Trafika Europe 1 - Northern Idyll
Is your heart still beating? And why?
Life is strange; as far back as he can remember, education had been the promised land that echoed under and over his mother’s letters— his only education until now had been in preparation for his confirmation, and one month of lessons with an itinerant teacher when he was ten or twelve years old. Yet he was able to read and write fluently by the time the sea claimed his father, and he practiced writing whenever he could, scratched letters on ice, on mouldering rafters in the roof of the cowshed, in the snow, at first without constraint, neglected his chores, the rafters barely held up against the weight of the words, and one morning when people came out of the farmhouse it was nearly impossible for them to step into the snow due to the sheer amount of words, the boy hadn’t been able to sleep because of the moonlight, had gone out while it was still night and started to write. Twelve strokes of the switch for three days in a row and no dinner brought him to his senses. He was beaten, not out of malice but necessity, for, in the first place, writing words in the snow or dirt is bad luck, and second, his chores went unattended in the meantime, and how were people supposed to live in this land if they neglected their work? And what would happen to you, who would employ you if word got round that you wrote in the snow instead of worked, you’d soon end up on the parish, you’d be kicked at like a dog, so welcome these twelve strokes, let them teach you, they’re not given out of malice, but necessity, even care. But now he wakes up, does light
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