semester (2)



Apparently, it’s called Solutus in Latin – to be free. It’s that time now, vacation time. Next week I plan to take a vacation and go on a trip to Oslo, Norway. Then we’ll see what happens. You shouldn’t plan too much. One’s entire existence is sometimes planned and chopped up into a multitude of musts and mandatory tasks. It seems silly to similarly plan and chop up even the holiday into a multitude of things to do. It is better to wake up, put on the coffee, listen to the birds and see what you want to do today. Maybe nothing.

The Smurf in the photo seems to know exactly what to do when you are free. By the way, it was my favourite Smurf when I was little. And it’s probably still my favourite Smurf. It has kind of followed me through life. It may be that you need to have a resting Smurf by your side, in good times and bad.

On my vacation, I will probably paint, draw and write. I usually can’t help it. But I can do it without aim and purpose. Just like Smurf, I can close the book with Swedish writing rules and simply ignore sentence construction and sentence theory. On holiday you can write however you want!

Sometimes I have a larger reading project ahead of me when I go on vacation. One year I read The Brothers Karamazov during a few summer weeks in Småland. But this year I don’t have a big reading project. Right now I’m reading The Immigrants by Vilhelm Moberg and an autobiography by the same. Alongside Moberg, I read, among other things, the incredibly interesting The Secret Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben. I also plan to start reading The Birds by Tarjei Vesaas, a book a good friend recommended to me. Maybe I do have a big reading project ahead of me anyway…

Anyway, the important thing is to not have any must-haves when you are on holiday. If the books lie unread, it is not a disaster. There will be no deductions from the salary. If I don’t write a single line and don’t paint a single watercolour, it’s still ok. Like my favourite Smurf, lying with your hands behind your head in the shade of a tree and doing nothing is also fine.

Mattias is an author and illustrator

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