Frosty Feeling, Antidote: Hygge

Sue Schlabach instagram January 2017 ©sue schlabach

Welcome January. I guess.

The world is frosty, and I’m working to warm my heart to the hard work ahead.

Outside the windows it’s fairly bleak and monochrome. But red, green and blue keep popping up saying, “Hey look at me!!”

Safe marching in Washington, Sisters. In Boston. In Chicago. Philadelphia, and beyond. I’ll be in Montpelier today with you on my mind, hoping for safety and peacefulness as we enter this new era.

Schlabach blog Brecht quote

As usual, when I feel a knot in my stomach I turn to poems, music and art for solace. John Berger, Maira Kalman, Langston Hughes, Seamus Heaney, Jane Kenyon, and so many others. I learned yesterday that the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities are on the list to be eliminated, which adds to the knot. We need art more than ever. Humanities are what help us interpret being human.

My husband brought me The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking to cheer me last night on inauguration day. We heard Meik interviewed on On Point this week, on their show about Hygge. We lit candles, listened to music and cooked together. Hygge (pronouced Hooga) is a Danish word that can’t be translated to one English word. But at its core its about being cosy among friends and family with a warming fire, candles, good food, talk, sharing. In essence safety in your happy place.


The Little Book of Hygge Sue Schlabach blog


I’ve been thinking about resistance. And silence. And speaking. And listening. It’s time to make art.

Off to make some signs! See you soon. Keep those candles burning.


John Berger Poem Sue Schlabach blog




Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

January 21, 2017 at 12:12 pm

Beautiful, Dear One.

January 23, 2017 at 7:05 am
– In reply to: Erin

Thanks, Dear One.

January 23, 2017 at 4:59 am

Your post was the first thing I read this Monday morning. Made my day. Thanks.

January 23, 2017 at 7:06 am
– In reply to: Ola

Your comment made my day! I’m just reading it with my breakfast. Happy Monday.

Sonja Burgessreply
August 18, 2017 at 1:03 pm

More blog please !!! January is so very long ago now.

September 13, 2017 at 8:26 am
– In reply to: Sonja Burgess

Oh Sonja, that is so nice of you to say! I do aspire to write again soon. Been swept up in renovations of an old brick house since April and worried I’d bore people with blatherings about demolition, mouse nests and reconstruction! Will get back on this horse soon. Starting up again is the hardest part, but you’ve given me a nice gentle nudge. Be well.

September 13, 2017 at 10:04 am
– In reply to: sueschlabach

Nudge, nudge,
Wink, wink

David J. Baumanreply
September 12, 2017 at 11:51 pm

So what did you think of the book. It’s one I had ordered for the library and it’s been checked out by plenty of people but me. I need some me time with candles I guess.

Sue Schlabachreply
September 13, 2017 at 8:22 am
– In reply to: David J. Bauman

Hi David! So nice to hear from you. I’ve been up to eyeballs renovating, parenting a teen and trying to paint. I’m glad to know someone is looking at my sad neglected blog. Thanks. I’ve been a poor reader lately and pledge to get back to your wise and lovely space. As for the book: I like it. In the months since the election I’ve paused to take the advice of hygge in general. Be with people. Share. Be genuine. Light candles. We all need a balm in these heavy times. Find it, create it and spread it. The book shares the definition and how it is relevant beyond Denmark. Worth a look. And time with candles? We can all use some of that 🙂

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