Sunday, June 19, 2011


Not that kind of trolls. The REAL kind. The fairytale kind that my dad loved to tease me about, and that we'd see on our trip through the Norwegian countryside visiting family.

I went to see the Norwegian film Trolljegeren with my parents last night and had a great time, although perhaps the 7:30 pm showing was past all of our bedtimes these days. My dad had seen a review and thought he'd like to see a Norwegian film, a rarity even in the Bay Area, and quite unlikely to show in the corner of the desert where they live.

It was bittersweet to see the landscape where we'd driven with our VW Westfalia nigh on 40 years ago; recognize the hutte where people would stay; know how the road would end and you'd simply drive onto the ferry to cross the fjord; understand the smell and feel of the wool Nordland jackets. I have the jacket in my closet that my dad's relatives made for him in Norway in 1959. It's still going strong with its heavy buttons emblazoned with Viking ships.

I needed the subtitles but could recognize some words from my childhood that my father had used, and knew other cognates from German. I loved the dry wit skewering longstanding enmity between Christians and trolls, and jokes about troll diets. It was really quite enjoyable.

And while I was happy that I understood many cultural references, my Scandinavian identity is borrowed. I'm not like my mom, who married into it. I wasn't born into it, like many of my blond, blue-eyed Olsen cousins. I am not a lick Norwegian, although I once used my Olsen-ness to bag myself a very nice Scandinavian scholar boyfriend. (I did 'fess up and have all forgiven, for the record.)

I love my dad with all my heart, and always will, and I know that my also belonging to the Newmans bothers him some. He took my boys to see Kung Fu Panda 2 yesterday, and when he came home, he told me his favorite part was at the end when Po returns, after finding his first family, to tell his adoptive dad "I am YOUR son."

Yes, Dad, I am your daughter and always will be. I just wish the Newman part of me could be as loved as the part of me that has always been yours.

I know you wish that your love could heal it all, but it cannot. And I love you just the same.

Tusen takk.


Von said...

Beautiful post,......x

Trish said...

you are beautiful

Amanda Woolston said...