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Björn Wiman: To ensure both the Notre-Dame cathedral and our civilisation's future – at the same time

On maundy Thursday, we took leave of a light man's soul in a Mälardalskyrka. There is, perhaps, not so much as connecting the vastness of the arches of Notre-Dame with the little tegelkyrkan in Taxinge, but the sense of human commonality that exists in a sanctuary, in sorrow and in joy, is the same.

It was the author and journalist Anders Ehnmark buried, a few kilometres from the home in Edetorp. From there, he declared almost every year, the arrival of spring in Expressen, when the cranes landed in the field with the heart-rending screams and råbockarna chuckled from inside the forest. The cranes came with the light in his beak, in connection with the vårfrudagen; I remember Ehnmark some point quietly pointed out that ”våffeldagens” link to vårfrudagen was about to call the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris for the ”våffelkyrkan”.

rooted in a holistic approach to the human civilization. I would think that he understood what the presenter Kenneth Clarke meant when he in the classic BBC series ”Civilization,” from the 1960s, looked out over the vastness of the cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the heart of Paris and asked the question: ”What is civilization?” He himself gave the answer: ”I don't know what it is, but I think I recognize it when I see it. And I look at it now.”

Probably it was this intuitive understanding that hit many of us that followed the great fire in Paris on Monday evening. A sudden onset of pain over something that we had taken for granted was about to disappear in just a few hours and over that a great beauty can be so vulnerable. The brink of the bells seemed to call for a whole era in Europe – and with it much of what we experience as our civilization. Perhaps it was that we saw a sped-up glimpse of the future.

Swedish klimataktivisten Greta Thunberg in the EU parliament and delivered a speech. She used the cathedral as a beautiful metaphor for our society is built, but when she told me about the sixth mass extinction of life on earth, where deforestation and air pollution, if insektsdöden and havsförsurningen, then burst it for her – this brave, amazing young man who has created a global movement around the knowledge that our civilization is in serious danger if we do not within ten years has halved the emissions of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It was as if the völuspá in the Notre-Dame was too much also for her.

A church can be built up again, while the Great barrier reef or the arctic sea ice in the Arctic cannot be reproduced in transparent times.

It was one of civilization's main emblem, which got a scar in Paris – but the cathedral was still with the structure intact. The same will also apply to the foundations of our existence in the future? A church can be built up again, while the Great barrier reef or the arctic sea ice in the Arctic cannot be reproduced in transparent times. Also, the ecological disaster will mean to humanity's common history has become blurred. ”Do you know what else burns?” wrote the american writer Roy Scranton during the fire on Monday. ”Our whole fucking planet is burning.”

the permeates the film, the ”First reformed” from last year, which can be described as a meeting between Ingmar Bergman's ”winter light” and Martin Scorsese's ”Taxi driver”, to which director Paul Schrader wrote the script in the 1970s. In the ”First reformed” the main character is a priest, who goes into an existential darkness when he comes to the realization klimatkrisens seriously. And just like the main character in ”Taxi driver”, he decides to take matters into their own hands.

”First reformed” is a film that eats into under the skin, not at least during the easter sudden changes between dark and light. It shows that there känslospektrum that many of us experienced when the great church was burned – anger, sadness, despair, and hope – are feelings that can exist together. Not in chronological order, but at the same time, in parallel with each other.

In one scene, the protagonist with a prästkollega, which is accusing him in order to escape from the world to ”the garden” – the place where the Jesus during the night of good Friday draws itself back to await death's arrival. But Jesus, says his colleague, did the work of God also by moving among the people in the temple and on the marketplace: ”You, on the other hand, is always in the garden. For you is every hour the darkest hour.”

Anders Ehnmarks world was every hour, rather than the brightest. He was happy with vedhuggningen in the garden but loved the idea of the square, where the people would assemble ”in a golden light of maturity and the Mediterranean”. But the man was never separate from civilization's other co-creator: from the roe deer, murklorna and the cranes.

he wrote about the nettles, which always appeared in the spring of outbuildings and gödselstackar. The nettles, reminded Ehnmark, was förfallets plant but could be used for much: the fabric, medicine, and soup. Caesar whipped his soldiers with them, that they would get up in the turns.

A year had the nettles come two months earlier than they used to. But Anders Ehnmark took them as normal, cut, cooked and seasoned according to the recipe in Apicius, a roman cookbook from the time of the birth of Christ.

A secular rite, I think it was, one of those that causes the world to go on.

Read more by Björn Wimans chronicles of the climate crisis – and about the book ”Late on earth. 33 thoughts on the world's biggest news”.

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