I shot this image in Oslo, Norway nearly 12 years ago and thought that would be the time to resurrect it from the archives.
The reports of the violence this past day made me remember so vividly a country that seemed to be isolated from such events after the horrors of World War II had finally eased. A country of snow and reindeer, of quiet strength, with a kind and welcoming nature. I traveled by myself, and yet never felt alone: each person I met was warm, helpful, and had a sense of humor cultivated by years of surviving elements foreign to those of us born so far south. I was allowed to stumble through my attempts at Norwegian, and was always rescued by their perfect grasp of English. There was the feeling that a person walking or eating in solitude was not uncommon, and my space was always respected. Some places I’ve traveled have been less than hospitable to someone speaking with an American accent, but Oslo, Lillehammer, Trondheim, and Hitra were nothing but welcoming and kind.
This statue was one of my favorites, and quintessentially Norwegian in both its design and emotion: I think of those families today who lost their children and loved ones, and I hope their quiet fortitude will be the foundation of their healing.