Folklore on the farm

I had a nice heart to heart with my son this weekend, where we touched, among other things, on my dislike for modernity. "You think everyone should be living on a farm!" he said to me, in a way that made that sound like a bad thing. So, yes, I confess, I think everyone should be living on a farm, or at least have a garden or greenhouse. I am not quite sure how we were all manipulated into not having gardens, but I imagine the goal was to get everyone to go shopping at grocery stores. Capitalism and consumerism, I really do resent being caught in that system.

Not to idealize subsistence farming, but that is one of the allures of Scandinavian Studies for me, how recently back in time Scandinavia was a largely rural society. When I was in Norway this summer, I was amazed at how apparent that still is, in the way people live. Boy that would be nice, to have a farm in Scandinavia.

I would of course never complain about having a farm in Iceland, but I must say, in Scandinavia, the farms come with something special, tomte. These are the little creatures that can help out with repairing things around the farm, if you are nice to them and they like you, but who can also cause mischief and break things, if they are not treated well. I actually don't believe in that sort of moral, transactional explanation for tomte behavior. I think they are just elements of unpredictability, a kind of chaos theory, that keeps life on the farm more interesting than it would otherwise be. That is the reason there aren't a lot of folktales about trying to exterminate the tomte, they belong to the farm and on the farm in a way that has nothing to do with human decisions about ownership and property. I would like to live someplace like that.

Comments

Jono said…
There was a motel down the street from where I work called Tomteboda. I'm sure I have them on my farm which explains the unexplainable. :)
Lissy said…
I have sometimes considered buying an American farm, which would be more practical, especially under the circumstances. But the point is not to be practical, it is to make life as full and complete as it can be. I don't mind hard work ;)
Lissy said…
I have sometimes considered buying an American farm, which would be more practical, especially under the circumstances. But the point is not to be practical, it is to make life as full and complete as it can be. I don't mind hard work ;)

Popular posts from this blog

Dett í, ofan á, úr, út

Icelandic Provisions

The sky weeps