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about a horse trailer, about kittens and about Jupiter, which

is a very big planet yet is still just a tiny speck of light in the

sky. I also think about rain in China, I’m sure you’re

familiar with it.

Helga bristles when he returns; what’s the meaning of

disappearing like that?, there are things needing doing

here, the boy replies with an indecipherable mutter, so pale

and muddleheaded that Helga says, well then, and sends

him to the café. It’s as if she knows how he feels, as if she

understands his sensitivity. Sensitivity is my truest dream,

says an old poem, a line that shines through time, and it’s

true, the essence of man is sensitivity, we feel it so

desperately in the spring when existence is at the

needlepoint of life and death. The song of the plover, that

poignant sound, reminds us of it and now and then we’re

startled to hear it, it’s why Ólafur sat down up on the

mountainside, in sleet, and wept; he had to weep, he sensed

man’s truest dream while realizing how much distance

there is between his dream and the world that he’s created.

And then it’s evening.

It’s evening, and the weather is bad, those who are able to

be at home are at home, listening to the wind, reading


Will of the People

; Icelanders, it says, appear to have

stepped up and sworn a solemn vow to live beyond their

means, under the control of merchants, and then die in

debt. Merchants rule our days, because we allow them to.

People believe that it’s an unconquerable law.