Once upon a time there was a girl in the east of the country. She lived in a long fjord, surrounded by high mountains. The girl could sit for hours, looking up at the mountains or out to the fjord, which most often was calm. From all this gloating, she knew the rocks and the cliffs so well that still today she can envision them by closing her eyes. She knew where giants lived, ogres and fairies, and even if some people said it wasn’t true, it didn’t matter, for this was her world and in it things were like she alone decided they would be.
In the winters when darkness reigned and everyone had left for school, except she, mom and little brother, she lay on the bench in the warm kitchen, wrapped in a duvet. Mom sat on a chair by the stove, read and drank coffee if little brother was quiet. On the old wooden bench, countless stories and fairy tales were created. There was something about this bench that caused the stories to simply appear. Later she discovered they were not isolated to the bench but were around the corner wherever she went and they became her best companions. Sometimes she cried violently over the fait of the characters or she would not be able to fall asleep at night because of the thrilling story that went on in her head. The subject matter varied. From being the death of the blind cat next door to the sea captain who owned an American car and could afford eating canned fruit all year round, when others had them at Christmas at the most. Then came the period of thrilling love stories – and then it passed. Almost none of these stories made it to paper and she told them to no one. They all had one thing in common: Nature brought them to life. The girl always needed to describe high mountains, beautiful clouds, calm fjords or multicoloured flowers. Otherwise the stories did not come alive. She also made sure never to miss the weather news, and still does.
And the years passed by. “You are so odd!” people said. She toughened up, tried to make it appear as if nothing was going on, but enjoyed being in her own world during boring class hours and at work places that were not all as exciting. It wasn’t until much later that it occurred to this girl, who by then was a grown woman, that she might make a living from writing down her thoughts. She thus resigned her teaching job and became a writer. Since then, she has always been at work!
Often she will get wind of people saying that she has been productive and that her oeuvre is big. Then she smiles to herself. People should just see all that which did not get written down, she thinks. And who knows if those were not the best stories!
Kristín Steinsdóttir, 2001.
Translated by Kristín Viðarsdóttir. Back