After the rain

Thy fate is the common fate of all, into each life some rain must fall.
Henry Wordsworth Longfellow

For life, it is very, very bad to be sensitive, for a writer it is very good.
Karl Ove Knausgård

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Møre og Romsdal

Where in the world is Møre og Romsdal?

The answer, perhaps, I say, is not where but what. It is not so much a place, but a state of mind, a place of peace and tranquility, watered by rain, nourished by sun, far, far away from the troubles of urban life.

South of Trondheim, north of Bergen, in the northern part of Western Norway lies the county of Møre og Romsdal. The Old Norse form of the name was Raumsdalr, after the Rauma River and valley it forms (Raums plus dalr or dair, dale meaning valley). Møre og Romsdal consists of three regions: Nordmøre, Romsdal and Sunnmøre.

Geographically, the county consists of many islands, towering mountains, waterfalls, and deep fjords of clear blue water, including the stunning Sykkylvsfjorden (where Stressless recliners are made), a branch off the equally beautiful 68-mile-long Storfjorden in Sunnmøre.

The name Møre is from Old Norse: Mœrr, from the word marr, meaning “sea” (akin to the Latin word mare). Several distinct dialects are spoken, no doubt due to the existence of so many islands and deep fjords.

As its coat of arms, the county chose the symbol of three Viking ships in yellow on a pale blue background (the masts and the yards create three crosses), a reference to the Viking fore-bearers of today’s Norwegians, who during the late 8th to late 11th centuries sailed their long boats across the European continent, raiding and pillaging.

Because of its location on the Norwegian Sea, the weather is often cloudy and raining. That is very, very bad for nature lovers, but very good for writers like Karl Ove Knausgård.

Check out, Some Rain Must Fall, Book 5 in his series My Struggle.

But the rain does not fall forever; and after the rain, the skies are clear and the air is fresh, the birds sing, the fish swim, and the Norwegians go outdoors and enjoy life, and so do I.

Stressless recliners

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Here I sit

beach_sitHere I sit on a rock and broken-hearted, tried to rise but only started. Soon I heard a voice softly calling, saw a crab in the sand quickly crawling. Then I fell asleep and dreamed of a perfect place far away and quiet.

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Stressless recliners

Make your dreams come true at Homefurnishers

Let’s try it in French for fun

Ici, je m’assieds sur un rocher avec un cœur brisé,
puis je me essayé à lever, je ne peut pas a commencer.
bientôt, j’ai entendu une voix doucement,
j’ai vu un crabe dans le sable ramper rapidement.
puis je me suis endormi et
j’ai rêvé d’un endroit lointain et tranquille.

If

When I was a child, things did not always go well. In fact things might go badly. It might be that I did not get a passing grade at school. Or, that I chanced to break a window with an errant swing of the bat. For these things and others I always had an excuse that would begin with the word “If”.

To which my father replied,

“If ‘ifs’ and ‘ands’ were pots and pans, there’d be no need for tinkers.”

Then, I would be instructed to sit in in a time-out chair or go to my room to study the errors of my ways.

Chairs to sit in to rest for a spell or go see it now.

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Poems to read when life does not go well, “If” by Rudyard Kipling.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Background story

Kipling’s poem, written in 1895, was addressed to his son as worldly advice on how to handle the difficulties and set backs that will inevitably occur in life. It is said that Kipling had in mind the celebrated Leander Starr Jameson as he wrote the poem. Starr became infamous for his participation the failed Jameson Raid that took place between the end of the First Boer War and the beginning of the Second Boer War.

Jameson’s raid on the South African Boers failed. The govenor of the Cape Colony, the Prime Minister of England, all who had an interest in the success of the raid, repudiated Jameson and his goal of capturing Johannesburg and overthrowing the Boer government.

For trying to bring glory to Britain, Jameson was tried back in London and sentenced to jail.

Visit Homefurnishers and find your Stressless chair

 

Not a thousand words

“Ikke tusend ord sig prenter, som én gernings spor.” Brand, Act 2, Henrik Ibsen

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Is it not a strange thought that from a chair a thousand novels have been writ, dreams dreamt, and history made. And yet, as Henrik Ibsen wrote, “Not a thousand words will make the mark a single deed will leave.”

The words are from Ibsen’s play, Brand. The name of the play translates in Norwegian as “fire”, but it is the surname of the central character.

The source of the quote

An idealistic but dogmatic priest struggles with his conscience and his vision of God. In Act 2, Brand returns to the place where he was born to find famine has reduced the village to rations. Brand and the village mayor discuss whether it is better to feed the soul or the body.

A woman arrives from a remote place across the fjord with the sad tale that her husband has killed one of their children as he could not bear to see the child starve. The husband then injured himself in an attempt at suicide. As a consequence, he now needs absolution. Despite the bad weather, Brand enters a boat and crosses the fjord with the wife. Brand finds the man and gives him absolution. He then wishes to return home, but a group of men confront him and there is another conversation about the body and soul. The men then explain that they have no village priest.

Eventually, one man in the group says this:

The Man.

A thousand speeches, Brand
Less deeply than one dint of deed.
Here, in our fellows’ name we stand;
We see, a man is what we need.

Brand, 1894, English translation by C.H. Herford.

Ibsen wrote this in Norwegian, “Ikke tusend ord sig prenter, som én gernings spor,” which translates best as “Not a thousand words will make the mark a single deed will leave.”

More often, the translation is made as this: “A thousand words will not make the mark a single deed will make.” The translations are similar, but I think the first truer to the mark Ibsen intends.

 

Visit homefurnishers.com to find a chair or better yet, get up, come see us.

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Ain’t got time for a fast train

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A Stressless short story

It was Saturday morning and the first day of spring. The weather was cloudy and cool.Because I thought it might rain, I was wearing a short light grey trench coat, the kind Audrey Hepburn wore in Charade. But maybe, I was just trying to be incognito.

I am not really kidding you am I? Incognito? I was as inconspicuous as Peter Sellers playing Inspector Clouseau minus the drop brim fedora and mustache.
Five minutes before, I had just arrived after an 8-hour, sleepless flight from Heathrow to Dulles. The Metro was due to arrive in two minutes. Then my baby called, saying she had missed her connection in Atlanta. Next flight noon.

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Stranger things have happened

There it was, a Stressless recliner in the middle of the plaza.
That is strange, but stranger still is the fact that it was empty. No one, not a soul, seemed to see it. And baby, it was calling my name.

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The ultimate comfort

I felt relieved as I sat down. I stretched out my arms and back, and felt the chair magically adjust. I closed my eyes and began to sing, “Ain’t got time to take a fast train…”

And soon I was asleep.

Aer-o-planes and fast trains

I dreamed of my baby comin’ home to me.

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Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane
Ain’t got time to take a fast train
Lonely days are gone, I’m a-goin’ home

Wayne Carson wrote and composed “The Letter” after his father suggested an opening line, “Give me a ticket for an aeroplane.” The track was recorded in Memphis with a local five-man group in a session produced by Dan Penn. The band members were Alex Chilton on vocals, Danny Smythe on drums, Russ Caccamisi on bass, John Evans on keyboards, and Richard Malone on guitar. The session took over 30 takes to get it right, with Penn suggesting to Chilton he pronounce the title “aer-o-plane”. After the session, Penn added the sound of an airplane take-off.
The song took off and reached #1 position for a total of four weeks, Billboard ranked the record as the No. 2 song for 1967.

Peace of mind and body

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In yoga, touching together the tips of index finger with that of the thumb gives peace of mind and wisdom. This mudra or hand gesture is said to boost enthusiasm and enhance curiosity. Sitting in a Stressless recliner gives peace of mind and body.

Like yoga, sitting in a Stressless recliner can be practiced anytime.

 

Work, play, rest

Work hard, play harder and rest when you can, is advice that would have made Ben Franklin healthy, wealthy, and wise.

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Maybe Ovid, the Roman poet, said it best, “Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” Einstein thought best while walking or playing the violin and Sherlock Holmes likewise liked to think and play his violin. Rip Van Winkle slept a bit too much. Sir Isaac Newton dozed and when an apple struck him on the head, he composed the three laws of physics. Hamlet, when perplexed sought to sleep, and perchance to dream. Leonardo da Vinci observed, “Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer.”