Monday, June 4, 2012

Vi Har Alt Men Det Er Også Alt Vi Har

Så, jeg har lovet mitt sjolv jeg skål prove å skrive en blog på norsk før jeg forlate Norge, og siden jeg har bare to uker, her går ingenting!

Fredag mitt klass gikk på tur opp Ulriken, fra Vidden til Rundamen, og ned Fløyen. Det var en gøy fem timer. Jeg spurt alt om neste år, og bare del av dem skal lærn internasjonal engelsk. Del vil lære seg matematisk og fysisk og kemisk isteden. De også fortalt meg om hvordan de gikk på tur her i natt når deg var yngre, med sin skoler, å si solned og solopp. Jeg var stolt jeg hadde ikke problem med farten. Men hele tid, jeg stoppet og snudde å si vakkert fjellet. Vi så Arna! Og fjellet med skog, og fjellet med snø. Vi bor i postkort.

Okay, så nå er jeg kjedelig av disse. Jeg kan ikke skrive interessante på norsk enna. Switching back…

As we dashed from rock to rock, careful not to trip on the trailing leashes of the dogs Marielle and Andrea had brought, I taught the kids the word ‘’snot rocket.’’ Of course I accompanied it with illustrations. They squealed when we descended the treacherous trail into the scar between mountains where in days of old, the Bergen-Oslo mail used to travel. It was rather like crawling down the shoulder of a giant, pausing for a break in his elbow, and then climbing back up into his creased and creviced stony hand until we came out on the lakes streaming between his fingers. (Never could I have managed that metaphor in Norwegian. I guess I have a few years until I become the next Fosse).  There is beauty right over the mountain from Bergen that is incapacitating in its glory. Forget the darkness of pines mounting into snowcapped glory that I did such little credit to in my Norwegian description—the blueness of the lakes on Rundemanen alone could keep JC Dahl’s brush occupied for decades. I kept murmuring Tennyson’s ‘The Splendor Falls’’ to myself as we tripped down the mountain, our echoes thin and clear, and thinner, clearer, farther going.

The kids stopped to cook some hot dogs and make hot chocolate at Skomardiket, but I had Shabbat to prepare for (with shabbat coming in at 10:32 pm, you can't be too careful about time), so I walked down with Ronja and Sarah. We talked about all the places in the world they’d like to visit, and where they’d been already. They’re going to Italy this summer to Sarah’s family’s house… wish I was European.

By the way, did I explain how I ended up crossing Vidden with my high schoolers? Anita and I had taken one of their gym classes earlier in the year to use for English, and now we gave it back to the gym teacher, who decided a day hike was in order. The wonder of a school that takes you into the mountains for gym class…

They're probably angry that they can't spell 'strike' correctly...
Norway’s on strike. I know, you’re thinking the same thing I was when I tried to go into the city hall to send my notice of change of address… what on earth do these Norwegians have to complain about? Well, the lowest level of government workers aren’t getting paid enough, and are in stage three of a beautifully orchestrated strike that includes trash collectors, government clerks, and airport security. The janitors at the Cathedral school are off, and the only person allowed to clean up is the headmaster—everyone else would be considered a scab. I’d like to see the rektor walking the halls with a mop. There’s something quite nice about it, as though this is his school more than anyone else’s and he’s the only one who gets to polish it. Then again, cleaning is my particular point of neurosis; when in the dumps, it only takes a few cupboards to straighten and I’m quite happy again.  

Had my last cheider class. Oh, how I’ll miss those boys! They successfully put together a timeline of Jewish history, raced each other in a quiz that stretched from Let there be light to Israeli politics, and gobbled ice cream with voracious teenage boy joy. Afterwards Benjamin and Ruben’s dad came in to give me a hug and tell me I should stay in Bergen. I told him I’m thinking about it.

Martin and Halvor play Titanic
Sarah and I climbed Stoltzkleiven Monday morning. It’s the steep stone staircase that snakes up the side of Sandviksfjellet. My student Sara made me promise I’d do it when we talked about it on Friday. I found myself plowing up it easily, stopping only for mandatory admiration of the Bergen harbor below us. A year in Norway has done something wondrous to my leg muscles and lung capacity. As I looked out over the landscape, I wondered whether the sunlight is more splendid in Bergen than the rest of the world, or if it just shines on more beautiful objects.

Sunday morning, as I ran the trail on Løvstakken, I thought of all the runners who were doing the seven mountain hike. I felt very satisfied to be running my one mountain and leave the crazy Bergensk to their seven mountain marathon. I stopped at the new bench beside the horse pasture that overlooks the fjord and read its plaque. It seemed to say everything about Bergen: Vi har alt men det er også alt vi har. We have everything, but it is also all we have. Forest, mountain, fjord… everything and all.

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