One morning in December we drove to Kungälv. Arletta had an appointment at the hospital, and we laboriously made our way through the town there. Kungälv is really difficult now, with construction sites, with suspended streets, alternative driving directions and new patterns in lots of places. I lived in Kungälv many years ago and the town has changed a lot.
What I notice is that the old houses in Liljedal are gone. Kungälvbagarn is being transformed into a residential building, and around Gamla Gärdesgatan the small streets have become a maze of single-directioned small alleys, in patterns which you can hardly get out of, if you thought you could drive across the brook over the small bridge towards Komarken.
Östra Gatan, of course, is as it has always been, with old villas and gardens, usually beautiful and well-kept. Västra Gatan has changed its character from shopping street to café street.
Now we were on our way to the hospital for a routine check. Parking there proved to be a challenge. About 500 places with none available. After twenty minutes, one car left the car park, so I didn’t have to sit in my car waiting.
At Kungälv Hospital, my eldest daughter was born almost 47 years ago. The memory remains. Everything is left like pictures in my memory. A funny thing was the deer grazing outside the window of the nursery. The midwife – her name was Iris and she was a friend of my mother-inlaw’s, (who also worked there this night). Iris told us that a prospective dad had recently got so excited about these deer that he had remained standing looking at them, completely forgetful of his wife’s labor.
Since then, the hospital has been rebuilt and it is much larger now than it used to be. I sit in the cafe waiting. The online connection works fine. I can work. Blogging. Reading and finding new blogs by clicking on those who have commented on blogs that I’m reading. A female owl-watcher in England, an autistic guy in California, a writer who publishes his short stories in blog style. The latter is a little bit similar to the way fiction was published in the childhood of the novel in the early 19th century. Charles Dickens was not the only one who started his own newspaper to publish a chapter every week. Most of his novels were produced in that way. Great pressure writing a chapter a week. And then, when the novel was ready, it could be published in book form.
When Arletta comes to the cafe where I sit, she stops, her mouth wide open. ”Don’t you see ?!” she almost cries.
And I, sitting there, blogging, completely out of the blue. ”The Drapery!” That’s all she said. I looked around, dazed, and followed her eyes with mine. And then I saw it. My shopping bag, my late wife’s shopping bag which I inherited after her, and which I keep and use as a fond memory – it has an unusual pattern.
And here I’ve been sitting without seeing. The whole background is like a display of this pattern. This pattern, which is close to my heart, now embraces me. I stare, amazed. The aesthetic experience triggers emotion. For a moment, I’m somewhere else until I hear Arletta’s camera snap. Then we pick up our lunch box that we prepared before driving from Bengtsfors this morning.