Stockholm Syndrome

Fall 1989 through Spring of 1990, I lived in a the upstairs of an old farmhouse in the frozen north country of Stockholm, N.Y. A little “Hamlet” outside of Potsdam, where three friends and I had found cheap housing for our last year at College. As I blogged about many years ago, this home became a pivot point in my life, when everything around me seemed to be in flux, and I felt at times to be in a free fall. The hub of a spinning wheel of thoughts and emotions as I made the transition from childhood into adulthood. It remains the most harrowing, and strangely romantic year of my life.

Walking into work this morning amidst a late January thaw, I smelled it again and my heart ached. That indescribable scent of a frozen world beginning to melt will always bring me back to Stockholm. I long for the solitude and the pain of those days. Days when the whole world felt like an exposed nerve, so painful and so immediate that the future and the past became meaningless. The only thing that existed was the desolation of the moment. Dish water gray skies, and piles of old snow mixed with mud. The shadows of trees at the edge of the field beckoning me into the woods.

These days stumble on towards a future that I cannot see. Yet I know that somewhere at the end of these wanderings I will return. A different time and place perhaps, but unmistakably Stockholm. Silent hub where I can collapse and watch the world spin around me. The still point that stretches a moment into eternity.

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