Dancing in the moonlight

Brynhild Blikra about the Arbeit an Europa-meeting in Slovenia, January 2020.

My dearest friend,

Its been a while since I saw you last. Needless to say I still miss your smile instinctively telling me everything is exactly how its supposed to be, and of course your thoughts. Right now Im writing to you from Slovenia. I traveled here after an invitation, so I am a guest for the weekend. Left my own rainy city to arrive in a sunny Munich some days ago. On the train to Kranj I met the first of many young people, all from different places in Europe with such different backgrounds. When we arrived here on Friday we drove directly up to the mountains, to Jezersko.

“Tradition” is the theme of this particular gathering organized by the thinktank group “Arbeit an Europa”. During this weekend we have been discussing the theme in various ways in a European context, one was about „Tradition in Europe´s intangible cultural heritage». Whether or not to help keeping traditions alive were in focus at the end of this discussionmany asked the question if preserving dying traditions would be rather artificial, like blowing life into something that’s dying naturally out… or could it be that its different times now; that we need to aid dying traditions amongst other considering these days lack of transferring knowledge. Another one was about «Law as tradition„, which proved itself to be a challenging topic. Our times of globalization raises a lot of conflict between the (national) law and peoples traditions. As we know it can for instance affect a persons daily life if the court concludes on the opposite of the individuals tradition. Its particularly difficult to make a decision in such cases. With vaster changes in our climate maybe we will be challenged even more on this area in the future. We also touched upon if traditions could be in the way of progress.

It was interesting to be present in these discussions; it struck me how different the participants are and at the same time how good they are atcontinuing discussing even when disagreeing. Maybe this is a strength of our generation ? To not leave the table when things get hard. However, the problem could be to get us to the table in the first place. In any case I think its a privilege that we are able to take our time to discuss from a birds perspective, to see what we „find on the way», dive down into detail´s – the past- if needed and to make a path as we go along. This reminds me a little of an old, “traditional” fairytale character we have back home in Norway; «Askeladden». Remember him ?

Askeladden had no plan like his older brothers. His brothers always had a clear goal, which often was to win the Princess and half of the kingdom. Askeladden got into challenging situations in different fairytales but was never afraid to face them; in one particular fairytale he creatively managed to use the «trash» he found on his way, when he met the Princess (who was known to be very challenging). In the end he was the one who won the Princess and half of the kingdom. In general, these fairytales of Askeladden illustrates amongst other that the road – and to use your time on the road – can be just as important as the destination itself.

Sometimes it almost feels like there`s a veil, a certain fog.. that silently seems to appear in the distance, could it lead us somewhere that would be unknown to us ? Somewhere there are different rocks than what we have seen before ?Who knows. I just know that to go hiking for a long time in the fog would demand a compass in order to survive. And I can`t help to think that – just like in that simulator – our speech and our laughter can quickly be silenced.

One night, when we danced in the moonlight with those mighty alps reflecting in the lake beneath us .. I could feel that this was real, a good thing. Nothing more – nothing less, just being close to nature and celebrating life. When our forefathers lived they danced too, under the exact same moon. They celebrated life and honored the different seasons. Made life durable together, thought the same thoughts as today and tried to find a meaning to all of this- while at the same time they looked ahead and built for the future.

You know, the full moon were supposedly closer to earth this weekend. I heard on the news that the combination is making the tide stronger, the sea is going to rise back home soon. I would like to think that perhaps – in some magical way – this weekend helped to accelerate the momentum that these young skilled Slovenians seek.

Brynhild Blikra was born in 1985 in the west coast of Norway. She studied law in Bergen, Dundee and Cergy-Pontoise. Currently she is working as an advisor.  For Brynhild Europe is for instance a place which contains a common curiosity to explore, learn, invent etc., and it also contains the possibilities to actually „do it“ – to follow dreams.