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Loke, the trickster

    Loke, the trickster, 2002

    Loke was a complex figure in Nordic mythology. He was born the son of a giant but used to hang around the gods in Asgård. He was beautiful to look at but he could never be trusted. Often he put the asagods in embarrassing situations although he could sometimes be helpful to them with his cunning schemes.

    Loke was married to Sigyn although it seems he had it going with lots of other women. With the giantess Angerboda (the one who causes fear) he got three horrible children, one worse than the other. They were Hel, The Midgårdssnake and the wolf Fenrir. From these three awful beings the asagods could only expect misery. To keep track on them they were taken from the giant world Jotunheim where they lived. The snake was thrown in the deep that surrounded the whole world. The girl, Hel, was sent down to the underworld with the dead. The wolf was kept in shackles in Asgård, where the gods themselves could keep an eye on him.

    Loke, the father of destructive forces, is complex in nature as most trickster figures are. He was the great joker amongst the gods, always with mischief in his mind. He is witty and obscene. He is not afraid of authorities and boldly insults the all the time, especially about their morally shortcomings.

    Lokes worst crime was his involvement in the gruesome murder of the noble, good god Balder, the son of Oden. Loke was severely punished for the deed. After the murder he fled from the gods and built himself a house near the river. In daytime he transformed himself to a salmon to elude his pursuers. But they tracked him down anyhow and captured him. Loke was put in a cave where he was tied firmly with the intestines of one of his own sons. A venomous snake was hanging down over him with its poison dripping in Lokes face. Lokes wife Sigyn held a bowl over his face to stop the poison from hurting her husband, but every now and then the bowl was full and had to be emptied. Then the poison hit Lokes face and the whole world quivered when Loke cried with pain.

    And there he had to remain until Ragnarök, the doom of gods.

    A dream

      A dream, 2002

      When you dream some parts of your brain are very busy. The blood pressure rises and so does the pulse. But the big muscles in the body are fast asleep. Luckily, considering how crazy some of your dreams can be. During dream sleep the frontal lobes of your brain, the ones that control order, planning, time concept, impulse inhibition and many other good mechanisms, are shut off. They sure need a rest!

      On the other hand the parts of the brain that consists of feelings, memories, sight and hearing are working at its maximum level. No wonder your dreams are so wild and unreal. It is this absurd mix of uncensored impressions because the controlling front lobe area is having a break. So many strange scenes can roam freely and crazy. You miss your flight; you lose your teeth and make a fool of yourself. But you can also fly like a bird and visit beautiful places.

      The story of Sigurd Fafnersbane

        The story of Sigurd Fafnersbane, 2003

        The dwarf Regins brother used to fish in the stream in the guise of an utter. One day Oden, Loke and Höner were out strolling around. They saw Utter who was feasting on a salmon. Loke killed Utter right away and thought it was extra fun to succeed in killing two creatures with one stone. At night the three of them arrived at someone´s house. It was suppertime and Loke gave his catch to the host. The host was, as it turned out, the dwarf Regin and his father Reidmar. Reidmar was not so pleased when he recognized his own son Utter on the dinner table. The dinner was quickly called off and Oden, Höner and Loke became prisoners and had to promise Reidmar to fill the empty otter skin with gold to get released. Loke was sent away to arrange this. He went to Ran, the sea god Aegir´s wife. Ran lures drowning men with a fishnet and keeps them with her at the bottom of the sea. Ran lent her fishnet to Loke who went to a certain stream where he knew a big treasure was kept. The golden treasure was watched carefully by a dwarf in the transformed shape of a big pike. Loke caught the dwarf and took the gold away from him. The dwarf warned him; the gold would only bring unhappiness to whoever stole it.

        Loke gave Reidmar the treasure and they were thus free again, all three of them. The dwarf Regin had a brother, Fafne, who could also master the art of transformation. He took the shape of a snake (or dragon). He wanted to be the sole owner of the gold, so he took it and kept watch over it. Before that he made time to kill the present owner of the treasure, his father Reidmar. Regin told the story to Sigurd, his foster son. He then forged a sword to Sigurd because he wanted him to kill his evil brother Fafne. Sigurd did as he was told and together they roasted the heart of Fafne. Sigurd got some blood from the meat and suddenly he was able to understand the language of birds. A titmouse talked to him and warned him of the falsehood of Regin. He strongly recommended Sigurd to cut the head off his foster father and thus be the owner of the gold himself. Sigurd did again as he was told. He owned the treasure now but as it was prophesized it would only bring unhappiness. And sure enough, only bad things happened to him in later years.

        Summer in Colorado

          Summer in Colorado, 2005

          The dragonflies crowd together in the dense aspen forest. They sure have lots of things to do before their short lives are over.

          Moon eclipse

            Moon eclipse, 2009

            In the dark night we saw the moon change its colors. An astronomical phenomena or simply effects of a late summer party in 2007.

            My aquarium

              Hajakvariet, 2010
              My aquarium, 2010

              If a shark misbehaves you can always hypnotize it a little. Then it will be compliant as a little lamb.

              A beautiful day

                En vacker dag, 2008
                A beautiful day, 2008

                The sun is shining and it´s a great day for insects and reptiles.

                Among snakes in Utah

                  Among snakes in Utah, 2012
                  Among snakes in Utah, 2012

                  There are 31 snake species in Utah. Seven are poisonous. You can tell what kind they are by looking at their eyes. The dangerous ones have oval eyes, like cats.  Those who won´t harm you have round eyes. But I don´t want to be that close to any of them. I get even more scared when I read “even dead snakes have been known to bite by reflex action.”

                  Wild Horses

                    Vildhästar, 2006
                    Wild horses, 2006

                    One early morning we left Green River, Wyoming to go to a place where wild horses still lives wild and free. The horses have unusual colors and spots and stripes. We saw them and we nearly cried. Later, on the Crow reservation land in Montana, we took a wrong turn and were lucky again. Right on the path was a gloriously beautiful yellow stallion. His wild mares rested beside him under the shadow of a tree. The stallion stayed at his post looking at us. We felt the deepest respect for him.

                    Everything floats

                      Allt flyter, 2006
                      Everything floats, 2006

                      There are so many different myths of creation. Sometimes everything was created out of a single word or even a thought. Sometimes it took heavier things like in the Nordic mythology where the world was created by the butcher-style murder of the giant Ymer. Well, how was it all done? I don´t know but in this embroidery I have made chromosomes and primeval cells in the primordial sea. On top of it all you can see me- the crown of creation according to the bible- a human being consequently.

                      Everything floats is the title of my picture. Sounds fun but might not be entirely true as some things sinks right away. As really, really young though we all float in amniotic fluid for many months. Meanwhile dna, x-and y chromosomes, fingers, kidneys and brain cells grow and are completed to the fantastic constructions that we all are. Life is mysterious and sometimes wonderful.