A Midsummer’s Dream

6 March 2019

There is an endless expanse of things we dream of at night. Magical beings or awkward encounters - it’s a way for us to process our experiences. Imagine the physical and mysterious way of globes moving in cluster or circling gloomy orbits. They might be light years away, but taking their sweet sweet time to complete an orbit. Their dimensions rotate while we’re fast asleep. However, when stars are blind and distracted by light - the universe decides the waking hours. Ultimately midsummer will unfold. Photographer Kari Jaroszynska captures Elias Edlund at MP Stockholm in the most precious season of the year.

What to do when light deems stronger than darkness? When days are long and nights are short, we’ve somehow been granted an extra chunk of time. Restless nights caused by light intrusions through securely enclosed curtains. Everything is lit and sleep is no longer plausible. The midnight sun commands its throne on the sky, blocking the moon from performing its duty. Sweden is now bursting with endorphins. Salty bits of ocean spray onto naked skin - the sun transforms this cool, wet liquid into steamy vapour. This is where we might find Elias.

Gliding into the waves of the blue element - separated with elongated breaststrokes. Elias is weightless in the still surface. Time moves slowly when the sun wanders across the sky. It’s not rushing, neither is Elias. He rises early and reunites late with his white cotton pillow. This is the season, because for all he knows the rest of year might be covered in darkness. The only darkness of interest, perhaps the mystery blues of the deep ocean. Not too warm, not too cool. The moonlight delaying it's kiss of the ground. That’s the Swedish summer dream.

Who is Elias?
An easy going person, I don't stress too much. I always try to only do things I really like doing. Maybe a bit naïve in a way - I always think everything is going to work out. So far, everything has been working out just fine. I believe in doing what you think is the most fun and rewarding in the moment.
What are you passionate about?
Right now I'm passionate about health and wellbeing. I watch way too many documentaries on Netflix and listen to a hundred different podcasts about diet and various forms of workouts. I'm in the middle of training to do a marathon. So right now I'm very much involved with training to succeed at that.
What does a normal day look like for you?
I normally do just what I like in the first half of the day, workout in some way and then eat something good, but at the same time kind of healthy. During the summer times I spend a lot of time with friends and family in the afternoons, because that is when I think the Swedish summer is at its best. The summer is short in Sweden and you want to take advantage of that as much as you can.
What is your favourite season?
Summer for sure, in Sweden it's the only good season. All the other seasons are so cold and grey. I do always try to stay in Sweden over the summer, but go away during the darker months if possible. I need the sun to feel good.
Describe the perfect Swedish summer day.
Long, if you do the Swedish summer in the right way you never have to see darkness. You can wake up early and go to bed late. and it's light and kind of warm all day. The perfect summer day for me is just a slow day. Just some swimming and a bit of running or some fun outside type workout. Or just hanging by the lake or a pool in the sun all day playing football.
How was it like growing up in Linköping?
I grew up a bit outside of the city in the suburbs right by a lake, so I have always been free with very few restrictions or rules. My friends and I could run around doing whatever we wanted really.
What is your favourite childhood memory from your hometown?
For sure all the late games of football we played during the summers. Almost every young Swedish boy likes football, so it was always someone to play with. It's not one individual night I remember, it's a collection of all the late nights I've spent playing with friends.
When and where do you feel utterly contempt?
When travelling I feel really good, I get the feeling that I'm doing something with my life and not just sitting around wasting time.I wouldn't say I have that one place I love more than any other place. I think I'm the most happy when I get to move around and see more places and experience those for shorter periods of time, and then move on. I like to have a base with friends and family in one place, but it's not necessarily where I want to spend my time.
What is your secret spot where you go to escape?
I like to just run the trails in the forest - close to where my parents live. It's very quiet and you almost never see any other people in there. It's a good place to think about things.
Do you consider yourself an emotional person?
I do not, I think I'm kind of calm and try to stay like that most of the time. In general, I don't get angry or sad too often, I'm always trying to keep collected.
You don’t cry?
I don't normally feel like crying, but lately we've had a couple of occasions that have been extra emotional for my family. And that's both been in a sad and happy way. The last couple of weeks we have had both funerals and a wedding, and that's when I’m the closest to getting a bit more emotional.
How would you describe young Swedish men compared to other nationalities?
Compared to other nationalities I think young Swedish men are very calm and collected. It's probably because of the safety and openness in Sweden, but in a lot of cases I feel like Swedes can be a bit more open minded. Maybe Swedish guys are just softer, or maybe a bit nicer.
What do you think classifies as a typical Swedish summer fling?
I think it's exactly like in every other place in the world, at least I haven't noticed any difference where I am. Just an easy not too dramatic thing unfolding over a summer.
Do you have a dream?
That's a hard question. I haven't really had a big dream since I was younger. I have some goals that I'm working towards, but it's not really dreams. It's more like things I think I need to do to feel better and become happier. And those are always more sort of short time goals that are achievable in a couple of weeks or months.

Interviw by Kari Jaroszynska.
Words by Berit Warta.

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