I’m not exactly sure what happened to me. I was either ill, physically exhausted or mentally stressed out. Possibly all three. In any event, I experienced a kind of burn out, with a total loss of energy and a feeling of inability to cope with anything. Coincidentally, I was scheduled to take over a friend’s cottage in Nesodden for five or six days, so it felt really good for my health to get on the boat, get out to the quiet countryside and collapse into bed. The cottage is pictured here with the woodshed in the foreground.
Nesodden is in Akershus, a county next to Oslo. From the cottage and the garden I could see Oslo in the distance at the opposite side of the fjord. Although the city was visible, I was thankfully disconnected from everything there.
The first thing I saw upon my arrival was a wild deer who had obviously made the garden its own until it heard me coming. I took its presence as a good omen. My first 48 hours didn’t involve much in the way of walking, moving around or even eating, but once I began to feel better I adjusted to my country life rather well.
The original purpose for borrowing the cottage had been to get away from distractions and work on a novel I am writing. For a long time I’d been thinking, privately, that the novel was an insane piece of madness that wouldn’t make any sense to any hypothetical reader. During my time at Nesodden, I was able to re-structure the book and I can now safely declare it sane and sound. In this sense, my rustic surroundings were very fruitful, but the main feature of my stay was rest, rest, rest.
I was sad to leave, as I did not feel quite ready to re-enter my day-to-day life. Once I began working again, I realized my stress levels are still way too high, seeming out of proportion to tasks at hand. (I think freaking out at people in public isn’t a sign that I’m coping.) All I can do is keep away from crowds of people, and get plenty of rest. Tomorrow, 5 June, is a national holiday, so that helps, but I’m looking forward to my next trip to the countryside, whenever and wherever that may be.