Death is often associated with a dark dressed figure with a scythe in the hand. Where does this image comes from? Is it Christianity’s interpretation of Hades which has been adapted to folklore?

In Berlin in a not too long time (iiik I need to practice), I will perform a program about death. Although it is based on a personal experience, the program will display a more diverse picture of what we so often fear will happen to someone we hold dear.

The cornerstone of the program is the Norse myth about Balder. For those unfamiliar with the myth, it is about, shortly told: Balder is a god who brings beauty in terms of reconciliation into the world, he brings a new knowledge. Balder dreams that he will die and this is something everyone fears. His mother gets everything and everyone to swear that they will not harm Balder and almost everyone swear. The mistletoe is not asked and is thus the plant is the indirect cause of the death of Balder. He dies, leading to the subsequent Ragnarok, the world’s destruction. But ”do not despair”, the world is created anew. Ragnarok, as I interpret it, is something necessary for a new world or new order to arise. In my interpretation ragnarok is also a picture of the enormous sadness that comes over one when one loses ar child. The huge opposing forces are fighting a world to pieces through the furious energy.

Another story I want to include also involves children. Here the death is the only fair one, because it makes no distinction between rich or poor. Therefore, the parents choses death to take care of their, before Jesus or the devil that are alternatives in the story. In the story, death is the one who can teach the life’s secrets, the knowledge that is needed in order to live.

But death can also be interpreted humorous. A tale that recur in several cultures is what happens if death does not come, forgets you or is locked up and deprived of what is in it’s nature to do, it has fatal consequences because life is not supposed to be forever. One lives then as an eternal death, but with feeling the pain. And those who are not yet there, also knows the pain, for when nothing can die they cannot eat because nothing can be harvested or slaughtered.

It is an invaluable force to see how folk tales and myths can interpret life or death for us.