Adrift – A Poem

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It feels like you’re slipping away.
It started like a whispered lie,
Floating in the wind through my head.
Dismissed as as a vapid thought,
A fear ungrounded, whisked away
By the fresh breeze of your smile.

It rolled in like violent dark clouds,
Rumbling in warning like a stomach pang,
Illuminating the shadowed corners where
Webs are spun en mass: the neglected place,
The faraway recess I once escaped,
The forbidden realm where dreams go to die.

The steady stream turned to a raging waterfall,
But my mind fought back, feebly, but intent
To prevent the heavy barrage of droplets,
Protecting myself with a child’s umbrella
As I began to choke under the angry flow
Of the lies I could no longer not believe.

Struggling to shake off the unrelenting torrent,
I find a ray of sun, catch it in a jar, and
Place it at your feet, ready to share the glow.
You take it and move to a safer place,
Where your soul can recover, warm.
I wait for you to come back for me.

The cold, unfeeling mud below starts to slide.
My feet lose their grip as I realize the truth
I stood upon morphs from brick I thought it was
To the clay it really is. Hope begins to drown in
The pools, which swell into an unforgiving river.
From the bank, our eyes meet as I’m swept away.

Bad Habits – a poem

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I stumbled across an old poem of mine. Revised it. Not sure what I think of it, but it is a part of me, so why not share it?

Bad Habits

Today began like so many before it,
With buttoning of buttons and tying of tie.
It was habit by now, just like everything.
Going to the fridge and opening a carton,
Pressing my lips against the cardboard
And mostly dried gunk, a mix of saliva and milk
From yesterday and the day before.

People don’t ask why I wear a suit still,
Even though it’s been months
Since the last day I had spent at a real job,
Respected… employed.

Cans line the otherwise sparse pantry,
They were there when I moved into this
Rundown studio apartment almost a year ago.
I eat them anyway. It doesn’t matter.
It’s like college again, only this time
I am lonelier, skinnier, poorer.
Solitude breeds darkness and life.

Four days is all the time left
Before the sheets of slaughtered trees
Are required to be submitted, covered
With symbols of meaning in a desirable fashion.
Four days until someone will discredit the words
Thoughts dashed with red slashes
Because their cognition seems to them to be
Of a much greater quality.

I bury my pen into my jet-black curls,
Probably marking my scalp with the ink.
Meandering to the window, I look out, searching
For hope as anemic as my skin,
Not really expecting much to have changed.

It hadn’t.

I bite my thumb’s skin in habit again.

Poetry, Foxes, and Loss

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Literature, poetry swaps, late night conversations, pun wars to pass the time at work, heartache, studying Shakespeare and the Renaissance in England together.  It hurts.  And I can’t believe it, still.

It’s been seven months since my loveliest friend died.  Since, my posts and writings have become infrequent and unfocused.  I think I’m getting closer to becoming me again, though in some small way, I don’t want that.  Part of me is okay with it.  For a month recently, I was able to travel through Japan.

Before he passed, we had agreed to organize a trip to go there together.  One Thursday he asked if I could come over, but I had already promised plans with someone else. I requested that following week we would get together instead.  We’d have a wine and cheese painting fest.  I’d show you my new tattoo I had asked you advice on.  You agreed. Later that night, you sent me a text,

Fond memories of London. Wish you were here!

And I didn’t respond.  It was okay, you knew I was busy, and I would see you in a few days after I worked doubles the next 3 days.  Friday, Saturday, Sunday came. Sunday, I saw you post a status.  I texted and tried to call. Straight to voice-mail. I knew what I was feeling couldn’t be possible, you promised you would call me if it came to that level of desperation again, even if it was years later, which it was.  I left work in the middle of the afternoon to drive over to your place as fast as I could.  It was too late.  You were already gone.

But I was just about to see you again.  I broke inside.  But I am still here.  So I took you to Japan.

We went everywhere. We started off in Osaka, and I took you to temples and castles. Kyoto was gorgeous.  The architectural history there would have floored you as their buildings and gardens are unwritten poetry.  We went from there and saw Mount Fuji. It was more amazing then you would have been able to handle. I took you to the coast at sunset. We then went up through Tokyo, to Harajuku station, where you would have appreciated how much those people are themselves, despite who is watching. And I drink SO MUCH tea.

Then came the mountains.

Miyagi was Boone on steroids. Hot sprint foot baths met Cherry Blossoms, lined with the red Japanese lanterns. We then took a taxi 25 minutes away from the city, and we found our playmates. The Zen foxes followed us as we walked around, and I took you close to the very top. I found a tree for you to sit under and watch the foxes frolic and bark.   and that’s where I released you, spreading your ashes along the ground as if it was still you.  But I kept my end of the bargain, and damn it, I got you there. And I miss you like hell.

I’m going to put the poem I wrote for you here, because it was as if you were writing through me for me.  And because it still holds true.  I’m sorry I didn’t respond that night.  I wish I had come over anyway.  The world isn’t the same.  Come back.

14 Words to Incorporate to English Yesterday

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For the wanderers and logophiles alike:  If you’re anything like me, there are just some times when you can’t find the right word in English to efficiently describe a what you’re trying to say.  These following words have solved some of those problems for me, and I think all of us English-speakers could benefit from the following awesome phrases concocted by our fellows across the world.  (Also, I have found that the Germans seem to have the best ones the majority of the time.)

14.  Ça plane pour moi

French. “It is gliding with me” is it’s literal translation, but the understood meaning is that everything is going well.

13.  Komorebi

Japanese.  Perfect for soul time in the forest or sanctuary under a tree in a park, that special atmosphere can only be created by komorebi.

12.  Kopfkino

German.  “It’s like a cinema in your head.”  This is how I feel about reading a well-written fantasy novel.

11.  Backpfeifengesicht

German.  We all know at least one backpfeifenngesicht.  That is, someone who needs a good smack in the head.

 

10.  Fahrvergnügen

German.  This word was created for a Volkswagen commercial in 1990 but it still used today.  It refers to “the enjoyment you get from driving.”

9.  Resfeber

Swedish.  When you get the butterflies before you begin traveling, especially to somewhere you have never gone before.

 

8.  Chi Ku (吃苦)

Chinese.  Literally meaning “to eat bitterness,” this word is for the persevering hearts.  Chi ku is the ability for one to endure hardship without becoming a bitter person.

7.  Hyggelig

Danish.  Its literal means “nice and cozy,” but it’s understood that these words don’t quite capture the essence of a hyggelig; you have to experience it in order to understand it.  Imagine if you will, an intimate setting (often at home), candlelit, with a warm fire, blankets to cozy into, cold beers, and good friends.

6.  L’esprit de L’esclair

French.  The literal translation is “the spirit of the stairs.”  The phrase’s understood use, however, is “the feeling as soon as you leave a conversation, you then think of the perfect thing to say, but it’s already too late.” As comedian and actor Christian Grey Moore put it, “Basically what everyone does in the shower.”

5.  Verschlimmbesserung

German. A handy word to keep at the ready in any relationship, this word means “An attempted improvement that just made things worse.”

4.  Fernweh

German.  Although this means “far sickness,” it’s understood meaning is a feeling of homesickness for a place you have not yet been to, but at which you have a deep craving to be.

3.  Waldeinsamkeit

German. This word is some kind of magic.

2.  Sutaabusuru

Japanese, slang.  A singular word that means “Let’s go to Starbucks.”  Who knew?

1.  Kummerspeck

The best for last.  This German term is my personal favorite, because I knew it well before I even learned of this word’s existence.

 

Born of Wanderlust – Meaningful Names for your Little Package

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There’s a lot to be said about being wise and considerate when naming a newborn child–yes, it needs to be a fit for the family, but it also needs to ensure embarrassment-free meaning.  The following are some wanderlust-inspired names you could consider that would be a guide for your child as it grows, even if it is a choice for a middle name!  Consider the following names to nudge your bun in the oven to a life full of meaningful, global experiences.  Happy adventures, little one!  (Or, if you’re like me, a character name for your next story can be found here as well.)

1. Fernweh (German, n.)

A crave for travel; being homesick for a place you’ve never been. An ache for distant places. Literally “farsickness,” or “longing for far-off places,” as contrasted with heimweh: “homesickness,” longing for home.”

2. Kelana (Maylay, f.)

Wanderer; Nafsu Kelana roughly means Wandering Lust.

3. Sonder (Afrikaans, Internet, n.)

The realization that each random passer-by is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

4. Coddiwomple, or Coddi for short (English, n.)

To travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination.

5. Duende (Spanish, n.)

While originally used to describe a mythical, sprite-like entity that possesses humans and creates the feeling of awe of one’s surroundings in nature, its meaning has transitioned into referring to “the mysterious power that a work of art has to deeply move a person.”

6. Sisu (Finnish, f.)

A term that basically means the quality of being a badass. The word is usually equated with the Finnish national character. (This one isn’t so much about world travel, but come on, what a cool name!)

7. Isra (Arabic, n.)

Nocturnal journey.

8. Odessa (Russian/Ancient Greek, f.)

Derived from ODYSSEY; a long series of wanderings or adventures, especially when filled with notable experiences, hardships, etc.

9. Sloan (Irish, n.)

Expedition.

10. Wendel (German, m.)

He who wanders.

11. Rumer (Slovakian, n.)

Gypsy.

12. Zigana (Hungarian, f.)

Gypsy girl.

13. Peregrine (Latin, n.)

Wanderer.

14. Somerled (Old Norse/Scottish, m.)

Summer traveler.

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This Harry Potter Themed Bathroom Could be Yours

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Do you test yourself on every Harry Potter quiz you come across?  Are you sorted to a Hogwarts House on Pottermore?  (Hufflepuff REPRESENT!)  Do you spend more time doing homework for potions class than on your own classwork/work-work?  Then this bathroom may just knock your socks off so hard they fly into the hands of the nearest House Elf.

For us Potterheads, no amount of magic in our lives quite cuts it.  This HP addict has created an atmosphere in which to bathe in as much Harry Potter glory as a little swish and click of online ordering can muster.

You can hide all of the mischief you’re managing behind this shower curtain — hey, no splashing!  $50
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Don’t forget the words that make it all happen.  $15+

Create your own portal to the Ministry of Magic with this vinyl cling! $6+ (size variable)

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Expel the unmentionables with a quick turn of the wrist and this simple spell.  $3+
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Don’t forget to cram in a little study sesh while doing your business!  $6 softcover with this casing (or $26 if you want the whole collection)
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(And some sweets, too! Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. $2.25)

 

It’s always good to remember that too much power for one man can lead to madness.  $5
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Spend too much time in the loo?  Give this time turner a few turns to get errands done while your past self uses up ALL the hot water.  $6
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Forget your towel in your bedroom?  Use a wand to accio it over to you.  $10-40 (every wand I have seen has been different unless it was a replica from the Harry Potter movies), or can get a customized for ~$75

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Never forget your first trip to school with this platform 9 3/4 luggage tag. ~$8
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Don’t forget to don your favorite jewelry to impress the other witches and wizards!  $10 (bracelet) $35 (high-quality earrings)

 

Last but not least, remember to conserve energy by putting out the light when you’re done!  $3.50image

Just watch out for Moaning Myrtle!  Make sure you use plenty of bubbles, or you can distract her by having her band sing their Wrock (Wizard Rock) songs for you!

Listen to The Moaning Myrtles here! FREE

NC fights back against Anti-LGBT/low income law

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March 23, North Carolina was forcefully and sneakily thrown backwards through decades of social rights reformation.
In case you haven’t heard, in response to Charlotte’s anti-discrimination ordinance, NC Governor Pat McCrory pushed through a bill that eliminates every anti-discrimination ordinance in the state, and removes any negative consequences for those who violate the state’s ban on racial and gender discrimination.  He literally wrote into law that hate crimes against transgender people and people of any color are OK.  Flashback to WWII, anyone?  How about a hop over the ocean in time to Hitler’s world?


Not only that, but NC cities will not be permitted to raise their wages locally, hurting low-income workers living in big cities where their labor is most needed, in industries like construction and banking.  No city is sovereign, nor is apparently a human life.

Well, #WeAreNotThis.  And we are fighting back.  North Carolinians are working to bring the spotlight to this shadowy affair and are calling for an impeachment of Gov. McCrory, who has time and again proven his blatant disregard for social justice and the sanctity of human rights.
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Which makes no sense, if you think about it, as Twitter user Annalee did:
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If you feel so inclined, you can sign the Change.org  petition here as well: Impeach Gov. NC Pat McCrory!
North Carolinians band together to refuse to allow ignorants and bigots like McCrory represent them in government.

How to Help a Grieving Friend Cope

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Recently, I lost one of my dearest friends to Bipolar II and depression.  He is gone, and the rest of us were left to pick up the pieces of our hearts his death shattered.  I couldn’t have done it alone.

GrievingWhenever someone passes, we almost never seem to know what to do or to say, and yet death is a huge, unavoidable part of our lives.  As someone who could barely breathe through the grief at times, I thought I would share some of the things people did that helped me feel like I could actually make it through to the next day.  The following are some things my good friends did for me that I hope I can do for others in their times of mourning, and I thought maybe it would help you to help someone else too.  These suggestions range from things you can do as an aquaintence to very good friend.  Know your audience.

When it’s raw

When I came home that afternoon, I really thought I had processed it.  Sometimes you think you have.  But then you realize that you’re just sitting there, just being, and wondering why you are still alive.  If you’re on the end of the trauma, call someone.  Seriously, even when you feel like all you want to do is be alone in your heartache, it is far from what you need right then.  If you’re the one who is called, go over to wherever they are.  They need you.  And wear  a shirt you don’t mind if it gets ruined with the waterworks.

Let me start off by saying, please, DO NOT tell them that everything is going to be okay.  Because it isn’t.  If there is anything that is the worst thing to hear, it’s that everything will be alright.  If you feel the need to say something, “I know,” “I’m so sorry,” “This really sucks,” and “I’m here for you” may be simple, but we, in our grief, can at least believe you, and won’t trigger anger that is irrational from being told “It will be okay.”

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1.1.  Just sit next to them, be with them.  A lot of times, the presence of a trusted friend gets through to them, and it helps their brain not be overwhelmed with the cortisol (or stress hormone) as much.  Just let them know you are with them, no matter what they need.

1.2.  Physical touch is comfort (usually).  Definitely know your friend, but I have found that even the least touchy people I know just need an arm around them, especially when they cry.  If they can’t bear to situp or stand, just sit next to them where ever they lie, rub their calves or arms in comfort, just be there.

1.3.  After a while, put on mindless shows.  After a while, once they are calmed, offer to turn on a show or movie.  Not necessarily a comedy, but something light hearted.  It’s slightly distracting, and it gives their brains a little relief from their pain, even if they don’t realize it.

1.4.  If you can, stay with them unless you absolutely can’t.  2a5f9b77fcf33d7c25ee598b8eb7ee09I had a good friend who stayed with me every second after for several days, yes, even overnight (nights are the hardest/worst), unless they had to work.  This was the most helpful thing, just having a trusted human presence near me.  I know it’s difficult sometimes to be around someone who is sad that long, but they will love you forever.  I know I will.

1.5.  Make sure they eat.  They will have zero appetite for a week, but softly encourage them to take a couple of bites here and there.  My friend cooked up a bunch of food for me to just have ready if I had even an inkling of appetite, because when you do, it can vanish a couple seconds later when in grief.  Order them their favorite Chinese or pizza.  Calories packed in every bite are important when you are only biting a little bit.  If your state allows it recreationally, encourage them to consume cannabis to induce appetite.  If your state allows it medicinally, offer to drive them to the doctor for a temporary prescription.

1.6.  Draw them a bath.  If you can, get them some essential oils or natural bath salts to put in.  And bubbles are always cool.  My favorite is chamomile extract, as it’s calming effect is not limited to tea.

1.7.  Make them some tea.  (Peppermint, Sleepytime, Chamomile)

When the initial shock passes 

You can still apply any of the above if you still feel it would be helpful, but after the first couple of days, there is more you can do.

2.1.  Let them know it is okay and healthy to talk.  Let them speak about it, encourage them to, but don’t push.  If they don’t let it out, it will fester, and the what-ifs and should-haves will consume them.

2.2.  Bring them some B COMPLEX vitamins.  Okay, so these things are awesome.  You can get them from Walmart in gummy form, strawberry flavor.  Delicious, cheap, and super helpful when taken.  They won’t relieve the sadness, but they will give them a little bit of energy and give a little pick-me-up.
I got upset when this happened, because I felt as though my sadness was going away too quickly–just remind them that their body needs to feel better in order to get to the place where you can honor the memory of their lost loved one instead of living in the pain that they would never have wanted you to feel.Grieff.jpg

2.3.  Encourage a friend/support group.  If possible, encourage them to contact and maybe even meet up with the lost one’s friends, even if they didn’t previously know them.  After the funeral, I arranged a gathering, a support group meeting if you will, with some of his friends and roommates.  We went to a nice restaurant and had a glass or two of wine, and just talked about our departed friend.  We laughed at the good, nerdy memories, discussed the much harder things, but out of it we realized how much he was loved and loved us, and how much we needed each other.  Just talking to people in other facets of his life brought us closer and more at peace, and I also know that I have made some new friends.

2.4.  Send them quick messages throughout the day/week.  The texts/IMs don’t even have to be about anything in particular, but maybe something funny you saw happen or something that reminded you of them–it all translates that you care about them.

2.5.  Make sure they don’t feel bad about still grieving.  One thing I have learned is that people who think there should be some kind of time limit  have never lost a piece of their heart, or have suppressed it and don’t realize that it is eating them from the inside.  The ache never goes away, it just becomes tougher as a scar.

I’m sure that there are many other things that you can do in individual cases, but I hope that this helps at least a little bit.  In order to more understand why your grieving friend is acting the way they are, visit this link to understand how their personality type handles grief.  (This is based on Myers-Briggs personality traits.)

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6 Leap Year Facts: 1 Might Find You Engaged

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Once every 4 years we have this extra day in our lives that people on fixed salaries work for free, and worst of all in 2016, it’s a Monday.  Let’s crush those blues with thinking about the more fun facts about Leap Day from all over the world, starting with Grandfather Europe.

1.  Sweden once celebrated February 30th.30-feb-sweden  In 1700, Sweden had not yet switched from the Julian calendar to the current Gregorian.  So they set a plan in motion to slowly catch up to the rest of the world by eliminating Leap Days for the next 40 years.  However, the Great Northern War happened and they had more pressing matters to attend to and their times got so muddled up that they threw in the towel and added a February 30th to get back to normal.


2.  Queen Margaret of Scotland (1045-1093)
was, according to legend, came up with the idea that since February 29th occurred so infrequently, it should be allowed to women to propose to their suitors.  (We’re not so sure how accurate this is as she would have had to have been 5 years old, also living in Norway at the time.) So as long as the day was February 29th and the woman was wearing breeches or a scarlette petticoat, she was allowed to pop the question to her man of choice.  Oh, and if the man turned her down?  Forget it.  He had to give her something, if not his hand–so he could be fined a kiss, a silk garment, or in Denmark 12 pairs of glovesand in Finland fabric for a skirt.

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2.5  St. Bridget of the 5th century might be the actual perpetrator here, however–but this story is agreed to be less likely.  The myth goes that she made passing comments to St. Patrick that men took too long to propose.  The Saint then allocated a single day in a year to take matters into their own hands–the last day of the shortest month that year, Feb. 29th. Whichever story you believe, the tradition itself is really not known to become popular practice until the 19th Century.

3.  Greek couples avoid the whole year that has a leap day altogether as it is considered terrible luck in their marriage if they wed in it.

4.  Be glad it’s only a day!  In the past, the Hindu and Hebrew calendars added a full leap month every 3ish years!  Talk about hard to remember.

5.  It’s actually not a simple calculation. mind-blown-247x300 Ususally, one of every four years is a Leap Year.  Just like you need to reach a speed of 88 miles per hour in the Delorean Time Vehical to travel through time.  Mostly.

Leap Day is on the calendar every 4 years EXCEPT if the year is perfectly divisible by 100, which is not a Leap Year.  That is, unless the year is also perfectly divisible by 400, then that rule is tossed out the window, and it is a Leap Day.  Therefore, 2000 CE had a February 29th since it is perfectly divisible by 400, while 2100 will not because it’s only perfectly divisible by 100.  However, who knows what will happen if you blow on the formla.

6.  Columbus tricked the Indiginous Jamacains on this day, 1504.  
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Having been stranded on the island and at the mercy of the peoples there, relations with the indigenous population got rough because, let’s face it, Columbus was a total D-bag, so they refused to continue supplying food and provisions.  Columbus used an almanac and knew a lunar eclipse was due.  He gathered the native chiefs on Leap Day’s night.  He decieved them by saying that God was punishing them by painting the Moon red.  During the eclipse, Columbus lied that God would withdraw his wrath if they co-operated.  The terrified chiefs agreed just as the Moon began emerging from its shadow, confirming the illusion.

Vikings Were Kinda Geniuses

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These days, we have some pretty cool things thanks to some inventive techies like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs…. not to mention Einstien and Da Vinci.  But what about before them?  Before we had flying contraptions and GPS on our smart phones?  Who laid the groundwork for amazing ideas?  Turns out to find that answer, we just need to look to Scandinavia a couple thousand years back for a glimpse into some mad pre-modern genius.  Not to mention immensely skilled artists and “forward thinking” in the way of gender equality.  The Victorians are a lot of the reason women were suppressed into dainty and housebound roles, but that’s a story for another day.

Vikings likely invented…

Ullr

Image from Wikipedia

Skiing!  At least 6,000 years ago, or 4,000 BCE, archaeologists have discovered that Scandinavians developed primitive western-style skis. These people first acknowledged skiing as an effective way to get around their frozen domains, then later as a fun pastime.  They even had a god of skiing they worshipped named Ullr.

Image from Google

Image from Google

Fines!  The first indication of people being charged moniterily for unacceptable behavior started with the Norse people, and it is commonly used today as a form of punishment in multiple societies and countries.  They may have ransacked and pillaged their conquered, but they had strict rules and expectations for their own kind.

comb

Image from Google

Bristled tooth-pick combs!  That’s right, despite popular consensus, Vikings were in fact more hygienic than many other groups at that time.  Other than combs, objects such as tweezers and nail trimmers were also discovered to have been used.  There are even Anglo-Saxon accounts calling out the Vikings in England as being clean-freaks.  Keep in mind, this is because the settlers would bathe once every week, whereas the Anglo-Saxons would only do so one or two times a year.  You can thank Olaf for that hair de-tangler that’s on your bathroom sink now.

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Image from Google

Most impressively… pre-modern GPS!  While braving the crazed seas on excursions for new lands to divide and conquer, the Vikings took along not compasses, not maps of the stars, but ravens.  This is the reason ravens are so far scattered across the world in places of which they aren’t native.

Ravens are partial to land, meaning they will never land on water to rest like ducks or other birds do.  So every few days, they would release the birds and watch which direction they went.  If the bird didn’t return, they would sail in that direction and consistently find land.  If the birds didn’t find land, they had no choice but to return to the ship so as to not drown.  That’s right, folks.  The Vikings were such great discoverers due to Poe-etic Nevermore creatures of darkness.  Turns out that ravens are super smart, too.

Society

Women were held in higher respects than can be said for more recent history.  Even though young marriage was very common for girls, they were not completely subject to the will of their husbands or other men.  Divorce was available to them on justifyable grounds, they could inherit property and run it as they saw fit, were able to reclaim their dowries if their marriages came to an end besides through death, and even managed the finances of the household.

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Image from Google

Also, it was forbidden for a man to press unwanted attention towards a woman.  Kormáks saga, (an Icelandic saga about 10th-century Icelandic poet) tells of how a a man sits next to a woman, conversed with her, and gave her 4 unwanted kisses.  When another Viking saw this happen, he drew his sword to punish the man, but other women around stopped him before he could strike.  Instead, the man was fined two ounces of gold, which was a lot then.  The law protected women from a wide range of unwanted attention. The Grágás law book, or Gray Goose Laws, lists penalties for offences ranging from kissing to intercourse. You can learn more about women’s role in society in the Viking era.

Artistry

spoonToday, we have like, what, 12 spoons in our utensil drawers?  That is, unless your flatmate has a secret stash of 11 of them in their room.  The things we have are often multiples, which makes them less extraordinary to us.  But Vikings didn’t have drawers, they didn’t have vanities where they could keep various adornments.   They were a vagrant people, explorers, pillagers, etc.  Occasionally they would have a village here and there, but who knew when the next bad winter or warring clan would drive them away from it?  So what they had, they treasured.  Their sense of art was beautiful, as you can see at the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, or the Museum of Copenhagen in Denmark, to name few.

So, as you hold onto that 1 of 12 spoons you can find, they treasured the 1 of 1 that they had.  And they made it durable, but don’t forget pretty:

Don’t forget you’re drinking horn, too:

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Or, if you do invest so much in a place, you’re place of worship meant a lot as well, so you also made sure people recognized it’s importance by the first glance:

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For even more Norse tidbits, hit up the History Channel’s list of Viking facts.