Natural History no. 13

It's troll time!!

You might ask who cares about trolls these days?
However, trolls are still very much alive in the Scandinavian worldview, and I reckon it applies to many other parts of the world.
In Scandinavia you are taught about trolls from early childhood - as a matter of fact - children grow up with a certain ambiguity about trolls, because on the one hand they are taught about the appearance and lifestyle of trolls etc. and simultaneously on the other hand they are reassuringly told that trolls don't exist in reality.
Luckily kids are generally good at coping with complex statements, so most of them are not traumatized by this ambiguity.

To me trolls represent the blurred borderline between man and nature. However, in today's urban lifestyle "wild" nature has almost vanished and there is no need for a border anymore. Trolls belong to a time when nature seemed mysterious and threatening for man, contrary today where it is more the other way round.

But you can actually do an attempt to approach trolls. Like mystics who are exploring the inner alchemical state of nigredo in absolute darkness, you can do a similar thing: spend a night out ALONE in a deep forest with no artificial light and come back and let me know:
Did you get a glimpse of them??? I am all ears ;-) What if?
Understandably most people don't dare this - it's actually more trembling than you might expect - please check it out for yourself! And many people do not even have the opportunity, because they live too far away from a big forest. We haven't got many big forests left these days.
But one thing is for sure - you can always READ about trolls while you are indulging in a cup of troll tea.
And here is a little tip: If you have danced all night with the most enchanting dance partner and you happen to notice a tail sticking out under your partner's skirt or trousers, then you know for sure that the one you are taken by is a troll. BEWARE! Or should I say CONGRATULATIONS!?
Finally I want to let you know, that trolls can be tamed and trimmed to a certain degree - as long as you do it with love and a twinckle in the eye ;-)
This video-installation by Joss James, Anne Mølleskov and Ingrid Weiss was shown as part of the exhibition Who's that tripping over my Bridge? at Frederiks Bastion, Copenhagen, 2002.