Christmas Cry

In 2006, the Church of Sweden published a modern addition to the hymnbook. One of the songwriters who were asked to contribute was Py Bäckman. I think few people knew that she had secretly written psalm songs for quite some time by then, since she is more known as a rock artist.
I very much like her song "Koppången" although it never fails to make me cry. The church choir at the Christmas Carols concert in the Gothenburg Cathedral sang it softly yet powerfully and the tears started rolling down my cheeks, leaving me with a taste of salt in my mouth and a lump in my throat. The melody is beautiful, but it's the lyrics that get to me.
I know that those who have left us
Understand that we are like flares as long as we are here
There among glimmering stars, vanishing one by one
Life comes very close, like a glimpse of the truth
We are captives of the time, like a palm print on an old, frozen window
Who have been given grace by the ravages of time
I look around me in my apartment and think of those whom I don't see that very often and those who have left me for good. Some of them are easier to remember because of their dear gifts:

The glass prism from Lena, who taught me always to consider if more than one perspective can be right. The curling Santa from Ann, who demonstrated the importance of making the university a real workplace for both students and faculty. The penguin family huddling on their ice floe, from Maja-Helena who is much better than me at taking the learning road instead of the judging one. The matchboxes with cross stiches made by Åsa, who is the best leader and manager I know, sticking to the basic values long after being abandoned by her supervisors. The stout nutcracker from my aunt Kerstin, who never ceases to appreciate new music. The candlestick given to me by Randi, who showed me how to treat consultants as appreciated colleagues. The Christmas lamb from Marie, who helped me celebrate Christmas in Australia long time ago.
I'm surrounded by the warmth of friendship radiating through the years. Comforting me, as my eyes well up again. God Jul and Merry Christmas!

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