A great atlas lies spread all over the table in front of me. A map of the lower and central Norrland, with creamy yellow fields and bright green lines. I study the map with interest, almost aware of its fleeting nature. I look in vain for the name Cat Sand, which I think is either the name of a city or a mountain. Instead, I make a completely different discovery: a few tens of mil east of the Great Lake in Jämtland lies a lake which has remained hitherto unknown to me. It is about the size of the latter, and according to the map it is called Ural.
The map turns into reality in front of me. Now I can look out over Ural from a location at its closest beach, while the lake imperceptibly must shrink; for a black Volvo car is emerging in the growing forest silhouette on the far shore.
Two male persons get out of the car. One has a head which consists of the flame of a candle, the other's head also emits light but is white and round as well, like a snowman's head. Recognizing them as my brother and a friend of his, I wave at them.
Right then I hear a voice from out of nowhere:
The eyes are washed by a new water, from outside, from the air.
The lake between us is gone and I can talk to my brother and his friend who owns the car. By now they have ordinary heads. We are in a forest of tall pines, which are so thinly spread out that they could drive through with their car and park there. Patches of snow lie between the pines which make me think that it's April. They tell me they gather the snow and build pyramids of it around the pine trees. I doubt it, but a look at the nearest pines and I can confirm that it is true: each bole really has a snow pyramid around its foot, about as high, wide and sloping as an ordinary snowball lantern.
I ask them if it is not difficult to build these pyramids.
"No, it's similar to blowing one´s nose," my brother answers unassumingly and looks away.
"Yes," his friend agrees, "or to a dog covering up its excrement."
For some reason or not, my brother takes up his driver´s license and shows it to me. It is a "dual" license: on the same piece of plastic there are two different names with different photos. The first name and photo is my brother´s, but the second photo is just a black box, and beneath this box it is printed:
Robert Frost: The Mending wall.
This is an American poet and a famous poem by him, which I recall having read in an anthology a long time ago, but I do not remember more than the title right now. In my hands the driver´s license is then transformed into a LP record sleeve. A blue pyramid and a blue face against a star-strewn night sky. The band name, or disc title, which I have never seen or heard before,
makes me associate to a quaint blending of cultural styles : New Age and Punk. I contemplate the picture on the cover, especially the head. Could it be, I ponder, that the face of this image in some emblematic fashion is using the rock-crystal-topped pyramid as a wig or a hat? And I think:
"The face is interestingly crafted, since it neither looks entirely male nor female, neither entirely European nor Oriental or African ..."
Then the voice from nowhere is there again. It feels closer this time, as it takes up my train of thought and embroider upon it with kind of enigmatic lyrical stanzas, of which I am only able remember the last two lines:
The judge before his sword
Smiling before the last water
Smiling before the last water