15 September 2013



The idea of a Scandinavian Vacagabond came by a few sources of inspiration:

  1. MY ANCESTORS migrated from Norway + Sweden, allowing to always feel connected to the place of Vikings, Landscape, and Nordic Mists. I did extensive resarch in the 7th grade and found that many of my relatives also feel this connection. This led me to #2
  2. SCANDINAVIAN ARCHITECTURE was the name of a course in my master's program which I learned about how this place can be relative to my chosen profession. This led me to the discovery of #3
  3. A TRAVELING FELLOWSHIP was offered by the University of Utah as a sketching fellowship to learn and tour an area of interest. My failure to have ONE fluent concept (oh, decisions) did not land me this opportunity, HOWEVER this leads to reason #4
  4. PHILIP GEORGE, my husband, had started a fund for us to fulfill this dream of traveling to the motherland, which made this trip somewhat financially viable.
We battled everyone we encountered with their American ideals of maximum two week vacation, and raised them a third week. This, not being quite enough time to have experiential sublime at each place, would still allow us time to see four of the Nordic nations and their natural and manmade built environments. We settled on 19 July through 10 August as the trip of our lifetime. As you will see in the following posts, I'm not sure we will get another more opulent.

07 April 2013


Last night, in my dreams, I saw the planets for the first time. It is no doubt that in the last week, it seems that I have been seeing the beauty of the earth again with the added accessory of contacts. They have greatly improved my ability to, as I described my desire to the doctor to "see the finest branches at the tops of trees", but this?  I was with my mom back in Illinois down by our creek star-gazing. The sky had a navy-black hue on this night, and the galaxy was moving rapidly around us. It was as if we were cycling many moons all in a few honest minutes. We watched as the planets zoomed over our heads like a ribbon of cars on the highway. For some reason, the revolving part of the sky was narrow, while the rest remained unchanged--normal stars in a normal sky. I asked my mom at this point, "Mom, have the planets always been there for us to see? Have I been missing out all these years?" "Yes honey, you can see them now that your vision has improved," as with my contact lenses.  Somehow, I do not believe this is about getting contacts. Could it be that I'm just seeing more beauty without frames once again. Mind you, I only have a -1 prescription, and although I am a perfectionist and the slightest contrast and sharpness of something sets me into gaiety, I'm not sure my world has changed that much. As the planets whisped by, I knew them all by name. There were more than 7 of them--more than even 9. They were all covered with a wash of navy blue nighttime, with warm hues of light to outline their edges and features. The rings were the most brilliant to see. Around Saturn and Uranus, and a few others, the misty fog of dust and moon. I don't think I ever could have remembered in conscious life that Uranus had rings--I question my knowledge too much here--let alone that the dust and moons are what form them. They were brilliant and clear like I had formed them myself. I knew their every texture and pattern. I'm trying to close my eyes to see them again, but unfortunately, the day has already set in and decided my brain needs to start cycling. I'm so grateful for the swift moment, and the time spent next to my mother, if only in a dream.

Other situations seemed to occur before or after, or maybe even during this dream. Time may not be linear in a dream. The location may not be perceptual. Here, there were many people, nearly a camp of people much like a week long summer camp. The rein of said camp happened to be the very principals of my firm. The land ownership were the old neighbors we lovingly called the Tetricks. The firm had "designed" or designated (such similar words) there to be a pond high on the banks with inter-workings of docks and navigating infrastructure. The work all involved a level of gathering materials, mostly from the pond, which now became a massive lake. The creek was now underestimated in size and flowed around the perimeter with ends extending beyond site. Trees were cut down, the vegetation was unnaturally sanitary. I was burdened with the feeling of hard, endless, rewardless work and the location made me overwhelmed at the very arrival. At one point, I reflected on this feeling in a secretive way: This is the very place I used to come for solace during my first 18 years of life. I would come and sit on a humble bench, or climb over the water on a fallen tree and explore without shoes on, without judgement, with wonder and loneliness. With longing for a friend or someone to understand me. Often with tears and violent memories of occurrences that were imminent about me. I wandered with hope of someone finding me and of them appreciating the very things about me that I found to love about myself, even in those destructive teenage years. The earth was always moist and I carried some of it with me on my skin. The only place I felt I belonged to was now taken from me. I do not have these feelings for it anymore. They have been suppressed and I no longer have words to express the beauty and emotion behind it. It has become tedious to be fully present in, and manipulated by those who don't have the knowledge of its past potential. I dread the place that I once let defined me. If I cold shew out the spirits of those who weigh me down and return to the lightness I felt, head down on the bottom of my canoe. The simplicity of my problems at that time, I would not know now that they were complex and I probably needed help to overcome them, yet had no one. I'm inexplicably mourning, even now for this dreamworld's demise. Am I living in a "dreamworld" (Rilo Kiley lyrics rarely leaves my mind)? Sometimes I can't tell. I know that I check in and check out, and memories become unfactual references, while dreams become truths. I'm a bit worried for this, but not as much as my current robotic state, 8+ hours of each day.

28 September 2012


It has just past the 3 years since I moved west and I'm starting to get confused as to which place I mine. There are big things happening during these two weeks an there are so many changes I'm still facing. When will this whirlwind stop? I'm an ever moving unit in a nonstop city. There has been hardly space to soak it in.
One message I have reflected on is my obsession with not being from here... It seems to come up too often to ignore and I wonder if I come off proud being from a place such as Illinois. Or sandwich for that matter. I just feel like it is my place, it is a uniqueness to a very 2 sided culture. Yet when I'm home and speak of the matter I am floored that I have been out and feel that I can be identified with this place which many still feel is the Wild West. I grew up thinking it was beyond reach, a day and hours away... And to think people are actually living where dinosaur bones have been discovered. So it leaves me in a place somewhere in between, still trying to find an identity or a next move and with little satisfaction of knowing that I may not be in total control. It's a magnificent and odd feeling to move away from your land. It's displacing in a way that only travel has made more possible in recent years.

And now I'm off to one of those half obligation half excited events, hoping to visit more the theoretical place that my mind sits, this blog.

21 June 2012


Baby Shower and Invite for our good friends Loren and Matt (who lived next to us in the mortuary). She found the best baby bedding online of mustard yellow and gray which inspired the theme. It was very simple and at low cost and it was the perfect night to be outside!