St Lucia's Day and the light we've been missing

Today is Santa Lucia, the day of light in a very dark winter.
It is celebrated on the 13. of December, on the winter solstice that used to be known as the longest night of the year, when the sun would turn on its heel and come back. It was a day for mischief on the farms and for strange things happening, and for candles lighting up the dark.

On Santa Lucia (or St Lucy’s Day) we sing for the the light to come back. We light up the dark corners of our homes with candles, wear crowns made of lights, eat lussekatt-pastries to get us through the cold, and wait for morning and the rising sun. We celebrate and thank the dark winter months, while preparing for longer days of sun to come.

This was my attempt at lighting up the corners of my home, however, as I live in a rather small student flat, there was no way to do this without setting off the fire alarm. I am very lucky, though, to have a pretty thick forest right outside of my home, and it was wonderful to start this project off in darkness and then see how the candles lit up the space around me. Complete silence, the only sounds were the drips of yesterday’s rain that still clung on to the branches and the chirk of the matches being lit.

Image by Christina Zetterberg from Pixabay

This video has been a bit of an experiment; a one-take-attempt. I only gave myself one try to record the song, and the video was all done in one go, too. The song because I wanted to see how it would turn out; the video because I was filming outside at night in a cold (and very dark) forest.

And a note on safety: it had been raining for three weeks straight before I filmed this video on the one day with no precipitation, so the ground was soaked, and not particularly prone to catching fire. Just in case, though, behind the tree in the corner of the video, I had two fire extinguishing aerosols and a fire blanket waiting. Candles are wonderful, and when small flickering flames come together they can really light up a space, but I’d rather not light up the whole forest. Be safe with fire! x

I hope your winter time is filled with light.

-Andrea

Journal #1

Andrea Wold Johansen Window

One day, I’ll have a flat of my own, or maybe even a house. I’m not entirely sure where yet, (haven’t decided on all the small details like what city or country to settle down in) but what I do know, is that my home will have white walls, soft sheets and big windows. Huge, open windows that let in the world, that you can see the sunrise through, that show you days melting into nights.
I want big windows so I can wake up to natural light peeking through the curtains, and because they make me feel connected to what’s outside. I want windows that can help me keep track of the seasons, with views over streets, over trees and over roof tops.

I was lucky enough to get to stay in this wonderful flat in Streatham the other week, and there was something so special about working on a windowsill, enveloped in a double duvet that was both way too big and the perfect size at the same time. Through the dewdrops on the panes, I saw people hurrying past with their groceries, couples huddling together to stay warm and students running after busses with their scarves hanging straight out behind them. As I got my laptop out to write, and the wind rustled the trees outside, I remember telling myself that I don’t think I’ll ever need much more than this, really.

-Andrea

(Also! One of my poems just got “published” on vocal! I’m not entirely sure why it ended up in the sub category “sad poetry”, but if you want to check it out, just click here.  If you want to see some of the other things I’ve been getting up to, mainly poetry there too, click here for my “Pieces and Performances” page! Thank you xx )