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A FATHER IS GONE

REMEMBERING A SENIOR WARRIOR:
SVEIN SØRLIE 

It is almost two weeks since Svein Sørlie died on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 in Norway. He shall be buried on Tuesday, August 29, 2017. I believe that wherever his soul is in the grander universe, it is thriving in the best conditions of the afterlife; resting in peace, hopefully. There is no rest for the hearts of gold. Gold is forever; larger than life. Such was Svein Sørlie as I knew him, feeling as if it had been all my life.

STrl

©Toril Sørlie 2017

Svein Sørlie: my student, my friend, my mentor, my protector. In time, he grew to represent a formidable father figure for me as I strove to curve a space of my own in a land that is not of my forefathers, Norway. With his death, it feels like a large chunk of Norway has just been ripped off my heart. The hurt I feel is profound.

I have known Svein, since March, 1989. During much of this time, I’ve watched with awe how he would ever so elegantly balance, sometimes in one and the same space, the role of a father, grandfather, brother, uncle, lover, in-law, friend, teacher, student, colleague, citizen, and community member. I could never get enough of the warmth and love that, on the one hand, Svein exuded, and received, on the other.

SKLM

©Toril Sørlie 2017

It did not matter whether we were in Norway, or travelling in Greece or the UK; he was ever so easy to get along with. I guess it had to do with the aura of humility and compassion he radiated, long before he would open his mouth to greet people, and introduce himself to strangers.

Winter, spring, summer, or fall; dojo, camping, competitions, seminars, party, home, city centre, beach, everywhere: Svein Sørlie was the ever green, the ever wonderful. An IT expert, a former naval officer, and Judo adept, he was a knowledgeable and wise man; a man of the world. His terrific sense of humour made it a joy to talk with him about many subjects of common interest, any time.

On Wednesday, March 29, 1989, Anne-Britt Nilsen helped me arrange and host a public meeting to introduce Karate in the local community of Blåbærstien, Nesoddtangen. I was accompanied by my first ever Norwegian Karate student, Knut Arild Midtbø, who I had already started to train in Oslo since October, 1988. He would translate my message, since I hardly spoke a word of Norwegian, then.

In a packed, rather small community hall, the reception we received was mixture of curiosity, enthusiasm, scepticism, and outright hostility. During an altercation between my assistant, Knut, and a man who was totally against our mission in his neighbourhood, my eyes fell on a bespectacled older man. A little girl was sitting and playing at his feet. As our eyes met, the man gave me a gentle, reassuring smile; I thought the look on his face told me something like, “Never mind him!”

The friendly man was Svein Sørlie, and the little girl was his youngest child and daughter, Toril. For the next ten years or so, the Svein-Toril family duo would be the heart-beat of Blåbærstien Karate Klubb, now Nesodden Karateklubb. It was such that at a time when I had to make one of the most decisive choices in my life, I weighed my options against, amongst others, the joint pillar of strength Svein and Toril jointly represented for me in the club, if not the country Norway … (Continued in the book: MACHONA BLOGS – As I See It. Order Simon Chilembo books on Amazon)


Simon Chilembo
Welkom
South Africa
Telephone: +4792525032
August 28, 2017

 

38 YEARS AN EXILE: XXVI

HOME AT LAST! Part 26

 

Schooling in the Diaspora – Kamwala Secondary School

©Simon Chilembo, 2014

©Simon Chilembo, 2014

1975 was the longest year. My first calendar year in Zambia was nine months long, which felt like time barely existed, with no beginning I recalled being part of, no end, and no direction in sight. Time was an idea just there to relate to indifferently.

The three months on the rails and road it took my family and me to get to Zambia from South Africa had bruised my sense of reality, presenting life’s challenges in a totally new way, and intensity. My family relations internal dynamics changed in ways that many mistakes made along the way have never been repairable.

New things learnt we each processed and integrated each in our own individual lives, each in our own unique personal ways. I often like to think that the extremely high senses of individuality and independence my two siblings and I will exhibit in critical choice times and situations, were consolidated during this time … (Continued in the book: “MACHONA AWAKENING – home in grey matter”. Order book on Amazon here). 

Simon Chilembo
Riebeeckstad
Welkom
South Africa
July 23, 2015

38 YEARS AN EXILE: II

HOME AT LAST! Part 2

Life After Death, Incomplete Stories …

©Simon Chilembo,  09/ 12-2012

©Simon Chilembo, 09/ 12-2012

I want to equate exile to death. Whether or not planned, when it’s time to go, it’s time to go. If there is life after death, from what I know of life in exile, life in after death must be a living nightmare for the dead. I, therefore, am not keen to die just yet. And I don’t ever want to experience living in exile again.

Some people do get the chance, and make time to plan their deaths. Write suicide note. Set up video cameras. Go online. Press Record. Say/ read your message to the soon to be bereaved, to the world. Point gun to the head … (Continued in the book: “MACHONA AWAKENING – home in grey matter”. Order book on Amazon’s CreateSpace here).

 

Simon Chilembo
Riebeeckstad
Welkom
South Africa
March 10, 2014