Wow. October 25, 2018 will mark the sixth year since my father passed away. I am so aware of all the dates in October… so aware that he was winding down.
Interestingly, more October connections: on October 12, 2005 (13 years ago), my father drew for the first time after his life threatening stroke (September 21, 2005).
My father, the Viking, my greatest cheerleader, infused in me the joy of creating, the joy of hard work and the importance of never giving up.
And so we wrote a book together. And on October 15, 2012, as he was navigating the fog of morphine, surrounded by reminder posters on the wall as to where he was and what year it was, we pressed send to the publisher. We marked the occasion by signing the inside of our favourite book that inspired the project.
On October 25, 2012, the morning of the day he passed, I played this Swedish lullaby, sung by his favourite actor, into his left ear. Over and over again. Sleep, my little heart.
Six years. Why does it feel so significant?
In our Viking heritage/ Norse mythology, the number 6 represents the leash Gleipner.
Gleipnir was the name of the super strong leash used to hold the dreadful Fenrir Wolf. The Fenrir Wolf was one the monstrous children of the trickster god Loki. The dwarfs had made this extraordinary leash.
The Fenrir Wolf only agreed to try the leash if Tyr put his hand in his mouth. The wolf bit off the right hand of the god Tyr. Tyr gave his name to Tuesday. Gleipnir consisted of six items:
1. The sound of a cat walking
2. The beard of a woman
3. The roots of a mountain
4. The sinews of a bear
5. The breath of a fish
6. The spit of a bird
The Vikings explained that the Gleipnir was the reason these six items no longer existed. The Fenrir Wolf will not break loose from Gleipnir before Ragnarok (the end of the world). source
I kind of see my father as Fenrir and the stroke as Gleipnir. And my father has broken free now, and devoured Odin. But there is so much significance to this myth that I will write about at a later date.
I am moved to share our book in full today: