As my first day on foreign soil winds down, I am cloaked in the warmth of Stockholm’s charm with my path lit by a halo of hope. Only a tinge of shadow glides beside me, for if I had known how at home I would feel, we would have met far sooner. Yes, I am infatuated with this place. So be it.
Our day began with the light fare of a traditional Swedish breakfast before whispering our amazement amongst the grandeur of a Swedish Lutheran cathedral up the street. The king of Sweden declared the country Lutheran in 1541, even cleverly selling the first Swedish translation of the Bible to the entire country’s ministers. How else would he pay for its translations? Of note, the Swedish translation would not be modernized, wait for it, until 1917! What was good enough for one’s grandfather was apparently good enough for the grandson.
Swedenborg’s father, Jesper, only seven years before his death, completed his own translation by 1728, but failing its approval by the state, sent it to the Swedes in his charge as bishop in the far off colony we know of as Delaware. Emanuel’s brother, Jesper, too, was sent across the ocean. Apparently, Jr. was not a high-achiever like his brother. Perhaps, however, he had the last laugh. The Swedenborg lineage to this day is his instead of his brothers.
After an enlightening talk by our hosts at the correspondentially-filled Stockholm Church of the New Jerusalem we enjoyed our second traditional Swedish meal of the day: soup, cheese, bread, light beer, and cake! Not only our physical, but spiritual body’s were full after reviewing the now highly organized Swedenborg Collection of first-editions and collateral works; a remarkable collection whereby I learned that ES wrote and published the first math book in Sweden. The meticulously researched diorama of Swedenborg’s home, garden, and summer house coincidentally prepped us for our next stop.
After running for a few trams, we arrived at what I mistakenly believed was the summer house’s original location, but learned that after a few centuries of use by travelers and spiritualists it was remarkably still able to be moved for preservation to something comparable to a Swedish colonial-Williamsburg. Here cultural traditions such as furniture and glass making are reenacted, but sadly, no visionary seer played the role at the summer house. Instead, Corey’s presentation transported us through time so all felt as they would should they be so fortunate to stumble upon it on a leisurely afternoon stroll in a previous era.
So, please keep checking this blog for updates on our travels in Stockholm. Where the streets are narrow, but the mindsets broad; the climate cold, but the atmosphere warm; and the portions modest, but meals quite long.