Vague Thoughts of the Well

Two weeks ago I got a concussion.
I hit my head on the kitchen table. I was on the floor playing with Duplo with my three year old daughter and didn’t realize I was half under the table. I was going to stretch out (or stand up I’m not sure which) and *BANG*. They speak of knocking sense into you… but I’m afraid that a knock will only serve to do the opposite.

A while ago my favorite aunt died (favorite frænka).
She was more than 80 years old and a combination of a very modern person at the same time that she was a reminder of and a connection to older times and people gone quite some time ago. As a five year old I decided I wanted to be like her and I told everyone that I wanted to be a nurse. Later I realized that I didn’t actually need to be a nurse to be like her. It was more a matter of learning to think in a certain way. She was open minded and smart and a great poet. And I can’t really believe she’s gone.

So I’ve been having a bit of a Murakami time lately. I’m in that well. It’s a place of thought, reflection and isolation. Isolation of thought (I don’t lack people in my surrounding). I spend my days often sounding like a broken record, “don’t climb that!”, “please don’t throw that”, “please, do as I tell you”.

I’m cherishing the days with my three year old though. The other day I put her beanie on my head and asked her sillily “Am I not pretty?”
She looked at me and shook her head: “No” she said, “It’s too small for you, you are big not pretty”
“So do I get to be beautiful then if I can’t be pretty?” I asked her innocently and she just shook her head, “Mamma you’re not a flower” she said.

Still it’s not always easy. Like the past few weeks. Right after I got over my concussion she caught a cold which makes the evenings shorts…

I’m not complaining though…

because the other day I went outside with her. We took a walk (this was before her cold) and ended up in a nearby park. It was sunny and cold but beautiful and I realized that sooner or later winter has to give into the spring.

This is always a lovely realization.

And today I managed to clean the car while she mucked about in the backyard.

Murakami’s characters always climb out of their wells sooner or later and this winter is about to end. As I was throwing some garbage yesterday I spent a few seconds (less than a minute I think) staring at the stars. It doesn’t take longer time with the stars to get you thinking about the big questions.

I remember a conversation I had with my aunt last time I met her. We were speaking of languages and regretting that some people never learned to think in a different way. Learning a new language teaches you to think differently. It actually teaches you new ways to think.

But there are other ways too – and I’m learning to think differently. Trying to expand my mind instead of shrinking it or shaking it. So instead of banging my head in the kitchen table again I have a new project. When the sun comes out I always start to write new books in my head.

I’m flying with this one and on my way out of the winter well. It’s deep and I need it when it’s dark and cold.  But on to new thoughts, new ways of thinking, new things …

I didn’t get to be a beautiful flower
and when I get to sleep till 8 o’clock
I cheer and call myself a “sjusovare” (those who sleep till late,
and it’s fitting because “sju” means seven.
It’s an old saying.)
And the world isn’t the same without my aunt in it
but I still strive to be like she was
modern, a thinker and not afraid to do new things
(afraid maybe but doing them anyway).

And to help me right now I have a three year old girl who is learning to think for the first time. And I get to be one of the people who teaches her at the same time she teaches me

that I can’t be pretty because I’m big
and I can’t be beautiful because I’m not a flower.

And I have a book to write.
And stars to look at.
And new thoughts to think…

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