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A writer is someone who spends years patiently trying to discover the second being inside him, and the world that makes him who he is. When I speak of writing, the image that comes first to my mind is not a novel, a poem, or a literary tradition; it is the person who shuts himself up in a room, sits down at a table, and, alone, turns inward. Amid his shadows, he builds a new world with words. This man-or this woman-may use a typewriter, or profit from the ease of a computer, or write with a pen on paper, as I do. As he writes, he may drink tea or coffee, or smoke cigarettes. From time to time, he may rise from his table to look out the window at the children playing in the street, or, if he is lucky, at trees and a view, or even at a black wall. He may write poems, or plays, or novels, as I do. But all these differences arise only after the crucial task is complete-after he has sat down at the table and patiently turned inward. To write is to transform that inward gaze into words, to study the worlds into which we pass when we retire into ourselves, and to do so with patience, obstinacy, and joy.
What I Did On My Holiday
We were collected in Stockholm and whisked through the city in a few minutes, taken south about 60 kilometres down to an estate on Fållnåsviken near Landsorts Fyr by our friends and hosts, Annie and Håkan. The place is unbelievable, populated, apart from the hospitable humans, by two Icelandic ponies and a foal and a tiny Shetland pony, also with a foal. We watched them being fed in the forest last night, with the piggy eyes and tortuous breathing of wild boar glinting and grunting in the shadows of the trees.
When the ponies had eaten their fill we listened to some unidentified beast bellowing at the archipelago in the night. We don’t discover what the noise is about and can only guess at the desires and fantasies that prompt such outrageous vocals.
Today we swam in the sea and later Annie and Håkan took us on a boat trip around the islands, the water smooth as a mirror.
We have another day and night here yet, before going on to see more of Stockholm.