Narrow Road > Deep North

frequently "zen adjacent" notes from a Nordic province — by R.a.Szy

Gravefields and megaliths crowd this sleepy province — one can hardly move for tripping over some Iron Age burial site or liminal Dommaringen. I like to imagine the quiet roads were only lain to join up these ancient sites — mapping over an old network of ritual. Modernity tapping the circuit cables of deep topographical memory.

Last week we finally found the time to visit the Björketorp Runestone, which stands a short drive from the house. At 4.2 metres tall Björketorp is one of the world's largest runestones, forming a loose stone circle with two other menhir (standing stones).

Its message of prophesy and curse was carved maybe 1,500 years ago. The inscription was made in an intermediary form of the runic alphabet — a bridge between the Younger Futhark and the development of the Elder Futhark.

“I prophesy destruction.”

“I, master of the runes, conceal here runes of power. Incessantly (plagued by) maleficence, (doomed to) insidious death (is) he who breaks this (monument).”

#folklore #journal #photo #runes

a grassy weather-beaten skull visited by a stray bird or two


From white peaks, a field of lanterns, and me on the outskirts bending in the wind.


Sitting all day in the tall grass. I force my body beneath the Earth.


One poem should be enough — “How many hours? How many years?”

#deathpoem #z

Repairing this makeshift abstraction of a fence, because the fucking Wild Boar keep breaking through it to eat fallen apples.

I like to picture the land as divided into several gradiated zones. Moving radially inwards from the old stone wall > the forest > the meadow > the fence > the garden > the house.

The previous owner erected the fence to keep the Wild Boar out of the innermost zone, the traditional garden. He kept it standing over his 90-something years living here, and I intend to do my best to keep it that way! (Using only his old tools and materials.)

It's actually pretty cool to have the Boar right outside the house — they're generally a shy animal so we have a rare vantage to spot them from here.

#journal #photo

Finally removed the old flooring downstairs! We knew it hadn't been changed since 1920 — and the floor itself was laid in 1850 — so we were a little concerned about uncovering long-hidden damage. Luckily the only surprise lurking beneath the grimy linoleum was these faded paw prints, made in what we guess is the same green paint used on the outside of the house. Century old traces from a long lost companion.

#journal #photo


Ummon asked a monk, “Are you the gardener?” “Yes” replied the monk. “Why have turnips no roots?” Ummon asked the monk, who could not reply. “Because,” said Ummon “rainwater is plentiful.”

Comment: why are turnips plentiful because rainwater has no roots but then why are roots plentiful

this line is too long too short too short to be longer

Note: This may well answer everything and nothing. But why do turnips require explanation at all?

“Rice is in the bowl, water is in the tub, [turnips have no roots,] all’s right with the world.”

Addendum | Blue Cliff Record: “Chen Chou produces big turnips — Everyone knows. Just avoid saying so. Each time it's brought up it's brand new.”


Coffee and notebooks. Still a few warm days left in the year.

#journal #photo