Sweden. Day 33. The sad end of all things.
Everything comes to an end.
The broken washing machine has now found its final resting place in a junkyard, about 800 meters away from the house, together with several of its brothers and sisters. I saw it lying there the other day, covered by snow, lit by the sun, like a memorial to all broken things.
A friend of mine says I am clumsy, but this is an absurd accusation. In over a month living here, I managed to accidentally break only that washing machine, which was very old anyway and would break sooner or later, and a cheap plastic decorative lamp that can be found at IKEA a dime a dozen. It’s unfortunate, for sure, but at least I did not break any expensive crystals or furniture. But then again, how long even those things can last? Sooner or later, all things break, be it the work of clumsy people or just the work of Time, the clumsiest of all forces.
Everything ends. And my period here in Björkö is ending very soon too. Sunday will be the presentation of my final project, which will include the exhibition of my short documentary “Three Questions About Sweden” and a reading of my (sort of) play “Landstigning” (or Ashore). I am not sure if there will be anyone there to watch it. There are not many people at Björkö this time of the year, there was hardly any promotion, and even my new friends, the nice elderly couple who live nearby, will not be here during this weekend as they have gone back to Stockholm. Perhaps there will be more people on the stage than in the audience, and it’s only three people on stage.
Is it the rain that is turning me melancholy, or is it the end of my period here?
Snow, sun, rain. The weather seems to follow a curious pattern in winter here, changing brusquely from one day to the next. Yesterday it was a beautiful sunny day. Today instead it was foggy and rainy. I prefer snow, but rain was what was on the menu.
I went to Stockholm today with a couple of other artists to watch a performance, but since the idea was to go and return the same day, there was no much time to do much else. In the end, there was also no one except us to watch the performance, as it was done outside in a parking lot during this grey, rainy day.
(Luckily, tomorrow it seems the sun comes again; the day after, perhaps the snow.)
Other than that, I visited only to the Nordic Museum, which is housed in a very elegant 19th century-style building (its construction took 19 years and it was only finished in 1907), but I do not know much about the content of its exhibitions — we stayed only in the foyer and then in the cafe. One interesting exhibition they have down there, though, is a life-sized apartment complete with room, living room and kitchen, decorated as a typical Swedish apartment in the 1940s. I could live there; I wonder if they would let me live there for free if I pretended to be part of the exhibition, dressed in 1940s clothes and reading 1940s newspapers?
Besides drinking several coffees, as refills are usually free, I ended up adding two more interviews to my documentary, with beautiful and elegant people from Stockholm, so it was not all time lost.
Do all things end? Well, at least our souls are immortal, or so guarantee those who know about such things. August Strindberg, in his “Blue Book”, has the following dialogue related to that:
“If the soul is immortal, how is it that there are men who regard their souls as mortal, and speak of the present life as their only one?”
“Their feelings may be perverted, like a man’s who believes he has a snake in his stomach. Perhaps they have committed soul-suicide. Perhaps they think the doctrine of immortality foolish, or their souls are really so rudimentary that they can be buried and dissolved. If that is the case, one cannot argue with them, for they are right as regards themselves.”
And that ends it for today.