Sunday, July 24, 2011

Counter Fire

A warm and heartfelt thank you, for the mails and greetings on my blog these last tragic days in the history of Norway.

My inside froze to a thick ice block when Serina sms'ed from Bergen quay; "A bomb is just exploded in the government quarters in Oslo. She came directly from work in a TV station to meet us for a jolly weekend in beautiful Rosendal. We had booked room in the most expensive hotel there, and bought theatre tickets to was an English Shakespeare Company perform the merry "Much Ado about Nothing" played at Rosendal Barony.

I immediately went into defence. "I don't want the TV on. It's those Muslim terrorists. We never should given refuge to those bastards." I curled down on the bed, while Gunnar and Serina watched their iPhones in silence. We dressed up and went to the performance together with a flock of cultivated ostriches. The hall was packed and we all applauded and laughed at the right places.

After a better late dinner we returned to our room. I closed my eyes, the other flipped their phones. Gunnar said in a soft voice, "But it weren't the Muslims; it was a blond, beautiful, well trained arch Aryan and Neo-Nazi. It did not make me feel better, but I still kept my silence. At 3 a.m. I asked Serina to turn off her cell phone and light- I could not sleep. Neither could my poor daughter.

The following day we followed our precious plans. We went to an art exhibition and toured the park and manor of Rosendal. People were buzzing all around us. I simply denied to let me be dragged into the blood thirsty sensationalism, and let my inner ice block grow.

We separated; Serina to Bergen, we to Haugesund. From my safe bed I watched some short news clippings, and went into stupor. Safe, silent, motionless coma. I listened the speech of our King Harald. I love our king. "Attack against democracy, against the unarmed, peaceful life in our beloved Norway. We shall and will not have this. We must not yield to fear nor to hatred." I nodded and slept further, emotionally exhausted.

The thing about Norway is, when tragedy hits, we all turn to the church. 80,7 % are members of the church of Norway, but the church opens its doors to anyone. It's the ministers, not the police who are the messengers of unexpected deaths. In any crisis team you will find doctors, nurses, psychologists and ministers. Few hours after the bombing people begun bringing flowers and candles in front of Oslo Cathedral. They kept coming and coming and coming.During last night there was a heavy rain. Some made it their duty to keep the lights burning all night. When the dawn came the candles were still burning. There was a memorial service in the Oslo Cathedral this morning. The members of the Royal Family were present, so was the Prime Ministers, the Government and the rest of the 1000 seats were open to any citizen who wanted. They started queuing at 9 a.m. Worthy and quiet. There were not "airport checking of the mourners. Not metal detectors or body visitations. This was our nations counter attack. Not to be overpowered by evil, but with burning candles and common church service go on with our lives as we have done till now. Or even, hopefully better. I dosed in my bed while the service went on, but sat upright as the whole congregation song one of the songs I love the most, and have sung for Serina from she was a child. For the youth. Suddenly my inward ice melted, and I sung along, while my tears flooded.

Til Ungdommen by Nordahl Grieg

English translation
By Rod Sinclair (2004)

For the Youth

(double click on the title for the Wikipedia link)

Faced by your enemies
On every hand
Battle is menacing,
Now make your stand

Fearful your question,
Defenceless, open
What shall I fight with?
What is my weapon?

Here is your battle plan,
Here is your shield
Faith in this life of ours,
The common weal

For all our children’s sake,
Save it, defend it,
Pay any price you must,
They shall not end it

Neat stacks of cannon shells,
Row upon row
Death to the life you love,
All that you know

War is contempt for life,
Peace is creation
Death’s march is halted
By determination

We all deserve the world,
Harvest and seed
Hunger and poverty
Are born of greed

Don’t turn your face away
From needs of others
Reach out a helping hand
To all your brothers

Here is our solemn vow,
From land to land
We will protect our world
From tyrants’ hand

Defend the beautiful,
Gentle and innocent
Like any mother would
Care for her infant.

A tear-wet king and 5 million candles shall besiege the heartless, evil cruelty, now and always, so help us God.


John Cowart said...


I'm so glad you wrote this.

You increase my respect for your husband, daughter and Norway tenfold.

I puzzle over what to write in my own blog about this great tragedy. I don't know how to respond. This leaves all caring people numb.

John Cowart

Amrita said...

You described your emotions and feelings so eloqouently Felisol. Thi s must have been such a mind mumbing shocking experience.

Our hearts go out to the families of the victims and the traumatized surviivors. They will have to deal with this all their lives through.

My Mama was thinking about the dozens of funerals takking place in Norway and she felt so sad

Why is that man only getting 21 years imprisonmenbt for his act of terrorism- he should get life improisonment or even a death sentence.

Leora said...

Our thoughts are with you. Glad you can find some inner peace in this terrible tragedy.

I'm glad you were able to have your weekend anyway, though I suspect your mind wasn't on art.

Amrita said...

What are the religiou s views of the Labout Party?

steveroni said...

A reminder of September 11, 2001 for me. That numbness of which is written--is real. Even now, almost ten years after--people are shaking their heads in disbelief: How could such events take place?

Where is the humanness? Have some reverted to wild animal behaviors?

And the answer is "Yes."

Time to "Be still.....and know there IS a God. And it ain't me."


Felisol said...

Thanks for prayers, greetings and sympathy.

Amrita, the Labour Party has freedom of religion I think, but approximately 80 % of it's members are members of the Church of Norway. The minister of the Church department MUST be a member of CoN, he is responsible of appointing ministers and bishops alike.
Our foreign minister, Gard Store is a what you would call "new born" Christian".
In Norway some differ between Christians and personal Christians. I don't think God judges this way.
As far as I know all Norwegian prime ministers have been members of the Church of Norway.

I guess Norwegians are different than most countries. Eve the small Christian Democratic Party has recently stricken the law paragraph about members of the party must be confessing Christians. It's enough that they agree to the party's fundamental values.

Our national assembly pledges oaths to God, King and Fatherland.

Saija said...

i was weeping, as i tried to read your honest, personal note, to leo ...

i too think that living our lives - normally - despite the cowardly acts of terrorists, is the true act of courage ...

our prayers and hearts go out to you and your beautiful nation Norway ... said...

You have brought hot tears to my eyes with this heartfelt and beautiful post. I have heard from all of my cousins in Norway and they echo your thoughts Felisol. It's unimaginable, and to happen in Norway by one who is Norwegian... utterly impossible.

My heart and prayers are with you all daily. We know in the U.S. the very feelings you are having these days. How this must grieve God.


Terry said...

dear felisol,,you have been on our hearts ever since this happened.
we never knew until we came to dad goldens and he was very upset..for some reason your prayer child loves norway brother, teddy phoned from iowa, worried about "how are your friends?"...but other from praying i just waited to hear your voice again and so here we are bernie and me and gracie and mom and dad golden and little jordan unhappy for sure about norway and yet happy to hear you are all right....i hope mom ljung is ok...
felisol, i must admit, i thought the same thing about you that it was the muslims...and then when i saw the beautiful face of that notwegian man, i was so shocked...for sure he is like a wolf in lamb's clothing.
violence all over the world...yesterday in texas, a shooter shot five people who were at a skating rink celebrating a birthday...and then he shot himself...felisol the lord must surely be coming soon!!!
god bless norway and your prime minister and all of the inocent citizens! terry

Felisol said...

Thank you Terry,
God bless our king and queen too. Their faces were literally dissolved in tears during the sermon in the church today.
No fake crocodile tears there, but genuine compassion.
My best to all of you, esp. Dad Golden.

Roan said...

Well said, Felisol. I'm glad you still got to have your holiday, even if it was tinged with grief. I'm also glad you and your family are well. My heart goes out to the families of the victims. I don't understand such horrific acts of hatred on the innocent.

Crown of Beauty said...

This is a senseless, cruel act, especially so because his victims were innocent and peaceloving.

I have always had great admiration for you dear Felisol, and Norway... but more so at this hour.

How my heart grieves for you, who has always shared such beautiful posts and pictures of Norway.

My roommate during the recent PCEC conference that I attended belongs to the Norwegian Mission, a Christian organization in our funded generously funded by Christians from your country. She has been to Norway a few times, she said, and for her, she believes Norway is the most beautiful place in the world (and she has been to many countries).

I sent you a brief email yesterday, that was written through tear filled eyes, Felisol. Mainly because I knew what it had done to your heart, Serina's and Gunnar's too. Prayed God would stoop down to touch and comfort you at this difficult time.

There is redemption even in this - praise God people are drawn even more to the church, and hopefully, to Him.

"Where there is hatred, let me sow love."

Much love

Mrs. Mac said...

Words of comfort are not adequate to give you. I tried to write you an email and could not form the words. My heart was weeping for you, your family, your country's peaceful way of life. May the unity of your nation bring the peace needed to overcome such homegrown hatred/terror.

My hugs, love, and prayers are offered to you dear friend.

Debbie Petras said...

I thought of you as I watched the news of this tragedy. My dad's cousin told him that his granddaughter was on the island and hid in the bathroom for two hours. Many of her friends were killed but she was unharmed.

I love that the ministers and churches are there for the people. So much better that way. I am praying for Norway, the people and especially those who lost loved ones.

Much love to you,

Gemma Wiseman said...

O what a post! Your voice seems to sing the soul of Norway right now! Beautifully moving!

We in Australia were rocked by the news and questioned whether this really could be happening in Norway!

Letting you know that so ma ny of us here imagine lighting a candle with you and walking with you!


Felisol said...

Dear Debbie,
We hear about stories like that of your relative on the island almost daily. The cold vicious murderer was stopped by someone stronger than him.
Some of the kids tell they prayed to God in their need. Others were merciless slaughtered.
I cannot yet see any divine sense in this, but I know I look through a glass darkly.
150 000 marching in Oslo with roses in their hands must count for something.

If we can be awoken up from of our self absorbed TV/entertaining/sun travelling ego trips,and take more common responsibility, much is gained.

If we can guard our democracy and freedom with candles and roses, and sharpened alertness, this will in the end become a gain for our nation.
Some has paid a sky high price for this. That's what's bothering me.