When I was a kid I had this recurring dream that I was in my Grandparent’s kitchen, and there were these yellow swirled breads on a dish. I saw my little hand grab one. Although I was a child, I knew in my dream I was even younger, these layers are never to be underestimated. I remember not liking the raisins on the bread and I spit them out. I held these two nasty little half-chewed raisins in my little hand. Looking at them. I looked up and saw a double-cross on the wall. That was it, or that was all I could remember. My Grandma had a necklace like that cross, so I chalked it up to that being about her jewelry.
When I was about 13, I found this incense company I loved. Mostly because the logo to this specific scent in the line was a stag depiction of Cernunnos. The design was more animal than godhead. I liked how his horns curled into a puffy swirl. I liked how there were swirls around the entire design. It hit me that it reminded me of that yellow bread with the raisins from my dream.
If you look through all of my sketchpads from my youth, you’ll see nothing but these swirls and swirl patterns of this dream bread. Swirly flowers, swirly trees, all the way to swirly people. I even have a painting of swirly people standing in the sea, steps away from a shoreline, with rosins raining down on them. Swirling shrimp swimming in swirls around their ankles.
Fast forward to a few years ago. I drew up this necklace, and there it sat ‘morgued’ as I call it, in my design cabinet. I didn’t think it was going anywhere. I cannot tell you how many shelves I have of morgues designs that exist for me and me alone. It lay in its bin, waiting to be brought to life or buried forever in the whirlwind of my own mind.
About last year my friend Mia started sending me recipes for some traditional Scandinavian breads that I was wanting because I wanted to change the ingredients a bit and make them at home. One of the recipes was for Lussekatter (Swedish Saffron Bread aka buns) One of them looked like that shape from my dream and the shape from the incense package. At this point, I realized that it may not have been a dream, may have been real. Who knows? Not too far fetched, me at age 4, hopping up on a counter to snatch some bread. Sound like me!
I went out to learn more about the shapes of the bread because it was driving me batty. Mia sent a cool video by an artist on IG named Saga-Mariah Sandberg. She had a video in her storyline about the shapes of the bread. An amazing storyline indeed! Some say they are supposed to be curled up cats. Some say they protect the body from evil. Ah, that symbolic language has me. As I read more and more about the shapes and their meaning I was just floored. These swirls could stretch out far back into time, loop up the past then curl back up, bringing now and then to a meet. Seeing what it was that I was not remembering and reviving it into consciousness. The Lussekatter is only for a specific holiday each year, but with my Lusse Necklace, I can find those protective swirls when I need them. How those swirls got me. Twisted up all these years over some bread. Really, it was more than bread. It was my family telling me things that memory had failed to hold tight. Those swirls stretched out and curled back up bring them back to me.