I was born on an island on the west coast of Norway. This island is laying in the north sea where you can appreciate the sunset on the horizon. On Sunday my family would take the boat and travel to a small island with bare rocks to pick the pink thrift growing there. We would find the seagull eggs with the brown spots, sit down and study how the chick would pick a hole through the egg. This is how we would study life.
In my childhood this island was ‘my church’, it was a magic and holy place. We combed the beach for drift objects such as shoes and shells, wood and marine debri, which was often plastic bottles, netting and rope.
When we were hungry we boiled crabs or shell fish, or whatever we had collected during the day, our cooking water was the salt sea. In play I would run around and feel the warm bare rocks under my feet, we experienced wholeness and spirit of the land. The bare rocks taught me to listen to the silence and the language of the land. This island taught me to find my holding point, my axis mundi which in later life would help me to feel ‘home’ wherever I would travel.
I will not rest until I know that all my ideas are derived not from heresy or traditions but from reliving contact with things themselves.
(Goethe 1786, Italian Journey)
Later I learned to cultivate the soil, make compost, grow plants and create a garden. I learned to understand domesticated animals, the cows, sheep and goats and how to work with their natural produce which made possible activities such as milking, spinning wool and making cheese or butter. I understood the hand craft as weaving and spinning in my body.
Every motion of the hand in every one of its work carries itself through the element of thinking, every bearing of the hand bears itself in that element. All the work of the hand is rooted in thinking.