The Velvet Café

A room for thoughts about movies

Of campfires, storytelling and protecting our world

with 18 comments

I’ve had a wonderful time away from everything, hiking in the Swedish alps.

Unplugged from the e-world I got a well needed reminder about the necessities in life. Those daily annoyances, be it internet arguments, a malfunctioning dishwasher or typical midlife worries over life and career choices, all faded away and didn’t seem important anymore.

The more miles we covered, the narrower did my focus become until all that remained were things in my immediate surroundings. I breathed when I needed air. I drank when I was thirsty. I ate when I was hungry. I slept when I was tired and I sat down and rested for a while when my feet hurt. I tended to my blisters. I watched the flowers. I felt the wind, the rain and the sun against my skin. And I walked, oblivious of everything apart from where to put my foot next time so I would be sure not to stumble and fall, because the path was slippery and full of treacherous stones.

Shocking news
It felt as if I’d gone through a long needed cleansing as I returned to our car. I think I was a little bit more vulnerable and a little bit less cynical than normal as I put on my Twitter feed, expecting to catch up on the usual banter about new blog posts or recent releases. What I got was the first news about the shootings in Aurora and I spent the rest of my journey home in a state of shock.

Needless to say my heart is bleeding for everyone who was there and to their families and friends.

But as sad I am over what has happened, as determined am I not to let it take anything away from my love of watching movies in the place where they were made to be seen – in a theatre.

A madman with a gun can enter a shopping center, a concert hall or a museum as well as a cinema. He could even turn up at one of the cabins where I stayed during my mountain trip. A life that is governed by the fear of seeing madmen isn’t a life worth living.

They cancelled the PR event for the European release of The Dark Knight Rises in Paris and I can’t blame them. It would be hard to assemble a festive mood a day like this. But I sincerely hope that the shootings won’t make a single person cancel their plans on watching this film altogether or thinking a second time about going to cinemas in the future for safety reasons.

I’m going to watch it on Tuesday night in company with my family and I’m going to enjoy every second of it, using every ounce of my ability to suspend my disbelief if needed. We’ve got access to a world of magic and there’s nothing a madman can do about it. We’ve got a protective bubble and there isn’t as much as a scratch on it.

I come to think of Nangijala. This is a world described in The Brothers Lionheart, a classic Swedish fantasy novel that also has been made into a movie. The nine year old Karl is suffering from a deadly disease and his older brother Jonathan comforts him saying that after you die, you come to this wonderful place where people still live in the age of campfires and storytelling.

I’m not sure myself about the existence of an afterlife. But I know one thing: we don’t need to go to other worlds to enjoy fairytales in the light of a campfire – or a cinema projector.

As long as there anyone listening, people will keep telling them. Ánd the bad guys won’t win.

Written by Jessica

July 20, 2012 at 11:39 pm

18 Responses

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  1. I’m still reeling from this terrible tragedy. Astounding. Anyway, glad you enjoyed your time away, I could use a holiday too.


    July 20, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    • It will take some time to let this sink in. It was a terrible way to get back to the ordinary life after my week in the mountains.

      You must have plenty of trekking opportunities wround where you live if NZ is anywhere like it was when I visited many years ago. There’s no reason to postponing it. Get yourself out!


      July 21, 2012 at 9:41 am

  2. I definitely feel like I could use a long walk in the wilderness right about now. I should probably put some words down about this.


    July 21, 2012 at 12:20 am

    • Yeah. Writing is the only way I know how to deal with news like this. That and long walks in the mountains.


      July 21, 2012 at 9:42 am

  3. Here’s an excuse to lose yourself in writing for a little bit. A little therapy, if you will.


    July 21, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    • Hey there! That’s a VERY ambitious meme thing! I won’t be able to do it now since I’m off for more vacation now. But I’ll see if I can look into it later. Some fun questions there!


      July 22, 2012 at 8:41 pm

  4. It is good that the news from the States is so shocking: it shows that we are not so used to such tragedy to find it commonplace and unremarkable. The same is true for the shootings in Oslo, and the various other killing sprees.

    I love Brothers Lionheart – I have read it in both English and Danish (my first ever book in Danish).


    July 21, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    • Yes, that thought has crossed my mind too. I remember when the Swedish prime minister Olof Palme was murdered and everyone said that this was the end of the old, innocent Sweden. But when the foreign minister was killed some years later, our reactions were exactly the same. It was as if someone had tried to break into our peaceful paradise and we were shocked. And this happened again when we had an attempt of a suicide bomber in Stockholm. And in Norway last year. It is as if our innocense is very persistent. And that’s a good thing.


      July 22, 2012 at 8:43 pm

  5. I am so happy you had a great time away Jessica!! You have been missed.

    • Hey there and thanks Scott! Sorry for prolonging my vacation for a bit longer but I hope to get back to blogging as usual again pretty soon.


      August 1, 2012 at 1:11 am

  6. Nothing better than a few days (or a week) away from the world with just you, your family and your thoughts. Refreshing.

    Welcome back, Jess.

    Rodney Twelftree

    July 24, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    • Thanks Rodney! It was a wonderful break and I’ll live on the memory of drinking water from the creeks and the sound of the wind and the experience of breathing truly fresh air for a long time to come.


      August 1, 2012 at 1:13 am

  7. Sounds like you had a lovely break. It’s always nice to unwind and just disconnect from the digital world every now and then. Welcome back.


    July 24, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    • Thanks Jaina! I’ve been away for a few days more now, visiting my mother and seeing friends. But blogging will be back again soonish, hopefully.


      August 1, 2012 at 1:11 am

  8. Beautiful post as always, Jess. Glad you had fun on your trip. You should read my latest post. It’s also about with the Aurora shootings and we deal with similar themes


    July 25, 2012 at 5:55 am

  9. […] of our blogging friends have posted their thoughts on this event with a great deal more profundity and intelligent bereavement than I could possibly […]

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