Our last perfect weather day was last Thursday. I took the bus to Lysaker to drop something at Jonathan's office and afterward I took a walk.
The water gulped against the wood and stone side of the pier below me. I was thirty feet up on a flat, grassy space between several buildings, glass and concrete exteriors housing posh condos with an extensive view of the fjord. Four men sat at the end of the pier, fishing poles aloft, tackle swinging and blinking in the sunlight. A small yacht was moored there, too, but all I could see were the long white masts and the smart red and blue flag.
There was quiet except for the scuttled chasings of two yellow-billed magpie. They swirled against each other, so close I could see the teal patches on their wings. They snickered and hopped back into the short hedges nearby. I watched them for a while and then bowed my head to read and scribble in the margins of my book. Everyone once in a while I took a sip of my lemon soda.
These days I favor my lemonades and sodas flavored with citron. It is a flavor I will forever associate with this time in my life - perfect days when the words had all the time in the world to conceive themselves in my mind and come to me.
More than one perfect day has been squandered since my arrival in Norway, of course. My cup runneth over with time and dreams coming true; my cup is so full that some time and dreams have been lost. I cannot mourn them now, though. There is too much to record. I am a journalist as much as I am a poet.
Last night our Norwegian instructor asked about our hobbies.
" Jeg skriver ... poems," I said, because I've been writing poetry again, but I lacked the correct word for poems.
" Dikt ," he said.
" Dikt. Du skriver dikt ," he said, chortling behind his answer. " Liker ikke du det? Hvorfor ikke? " You don't like it? Why not?
" Nei! Jeg liker ikke det! Fordi ... Because that's a terribly ugly word for something as pretty as a poem!"
To soften the blow he added that the Norwegian word for poet is also poet , and the word for poetry is poesi . Now that's more like it.
So I record these bits of language that keep my life so interesting in this Nordic land. I record the weather, the street names, the tragedies, the carnivals. I have a responsibility to the page, and that truth, as esoteric as it is, keeps my pen moving, especially on the perfect days.
I paused in my scribbling last Thursday to watch as a motor boat cut a curve in the water and turned back on its own wake to thump its stern against the waves. My lemonade was pale yellow and only half full. The skinny, triangular Norwegian flag atop the yacht's mast nearby curled and unfurled at turns in the breeze. The sun warmed my back, and I wrote:
This is the stuff of my life, and as long as I can put it down in ink, my heart may be at peace.