Saturday 2nd July
On the way to Malmö, we take off at Varberg to have lunch. The choice of the restaurant quickly falls on Gästis vid Brunnsparken. After enjoying hake with fresh potatoes and a cup of coffee, it’s time to move on. But you don’t visit Gästis without a look at the bookshelves. It is included in the visit to take a book with you. This time we are in a bit of a hurry, which is why I don’t have time to botanize among the shelves. I decide to let the book title decide. The eye is soon fixed on A Conversation with a nut-wake. Done! I put the book in my back pocket while we walk towards the car.
Sunday 3rd July
Once in Malmö, I take a look at the thumbed and coffee-stained paperback by Björn von Rosen. It is, just as the title indicates, about the relationship with a small nutcracker. For those who are not well versed in our small bird fauna, the nightingale is a small white and grey bird with neat, black lines along the sides of the head. It is often seen crawling around on tree trunks, as it is the only bird that can crawl unhindered even down a tree trunk. The woodpecker and the tree crawler can only move upwards and sideways.
I think you can write a book about anything! You can write a book about getting to know a nutcracker, for example. However, it is not my task to write that particular book, because Björn von Rosen has already done that. And I don’t think the subject bears repeating. But I’m starting to feel like writing again! I don’t know what to write about, but if the desire is there, I think the subject is secondary. You can write about anything, Björn von Rosen has shown me that if nothing else.
Monday 4th July
I’m painting off von Rosen’s book about Christmas Eve in the sunlight. There is something special about drawing from older books. It’s like drawing a portrait – it’s this particular book that I want to depict. It should look just as read on the drawing as it does in reality. It should be seen that the book has been included – it is more than one thing. It is a thing that for some time walked together with a human being. They have shared something.
I draw the coffee stains on the cover, as well as the slight bend on the front. Remains and traces of a friendship between a book and a reader. Books must be used. I dislike books as ornaments, but I am happy to find written notes in them. And coffee stains testify to a good time.
Tuesday 5th July
At a flea market, I find an old paperback edition 1952 of Vilhelm Moberg’s The Immigrants. I buy it for nine Swedish crowns, mostly to paint off. The book is worn and well-read and it is mainly its appearance that appeals to me – as an object of study. I don’t know what Moberg would have thought of it, but I think that I will now also take the opportunity to read it. And he should be happy with that.
Mattias is an author and illustrator