Avoid the River at Midsummer Eve!

The river winds its way through the forest. It is Midsummer Eve. It’s not really dark, which make the trees stand in gloomy gray silhouettes.

No wind, no birdsong, only an eternal sound from the river.

This part of the forest has always seemed alarming and eerie.
In some places the trees are felled, some even broken.

Panic rises, he shouldn’t have mocked the water sprite, and now he has to cross the last bridge before he’s safe.

Suddenly the river is silent too! Only dark and smooth on the surface and without a sound –

This is how Selma Lagerlöf, the famous Swedish author, tells the story about the fiddler who meets Näcken in the forest.

I remembered the unhappy fiddler when I passed a house in the Swedish countryside on a quiet midsummer evening. From an open window, beautiful tones flowed from a violin and forced me to listen.

Midsummer Eve in particular is hazardous since it’s there, Näcken plays his violin, trying to lure people down into the rushing river…

Happy Midsummer 😃

American painter, Thomas B. Griffin.

Floden snor sig mellem træerne. Det er midsommeraften. Det er ikke rigtig mørkt. Det får træerne til at stå i dystre grå silhuetter.

Ingen vind, ingen fuglesang, kun den evige lyd af strømmende vand.

Denne del af skoven har altid virket alarmerende og uhyggelig.
Nogle steder er træerne væltede, og nogle er endda knust.

Panikken stiger, han skulle ikke have hånet Nøkken, og nu skal han krydse den sidste bro, før han er i sikkerhed.

Nu er floden også stille! Kun mørkt strømmende vand uden lyd –

Sådan fortæller Selma Lagerlöf om den populære spillemand, som møder Näcken i skoven en midsommeraften.

Jeg kom i tanke om historien, da jeg gik forbi et hus i Halland en midsommeraften. Fra et åbent vindue strømmede vidunderlige toner fra en violin, og tvang mig til at lytte.

Især midsommeraften er farlig, når Näcken spiller sin violin og forsøger at lokke menneskene ned i den strømmende flod.

God midsommer – Trevlig Midsommar Sverige 😀

Note

Midsummer evening Friday 25.6.2021

Spillemanden af Selma Lagerlöf

The Painting Thomas: B. Griffin (American, died 1918). Moonlight on the Delaware River, ca. 1896-1915. Oil on canvas, 29 15/16 x 40 1/16 in. (76 x 101.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Alfred T. Dillhoff in memory of Rosamund E. Lafferty, 54.104 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 54.104.jpg)

Darkness is rising

This is one of my old stories but very appropriate for Halloween 🎃😊

Someone had the decency to unlock the sun for an hour yesterday.
It is hard to imagine now when rain and hail are tumbling down. I was about to end my walk as the sun went down and dusk took over. I had some concerns because of the growing darkness.
Should I walk through the bog in the darkness or across the cemetery? Strange stories passed through me as I thought of the cemetery.

Once my brother took a short-cut across a cemetery late at night:

He entered our living room, pale with fear. His age in mind the experience must have been fierce. He was a teenager, and at that age it is inappropriate to be afraid. He was sure that he had stumbled upon a corpse on a small church path. My parents were sure that there was another explanation and they calmed him down so he was able to fall asleep.

Early the next morning my father went to the cemetery with my brother, and they did find a man. He wasn’t dead, but lacked a place to sleep. That finding brought my brother’s mind in a state of relief, but the cemetery was no longer an option for a short-cut.

An artist I once knew worked in a cemetery where he used an old gate house as a studio. He told me lots of stories one evening over a bottle of wine. I have never been able to forget this one in particular.
We sat by the fireplace and actually the weather outside was very similar to the weather in his story. He began the story describing how terrible tired and exhausted he was:

I’d been working late every night with the aim to get my last painting done for the opening. One night it became very late. Sometimes I get so tired that I have to pull myself together to go to bed, and I wasn’t even home yet.
So I turned off the lights and locked the door. When I went out in the storm and rain to find the car, I almost lost my breath, for it was bitterly cold.

A short stay in the wind combined with a break caused me to listen more attentively. Yes, there it was again! Help me, help !!!

It was difficult to determine the direction. The rain, the darkness and the wind created shadows where there usually were open spaces. After a while I decided to walk into the darker section of the cemetery until suddenly I saw a strange thing.
From one of the open graves prepared for the next day funeral I sensed a movement. Carefully approaching I could see two hands cling to the edge of an open grave.

At this point in his storytelling, he made a little stay and I could swear that there was a shiver running through him. He continued: I found myself in a state where my adrenaline whizz around in my body. I didn’t know whether I should turn and run, or just let myself be completely frozen with fear because I was nearly there already.

The rough terrifying voice tore me out of my trance by screaming in my ears: Heeeelp! Help me! I saw the man down in the grave. Two big scared eyes midst of all the mud, and a pair of hands which reached out like a child who wants to be lifted up.
I stood and gazed at him. It felt like hours. Then I recognised him. He was a slightly tipsy gentleman who often take his lunch on one of the benches, if not every day and in a liquid form.

Close to the grave hang a water hose. I tied the hose onto an iron pipe and handed the other end to the man in the grave.
The exhausted man was rescued from the cold grave, and after a drink and some dry clothes, he told his story about how he fell down in the grave by an accident.

But I was still considering which way to choose. I looked at the bog and the growing darkness and my thoughts went to Frodo, Sam, and Gollum when they went through the Dead Marshes on the way to Mordor.
I chose the cemetery 🤞😊

Når virkeligheden overgår fantasien.

When reality surpasses the imagination.
I went to Mariebjerg Cemetery to find inspiration for an eerie post. The inspiration came faster than I expected. I had just found the mausoleums where one can get a glimpse of the coffins, as dark diffuse topics.
The remains of the day’s light flickered in the burial chamber when the trees waved in the wind.
I knew my time was short. I’m talking photography. The clouds were beginning to look threatening and I would expect heavy rain at any moment.
The last time I had visited coffins with uncanny potential was in the Christian Church in Copenhagen.
The church has a crypt, and coincidentally there was no light in the crypt that day. My friend got a small cut on his hand when he had to close a large black iron gate. The wound was very slow to heal.. and we began to wonder. But before the horror got a grip on us, fortunately his hand was cured.
Now I’m off alone. Because of the bad weather approaching the late afternoon seems darker than normal.
I had been through several sections of the beautiful and hilly cemetery. There are urn valleys and forest sections, as well as a myriad of other sections.
Utterly unexpected lightning rips the sky followed by a huge blast that seems to shake everything around me. At that moment the windows of heaven open itself, and the rain is pouring down. I feel very exposed. I am surrounded by tall trees, it is the worst place I can be. The cemetery stock had left a door open to a smaller building which is built close to the mausoleums.
I felt a horror inside when I was considering going there, but lightning followed by an enormous blast decides the outcome. I run past the tombs and into the dark building.

Mariebjerg Kirkegård

Mariebjerg Kirkegård

My heart stands still by the sound of a piercing scream and to my relief I see a cat flees.The room is gloomy. In a corner small coffins are stacked against the wall. There is a pervasive smell of damp and rot.
I’m talking myself down. After all it is just a building for use of tools and similar objects. At the same time a new lightning tears the heaven apart and in that short time I detect a movement from the upper coffin. The lid is sliding aside.
The furious storm becomes like a dear old friend. I flout all safety regulations and flees through the cemetery and out on the main street now so strangely emptied for pedestrians due to the bad weather.
Lightning and thunder rumble replace each other, but I don’t care. My thin rain jacket has abandoned the job and the icy rain has reached my sweater, it means nothing compared to the cemetery.
Did I get that eerie inspiration? Oh yes the thunderstorm did the job extremely well 🙂

Jeg var taget på Mariebjerg Kirkegård for at finde inspiration til et uhyggeligt indlæg. Inspirationen fik jeg hurtigere end forventet. Jeg havde netop fundet mausolæerne, hvor man kan skimte kisterne, som mørke diffuse emner.
Resterne af dagslyset flakkede i gravkammerene, når træerne vajede i blæsten.
Jeg vidste, min tid var kort. Altså til fotografering. Det trak op til uvejr, og skyerne var begyndt at se truende ud.

Sidste gang jeg havde aflagt besøg ved kister med uhyggeligt potentiale var i Christianskirken på Strandgade i København.
Kirken har en krypt, og tilfældigvis var der ikke noget lys i krypten den pågældende dag. Min ven fik en lille rift på hånden, da han skulle lukke en stor sort gitterport. Såret var meget længe om at læges. Så længe at vi begyndte at undre os. Men inden uhyggen fik rigtig tag i os, var hånden heldigvis lægt.

Nu er jeg taget afsted alene. På grund af det arriverende uvejr er den sene eftermiddag mørkere end normalt.
Jeg har været igennem flere af afdelingerne på den smukke og kuperede kirkegård. Der er urnedale og skovafsnit, samt et utal af andre afdelinger.

Aldeles uventet flænger et lyn himlen efterfulgt af et kæmpe skrald, som synes at ryste alt omkring mig. I det samme åbner himlens sluser sig og det vælter ned med regn. Jeg føler mig meget udsat. Jeg er omgivet af høje træer, det er det værste sted jeg kan opholde mig. Kirkegårdens materielgård har ladet en dør stå åben til en mindre bygning der er opført tæt på mausolæerne.

Mariebjerg Kirkegård

Mariebjerg Kirkegård

Det gyser i mig, da jeg overvejer at gå derind, men et lyn efterfulgt af et kæmpe brag afgør udfaldet. Jeg løber forbi gravkamrene og ind i den mørke bygning. Mit hjerte står næsten stille for i det samme lyder et øresønderrivende skrig og en kat tager flugten. Der er skummelt i rummet. I et hjørne står små kister stablet op ad væggen. Der er en gennemtrængende lugt af fugt og råddenskab.

Jeg taler mig selv til ro. Det er trods alt bare en bygning til anvendelse af redskaber og lignende genstande. I det samme flænger et nyt lyn himlen og i det kortvarige lys registrerer jeg en bevægelse fra den øverste kiste. Låget er begyndt at glide til side.

Det rasende uvejr bliver som en kær gammel ven. Jeg lader hånt om alle sikkerhedsforskrifter og flygter gennem kirkegården og ud på Lyngby Hovedgade.

Lyn og torden afløser hinanden, men jeg er ligeglad. Min tynde regnjakke har opgivet ævred og den iskolde regn har nået min sweater, men det betyder intet i sammenligning med kirkegården.

Fandt jeg inspirationen på kirkegården? Åh ja! Tordenvejret underholdt mig til det sidste, og erstattede den spænding, man ellers kan forvente sig af indbyggerne på en kirkegård.

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God tur og husk regntøjet 🙂

Mariebjerg Kirkegård

Christians Kirke