Summer Days

Usually my blog posts have been inspired by a remarkable event or new work from the forge. However, the last month or so has been one inspiring experience after the next, and I haven’t taken the time to step away from it all and write about it. Until now…

That being said, I have very little to show for my work in the forge. I have a nice damascus billet welded and ready for shaping, as well as a tvåflikad skäggyxa in the works:

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The birth of a viking axe

We are preparing to travel to the Czech Republic in two weeks, to attend the international Hefaiston Blacksmithing Festival. There are a few projects taking shape for this as well:

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A dragon candleholder in progress…

The majority of my time, however, has been restoring a fence around a cemetery in nearby Hudiksvall. In this stage of the project I am just scraping off moss and rust, and painting. Not very glamorous  work, but hey, I’m getting a nice tan.

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300 meters finished, 250 meters to go. Give or take.

The real depth of experience has come from a few jaunts here and there. I headed up north to Tornedalen, a region just on the border of Finland, and crossed the Arctic Circle for the first time. There was a welcome party of several million mosquitos waiting for me, and they made sure I was never without company in the far north. I had a beautiful time paddling, fishing, playing board games and picking berries in the woods. An experience to be remembered for many years to come.

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Midnight sky, looking south. A stunning reverse sunset, and good fishing too.

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To my surprise, I caught something!

Just this past weekend, I attended the Urkult music festival in Näsåker. It is located near a river where people have been gathering for thousands of years, and the temporary community we built over several days felt like an echo in time. There is a deeply satisfying feeling that comes with involving yourself in an ancient tradition, even if it has evolved to fit our time.

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Messages left long ago, still visible in the rocks today.

I made a new friend in Mattias, a journeyman carpenter from Germany. He was inspiring to be around, and I traded some teaching in the forge for learning in building. We also had a blast riding the dressin (a three wheeled bike one rides on an old train track) at a friend’s summerhouse:

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As the moments rush by, I feel glad by the passing of time. To me this has become a measure of my happiness – to be content with the moments gone, excited for the moments to come, and inspired by the world just now. I wish for this inspiration, peace, and hope in all who strive along the path towards that unknown kernel of meaning in our lives, our purpose.

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