Here in Sweden I have been put to a battery of mental hogwash unprecedented for me. Not only have I internalized angst as part of internal dish washing but also battle certain narratives that run through my ens. I tell you, you cannot underestimate the power of another culture. Though am still strong in my ens and basically still use my xicano ens as a daily means to fend off the encroaching milieu it is hard to ignore it.
Mental hygiene is what best can be called the series of thoughts I go through in order to just feel normal and well. What caught me completely off guard the past years was angst. I never suffered angst. But here the climate is fertile ground for it. There is no sun and I blame angst on lack of sun. Mind you I have no proof of it but since I am from Calido Forno their differences are quite palpable between the two places, Sweden and Califas proper. The amount of sadness that surrounds my environment is tectonic. I remember hearing an audio cassette by a Spanish writer from the better last years of the xx century last year. His name is Pedro Antonio de Alarcón. And the one short story that keeps rolling over my head is El Año en Spitzberg. In the short tale he recounts the adventures of a man held captive in the archipelago of Svalbard. He is sent there by the Russian authorities for committing a crime of passion. What most impacted me though was the process of solitude that slowly took over the man’s mental health. I felt every word as my very own.
But what gets me is the mental hogwash. I dwell on for days on minor stuff that just doesn’t make any sense at all. Regurgitation that takes a hold of a narrative on my head and it just takes for ever to realize that nothing is wrong and everything is ok. I don’t understand this part of the Swedish culture and even more so since I internalized this ångst feature in me. But I can tell you one thing, its not making a home in me.