An extraordinary experience

I have just attended a week-long course in Sweden called ‘Set A New Course’. Here are the words I read out at the show on the last night. The show was amazing and all the sketches were put together in a few hours. I wrote it in English, had it translated by an amazing person (Magdalena Susanne Fäll) who then helped me with the pronunciation. I read it out in both languages. Carina played Swedish folk music on the violin before I spoke; the music was mesmerising. It is important I focus on what I can do, and I guess this was an example of that. By the way, Swedish looks like a very interesting language!!

Mitt Sverige
Den blåa himmelen, de lysande gröna Löven, Regn som nuddar Ladans tak.

Det gula korset mot den blå himmelen, den Svenska flaggan är överallt.

Barnen som har lekt på den åldrade vedhögen.

Trähusen, Kanalen, Lenas Volvo, Wasa krisprig.

Jag är välsignad att få vara med dig på denna plats, visste inte att denna värld existerade. Jag var cyniskt, stängd och kritisk.

Otrolig upplevelse – hur kan Andning vara så kraftfullt?

Vilka vackra ord vilken sång; orden och gitarren från Susanne som från en värld jag inte har levt i förut.

Glädjen med Jack, skrattet, de vänliga orden från Steen, Tove, Magdalena, Johan, Leonora, ja från er alla.

Johan’s styrka att lyfta upp mig.

Jag tackar köket och alla assistenter.

Och jag glömmer aldrig mitt samtal med Maya.

Lena Kristinas inspiration, och Sandy styrka o visdom.

Varmvatten andning – vad tusan är det? Svaret – är oerhört.

Tack Gode Gud att jag fått möjlighet att vara här. Tack till alla.

Den blåa himmelen, flaggan som fladdrar i den ljumma vinden.

Allt är väl.
My Sweden
The blue sky, the bright green leaves, the rain hitting the barn roof.

The yellow cross sits on the sky blue – the Swedish flag is everywhere.

The children who have played on the old, wooden cart.

The wooden houses, the channel, Lena’s Volvo, Wasa crispbread.

I am blessed to be with you, to be in this place. I did not know this world existed. I was cynical, closed, critical.

Amazing experiences – how could breathing be so powerful?

What beautiful words, what singing; the words and guitar of Susanne – as if from a world I have not lived in before.

The fun of Jack, the laughter. The kind words of Tove, Steen, Magdalena, Joan, Leonora: well of everyone.

Johan’s power to lift me.

I thank the kitchen team, the assistants.

I never forget my conversation with Maya.

The inspiration of Lena Kristina, the strength and wisdom of Sandy.

The warm water rebirthing. What on earth is that? The answer is ‘it’s amazing’.

Thank you God for enabling me to be here. Thank you to everyone.

The blue sky, the flag fluttering in the gentle breeze.

All is well.

Andrew Knowlman

I am a 50-year old father of two children, married to Jane. I live in Hertfordshire, UK. I was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in April 2015.

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