara

autumn, poetry, septemberEmma Carlsson
September Days I - September Babies

September babies are born from Christmas miracles and new years celebrations. If your parents weren’t together, most likely you were conceived during a drunken night when your mother and father strayed from their families to meet other young ones out on town. If you’re a September 20th baby like me (and many babies are), most likely the stars aligned on December 25th. December 24th in Sweden is for family celebrations, December 25th is for friends and strangers. That’s when they met, my tall dark father and my short blonde mother, in 1988. I’m not sure if they were together before that, if they knew each other. I believe they had common friends already, I’ve seen pictures of gangs gathered around old Volvos. Women with over-sized jeans jackets and men with leather vests. Anyway, it’s not my story to tell.

Every September I feel reborn. In a mellow, content kind of way. I didn’t come in to this world screaming through a bloody, torn vagina; I didn’t make that trip. Instead, after a 24 hr painful struggle suffered by my mother, I was carved out. As a baby I didn’t scream much in general. I preferred sleeping on chests and quietly observing the dynamics of the world around me. Not much has changed.

In 18 days I’ll turn 30. I made it, my youth is officially behind me. 30 doesn’t automatically mean proper adulthood, whatever adulthood means. But it does mean accepting what is, what was and what will follow. The lump of clay has taken some type of shape. What follows now is detail work and caring for the mass of space I ended up becoming. 30 for me doesn’t mean having all the answers, rather it means I now know what questions to ask.

September is a fusion of summer and autumn. The best bits of both all blended into one. You can still swim in outdoor pools and even the ocean will welcome you, if you want to meet it. There’s still warmth in the air and water, but the wind gives birth to baby winds and the core slowly cools down the lake. Leaves falls from the mother ship like romantic petals, slowly. Independently, not all at once. That’s October.

Here’s to embracing all of September and every last day of my twenties. Here’s to the Harvest Moon and Mercury’s forward movements and Autumnal Equinox and birthday celebrations. Bad days, good days, September days. I’ll try to write it all down.

Storm Brian
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Det är kallt där jag sitter framför fönstret med en (kall) kaffekopp. Bäst jag sätter på vår mini-heater och riktar den emot ansiktet så jag får brännsår över hela kinden och halsen. Det finns ingen som gillar värme mer än jag, om möjligt så min mamma kanske. Och morfar. Och mormors terrier Harley. Jag menar inte utomhusvärme, jag menar inomhusvärme. Finns det något värre än att frysa inomhus, känns så onödigt på något vis, när man inte behöver. Finns det något bättre än att frysa utomhus och sen komma in i värmen? Jag tror liksom inte det. 

I veckan har jag jobbat kvällsskift. Annars har jag mest kollat på Mindhunters (Netflix) - så bra. Storm Brian far över Irland nu i helgen, det är regnigt och mörkt. Vilket är helt okej, jobbar bara tre dagar nästa vecka så ska passa på att vila, planera, läsa och förhoppningsvis vara ute lite. Regn och jobb verkligen hindrar mig att gå ut. Känner alltid att jag måste be om ursäkt till min kropp, för vi bara sitter på kontorsstolar eller soffor hela dagarna. Men sen måste jag förlåta mig själv igen, för att känna skuldkänslor. Så onödigt, ibland ser livet ut som det gör bara. Betyder ju inte att man inte alltid gör sitt allra bästa. 

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It's cold where I'm sitting, in front of the window with a (cold) coffee cup. I better put on our mini-heater and face it towards my face until it gives me burn marks all over my cheeks and neck. No one likes heat more than me, mom maybe. And grandpa. And grandma's terrier Harley. I don't mean outdoor-heat, i mean indoor-heat. Is there anything worse than being cold inside, feels so unnecessary, when you don't really need to. Is there anything better than being cold outside and to then come in to the heat? I don't think so. 

Throughout the week I've been working evening shifts. Other than that I've been watching Mindhunters (Netflix) - so good. Storm Brian is going over Ireland over the weekend, it's rainy and dark. I don't mind, I'm only working three days next week so I'm going to make sure to rest up, plan, read and hopefully spend some time outdoors. Rain and work really stops me from going outside. I always feel like I have to apologise to my body, for sitting around in office chairs and couches all day. But then I have to forgive myself again, for feeling guilty. So unnecessary, sometimes life just is the way it is. Doesn't mean you're not doing your very best. 

daily, autumnEmma Carlsson
Storm Ophelia

Today is a home day. Hurricane Ophelia is raging across Ireland. So far, where we live, it's not really worse than any other rainy, windy day.

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CUT TO: cinnamon bun and hot chocolate break in front of the last episode of GLOW.

CUT TO: Scratch that. One hour later and we're now facing a proper blizzard. I hope everyone is safe and sound and cuddled up inside. Two people have already died in Ireland due to trees falling. Weather scares me, I respect it deeply. Mother Nature controls everything around us. What if I were to get stuck here, on this island, filled with water? What if I were to never see Sweden again; my family, my forests? I know that won't happen right now, but I've catastrophizing as long as I can remember so why stop now, right? Joking aside, I'm respecting you Ophelia. Do what you have to do, and then leave. Like the rest of us. 

Today I'm spending time with myself, working on pictures, reading, writing, listening. I changed the name on this blog to blue lakes deep forests, same as my instagram account. follow if you want! 

daily, autumnEmma Carlsson
Birthday 2017
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Here I am, on the 20th of September, it's my birthday. I'm on my way to work even though I can barely stand up without wanting to, needing to, sit down. A couple of hours later I leave work again. Head to the doctor, find out that I have shingles. It all makes sense, the big itchy, painful patch area on my back. The dizziness. The rundown, drained feeling. The doctor hands me a note that says I'm off work for more than a week. Stress. What will I miss? What will people think of me? Will I even be able to relax? Will I get fired when I come back? And then, Andrew's gone for work. Long days at home by myself, evenings by myself. The internet stops working. I spend the days reading, dreaming, listening to swedish music, talking to friends + family. We go up to Sligo for a night, for my birthday. More on that later. More on a lot of things later. Internet's back, Andrew's gone again, the September sun is shining outside. 

daily, autumn, , birthdayEmma Carlsson

The past two days have been extremely turbulent for me. Starting a new job has made my transformation into an empty shell complete; feelings are dead and the warmth is gone. I hide somewhere deep inside and put on the automatic pilot. I don't want to be there; here - so I'm not. 

Obviously, this a way of living is not to be recommended. In fact one should avoid it. But I have very little strength left, so I just let it happen to me. I'm still inside there somewhere, but at least I recognize it now - with help from Andrew who always knows what's wrong. 

There are so many things I want to do with my life. So many lives I want to live. My life situation at the moment is painful, because it doesn't give me any joy. The only positive thing in my life at the moment is Andrew, but having the only joy in your life being your boyfriend isn't exactly ideal either. 

Fall is my favourite season; september is my favourite month. I'm turning 28 in a week, Halloween is coming up. These are all good things. These are all things I love. Yet I feel empty, like I'm letting my favourite things just pass by me without appreciating them. 

I think about work a lot. Daily; nightly. I work in sleep, I work in the shower. I work when I'm talking to other people, when I'm watching tv and when I'm making dinner. I spend so much time thinking of my current job because it's scary. Because I'm trying to make it familiar and non-threatning but it's not working out for me. So I stay there, mentally, it consumes me. 

Imagine what I could do with all that time. Imagine I had a job I actually enjoyed, imagine how much I could give to the world, to a job I love. I'd be such an asset, a time-asset. Someone who would commit. It frustrates me thinking of how much time I'm wasting at the moment. Andrew hates when I say waste instead of spend. You're not wasting money, you're not wasting time - you're just spending it. It just goes away. We shouldn't add negative value like that. But I can't help but think that I'm destined to do so much more than this, and it's killing me that I'm not there already. 

philosophy, daily, autumnEmma Carlsson
Dreams Overload

Travel blues. When you come home from a trip, inspired but too tired to act on anything. Leaving Lisbon on Friday morning was tough, even so I was grateful for everything I experienced on the trip. I was grateful for the food, the weather, the people, the places we stayed at and of course so, so grateful for Andrew being the very best travel buddy one can have. 

I'll post a couple of updates from Lisbon after I finally sit down with all the pictures. There's just too many of them. My mind's a bit cluttered at the moment, filled with observations, dreams and new goals. Yesterday was a weird one, every now again I feel really strongly that I should move back to Sweden; to live in a forest somewhere, just me and Andrew and the seasons. What's painful is that I know that if I did that, I'd be dreaming about something else. I don't know where I'll end up yet. It might be just that, in a forest in Sweden. It might be in a little house in Canada. It might be in a van somewhere in Europe, who knows. 

Andrew will soon come home from a wedding job he did yesterday. I'm going to convince him to take me to IKEA, so I can have some meatballs and maybe, maybe buy some crayfish. They won't beat the ones we catch outside our house by the lake in Sweden at mom's place, but they'll have to do. Here are some pictures, for now, from when me and Andrew visited Sweden back in 2014. It was Andrew's first time there, and first time catching crayfish as well I'm sure! 

daily, throwback, autumnEmma Carlsson