A Brief Disclaimer

There’s a certain absurdity of scales inherent to the blog format that I don’t know how to overcome. I want to tell you about every minute here in great and intimate detail, but I also want to write something concise enough that someone other than my parents will want to read it. And beyond this, even if I wanted to, there’s no way for me to adequately put into writing everything that’s happened to me over the past 3 weeks. There aren’t enough words in the world, and I sure don’t have the time or the talent for that undertaking.

This reminds me of a scene from “Good Will Hunting,” where Robin Williams’ character says to young genius Matt Damon: “So if I asked you about art, you’d probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life’s work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I’ll bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You’ve never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling …  And I’d ask you about war, you’d probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, ‘once more unto the breach dear friends.’ But you’ve never been near one. You’ve never held your best friend’s head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help.”

Now, I’m not saying I’ve been through war over here. The most strife I’ve endured is having to eat my own terrible cooking. But just that there’s going to be a huge gap between what I write and what it actually feels like to be in that specific moment.  

But I’m still going to try. I still have an urge to document, to preserve, even in rudimentary form, everything that I am seeing, hearing, doing, being, becoming. And in the same way that I want to show you everything I’m experiencing, I want Sweden to show me everything there is to experience. I want to know what it really feels like to live here, to have grown up here, to have a distinctly Swedish outlook on the world. I want to fit a lifetime of Swedish culture into one 4-month span. I want it all, even though I know it’s not all mine to have. Even though I know I couldn’t have it all, if I tried.

But I’m going to do my best to get my taste. To hopefully leave this semester with a little more perspective on the world and ways of life different than my own. And I hope you will stick around with me for the ride.

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