Journey to Hurum Kirke

Yesterday was a massive day.  In the morning I caught the bus to Klokkarstua, a village in the county of Buskerud. Klokkarstua is also where the Hurum Kirke (Church) is located, a significant place as Anton and his family were recorded in the parish records from 1865. This lovely village is located on the southern part of Hurumlandet, the peninsula between the Oslofjord and Drammensfjord.

It was a beautiful journey on the bus, plenty to look at as the road slowly wound its way around the shores of the Drammenselva to Drammensfjord. I could not help thinking that people must have been desperate to leave such a beautiful and peaceful home. Little farms dotted the landscape here and there, it is very picturesque.

View of the Drammensfjord

View of the Drammensfjord

Hurum Kirke is very old, nearly 1,000 years old, with the original stone work dating as far back as 1150. It was such an incredible feeling to finally be at this site, a place I wrote about so longingly last year in my post  – The more I learn, the less I know.

For a long time I wandered around the grounds of the church, finally settling to sit with a very old tree.

The tree knows all the stories

The tree knows all the stories

Unfortunately, the church was not open, so a return visit is definitely in order 🙂

As I sat under the old tree, the tears flowed. I don’t really know why. I sense that this is a journey of healing, not only for me, but for the ancestors and loved ones who had to leave and for those left behind. This is a story of loss and also of hope. I could feel Karen’s pain, saying goodbye to her sons as they set off, never to return home again. It was visceral. By my coming here, I feel that the circle had been completed.

When I emerged from the grounds, I met some people across the street, who invited me to look at their little vintage shop, where I couldn’t help to buy a treasure or two! One of my treasures is a small glass vase for water ceremonies.

Before I left to go to Hurum, I drew out a rune – Uruz – which in the old Norse is Ur – water. This seemed so appropriate given that it was the full moon – a time when Loving Waters custodians come together the world over to pay their respects to the waters.

Anyway, one of the people I was met was local artist Marianne Bakkerud, who told me that the building next door housed studios and galleries – talk about synchronicity! When Marianne learned that I was doing a residency at Drammen Kommune, she very kindly showed me around, introducing me to a number of the artisans who work in the building.

I was blown away by the fact I had come to this village to look for links to ancestors and the past, only to find very real and living connections to the world of now. A very sage friend Trudy Lane once told me that when you find your path the lights of connection light up to show you the way. Her words rang out to me today.

The long bus trip back gave me time to reflect and to enjoy the beauty of the fjord.

When I returned to Drammen it was raining. I almost fell into the river as I drew some water for the blessing – it was very slippery and wet. I sent thanks and gratitude to the waters and the ancestors for leading me here, for allowing me to learn and understand. In my prayers I also asked for healing, that people learn to love and respect the water and that justice comes to the waters – especially the Murray-Darling, who desperately needs help.

Twilight on the river

Twilight on the river

After the ceremony I then had a wonderful dinner with Anne-Britt Rage, an artist who works with the local refugee community. Anne-Britt was my contact at Drammen Kommune when I was applying for the residency and we found we had many aligned interests. It was wonderful to finally meet in person and fun to think that we had already collaborated on a project together last year, as Anne-Britt contributed her recital of the Norwegian translation of Von Goethe’s Spirit of Water for the video collaboration with Aishling Muller “The Oceans Meet”

I am looking forward to many more chances to catch up with Anne-Britt, her lovely daughter and their cute puppy 🙂

It was a big day ❤

About

Tracey M Benson is a lover of travel, having a diverse background as an artist, writer and researcher. Working with online environments since 1994, Tracey's experience includes providing digital media, web and social media solutions to government, non-profit, private industry and tertiary sectors. Her focus is on sustainability behaviour change and the use of communications and emerging technologies to empower community and build culture.

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Posted in Art Projects, Artist Residency, Waters of the Past

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