Var inte rädd för mörkret
ty ljuset vilar där.
Vi ser ju inga stjärnor
där intet mörker är.
Do not fear the darkness
’cause the light rests therein
We never see the stars where
no darkness exists within
(Erik Blomberg, 1920; English translation by L Patrik WJ, 201)
2020 is the year of homesickness. Sick of staying at home. Longing for that place that is really home, that place we thought we could come back to so easily. We have travelled back in time, to a place where overseas travel could not be taken for granted. What was only a flight away is another now another time away, another today away.
Our grandparents rarely travelled. Money was one factor. Another one was risks. Something our generation has almost forgotten about. Until now. It is, undeniably, safer to stay than to go. We are locked to the ground like our ancestors. Earth has grown.
Besides the other disease, homesickness is the ailment of our times. An infected wound in our soul. We miss. We lack. As the skies are darkening and the winds are getting colder, we are evermore bound to the everyday weariness. The snow we imagined turns out to be sleet and there will be no trip home for Christmas this year.
Last year, we published Catching Snow, by Sarah Coats Chandler. Four years in a row, Sarah had dedicated December to express gratitude on a daily basis. The book is a collection of these diary entries, expressing not contrived cheerfulness, but something most similar to sorrow. When Sarah writes how grateful she is about the healthcare staff treating her son, the leap is not far: such gratitude requires effort and a sense of acceptance. When she expresses joy over her adopted home country, the contours of lost land can be traced in her words. Moments of light are painted on a dark background.
We were a year early in publishing Catching Snow. 2020 would have been more appropriate. We all know why.
Sofi Tegsveden Deveaux
Publlisher & Editor