Arctic, Art, Beauty, Culture, DIY, Everyday life, Finnmark, Indigenous, Outfit, People, Photography, Saami, Sámi, Sápmi, Uncategorized

February 6th: Happy Sámi National Day!

Elsa Laula Renberg – the Swedish/South sámi activist, reindeer herder and politician who held the first gathering for sámis in Trondheim 6th of February 1917, where sámi rights and issues were discussed. This meeting became the foundation for our national day. She also founded the first ever sámi association in Stockholm.

Wanted to make a small post on this day, although we are just “celebrating” at home drinking coffee and watching a new five part documentary called “From Sápmi to Alaska”. It is about the Sámi reindeer herders who went from here in the late 1800s to help teach the natives living there about herding. Many stayed, some returned.

A very chill corona friendly celebration you could say 😊

Have a great national day ❤💛💙💚

Painting I did in 2019 🌌
Adventure, Arctic, Beauty, Everyday life, Health, Landscape, People, Photography, Pregnancy, Sámi, Sápmi

An eventful, colourful January

It’s the last day of a very eventful January, and I am spending it curled up on our big sleeping couch with our newborn baby boy Ailo who is about 2 weeks old now, in his little baby nest and my partner who is sitting on the other end writing away on the computer. Outside, it’s already dark again. Polar night is officially over here but I have not seen the Sun yet. I am not outside so much, hardly at all as all time and energy is spent adjusting and taking care of this new amazing creation. I did however manage our first little walk with the pram!

Ailo is the diminutive form of the Sámi name Ásllat/Áslat (Aslak). It is also a family name on my side ❤ It fits him just elegantly, and since it has both Norse and Sámi origins, it is a perfect mix of me and his father’s heritage.

Life is new and different and surreal as parents. Giving birth was intense and hard work, and unfortunately not how I envisioned, but nontheless a very powerful experience. A rite of passage of sorts.. At one point during delivery I felt like I connected with all other Mothers giving birth naturally, experiencing the same pain at the exact same time. When he was born, there was an incredible silence and love that I have not experienced before 🤱🏻

January is also my birthday month, and this year I celebrated at home with my little family and my friend Katharina. 29; last year in my twenties, first year as a mama 🎉✨

How was your January?

Arctic, Everyday life, Landscape, Photography, Poems, Sápmi

Ei strime av lys over tindan

“No sløkkes en dag som så vidt rakk å gråne
og vise fram landet ei skjømmingsblå stund
og gjømt attom fjellan i aust står en måne
som snart skal strø sølv over fjorda og sund.
I sør ligg ei strime av lys over tindan
der dagen blør ut før han slokne førr godt
og vi står igjen med oss sjøl og med minnan
i mørketidslyset der allting blir blått.

Så kom og vær nær meg – vær sol i desember
når midtvinterstanka tar rom i mitt sinn
førr året må føle sin kurs og kalender
og stian blir tungtrødd når lyset førsvinn.
Men hold meg i handa og lær meg å vente
på solkvervingstimen då allting skal snu.
I mørketidslyset e varme å hente
førr den som har mot tel å trosse og tru.

Ja, streif mine strenga og løys i meg tonen
tel landet som kvile ved midtvinterstid
la mørketids-tankan og haust-depresjonen
få vike førr strofe av blå poesi.
Vi leve med rest av en sommar i minne
i lengting mot daga vi ikkje har fått
men kjem du meg nær skal vi solvarmen finne
i mørketidslyset der allting blir blått.” – Helge Stangnes 💙💛🧡

Litt mørketidspoesi nu når sola ‘har snudd’ 🤓

Adventure, Arctic, Awareness, Chronic illness, DIY, Everyday life, Health, Heritage, Indigenous, Jewellery, People, Photography, Pregnancy, Sámi, Sápmi, Tromsø, Uralic

A few personal thoughts before giving birth for the first time

Each day is getting closer to meeting our son. With the corona situation, we have been unfortunate in not getting the help and support we needed from the beginning, but as the birth is right around the corner, we have finally found a midwife that we can call and ask questions any time. We even got a little “tour” of the delivery room, which helped a lot. Getting a visual of where it will all happen and my options on how to deliver him. I have decided on a waterbirth (which I had no idea was an option here!), but plans may change of course.

My health has declined quite a lot the last 2-3 weeks. The neurological symptoms and the extra weight (+23 kg) has been heavy in all the meanings of the word. Here on Christmas eve celebration the 24th with our family dog Loke 🎄🎁 Notice my awesome socks! 🎅
My necklace 😊 Got baby’s name engraved on the back!

I am excited to say I am looking forward to meeting him more than I am scared now (which has been the main feeling until recently), and to witness the incredible innate power the female body posesses of giving life to another being. It’s quite amazing; my body has just grown this new human on its own, and I have done nothing actively to make him grow. I have just been fortunate to be his home for all this time, and feeling both proud and nervous to “share” him with the world.

My thoughts are the same regarding the birth itself. Body will know how to birth him with the help of contractions and surges – or waves as I like to see them 🌊🌊🌊 I cannot think of a more natural thing than birthing. I imagine it will be beyond any physical pain I have ever experienced. And I do expect both tearing and other issues. But I also imagine it will be the most empowering experience I can have as a woman, as the hormones and biology takes over, and I get to be right in the eye of that storm and join the millions and billions of mothers who have given birth before me. “All” I have to do is stay present and breathe into every sensation. Body will know what to do. It was literally built for this to happen.

Art by unknown. Please let me know if you do!

I recently learned about the Ferguson reflex (also known as the foetal ejection reflex), which is:

“The neuroendocrine reflex comprising the self-sustaining cycle of uterine contractions initiated by pressure at the cervix or vaginal walls. It is an example of positive feedback in biology. The Ferguson reflex occurs in mammals.

Upon application of pressure to the internal end of the cervix, oxytocin is released (therefore increase in contractile proteins), which stimulates uterine contractions, which in turn increases pressure on the cervix (thereby increasing oxytocin release, etc.), until the baby is delivered.”

It’s great to know about this innate reflex. It works almost like a vomiting reflex, ejecting baby out. So, in any case, baby will come out one way or another, no matter the approach I choose. It is and has been a bit like navigating a jungle trying to find out how I wish to do my own personal pregnancy, and it will be a challenge to go with the flow during delivery.

I have been very adamant that I will use and need an epidural, if being in water will not work for me. I think it would be of great help to deal with the pain. But the downsides of this drug is bugging me a lot lately. It will make me quite immobile, have me on my back working against gravity and I will need a midwife/nurse to tell when to push. Which will also increase my risk of tearing as I will not feel anything. Being upright in a squatting position makes more sense to me, and it will maybe make it easier for him to find his way out. But again, we will see when the day comes! 🙂 One thing is for certain though, I want to try the gas and air (nitrous oxide) they offer 😄✌🏻

Have you given birth? What was your experience, and would you do it again?

Arctic, Dharma, Dzogchen, Everyday life, Indigenous, Meditation, Saami, Sámi, Sápmi, Self portrait, Spirituality, Uralic, Vajrayana, Yoga

Un-doing

“Dharma is less about doing, and more about un-doing in some ways. Sit simply and dismantle the self: over and over again, until you are certain it does not exist. Then rest in this simple spaciousness. With the self dissolved, and mind at rest, bodhicitta (compassion) will naturally arise in your heart. Nothing more to do.” – quote by unknown 📿💎
May all beings be free // Om mani padme hung. Each colour represent the five elements of which our world exists.

How is the last days of this year going for you? For me, they are spent in bed, as baby boy belly is growing and the extra weight and symptoms keeps me still. As I have shared before, I have chronic fatigue, so this is quite the job for the body 🤘🏻 Slow days but good opportunity for meditation and contemplation, and preparing as much as possible for the physical and emotional ordeal that is soon to come. Child birth seems like this big abstract thing only other people do, but it is becoming more and more real for me every day as we are getting close to due date. Being a home for another being for almost 9 months now has been the hardest, most heart opening and tear filled journey ❤💙💚💛

Arctic, Art, Beauty, DIY, Everyday life, Hair, Indigenous, Landscape, Outfit, People, Photography, Saami, Sámi, Sápmi

Bye, bye november

November birthday girl 🌟 My good friend Katharina turned 27 🌟
Made my day few weeks ago. Had my last ultrasound, and the midwife gave me the green light to drink coffee again, being at the end of my pregnancy. So we went to the local coffeebar Risø and they made me this amazing piece of mocca art 😁🤰☕ #allthesmallthings
Adventure, Arctic, Everyday life, Landscape, People, Photography, Poems, Saami, Sámi, Sápmi

Away, away..

Senja island. The pointy peak is Segla. Hiked it once, amazing view. Apologies for grainy mobile shot, it doesn’t do it justice.
I love driving. One of my happy places, for sure.

“Away, away,—to the mountains away,
Where the pine trees murmur and sway,
And the foamy waterfalls sing and spring
Over the boulders gray.

Hills—
Blue and green hills, near and far,
The farther they lie, the better they are.
The near ones I can climb and see
But the beautiful far ones call to me”

Unknown

Arctic, Culture, DIY, Everyday life, Food, Health, Heritage, Indigenous, Knitting, Outfit, People, Photography, Pregnancy, Saami, Sámi, Sápmi

Vinterbaby, part 2

Gleder meg ihjel til å kle mini-me’en i de gamle klærne ho bestemor laga til oss da vi var små ❤ Mine gamle lobber i grå og blå.
Fikk et nydelig marinoullpledd fra mamma og søster. Samt andre babyting med dyretema fra venninner 🙌🏻 Selen kjøpte jeg helt ærlig til meg selv 😅 Kjempemyk og søt!
Kan brukes som pute og sofapynt 😄 Kan hende beiben får låne den 😉
Viktig å spille litt musikk for han 😁🎧
Har også brukt en del tid på å se gjennom gamle baby -og barnebilder av meg selv og min barndom. Det er kanskje sånn som skjer automatisk når man er gravid 😄❄ Blir nok ikke å legge ut noen bilder offentlig av podden, men gøy å dele tiden fram til han kommer ☺
Ble overraska av de beste jentene jeg vet om med babyshower 💎 Helt fantastisk.. de greide til og med å lure meg! En av de desidert største høydepunktene i 2020. Tusen takk! Tenk å ha slike venner.
De hadde til og med laga bleiekake – helt selv fra scratch. Med lamabamse 🤩
Må også dele bilde fra noen uker siden da jeg fant ut at antrekket mitt ligna litt for mye på en viss kar 🙄
Min største gravid-craving så langt 🥝
Ikke så mange uker igjen nå, syns ukene og månedene har gått ekstremt fort. Kommer til å savne å se ut som mummitrollet 😛
Acrylic painting, Arctic, Art, Everyday life, Indigenous, Landscape, People, Photography, Sámi, Sápmi

Magic Monday // My art exhibition

Come see my little exhibition of 13 paintings at Magic Ice Tromsø ❄ Most paintings are for sale 🙏🏻 They also have the cosiest tiny coffee place there, an impressive ice sculpture gallery by Lithuanian artists and a cocktail bar – all ice, even the glasses ☃️🥂🌌

Traditional sámi wool shawl by NativeInNorway, Nordkjosbotn, Balsfjors.

Arctic, Beauty, Everyday life, Hair, Health, Indigenous, Landscape, Saami, Sámi, Sápmi, Uralic

Snart november

Fant meg en fin plass i fjæra til å meditere samt se på fargespillet på himmelen som alltid skjer nært mørketida.
Alle bildene er tatt med mobilen, så beklager kvaliteten 🙈
Frost 🍂
Pastellhimmel.
Regnbuefarger.
Kaldere vær betyr store jakker og ullsjal ❤ Er ikke så mange jakker som passer over magen lenger 😄🤰 Månedene flyr forbi, er allerede i siste trimester 💜🌌

Hvordan takler/liker du mørketida?

Arctic, Culture, Everyday life, Indigenous, Saami, Sámi, Sápmi, Spirituality

Arktos

The Sámi sun symbol, or Sámi sun-deity (Beaivi), is associated with the fertility of plants and animals. 🐝🌿🌞🌏 (pic from 2013)

The sun is going below the horizon for two months in not many weeks and Polar night begins. I actually like the Polar night. Maybe I am just used to it growing up here or there is something nostalgic about it but there is a paradoxal warmth and safety in this dark period and snowy blanket that covers everything. Every winter you can see especially two constallations in the night sky. Little Bear and Big Bear. I remember being a kid, dressing up in my warmest clothes and shoes, go outside and completely incase my little self in compressed snow as tightly as possible and stare at the constallations for hours. It’s said that the Arctic is named after the greek word for bear, Arktos. Maybe there is a connection there.

Arctic, Art, Beauty, Culture, Dharma, DIY, Dzogchen, Everyday life, Genealogy, Indigenous, People, Photography, Photoshoot, Saami, Sámi, Sápmi, Sewing, Spirituality, Uralic, Vajrayana

Things that are yours to keep

Sámi headdress by me, shawl hand-me-down. Photo by Sebastian Wilches 2020.

Some things I truly believe are yours to keep, that no one can take from you:

Your spiritual practice. In my case, it is vajrayana buddhism. It has saved my life in many ways – both in dealing with chronic illness, but also the normal existential stuff like finding purpose and joy 🙂🙏🏼📿

Your ambitions and dreams (if they come from a place of pure motivation and love). In my case now, it has been starting a little family with children 💜🤱

Your ethnicity and ancestry, no matter how lost or scattered it is in this modern world. In my case from my personal experience, I feel very connected to my home in the Arctic and being uralic/finno-ugric (sámi). I didn’t as a kid and teenager, at all, but now as I am older, I feel like I can “own” it more. I don’t speak any of the uralic languages, and feel a sadness about this. A disconnection from my own culture. And a feeling of not belonging to a community, when they can’t speak to me. I hope my son will not feel as disconnected. But I have found other ways to express this – primarily through art and duodji. Not all languages are of verbal nature, but are equally important, I think. 🎨

Your creativity. Not necessarily arts, but anything you find a solution to that involves stepping out of the habitual intellectual mind and into a state of spontaneity and flow.🌊

Your struggles. This sounds negative, but for me I mean that my struggles are valid. I have a body that has its big share of physical problems, and I don’t mean to whine. At all! 🙂 Just to express that this is my reality, and that chronic (perhaps invisible to others) illness can happen to anyone, any time in life.💙

Your love. This one sounds cheesy but I think we all can feel love and that we have love as a basic human need. To receive it and give it. And we all have different ways of showing it. I like giving gifts for example.. but am not so good verbally expressing how I feel. I like receiving kind loving deeds, but not to be smothered. So understanding how we show it differently is important too. I also believe that as humans we have the capacity to love many at the same time. Whether it is friends or partners, plural. Romantic, familial or platonic.❤

Arctic, Beauty, Dharma, Dzogchen, Everyday life, Indigenous, Meditation, People, Photography, Quotes, Spirituality, Vajrayana

Remembering impermanence is a good motivator

“The buddha, the dharma and sangha are the triple gems of the spiritual life beyond the bounds of this world. … Humility is the moisture or fertilizer from which devotion will grow. To help that devotion grow, remember the following: Your friends, family, identity or projects, big or small, will not provide you with the fundamental basis necessary for bliss and happiness. Absolutely everything around you is impermanent, even your body, and while you can be sure you will die, you can have no certainty about when, where or how. The people with whom you associate, who accompany you through this life, will all eventually lead you to pain. All your relationships are temporary. When you check into a hotel you don’t immediately think that you’ll spend eternity with the managers, maids and waiters. Your home, your friends, your ideals and values are just part of a hotel experience. Sooner or later you will have to check out and leave them all behind.”

– Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

I don’t think this is a negative quote or way to look at things, although it sounds negative at first! Remembering impermanence is a good motivator for making the best of life and our time here.

Arctic, Beauty, Culture, Everyday life, Hair, Indigenous, Make-Up, Outfit, People, Photography, Photoshoot, Uncategorized, Vajrayana

No need to try to fit in

Photography by NS Photography (true.earth.lover on Instagram)🇵🇱🇳🇴📸

You don’t need to be vegetarian or vegan to be buddhist. I am not. Tantric buddhists have historically not been either.

You don’t need to be able to handle cold well or have any knowledge about reindeers to be sámi. I don’t. The old ways of life are changing, and only around 10% are herders today.

You don’t need to be eccentric to be a painter. I am not. I just like making art.

You don’t need to be good at maths or into technology to be autistic. I am not. In fact, I am so terrible at math I got extra tutoring.

You don’t need to have “everything in order” before becoming a parent. I don’t. Who does?

You don’t need to be scared to call yourself disabled if you have a chronic illness which limits you. It’s not a bad word, it’s just an explanation of your lived reality.

I am all these things and labels, but just mostly myself ❤ Or at least trying to be most of the time.

Adventure, Arctic, DIY, Everyday life, Health, Indigenous, Outfit, People, Photography, Saami, Sápmi, Uralic

Vinterbaby, part 1

Fikk endelig “møte” den lille som kommer tidlig neste år 👼
💜
Søte samiske tøfler jeg kjøpte for litt over to år siden i Kirkenes 😊
Håndstrikket av den kommende farmor 🌹
En vintage brukt sparkedress fra Etsy
Masse fint brukt og gratis
Dundress til vinterbabyen☃️ samt liten lue og genser også kjøpt for noen år siden! Fant også en billig bra sutt på ‘Normal’ i naturgummi. 💛

Adventure, Arctic, Dharma, Everyday life, Landscape, People, Photography

Sommeren så langt

Et lite arktisk bad i Bukta 🌊☃️
Telegrafbukta
Hundekjeks!
En liten hvit valmue i misnattsol
💚🌿
Kokoslatte med vanilje ☕
Spist store mengder jordbær så langt i sommer 🍓🍓🍓
Kjøpte noen veldig fine peoner som alltid lukter helt fantastisk 🌸🌸🌸
Vært på kafé et par ganger siden lockdown har løsna litt opp igjen 😊
Første dag ute i solværet med finfolk i juni 💜
Stine 🌷
Heidrun 🌻
Heidrun og Lisa 🦋
Sole mæ ⛱
Det fine med sommeren, er jo at man kan gå i noe annet enn boblejakke ☘🙏🏼
Arctic, Art, Awareness, Beauty, Culture, DIY, Everyday life, Indigenous, Landscape, Photography

Changing, changing..

Portrait by my partner with my new camera 😊
45 x 55 painting, acrylic on canvas. Sold 🙂
Sun symbol painted on my denim vest 🌿 Sápmi flag sewn on my bag 🌸

Did you know only around 30% of the whole sámi population speaks/write one of the sámi languages today? The longlasting banning of the languages caused identity crisis for many, but I am happy it is changing slowly 🐢 I feel proud to be part of the generation that is reviving our own culture, with not only language but art, clothing and music too 💚

Arctic, Beauty, Everyday life, Make-Up, Photography, Photoshoot

Without fail

Portrait from four years ago. I like the sunlight and shadows on my face here.
Photo by Irina Bileanschi. Edits by me.

Some thoughts of today:

It’s unrealistic and a bit dillusional to think that you will get along with everyone and that everyone will like you. The important thing is that you like you. There can’t be as many versions of you as there are people you meet. There can only be one, and that version of you will always be the realest, most authentic one without fail. Whatever makes you weird and wonderful is your strength. 🌹🛸✨

Adventure, Arctic, Everyday life, Indigenous, Landscape, People, Photography, Poems

Winter poem as we enter spring

I like this picture; my hair is frozen and my eyes look bigger than normal 😅👌🏻❄
Somewhere near Målselv.

Poem by Suzanne Bates. I really liked it:

An awesome scene the artist paints, expert and deft his hand.
Brush strokes swift, he draws with ease, a winter wonderland.
Landscape sketched from memory, heavens and land entwine
Rapidly the scene is set, exquisitely divine.

Pine trees reaching tall and proud, like statues standing still.
There is no wind to speak of, more an icy winter chill.
Strong branches dusted with the snow stretch their fingers high
As if welcoming the blanket bequeathed by the darkened sky.

Crisp snowflakes twirl like dancers, pirouetting to and fro,
Waltzing to their silent tune toward the ground below.
Pale moonlight generously showers diamonds all around.
Its treasure glints and sparkles upon the hardened ground.

Snowfall in shades of silver envelops the land below,
Lighting up the darkness with its soothing, gentle glow.
Mellow in its nature, no preference where it lays,
Takes refuge where and when it can, throughout the winter days.

Though bereft of colour is the scene, prevailing grey and white,
Its awe inspiring beauty is apparent day and night.
Who nonchalantly paints this scene, for all on earth to share?
His strokes proficient every time, precise and so aware.
Jack Frost paints wondrous pictures with his palette of frozen dew,
Then stands back when his work is done and proudly admires the view.

Adventure, Art, Everyday life, Landscape, Photography

Ask the mountains – blog upgrade, new domain

Me and my little racer car, Laura.
Grøtfjord beach.

Just updated my domain and header. All in all, still the same blog with same content; art, photography, occasional personal thoughts and ideas, adventures, health related stuff and maybe some tantra/dharma. The name Ask the mountains comes from my favourite song by greek artist Vangelis and swedish singer Stina Nordenstam.

Everyday life, Landscape, People, Photography

Spring in Tromsø, part 2

Hair dresser. Norwegian and sámi road signs.
People sitting at Solid café.
Bastard bar and Huken pub.
Taxidermy wolf with the cathedral in the reflection.
Shop window.
Sticker in window for a sámi publishing company.
The candy shop
Running girls statue by Italian artist.
Hampen.
Melting snow.
Skansen.
“One day everyone will die, every other day we will not.”
New restaurant by the bridge.
All the dry shampoo.
Utepils
Rakettkiosken.
“Alt blir bra” – “Everything will be okay”.