chores, takes lessons twice a week from Gísli, the most
educated man in the village, the county, even this quarter
of the country, the headmaster himself, has English lessons
twice a week with Hulda, occasionally arithmetic with
Helga, wakes up in the mornings, connects dreams and
reality with poems, reality where he’s encouraged to get an
education, what is distant has come to him, yet he asks,
why am I alive, where is life heading? And then the boy
receives a letter.
Is your heart still beating?
And if so, how?
It’s beating like that of a drowning man, a wingless bird,
how the hell should he answer this? But of course it’s
important to receive a letter, to have a person consider it
worthwhile enough to be willing to sit down and draw up
words and have you in mind the entire time it takes to
write the letter, to receive a letter indicates that you exist,
that you’re closer to being light than darkness. Admittedly,
not all letters are good, and some should perhaps never
have been sent, never have been opened, read, some are full
of hatred, accusations, they’re poison that will deprive you
of all your strength, they bring darkness and
There’s a letter for you, said Andrea, with something of a
sarcastic look. Letter?, he exclaimed in surprise, because