Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Buddha in the Attic – Book Review

by Keith Turner on July 28, 2013

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The Buddha in the Attic is a book by Julie Otsuka.  Normally I would not consider doing a book review but it is the story of a group of Japanese woman who immigrate to America.  It is not the story of one person but the story of a group of people and their journey as immigrants ending in exile.  The book is like a Japanese painting, beautiful in its simplicity.  With a few strokes of the pen I felt myself drawn in to this narrative.

I felt a connection to the story.  I too have had my own fears, excitements and expectations about immigrating to a new country.  Though I have not suffered the discrimination that these people did.  I can easily pass unless I speak giving away that I do not speak Swedish.  Reading the book was very thought provoking and has me thinking even more about the current debate of immigration in America.  This book should be required reading for all the elected representatives of the House and the Senate.

Gärds Köpinge IF Annual Flee Market

by Keith Turner on July 27, 2013

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It all started weeks and maybe even months before today.  The people in Köpinge village began to sort through their things.  Perhaps it’s a set of dishes they no longer want.  A new couch or chair might have been purchased and the old one is sitting in the garage waiting as it is collecting dust.  Old clothes that are no longer worn are taken out of the closet.  Books that are no longer being read are removed from the bookshelf to make room for more.  The annual village decluttering has begun.
Each household starts at different times and in different ways all leading up to the last Thursday in July.  It is then that all the items that are no longer needed and wanted are brought to the village soccer field.  As boxes show up they are sorted into various categories and placed on tables through out the field.  The furniture lined up in rows taking up a large part of the field; there is a section of sports gear, a table of plates, an area of pots and garden items just to name a few.  All this is done for the big event on Saturday.

People from all around arrive at the village before 10 a.m. paying their 10 kronor ($1.55) to enter the waiting area outside of the soccer field.  As it gets closer to 10 more and more people arrive and you can feel the excitement in the air.  No sooner and no later but at exactly one second before 10 a.m. there is this huge inhale of breath and it is as if all the air is sucked out of the space.  Then the second hand moves and the moment it becomes 10 a.m. the stampede begins as people rush through the barrier tape.  The ground vibrates and you can hear the swoosh as people run to their area of choice.

When a person spotted something he liked he would ask a person wearing a florescent vest “Vad kostar det?” (How much does it cost?).  If the price sounded reasonable the money  was handed over and the item taken or something attached indicating that it was sold.  The most desirable items disappeared quickly. Other people who arrived after 10 would wander around leisurely looking for things they may want to take home. There was a vendor selling fish and one selling donuts.  You could buy hamburgers, hot dogs, fish sandwiches (the Swedish version), candy, soda.  It was like shopping at the Deseret Industries of the Good Will but with the Swedish market flair.  As the flee market was close to ending the bargain hunters descended.  Everything was going cheap now. Fill up a plastic bag for 10 kronor or purchase some furniture for a fraction of the price two hours ago.
Suddenly the market ended and two things commenced at once.  Tractors came onto the field and left over items were placed in the shovels and taken to awaiting dumpsters.  The scavengers swooped in and began to gather things that they deemed might have some resale value into piles.  Between the workers and the scavengers the soccer field was cleaned leaving no trace of the items that has been there a few hours before.All the money earned is used by the village soccer club for the benefit of the young people.  I have been told that enough money is earned to cover all the cost for the  young people for the entire year.  The adults cover their own costs.  In Sweden clubs are an important part of the social life and sports clubs are on the top of that important list.

I find this fundraiser brilliant in so many ways.  Just watching the market from beginning to end tells the story of the modern social construct of Sweden.  It was like watching the scenes of a play where everything I had read or had been explained to me was acted out in a three act play.

In a world where we are so attached to things and find it difficult to let go of them, Köpinge village has build into its customs and rituals the mechanism of the annually purge of things.  It is the annual renewal culminating the last Saturday in July where the old is discarded making room for the new.  It is all dressed in the altruistic garb of raising money that goes towards their children.  And in return their children are provided mentors and activities that are both beneficial to the individual and the community.

Many members of the community put in lots of time just to make this day happen.  Some even take vacation in order to devote enough time.  It becomes an event that binds the ties of the community together.  Each year the community comes together again to make it happen.  What a marvelous annual event.

(Note:  This is the village that Vanim grew up in.  His sister and brother and their families live there now and his mother plans on moving back there as soon as we have moved out on our own.)

Hurry Up & Wait

by Keith Turner on July 23, 2013

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Maggie & Seth relaxing on the patio

One thing I am am observing is that nothing in Sweden seems to be rushed.  My person number arrived two weeks after applying for it.  A person number would be similar to an American social security number.  Once I had my person number I needed an ID card.  I now am in the process of waiting between 5 to 10 business days for a letter to show up.  Once that letter shows up I can return to the Tax Agency and pick up my ID card.

I registered with Arbetsförmedling (the employment agency) as soon as I got my person number.  They set up a meeting with a company that teaches conversational Swedish which is different than Swedish for Immigrants (SVI).  After the meeting I reported back the the employment agency to let them know I was interested in the Swedish conversational class.  At the employment agency you are assigned a handler.  My handler is on vacation, first personal vacation and then family vacation time.  When she returns from vacation she will set up the Swedish conversational class, then contact me and let me know when I will be starting.
The office in charge of Swedish for Immigrants (SVI) shut down the entire month of July for vacation.  They will open again in August at which time I can then register for Swedish for Immigrants.  Once I am registered for SVI I need to let my handler at the employment agency know.
There are two things that I am having to adjust to as an American.  The long vacation times that people here take and the more relaxed and patient nature that seems to be part of the Swedish culture.  My last job I was able to earn 14 days of personal time off, that was vacation time and sick days.  Americans take less time off from work than is typical here in Sweden.  I love the idea of more vacation time.  There are lots of studies that show more vacation time improves productivity and overall health of people.
More vacation time does take a different cultural and business mindset than is typical in America today. Perhaps that is where some of the more relaxed and patient nature I am encountering come from.  I am not necessarily a patient person by nature.  I would also say that generally Americans expect things now and therefore have little patience.
What this means for me is that I am in the middle of a change of perception.  American culture is rooted in the same basic foundation as Swedish culture being that it is part of the greater western culture.  But still it is different than American culture. Sweden has different values and different perceptions about what is important.  As I start to understand those differences and integrate them into my life I start to find my place in my new home.  And perhaps as I hurry up and wait I too will become a more relaxed and patient person.
relaxing at the beach in Åhus

Åhus – A Day at the Beach

by Keith Turner on July 21, 2013

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   A day at the Beach
21 July 2013
the day started out with a round of miniature golf.
Fancy Golf
Super Awesome Golf Stud
Just in case anyone wondered I won by some miracle
 We then spent some time relaxing on the beach and enjoying the sun.  I also waded in the ocean.
A view of the beach
enjoying the sun
enjoying the sun from the shade
A trip to Åhus is not complete without a trip to the ice cream boat and a great way to end a relaxing day at the beach.

My Bicycle Adventure 16 July 2013

by Keith Turner on July 20, 2013

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On Monday May 16th I spent the day on a bicycle.  I passed through small towns and villages.  I passed fields of lettuce, potatoes, canola, and wheat.  I saw historical sights and archaeological sights.  I enjoyed moments of sunny skies with little or no breeze and moments of cloudy skies and lots of wind.  My legs were tired by the time I reached the island of Ivö, so the trip might have been a little over ambitious but it was well enjoyed and I am glad I did it.

The map below shows some of the points I saw along the way on my little adventure.  If you enjoy riding bikes there is a lot one can do and see in Scania.  I rode the train from Kristianstad to Bromölla.  From Bromölla I rode my bike south around lake Ivösjön and then north between lake Ivösjön and lake Oppmannasjön. I then took the ferry over to the island of Ivö.  After spending some time on Ivö I crossed back over on the ferry and headed south between the two lakes then headed south west and west until I arrived back home at Kristianstad.
View Bike Tour 16 July 2013 in a larger map

Konstverket Ödlorna (The Lizards)
 
(taken from the information marker) Approximately 60 million years ago, the isle of Ivö was an island in what then the Scenoan Sea.  That was the inhabitants of the swan-necked reptile named Scanisourus, after Scania (Skåne).  The fountain was make and inagurated in 1971.  It was desigened by the artist and designer Gunnar Mylund, who worked for the Röstrand porcelain factory as well as the Ifö Works.  The artifact represents a male and female Scanisourus basking in the sun on an Ivö rock.  It consists of about 3,000 specifically designed ceramic pieces, made in the R&D department of the Ifö works and mounted on a frame made of reinforced concrete.
Brukshusen (The Industrial Community)
(taken from the information marker) The workers lodging or “The Red Houses” as they were originally called were build in 1905 – 1907.  Twenty simple wooden single family dwellings painted red, with two rooms and a kitchen downstairs and a small room in the attic.  They were the first houses to be built in the new works community, each house had its own garden.  Water came from a pump used by all families, and the wash-house and baking cottage were shared facilities too.  The works lodgings were constructed in the plainest manner, and there was little in the way of insulation.  At a later date the houses where plastered.  Today only eight of the Red Houses are left standing, but nowadays none of them is used as a dwelling-house.
There is a folk museum in one of the buildings.  Another one of the buildings are set up like it might have been in 1907.  But for the most part in the summer most things like museums and churches are open from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 or 5:00 p.m.  There is also an industrial museum in Bromölla.
Smugglarrundan
 

(taken from the information marker) The smuggler tour is a 19-km-long cycle trip.  You cycle through the old mill town of Bromölla and along Edenryd’s Riviera, where you will find beautiful views and various activities, such as swimming and hiking.  You will find places to eat and you can visit the pubs, or why not stay the night at one of the various B&Bs which are available along the route.  This area of Sweden was where smuggled goods were brought into the country.    I rode on part of the Smugglars Tour from Bromölla to Gualöv.  It was very beautiful.  I was riding along a trail next to a pine forest with raspberries or blackberries growing next to the trail.
Gualöv Kyrka
 
 
Gualöv Church was built in the 1100’s.  Unlike most churches in Sweden it does not have a tower.  A wooden bell tower was built in the 1700’s.  This church is one of the many churches on the Pilgrims Path as part of the Way of St. James.  The Way of St. James was one of the most important pilgrimages in medieval Europe along with Rome and Jerusalem.  The Way of St. James has started to increase in popularity in the last decade or so.  It is my goal that when both of my children are adults that we walk the Way of St. James together.  A lot of people start the pilgrimage in France on the boarder of Spain but some people.  I might just have to start the pilgrimage in Sweden.
Stejlabacken I Kjuge
 

 
(taken from the information marker) The official name of this place “Stegelbacken” is derived from the Swedish verb stegla which means “to break on the wheel” – a crude punishment.  After execution, the corpse’s head was severed from the body, as was the right hand and both were nailed to a pole.  The body was then placed on a wheel (“stegel”) at the top of a vertical pole.  The punishment was instituted on men convicted of serious crime.  It was abolished in 1841.  “Stejlabacken” was the place of execution during the siege of Kristianstad in 1676 – 1678, in the course of which Denmark attempted to regain the provinces lost to Sweden a couple of decade earlier.  The Swedish forces did not distinguish between local pro Danish Rebels (“snapphanar”) and paramilitary companies of marksmen; all were called rebels and treated as such. The Swedish King, Karl (Charles XI) had his headquarters at Ljungby Castle.  Now Trolle Ljungby – while his army was in camp at Vannerberga Village, where many rebels were executed.  To make the villages’ lives somewhat easier, the place of execution was transferred here to Kjuge.  It was located along side a public road so wayfarers could contemplate the misfortunes of those who were “disobedient” to the Swedish king. On 4 August 1678 after more than two years under siege the Danes in Kristianstad surrendered and were allowed free passage our of town.  The hunt for rebels and marksman was still on after the peace of 1679 however.  The memory of “Stejlabacken” remained vivid among the people of Kjuge for many generations.
Thatched Roof on Barn and House 
 

These thatched roofs on the barn and house are common on the older buildings.  I passed these and other building like this as I was biking through the country side.
Bäckaskogs Slott
 
 
Monks from the Premonstraten Order established a monastery here in the 13th century.  After the reformation in 1537 the estate was turned over to the Danish King.  It was at this time that the monastery was added to and turned into a castle.  In 1678 the estate was turned over the the Swedish King.  It then became the official residence for the High Commander of Scania until 1817.  From 1817 until 1900 it was leased by members of the Swedish royal family.  It is now run as a hotel and conference center and a farm.
Cows Grazing
 
 
After I left the castle along the road to Barum where I would catch the ferry to Ivö there was this herd of cattle grazing in a field next to the lake.  There was a place next to the road to park your car and some picknick tables to sit at and enjoy the view.  There was stairs over the fence so that you could walk to the lake.  Since the cattle there in the field were beef cattle I decided it was best to not get in their way.
Landsvägsfärjan Barum-Ivö
 
 
(taken from tour guide) The Main Road Ferry Barum-Ivö island is Scania’s only main road ferry.  It ferries people and vehicles between Barum and Ivö, the larges island in Scania. Here in Barum (I believe a small village) I caught the ferry over to the island of Ivö.  The ferry does not cost anything to ride.
Ivö Kyrka
(taken from a tourist pamphlet)  A medieval church that was probably built by Archbishop Andreas Sunesen.  The church was dedicated to St. Ursula during the Catholic period. 
 
 (taken from a tourist pamphlet)  Paintings in the church depicting Saint Ursula and Saint Katherine of Alexandria date from the mid-15th century and are attributed to the Fjälkinge artist group.

I arrived at this church just after a funeral and the burial was going on in the cemetery.  Some of the people that crossed on the ferry with me had come for the funeral.  In Sweden they have different traditions and rituals when it comes to funerals and burials then in American and especially Utah.  At some point I will do a blog post about those differences.
St. Ursulas Källa (Spring)
(taken from the information marker) Ursula’s Well – the well was named after the patron saint of the (Ivö) church.  Ursula was an English princess who made a pilgrimage to Rome accompanied by 11,000 virgins.  Returning they were stopped by an army of Huns near Cologne.  The Hun leader fell in love with Ursula, but she refused to marry him and was killed along with all her virgin attendants.  Some time later Ursula and the virgins were canonized.  Archbishop Andreas Sunesen spent his last few years on Ivö.  He dies in 1228.  One Christmas Eve a servant was sent to fetch water from the well but on his return the water had been transformed to wine.  Andreas Sunesen then sent the servant back for more wine, but exhorted him not to taste the contents.  The servant did not obey and the wine became water again.  The well has supplied nothing but water since.  Sacrifices were dropped into the well as late as the 18th century, and even today visitors have been known to toss in the odd coin.  The well has been resored several times, most recently in 1991.
Biskopskällaren (The Bishops Cellar)

(taken from the information marker) The Archbishop’s Cellar is part of the solid stone house built by Andreas Sunesen.  It was probably erected on the remains of a building from the 12th century on what is believed to be the donjon.  In 1927 the farm building above the cellar was struck by lightening, but without damaging the cellar itself.  In the mid 1930’s the cellar and the surrounding land was redeemed by the Scanian local Heritage Association.  Durring excavation in 1938, the inner parts of the cellar and its outer walls were uncovered, laying bare the windows above ground  A foundation wall then revealed that the cellar had been part of a larger group of buildings.

If you look to the left of the picture you can see the older foundation that the storehouse was built upon.
Kiaby Kyrka
(taken from the information marker) The village of Kiaby was referred to as early as approx. 1170, at which time Kiaby Chruch was handed over to the Praemonstratensian Priory at Vä (the same place the monks who originally build Backaskog came from).  That was probably a wooden church, which was replaced in the mid-13th century.  The Church’es star vaulting was done in the 15th century, and the tower is likely to have been erected around 1500.  The transepts in the north, the “new church”, were built in 1790.  During the restoration work in the 1938-39, the Chancel frescoes were brought to light.  Made in the late 15th century, they possess great artistic value.  The sculpture of the Virgin Mary and the Crucifix in the Triumphal Arch were carved from oak in the 13th century, but Jesus Christ acquired his silver shoes at a later date.  There are several noteworthy objects in the church among them the sandstone baptismal font from the 13th century and the altar screen, probably made in northern Germany around 1500.

Bronsåldershögar (burial mount)
(taken from the information marker) Burial-mounds from the Bronze Age (I am assuming that they mean what is referred to as the Nordic Bronze Age which is the period roughly from 1700 B.C.E. to 500 B.C.E.) came into being during the early Bronze Age and remained in use as burial places throughout the Bronze Age and sometimes into the early Iron Age.  The Mounds have not been excavated, but underneath the turf there is probably a coffin made of stone slabs or wood, placed on the flat ground at the center of the grave.  Above the coffin a pile of stones was created and covered with grass sod. Subsequently, in the later Bronze Age, urns containing charred bones where deposited along the outer edges of the mound.
Gånggrigt och boplats (passage grave)
(taken from the information marker) The Fjälking area was a central location in prehistoric times.  It contained plenty of graves made of large boulders, including several dolmens and passage-graves, in fact few places in Scania (Scåne) have so many of them.  The large number of graves here suggest that the population must have been fairly numerous, and archaeological excavations have indeed indicated plenty of settlement in this area.  Megalithic graves (from the Greek mega “big” and lithos “stone”) are dolemens – chambers made of stone-blocks supporting a roof-block; passage graves with low passages leading into the grave chamber, or stone cists, which were build like chests or coffins made of flat rocks.  The graves were usually covered by earthen mounds which only left the roof-block of the chamber visible.  They were constructed some 5500 years ago, as family burial-places.  The passage grave was investigated in 1875, and the remains of the person buried in a sitting position were found.  So were about 600 potsherds from around 75 ceramic vessels, most of them ornamental.  Food and beverages in ceramic vessels were sacrificed at the grave entrance in connection with religious ceremonies.  The grave stands on a settlement site, but no traces of the latter are found above ground today.  Most of the Megalithic graves in Scania are found along the coasts and the major rivers.
Three Windmills

Through out the countryside there are numerous windmills. Because it was extremely windy I could hear these windmills from the road.  Because there are so many windmills in Scania (Skåne) I would be interested to find out how much of Sweden’s power comes from windmills.  Something for me to research.

All around Scania there are so many things to do and see.  This is just a sample of one day on a bike and all that I was able to see.  I could ride my bike in any direction and have just as varied experiences and even see different sights than I did this day.  For any of you that love to ride your bike I would recommend a bike vacation in Skåne Sweden some summer.

Högmässa Heliga Tregaldighets Kyrka

by Keith Turner on July 14, 2013

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High Mass at The Holy Trinity Church
Today I attended high mass at the Holy Trinity Church in Kristianstad.  Because I could not understand what was being said I took more notice of the visual and auditory effects of such a large spacious building and its affect upon me.  I would surmise that the building was designed to bring about such an effect.
Sun light floods into the space from the north east and south.  The rows of columns that run through the building bring your eyes upward.   In front of you filling up the space is the large high alter.  The large windows and large columns of support give the illusion that the ceiling is floating above you.  It takes a large instrument like the organ to fill such a grand space.  As the low organ notes vibrate you can feel them surround you and you too also begin to fill up the enormous space.  Hymns have to be sung slowly otherwise the sounds might become lost in a large mess of crashing sounds. Every sound you make reverberates through the building making you think twice before making any moves.  Everything about the space seems designed to elevate and lift higher.
I have watched travel shows and documentaries where they talked about cathedrals and churches designed to have a certain effect.  It was quite amazing to actually experience this.  Because I did not “understand” I was open to have a completely new experience.

Vittskövle Slotts – Vittskövle Castle

by Keith Turner on July 14, 2013

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image of Vittskövle Castle
The Vittsköval estate goes back to the middle ages at least to the early 1300’s The old castle was located about 2.5 miles northeast of the present castle. At one point in the estates history the archbishop of Lund controlled some of the estate.  After the reformation in 1536 the part of the estate that the archbishop controlled reverted to lands controlled by the crown.  At this point in the history of Scåne (Scania) the crown was the Danish King.

image of Vittskövle Castle

Eventually the Brahe family was able to gain control over the entire estate.  Construction began on the current Vittskövle Slotts (Vittskövle Castle) in 1553 in the middle of a bog by Jens Axelsen Brahe.  The old castle was torn down.  Jens dies in 1560 and his son Henrik Brahe inherited the castle.  Construction on the castle was completed in 1577.  It was Jens Brahe’s desire that the castle would always be keep in his family line and this desire was expressed in a plaque that is still over the front door on the castle.  Henrik only had a daughter, Margret Brahe who married Christian Barnekow.  Therefore when Henrik died 1587 the castle moved out of the Brahe family and into the Barnekow family.  I would see the estate as staying in the family since it went to his daughter, but you have to keep in mind that during this time in history that family rights as you might say passed from father to son.  It stayed in the Barnekow family until 1826.
There is a story or myth surrounding the death of Christian Barnekow.  Durring the Kalmar war at the Battle of Kölleryd in 1612 that the Danish King Christian IV’s horse was killed.  Christain Barnekow turned over his horse to the King and is reported to have said “For you Majesty my horse, for the enemy my life, for God my soul.”  Christian Barnekow was killed by the Swedes.  In 1658 when Scåne was handed over to Sweden Christian’s grandson Christian Barnekow (1626-1666).

image of Vittskövle Castle
In order to keep his estate he became a Swedish citizen.  I know that the owner of Hovdala Slotts did the same thing. I would suppose that if all your wealth was tied up in an estate and that estate suddenly became part of another country you might find it expedient to change your citizenship.
Christian Barnekow was rewarded by the Swedish King for doing so.  In 1662 he was made vice president of the Göta Court of Appeals and in 1664 he was introducing by the Swedish King to the Swedish House of The Nobility.  In 1826 another Christian Barnekow known as The First Chamberlain Lord Christian Barnekow was forced to sell the castle and estate for economic reasons.
image of Vittskövle CastleThe estate was sold to Jonas Hagerman whose grandfather had once been employed as the head of the stables at Vittskövle Castle.  So in a somewhat ironic twist of fate the Grandson of a former worker became lord of the manor.  Jonas turned around and sold it to his brother Gustaf.  It was inherited by Gustof’s daughter Maria who had married Rudolf Hodder Sternswörd.  It is still in the Sternswörd and at present still a private residence.
It is one of the larges castles in Scania.  It has about 100 rooms.  It is said to be one of the best preserved Renaissance castles in Scandinavia. It would be a very beautiful place to live but I imagine a very costly place to maintain.  There is an English garden sounding the castle that was installed in the 1800.  The garden is open to the public but the castle is not.  I found the gardens and the castle very beautiful and worth the visit.  It was a very quiet and serene place.  There was scaffolding around part of the castle but since I visited on a Saturday there was not work going on.
image of Vittskövle Castle
image of Vittskövle Castle
image of Vittskövle Castle
Note:  The information about the castle was complied from three different websites

Pictures – Lunds Dormakyrka Kryptan – Lund Cathedral Crypt

by Keith Turner on July 12, 2013

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There are two cathedrals in Sweden and one is in Lund.  At one time it was one of the most important buildings in Scandinavia.  It was the seat of the archbishop of the Nordic region.  Construction started sometime in the 1100’s.  It is a building with a lot of history.  The Crypt is the first part of the cathedral completed and has been in use since 1123.
The last archbishop of Lund is buried here
The crypt is in the east part of the church.  Each of the columns have a different design on them.  On the tour I was told this is to give the crypt a surreal appearance when you are down there right as the sun hits the windows early in the morning.
behind the column is the original altar from 1123

 

Finn The Giant
 
This is the story of Finn the Giant as told by the tour guide.  Before Lund was a Christian city there was a Christian priest that would walk around on the hills outside of the city preaching about the gospel of Jesus.  There was a pagan giant who lived under the hills.  He became tired of hearing the priest.  Why are always preaching on the hills asked the Giant.  The priest responded that he had no church to preach in.  The giant ask the priest if he would give him the sun and the moon if he built him a church.  How can I give you what I do not own said the priest.  Then how about your eyes if you can not guess my name before the church is completed.  So a deal was struck and the giant began to build a church for the priest.  Every day the priest would come to the construction site and guess but never getting the giants name right.  When the church was almost complete the priest realized that he was about to loose his eyes.  He wanted to see the countryside one more time so he went on a walk out amount the hills of Lund.  He heard someone singing under one of the hills . go to sleep go to sleep for tomorrow your daddy Fin is going to bring you the eyes of the priest to play with.  The priest ran straight to the church and just as the giant laid the capstone the priest started shouting Fin, Fin, Fin is your name.  Fin the giant was so angry that he ran into the church with the idea of pulling out the pillars of the church to destroy it.  As he was running into the church he shrank because of the greatness of the Christian faith.  He entered the crypt and as he grabbed one of the pillars he was turned into stone.  At the other entrance his wife and child were turned into stone though how or why they ended up there no one knows.
Finn the Giant
the original face was cut off in one of the “restorations”
Finn the Giant
Finn the Giant
Finn’s Wife and Child
Finn’s Wife and Child
I found a different variation of the story of Finn the Giant online.  Obviously the church was not built by a giant but it is an interesting story.  The myth that a Christian Church and one as important as Lund was build by a pagan is indeed intriguing.  There are other stories about the two pillars with stone statues on them.  One is that it represents the Biblical Sampson.

Thoughts on Pictures, The Camera, & Intentionally Living

by Keith Turner on July 9, 2013

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In the last week I have become more conscious of my relationship to the camera.  I was at the Lund Cathedral when I started to take pictures.  I began to feel as if the camera was interfering so I put it away.  Without the camera between me and the cathedral my interaction and experience with the place started to chang.  I began to have a much more intimate encounter with the cathedral.

A couple of days latter Heather Schaefer posted an article on Facebook from The Globe and Mail called Humanity takes millions of photos everyday. Why are most so forgettable?  Ian Brown the author was an adjudicator of the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival Photography Competition where this year for the first time in 18 years there would not be a winner.  Of the more than 500 entries no one was able to present a visual story that the judges thought worthy of recognition.  He quotes Conrad Habing one of his co-judges as saying the entrants “were trying to make up for a lack of vision with a bag of tricks” vision being defined as “a point of view that says something about yourself.”  Another one of his co-judges said “people take photographs because they can, not because they should.”  Ian Brown goes on to make some more interesting observations about photography.  I would recommend reading the complete article.

I went back to Lund Cathedral today and took pictures this time.  I will not stop taking pictures.  This blog is as much a part of me as those of you who read it and I have had several request for pictures.  What has changed though is that I am now more aware of the experiences I am having.  Sometimes that means no camera.

In a blog post I read when I first started this blog titled 15 Reasons I Think You Should Blog by Joshua Becker reason number 3 was that you would live a more intentional life. “Once you start writing about your life and the thoughts that shape it, you.ll begin thinking more  intentionally about who you are, who you are becoming and whether you like what you see or not.”  I have certainly started to see that happening in my own life.  My interaction with the camera and the world around me is just one of those more intentional interactions that are starting to reshape my life in more meaningful ways.

Kristianstad Statue – 45 Soluppgång Över Frukostbordet

by Keith Turner on July 8, 2013

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Sunrise Over the Breakfast Table
 
image of sculpture in Kristianstad Sweden
without knowing anything about the statue it was just a strange large head.  Vanim refered to it as the alien head.  This sculpture was created in 1975 by Bitte Jonason Åkerlund.  From the city’s website: Sit back and look towards the sunrise.  The day begins and everything comes to live.  The boy in the picture is the artist own son and it is he who is the sun.  
My initial reaction to the sculpture was more of questioning the strangeness of it.  After knowing what the artists intent was for the sculpture my thoughts have change to one of sweetness.  My kids are the sunshine of my life.  It is an interesting way to represent the sun.  What do you think about this sculpture?