Órla Fallon – “My Forever Friend”.

Hey people! 🙂

A song that I’d like to share with you today comes from Irish singer and harpist, perhaps most known for being a former member of Celtic Woman, but who has also released several solo albums – Órla Fallon. – I love her angelic vocals and her harp play. She is also Christian, or clearly seems to be, considering that she has recorded quite a lot of Christian songs and Christmas carols. This song also reflects it very well.

While, to be honest, it doesn’t resonate all that much with me musically as a lot of Órla’s other music does, there’s too much country feel in it for me on this whole album, the way she sings it is so heartfelt, and the lyrics are lovely and of course very relatable for all Christians, if also a little childish, which in my opinion only gives them more charm. So all that makes me really like this little tune and I think a lot of Christians may feel the same. It was written by a British teacher – Charles Alexander Landsborough.

Question of the day.

Do you believe in karma? Why?

My answer:

No. The simple answer is because I am Christian, and karma is a strictly hinduist/buddhist concept so it just doesn’t go hand in hand with my beliefs. I don’t believe in reincarnation, and those two thiings are strongly connected, so I can’t believe in karma either. I believe in that good may attract good, and evil may attract evil, but I don’t see it as some sort of a cosmic law which occurs in every single situation, I don’t think it’s something that happens automatically as a rule. Here on Earth, I think this happens mostly due to the fact that our actions usually trigger reactions of others, so if we do something good to them, they may feel inclined to express their gratitude and do something good to us, and if we do a lot of good to a lot of people, naturally we may be experiencing a lot of good in our lives, same goes for evil. But it’s not some process that’s always bound to occur and that always whenever you do something good or bad, it’ll come back to you. People do get away with evil actions and have successful lives, or good people have miserable lives, at times. As for the afterlife, I believe it’s God who judges us after our death, our good deeds and our sins, our choices in life, so what our afterlife ends up being like is the result and consequence of our choices here in this life. God can also reward us during our lives on Earth, if we do a lot of good in our lives, or He can allow difficult things to happen to us which may end up making us better people than we were before. But again, that’s not a rule in this world and there are plenty of very good-natured people, even saints throughout history who had done a whole lot of good deeds yet have suffered incredibly their entire lives.

What about you? 🙂

Question of the day (29th December).

Would you take a bullet for someone in your life?

My answer:

If there was an actual reason for that – absolutely yes! – I don’t like when people make such foolish declarations “I love you so much that I could die for you” when there is totally no need for such radical acts, and even less so for empty words like that. But if someone I loved a lot, like my Mum or anyone in my close family or my online friends, or perhaps even Misha (although why would anyone want to kill or shoot Misha, and who would be capable of doing this, I have no clue? The only reason I can think of why someone might even consider that is if they somehow really hated me passionately for some reason and were desperate to make me miserable, and I am not aware of having such desperate enemies) or maybe even people whom I not necessarily love but who are somehow important to me and who I care about, or whose life I think is very important, if any of them were in danger where their life could be at risk, and my death could make the situation better in any way, then hell yeah, I’d do that, although it surely would be scary. I think it wouldn’t be quite as scary though as living the rest of my life with a consciousness that I could help save the life of someone who was dear to me in some way or who needed it, but did not do that. It would be more difficult if it was a shot that would only impair me in some way, as that would have some longer consequences for me and I’m not sure how I’d deal with that my whole life, but I’d try to think about how I was able to help someone through that and I suppose that would be at least a bit of comfort for me to know that I somehow helped their cause. My Mum recently asked me what would I feel like living in a country where Christians are persecuted in a major way, where their lives may be in danger because of their faith, and how I’d feel like about giving my life up for Christ, because she read a book about Christians in muslim countries and that made her think about it hard. Now this is such a difficult thing to think about. When you read about the martyrs in ancient Rome for example, and the ways they were tortured, I’m really not sure I would be able to deal with that and keep being faithful. On the other hand, it’s not really these people’s merrit entirely that they were strong and brave enough to go through it but they were supported by God’s grace, I don’t think anyone would willfully agree to such suffering and not give in at some point without some help. But I think I would at least try my best if I was in such a situation and try to have as much courage as possible. And in the case of this question, if I was in such a situation that I would have to take a bullet for Christ, I feel that would be easier than the fancy tortures people had to endure ages ago, so I would take the risk, I think.

How about you? 🙂

Question of the day (27th December).

Do you think there is a god?

My answer:

Quite obviously I guess for anyone who knows me at least a bit, yes, I do believe there is a god. More exactly, I am a Christian and a Catholic, so I believe that there is only one God who at the same time is three Persons – the Father, His only Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit – is almighty, eternal, perfect, just, forgiving and of endless mercy. He has created the world. He loves all of His creation, but especially us humans whom He has created in His image and likeness, by giving us immortal souls. He is our Lord but at the same time we have the privilege to call ourselves His children and He cares for each of us as His most beloved child. I believe that God in the Person of the Son came down on Earth to become a human just like all of us except not sinful, and save us from our sins (which is why we celebrate Christmas, by the way, but I suppose everyone who celebrates it knows about it). He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary who agreed to become His Mother. He was crucified and gave His life for all of us. He was buried, but on the third day after His death he rose from His grave, later ascending into Heaven which was witnessed by His Apostles. He will come again on the day of the final judgment and will judge us all fairly and mercifully. During His life on Earth, He said to His Apostles that after His ascension, the Father will send Holy Spirit to them in His Name, as a comforter, who came onto them in the form of fiery tongues, and who has the power to inspire us all in our daily lives.

So yeah, if you’re familiar with Christian beliefs, which I suppose a lot of people are even if they aren’t Christian themselves because this religion is so widespread and kind of rooted in our western culture, this is probably all or almost all known to you and very basic stuff about the Christian faith. Obviously it’s just God in a nutshell, as there is so much more that could be said about Him.

How about you? If you do think there is a god, what do you believe him/it to be like, and is it just your own personal belief or do you identify with some specific religion, or maybe you are somewhere in between? 🙂

Question of the day (25th December).

Does fate exist? If so, do we have free will?

My answer:

As a Christian, I see fate as God’s will. Both God’s will and our free will definitely do exist. I believe that God is the one who takes care of what we call our fate, He is the one in control of our life and death, and He has a plan for our lives that’s best for us. However, we are also able to choose freely whether we want to live our lives according to His plan or pursue our own ideas and go against His will and He won’t stop us from that, although He can make different circumstances happen in our lives, which we may not necessarily always perceive as positive ones at the time when they happen, but which are meant to have positive outcomes for us eternally and maybe even during this life and which may prompt us to come back on the road that is the best for us or give us different kinds of grace that will help us with that in whatever way a specific person needs to be helped, but essentially the choice is ours whether we’ll choose to ignore/waste it or not and how we’ll use all that. I think it’s a huge responsibility. God of course knows in advance what decisions we’re going to make during our lives but that does not mean that everything that happens in our lives is God’s will simply because it happens.

How do you see it? 🙂

Question of the day.

If you died today, what regrets would you have about your life?

My answer:

If I died, I don’t think I’d have any regrets afterwards, because I think our perspective on things must change quite a lot when that happens. As a Christian and Catholic, the only thing I can think of that I could really regret after death would be any sins that I didn’t do anything about in my lifetime, didn’t confess or regret them earlier or expiate for them or didn’t apologise to people who might have been affected or didn’t try to compensate them in any way, maybe even didn’t accept that I was sinning, as well as good things I didn’t do that could have helped my soul grow and be somehow beneficial for others around me. Which would mean I wouldn’t be able to enjoy being in God’s presence until my soul would be cleansed of all that yucky stuff in the purgatory, and purgatory souls do suffer a lot, not because they are somehow tortured in exquisite ways as some people imagine purgatory, but because they are separated from God, and they have a deep longing to be near Him but at the same time don’t want that to happen any sooner than when they are completely pure. Must be a strange state of being to find oneself in, when the whole perspective in which you look at yourself, the world and everything is no longer the same which you had when you were alive, but you see everything the way God does. I find it difficult on a cognitive level and as it seems it’s not just me. Anyway, since I’m still alive, I do try my best to do what I can not to have such regrets afterwards, although of course we are all flawed, make mistakes and all that, so we all will have some regrets of this nature when our time comes, I believe. Helping and devotion to purgatory souls is quite a thing, you could perhaps say a tradition, in my maternal family, as my great grandma had very close contact with and apparitions of them from what we know and she passed her passion for helping them onto her children, and it’s still alive. I have a fair few souls that are dear to me and whom I try to help by praying for them and offering up what I can, so that in case they are in purgatory, they can be released possibly soon, and I trust that when it’ll be my time to die, they will be there to help me too, I already do feel their help in some ways in life.

As for what I’d regret at the time I was dying or knowing that I’m going to die soon… I don’t really know what I would regret. Probably also those thoughts of spiritual nature would pass through my mind so I’d try to prepare my soul for death, but other than that… I’m thinking hard now and I have no idea at this point, so it’s possible that there wouldn’t be anything more. Oh wait, there is one thing! This is a thing that I already regret and have been regretting ever since it happened, and so I may be regretting it forever in this life, because it was really awful. It wasn’t even really my fault or my decision but I was involved in it anyway, I witnessed it and sometimes I wonder if I could stop it in time and it was so sad I haven’t fully gotten over it yet. I regret that it had to happen, the whole thing. I’m talking about Sasha – a Russian blue kitten we bought I guess two years ago, and had to rehome after two months. Some of you who have been around on here then may remember him, there even are some pics/videos of him on this blog I believe.

My Mum – who is famous for impulsive decisions on the spur of a moment – was thinking about getting another Russian blue cat, in addition to Misha whom we already had. We were all thinking that Misha was feeling lonely when we weren’t home, or even when we were. That perhaps he needed a playmate. It really blows my mind how we could be so daft, but now I’ve read lots of things about feline behaviours and brains so it’s easy to say to me that it was daft, but it really was. I liked a comparison I’ve read at one cat behaviourist’s blog – imagine you have a very loving partner, whom you love to, and who really admires you and thinks you’re beautiful. And one day he/she comes home and says: “Oh look, I was thinking you were so beautiful, that I decided to get myself another one, just like you. Now I’ll have two real beauties/handsome guys to sleep with. And you guys will be having real fun times with each other too, won’t you? You won’t mind sharing the same rooms?” 😀 Rude and selfish, right?

The more we all talked about it, the more Mum looked at Russian blues breeders’ websites and pics of Russian blue kittens, the more we felt like having a mini copy of Misha in our house.

And finally Mum learned that the breeder from whom we got Misha is going to have little kittens super soon, in the matter of days, I mean of course his cats were going to have them, not he. So Mum called him right away and he said that one is still free so she can take it when it’s born.

I did think it was really rushed and had mixed feelings, although mostly also for selfish reasons – because I thought Misha will spend more time with this other cat than with me/us and will no longer sleep with me – yet the perspective of having two Mishas was so pleasing that I couldn’t oppose for too long, and Mum’s arguments were very convincing as she was very sure of her decision and thought it an inspiration from God. I wonder what God was thinking of this accusation.

Whenever the topic of Sasha comes up now, I wonder, if I tried more to stop her from doing it so hurriedly, would it make the situation any better? Maybe if I tried, I would manage to change her mind, or at least cool her head off enough that the whole procedure of introducing a new cat would be better planned, not just: “Misha, this is Sasha and he’s going to be your new best friend from now on, deal with it if it doesn’t suit you”. Because when Sasha came it was nothing what it should be like and even the breeder, when he learned about the failure of the experiment, was shocked and kept saying that he did tell us how we should introduce them to each other, that it should be a gradual thing and all that. Maybe then at least they could live together in relative peace.

But it was as it was, and a few days later, Mum and Sofi went to the breeder and took Sasha home, and Sofi almost immediately brought him to Misha. Misha got super mad so that me and Sofi were scared, and Mum even accused him of being mentally ill because he can’t just react in a normal way to any change, even a positive one. 😀 He hid under the sofa and hissed and made such low noises all night. Good thing that at least Sasha had a bit different temperament, or very different in fact.

He was super cuddly, bold, happy-go-lucky and very extroverted. We were laughing with Sofi that just like Misha has his birthday two days before me and we are both incredibly similar to each other, Sasha was born just a few days after Sofi’s birthday and, like her, was a typical Gemini and very much like her. His outgoing personality and cuddliness made him even more likeable.

In the coming days, we saw very little of Misha, he was usually either hiding, or chasing and scaring Sasha, letting him know that it’s his – Misha’s – house, and Sasha has nothing to do in here. At some point, from what we’d managed to figure out, he must have scared him in the loo, HIS very private loo, because Sasha had a deep fear of doing his thing in the litterbox, but until we figured out what was the problem with the help of a behaviourist we were thinking he was just doing it on purpose for some reason, because there was no way to persuade him to do it in the right place and we had poo surprises everywhere from bathtub to wardrobes to pillowcases, which didn’t make the atmosphere any better as you can imagine.

Sometimes we stupid humans were treated to a special performance by Misha and Sasha implying that they are very good friends, so that’s what we liked to believe in.

Finally the loo situation was getting really out of control, unhealthy emotions were rising, everyone was stressed out and tired, Mum was near depressed, blaming herself, or being angry at Misha for being “antisocial” or Sasha for pooping, I was blaming Sasha for everything because if not him, Misha wouldn’t be going crazy and the whole situation wouldn’t have taken place, so I wasn’t treating him as nicely as Misha even though he was clinging to me as much as everyone else, and then after five minutes I would be very nice to him because he was so cute, after all, that you couldn’t resist for too long. He must have been super confused I guess. The culmination was that they both got sick. The vet said that there isn’t anything wrong with either of them physically, but they had high fever and other awful symptoms, Misha was throwing up with some gross, foamy stuff, Sasha was barely in touch with the world, so he said it must be stress and, after being told the story with minute details, he said it can’t go on like this and said they could even die if it would be dragging for too long. So we finally saw this too and started doing something about it.

We had to rehome Sasha, which was a great pain for our selfish brains. But at least he had real luck with his new family, or so I like to think. They’re very interesting, artistically inclined people, and months later I learned that Sasha’s new mummy is actually a children’s writer whose books I used to read, what a cool coincidence!

So the situation generally had a happy ending, although I can only hope that Sasha doesn’t have any bad memories or anything like that and that he has a better life now, but still… this situation would be so easy to prevent, or make it take a slightly different route. That’s why I regret it. I regret that Sasha couldn’t have a happy childhood right away, and that it had to be us with whom he had such a difficult start. I regret what we did to Misha, that we betrayed him in a way, as Mum says. Even though Misha seems like the biggest monster in this situation because if not his “antisocial” behaviour, we could have two cats, in fact, after Sasha left, we all only fully realised how virtuous Misha has actually been all that time. He forgave us what we did. He recovered and keeps being the sweet, good-natured Misha for us. Even while Sasha was with us, we did see much less of him but when we saw him, he was never aggressive to us and was very tolerant of all our whims at that time. Mum says he has a very noble spirit, and I think that describes him very well.

Okay, so how about you? 🙂

Question of the day (4th December).

Would you rather like to see how Earth was created or how Earth ends? Why?

My answer:

I have no huge interest in geology, but seeing how Earth was created could be interesting – to be able to witness the whole process, how God was thinking when creating it and why things are the way they are, what it all looked like at the beginning. – I believe that as for the end, we’ll all be able to see it in some way or another, wherever we’ll be at that point. Plus, if you know how something was created, I suppose it’s easier to figure out how it may end.

How about you? 🙂

Chłopcy Kontra Basia – “Oj Tak” (Oh Yeah).

So today we – Polish people – are celebrating the 102nd anniversary of regaining our country’s independence, yay!🇵🇱🇵🇱🇵🇱🎉 And we need to celebrate it on My Inner Mishmash as well, with some Polish music. Especially that there is generally very little Polish music on here. Not because I don’t like Polish music, but just because I know rather little of it that I would truly love. I’m sure though that there is still a lot that I haven’t discovered and many musicians that just aren’t promoted enough so people don’t get to learn about them.

Previously as some of you may remember, on our major national holidays I had a habit of sharing some music by non-native Polish speakers singing in Polish, often something about Poland. I don’t think I have any more of such quirky findings for today but I’ll definitely keep looking as it’s always interesting both from a Pole’s and linguophile’s perspective. 😀

Today, it’s a native Polish band. Funnily enough, while I’m not a huge fan of jazz, as it happens, both the group performing the song for yesterday and for today make some sort of folk and jazz fusion. 😀 But it wasn’t planned. I mean yes, I did plan ahead to share them as I always do and in this particular order but I didn’t really realise when doing so that they have this in common, haha!

I discovered this band years ago, when sitting in the car and waiting for my Mum, and Polish Radio Programme 2 was on – they usually play classical music or jazz but you can also hear a fair bit of folk or even some kind of experimental music, I’m not really sure what genre exactly it should classify as, it’s generally considered a very sophisticated radio station by many. 😀 I was just at such a time where I was looking for some new Polish music, especially folk music, that I could like and listen to, and I heard this song I’m about to introduce to you. And I decided I liked it a lot. It was so very strongly folksy while at the same time with just as strong neo- feel because of the jazzy instrumentation, and I loved the lyrics.

This band’s name can be translated to The Boys vs Basia in English. The Basia in the band’s name is the leader, vocalist and frequently the lyricist Basia Derlak, while the boys are the other members.

I don’t think I’d be able to write a quality literal translation of this song, so I’ll try to simply explain to you what it’s all about.

It tells the story of a girl who is pasturing her mare by the water, and just at the same time God is sailing there in His boat, rowing with his leg. The girl tries to discourage Him from sailing closer to her, saying that she is young and likes to sin, and tells him to sail to the nearest village where there are good, married girls and not to look at her because He might yet see the devil, and she is not worth His Eyes. God tells her that he sailed from heaven and just wanted to look at her for a moment. But she insists for Him not to do so, because she is young and sin doesn’t hurt, and tells him to come back in ten years, and then he’ll be able to look at her to His Heart’s content. So ten years passed, the girl turned into a woman, but God isn’t coming. “Perhaps  something happened to the Divine boat?” Finally, even two hundred years passed by, and the girl turned into a crone. She is waiting and waiting for God, and pasturing her mare again. But God forgot about the crone, who was standing by the water, called His Name and stomped her foot at eternity.

I like how subtly pawky it is and how you can interpret it in a few different ways. I am Christian as you may know but once talked about it with someone who was atheist and we both understood it totally differently, it blew my mind. 😀

My top 5 core values.

I haven’t written in quite a while, so I thought I’d do some longer piece today using one of the journaling workbooks. This time, I chose a prompt from The Year of You by Hannah Braime, which goes as follows:

What are your top five core values? Core values are the qualities and experiences that are most important to us to embody and have present in our lives. These might include things like trust, love, connection, freedom, growth, etc. (…)

I’ve written such a list of values already in my diary a while ago, but here I’ll try to expand on the topic of each of them at least a bit so that this post is more substantial. In my diary I also mentioned some of my negative core values, but here I decided not to do so for a few reasons, but mostly because typically when we think core values we think about the positive and helpful ones.

   Belief in God and Christian values

This is extremely important to me. As I wrote in the post about the roles I play, I may not always feel like I’m doing a great job with this, but nevertheless, I’m trying to do my best and do and think what and how I believe a Christiann should do and think. Obviously I don’t only mean things like praying or going to church, but also things like being helpful to other people, not judging them, making big and small decisions in my life so that they’re intact with my conscience and Christian rules, like not voting for a party who promotes killing unborn children or not celebrating Halloween. It’s also an important quality for me in other people which I deeply respect, but at the same time I have no problem associating with people who believe in God differently or believe in a different God, or don’t believe in any God whatsoever. Some Christian people have a weird problem with that but I think that, while common values of this importance in friendship make things way easier, having some different values and beliefs can make things more interesting, as long as both sides are willing to respect each other and not argue about that. Which sometimes means it’s just safer not to discuss the topics in which your opinions differ, or otherwise you just most definitely will argue, while at other times exchanging your different beliefs can be enriching and fascinating. In short, this is the most important value, or perhaps I should say set of values I am always trying to follow in my life, with varying success, also probably the most difficult to follow, but normally if something I’m making a decision about is contrary to these values, I am not going to do this.

   Intelligence, versatility and open-mindedness.

I’m putting them together because while they’re three different things, I think as values they have a whole lot in common. Intelligence is a quality I really appreciate having, as it’s proven so helpful for me in countless situations. I guess it’s my biggest strength and one of my most effective protective mechanisms, and seems like one of the things that people value me for. My brains are a crucial part of my identity, therefore my brain health is important to me and I’m utterly scared of all sorts of neurodegenerative diseases. I also very highly value intelligence in other people and love having such people around me. It’s a very important quality in a friend for me. As for open-mindedness, I value thinking outside of the box, outside of my own perspective, or just in some unobvious way. It isn’t always easy, as it’s in our nature to think from our own point of view, and it can feel very abstractive to do it the other way around, but it’s an intriguing brain challenge and can be a powerful experience. Similarly, I appreciate people who are capable of doing so. The more so that, as a blind, mentally ill and just all round very quirky person with strange experiences and ideas, it seems like my perspective is not always easily understandable for other people, so it’s great when someone does take an effort to try and understand things from my point of view. Or even not from my point of view, but generally when I see someone who can easily think very flexibly, I have a lot of admiration for such a person. I think the most open-minded person in this way that I know was my Swedish teacher and I often think that if not his open-mindedness, his courage in taking up different, weird challenges with me and his flexibility of thinking my Swedish learning may have been much more difficult, or I may have even become completely discouraged from learning languages altogether, and this is not at all an overstatement, in case you’re new here and don’t know my a bit tumultuous language learning history and are wondering. 😀 By versatility I mean taking an interest in lots of different things, as well as having knowledge about them, or being capable of doing lots of different things. This is a very impressive quality for me and I always say that it’s one of the most important qualities for me in a faza object, haha, or at least they always do end up being quite versatile people. I do have a whole lot of different interests, and I believe I know a fair bit also about things that don’t directly interest me quite as much, but I am somehow not sure I am quite as versatile as I would like to be. Still, I am probably more versatile than most people I know in person.

   Traditions.

Yeah, I often say when someone asks me about my views, usually in the context of politics, that I am an open-minded traditionalist. I like combining innovation with tradition. In any field, be it music, religion, food, politics, baby naming, language, fashion or interior design, etc. Always with a bit more of tradition than innovation, but enough innovation that it doesn’t feel plain, boring, or, God forbid, totally backward, but tasteful, fresh, niche and unexpected. I’m thinking about tradition and traditionalism here as a very broad thing. My religious beliefs are very traditional, apparently these days they might even classify as orthodox for some Christians, though I personally don’t consider myself orthodox, however I admire truly orthodox (not to be confused with fanatic, as these are yet another kettle of fish) Christian people. I love folk music, which speaks for itself, folk is obviously traditional, though just as I said earlier I do like tradition with innovation so things like neofolk, electrofolk, folk pop, folk metal etc. are close to my heart and brain just as well. I am passionate about keeping endangered and minority/indigenous languages alive, and same applies to all sorts of cultural traditions. I love learning about folklore of different areas and people’s customs, and always feel sad whenever I hear about such things extincting, though a lot of such traditional treasures – especially languages – are so unbelievably resilient and can thrive in the most unfavourable circumstances. – By the way I think we humans can really take an inspiratioon from languages, when we’re going through rough things in life. 🙂 People typically think of trees, especially oaks, as symbols of resilience, but I think of languages. Oh yeah and on a more personal level I absolutely dread changes and have a hard time adapting to them, which I think also goes in line with the whole traditional thing, though probably has a bit different etiology. 😀 However it’s not like I’m totally against change, if I can see its positive aspects, just that it’s a totally dreadful process and adjusting to it usually takes me ages and a lot of rumination in the meantime.

   Helpfulness.

I even like the way the word helpful looks in English. I have fun synaesthetic associations! 😀 Would describe them to you but it’s too complicated and would take up too much space and this post is not about this. That’s why I wrote “helpfulness” rather than “helping people” which would probably look a bit more natural. I really like that feeling, when you know you have helped someone. Well I guess it’s a natural thing for all of us who are empathetic beings to have that feeling and to like it. This thing alone can drive us to want to be more helpful. I don’t know, however, if I help people as much as I could. I often feel effectively inhibited from doing it by different factors. I am rubbish at helping people in person because of all the difficulties I have with communicating with people like social anxiety. I have a hard time initiating the simplest conversations with most people, so while I am a good observer and very often easily notice that someone may need some kind of help, I don’t know how to offer it to them, or how to ask them what they need, or don’t know what to do about it altogether, or maybe even know but it feels too scary and overwhelming a process so I only watch the situation from a distance hoping that there will be someone else who can help them and feeling awful for not helping them myself. If I do try to make the effort and help them, I feel awful for helping them not the right way, or not adequately, or making things worse rather than better. Also I usually feel like I’m not even the right person to help people because of my own various limitations and that I just won’t be able to give them the help they need. Thankfully there are some areas where I do feel a bit more confident when helping people, like listening to people (unless they clearly expect me to say something, as then I usually feel like there’s nothing I can say that could be particularly helpful), or supporting people online, or helping people financially, or sharing something with them, or sharing some of my skills with them, with the latter I’m thinking things like translating something for my Mum, for example. These are usually very small areas and I feel like most people help others much more, but I comfort myself in that at least a lot of the people whom I have helped have said I was helpful to them so perhaps my help is more a quality over quantity kinda thing. I’ve always lived by that rule, as quantity is something largely abstractive to me, so if it seriously works like this with my help, it’s probably not as bad as I usually imagine. 😀

   Family.

I actually wondered whether I should really include this value or perhaps leave it out and write about something possibly more interesting, because this whole family thing is complex and I’m not sure it’s indeed this high among my values, but I decided to write about it nevertheless, because even though I struggle with sense of belonging and don’t really feel a strong connection to my extended family, my closest family are pretty much the only people in real life that I’m close to and they are important to me, also I do respect all of my family, and am loyal to them, never mind that I don’t really feel anything more towards most of them. Also family as a more general term – as in roots, origin, heritage etc. – is an important thing for me. Loyalty towards family is, as I said, an important thing to me and I think family members sort of owe it to each other. I try to keep good relationships with them as muchh as it’s possible, though I don’t give a shit about it if they don’t try as well. My most immediate family – by which I mean my parents and siblings and grandparents – are people for whom I am capable of making a lot of sacrifices, for example attending family gatherings even when I don’t feel at all like doing this mentally and have to deal with the consequences of this afterwards, which include a substantial increase in Maggie’s (my inner critic) activity, feeling mentally and physically drained and a general brain overload. I know they won’t really care about my actual presence there in itself, but if I won’t be there they’ll have a problem either with me that I am so unfeeling and neglectful, or with my Mum, which I don’t understand, it appears that some of my family think that somehow my Mum is to blame if I don’t appear on their birthday party. I want to spare her that, because she has so much stronger ties with her family, so unless I really really can’t, or it’s someone I can’t be bothered about, like some people from my Dad’s side of my family whom I have a hard time genuinely respecting, I just deal with it and go. It’s awful, it’s pointless and I don’t think they realise how much mental energy it sometimes can cost me while it’s happening as well as before and afterwards (though perhaps it’s not okay that I actually expect people to care, and most likely makes me sound terribly whiney,) but I do this because I feel obliged towards them as my family. I also deeply value the connection I have with my Mum, she is so very important to me, as well as Sofi. Sofi is very valuable.

So there you have it, these are the top five of my values.

What are yours? Have you thought about this before and made a more comprehensive list?

 

Maire Brennan – “The Mighty One”.

Here is another song by Maire Brennan, also about God. I think the sound of it is very powerful, and it has more of an ethnofolk feel. The chorus is in Irish, and here is what it means in English.

  All my blessings from my heart to you
Isn’t the view delightful?
My blessing from my heart to you
And glory be to God

Song of the day (25th September) – Maire Brennan – “Perfect Time”.

Hi people. 🙂

I’ve recently realised that I’d never shared with you any of Maire Brennan’s music. Not that I love her so very much, but she’s quite an icon of Celtic music, and she does have some songs I like. Other than that, she’s Enya’s sister! I’m not very keen on the type of voice Maire has, but, as I said, some of her music is really good and she is also a harpist, though there’s no harp in the song I want to share with you now. I’d like to dedicate a few song of the day posts to my favourite songs of hers. If you have listened to some more famous Celtic music bands, you may remember Maire from Clannad (famous for “Robin, The Hooded Man” in the 80’s, for example). And Clannad has also loads of great music, but I won’t be sharing theirs now. Maire Brennan is also known as Maire ni Bhraonain, Moya Brennan or, in her earlier days, as Mary Brennan.

Maire was raised in a Catholic Irish family, but she’s now a member of evangelical church, and a lot of her songs are more or less religious. This one is as well. I think it sounds really good, though of course as you know I prefer Enya’s music far more. This video doesn’t have the best sound quality, don’t know how about visual, but there are so many versions of this song, I believe from different albums, that I had a hard time finding the one I like best and I found it in such a bit rubbish quality.

Song of the day (10th June) – Helene Boksle – Fagret Er Landet (Fair Is The Country).

Hi lovely people! 🙂

Something a bit different I have for you today. Well not like completely different – it’s just Norwegian, there’s been some Norwegian music in the past, quite a few pieces even, but this is a relatively old song and it is actually a hymn.

It’s called “Fagert Er Landet”, which means Fair Is The Country, and it was written by a Lutheran clergyman – Anders Hovden – in 1907, and the melody was composed by Melchior Vilpius, much earlier – in 1609. It is a Norwegian national hymn.

Helene Boksle on the other hand is much younger, born in 1981, she is I guess one of more popular Norwegian traditional singers, she also makes some pop. I really like how her voice is bright and clear and just so Nordic.

Her accent is incredibly confusing at the best of times, I mean for me. You know I speak Swedish, not Norwegian, and, although I’ve been learning for like 10 years, and usually don’t have much issues understanding people, but people who’ve been always more or less difficult for me to understand are people from the very south, from Skåne. Their accent is almost like Danish and very guttural, and I can’t get Danish either, unless when written, then it’s usually better. Norwegian when someone speaks in Norwegian bokmål I can understand briefly, but Helene’s accent is just one of those guttural ones that are incredibly hard for me. Apart from some single words and phrases and words that gave me some basic context I couldn’t get what she’s singing. 😀 Thought it may go better if I’d find Norwegian lyrics written, but couldn’t find them anywhere, not to mention English, so unfortunately there is no translation and unless you speak any Scandinavian languages yourself, you have to rely on my vague description of the lyrics.

From what I’ve understood it’s a prayer, in which the Norwegian ask God their Father to bless their country – from the mountains to the sea or something like this – bless their fields and the land, and the people, etc. and from what I think I’ve heard it is also a sort of a praise of Norway and simply how fair it is.

Nevertheless, although Helene’s accent seems to be a bit of the barrier for me, it’s still charming. Honestly, isn’t it? Well I think it fits her and I think I wouldn’t like her as much as I do if she sang in a sorta normal bokmål, whatever actually a normal Norwegia bokmål is hahaha I’m pretty ignorant about this language, would have to educate more, I see now.

Here it is:

– Du Måste Finnas (You Must Exist=.

Hi Guys! 🙂

Time for another Helen Sjöholm’s song from my favourites by her. This one is my absolute favourite of these.

It comes from a musical called “Kristina Från Duvemåla (Kristina From Duvemåla”, which was written by Björn Ulveus and the music was written by Benny Andersson. The plot was based on the shortstories written by Wilhelm Moberg. It is about a Swedish family and their emigration to US. The main character, Kristina, has a lot to go through. She miscarries her baby, loses her husband, and also feels alienated in the new country. She was a very religious and faithful woman but now as she suffers from so many things, she wonders whether actually GOd exists. She clings in panic to her beliefs, but feels very abandoned and lonely and the more her skepticism arises. ANd this song is about it.

Helen Sjöholm did it so very expressively, it’s thrilling and affecting, so deep and emotional. I think it is so emotional that actually iF I wouldn’t know any Swedish, I could figure out very basically what it is about. Although I must also say that I don’t think there could be any better language to sing this song in than Swedish, it just sounds so great in Swedish.

Both the musical and song have their English versions though and the song is sung by Kerry Ellis, however I must admit that in comparison to Sjöholm’s version, Ellis’ seems almost flat, even though it isn’t bad at all.

As it is usual with musicals, the actual Swedish lyrics to the song are different than those in the ENglish version, so besides both language versions I will also post original Swedish lyrics translated to English exactly.

 

You Must Exist
You drove me out, God,
from my homeland torn away.
Here I’m a refugee and a stranger
and I do accept that as my fate
But You took my child
And You take me from my man.
I can no longer see any meaning.
What is it you want?
What should I think?
The thought is dizzying,
before me opens an abyss,
my whole being is in uproar and wants to say no,
my soul shivers
at the answer to the question I’ve raised;
that You do not exist
though I believed in You.
Who’d help me endure life all the way out here?
Who’d give me the skills and the strength I must show?
Who would comfort me? I am so little on the earth
If You did not exist,
yes, how would I cope?
No, You must exist,
You have to!
I live my life through You.
Without You I am a splinter on a dark and stormy sea.
You must exist,
You have to!
How could You just overlook me?
I would be nowhere,
I would be nothing if You did not exist.
Never before has that been on my tongue or in my mind,
that little word which is frightening and plaguing me so;
the word is “if “, if I have said all of my prayers in vain?
If You do not exist
what will I do?
Who would feel my repentance and then just forgive me?
Freedom in my soul, yes, who would give that to me?
Who’d be there at the end to accept me, after my death?
If You did not exist
who would take my hand then?
No, You must exist,
You have to!
I live my life through You.
Without You I am a splinter on a dark and stormy sea.
You must exist,
You have to!
How could You just overlook me?
I would be nowhere,
I would be nothing if You did not exist.
You must exist,
You have to!
How could You just overlook me?
I would be nowhere,
I would be nothing if You did not exist

Question of the day.

Is there anything at all from natural world which has the ability to affect you mood in a positive way?

My answer:

Sure! First of all, obviously, Misha. Misha affects my mood and me in general in a very positive way. He helps me stay calm, lessens my anxiety, makes me more relaxed, makes me smile, keeps me company or even helps me come back to normal with my sleep cycle if it goes crazy for a while. Plus he’s beautiful. I think everyone would agree that beauty affects us in a positive way and influences us a lot.

Next thing, horses. I love it how the horse and the rider can be actually like one while riding and how strong the connection is then. My horse – and riding in general – is capable of making my mood significantly higher when I’m depressed, but I guess that’s also the thing with endorphines and such.

I love muscari, I guess that’s how these lovely blue flowers are called in English. There is something sweet about them I just love.

I find rain calming and helping me to concentrate, plus I like it also because when it falls, most of my allergies go to sleep.

And, since my early childhood, for some reason I’ve always felt something towards ice. I can’t explain it. I just like to feel it. I remember that I’ve even had a small dream to have a piece of ice that will never melt so I could feel it as much as I’d like to and have it in my room. 😀 I was just fascinated by ice, I guess, and still am in some way.

Another thing are gem stones, even though maybe some people wouldn’t classify them as part of the natural world. I love how beautiful they are, I really like to feel them and also in some way I do believe in their healing properties, and so I like working with them as I can, and I have a lot of admiration for gem stones.

Oh, and the sea! How could I forget about the sea? It just make me feel in such a very special way. And generally, being in contact with nature always makes me think about God and how perfectly He made all this. And when I’m by the sea, I tend to feel it particularly strong. And I think it’s also a positive feeling. I feel so grateful for Him he created all that beauty for us.

And I think I might have many other things in nature I feel a strong connection with, although these are the ones that came to my mind at the moment.