Peace seems to be something everybody wants. It is one of the most common ways of saying to someone that we want him/her to be well: «Go with peace.» «May peace be with you.» «Peace, my friend.» We’ve all heard those phrases and maybe used them ourselves. And even though I understand it is a very nice thing to say, I am never comfortable when people wish me peace.
Writing this, I’m sitting in a hotel lobby in Denmark. I should be writing on my novel, as I always do, but there’s a war going on in my mind. It’s been like this since yesterday – I have “racing thoughts” and horrible scenes are constantly playing in front of my invisible eye, again and again and again.
Have you ever wanted to quit your job and go on a never ending vacation? Do you like the idea of having no debt and be able to travel whenever you want to? I know, it sounds like some sort of commercial. But the reality is that most people in the Western world are actually able to do just that.
These are the days of the invisible friends. And I’m not talking about supernatural beings here, not at all. Our invisible friends are those we meet through social media. Most of these people we will never meet in person, so they remain «invisible». But that does not mean they are not important.
I often tend to think about people as boats out on the sea. And I try to imagine how the waves that carry them through life look like. Some people drift across shallow waters. There are no real highs and no real lows. Others spend their life out in stormy waters.
I always wanted to be a writer. I don’t think I ever doubted or questioned that I would make a living writing books. Looking back, it doesn’t even feel like a choice — it was just the path I knew I had to walk. I was a loner as a child and I started writing my first book at already as a teenager. While other kids were desperate for acceptance and just wanted to be part of a group, I was sitting in my sound-insulated loft, writing. I didn’t even tell anyone what I was doing during the first 6 years of my creative writing career. Needless to say, I didn’t have many friends. In fact, none. And I was quite happy with that.
We are fascinated by the Viking mentality. Their fighting spirit and their tenacity seem to have captivated the attention of an entire generation. And while I believe most people don’t really get who the Vikings were, I also believe that those of us who work with this historical era every day, need to be inclusive and stop judging people for their lack of knowledge. Even archeologists I know hesitate to call themselves experts on this subject. It’s so clouded by centuries of monotheistic dogma that it’s only now that we are really beginning to understand the Viking world.