The winter on 2012 was going to be spent in Spain. It was my first time taking a leave from snow with a wish for sun, waterfalls and bare feet. The ultimate flight's destiny was Barcelona, but I took a leap through.. Sweden.
I wanted to visit my friend who at that time lived in a countryside near Gotenburg. I remember taking a train from Stockholm, knowing it was going to be such a long trip. The train took me into the evening and then into the night.. People were curiously staring.. I had a big bagpack with many things dangling at its sides and the layers of my colourful clothes must have looked unusual. I was still not sure if I had enough of warm clothes for November in Sweden!
But there was not much snow there yet right untill 24th of December.
Norsesund - a beautiful, forest-bound locality, about 50 km from Gotenburd, driving North-east. With it's own train station and less than 280 inhabitants in 2010, it was said to be a place of artists and my friend showed me to the garden and gallery of his neighbour who used to paint and make sculptures there.
Unfortunately, that man had died only around 2 weeks before my arrival.
So I found myself walking down that road everyday, my feet taking me to the old man's garden and his gigantic painting displayed between the trees.. of people picking mangoes and smiling.. I would stare at the closed door of his gallery/studio, imagining our meeting and how he would let me to use the space to create with him, and how I would bake cookies and bring them to him in the morning, our walks in the first snow, and many other things.
I have gotten myself an invisible friend and he was my local source of inspiration.
I have then still not experienced death in my close range of family and friends, and that man was not even someone I knew, but through my gentle mourning and dreaming about the Grandpa Rosen, the "Lost" Old Man, I saw how death can have a significant and wonderful impact on our creative lives!
During my stay in Norsesund, I was having a lot of time walking, dreaming and photographing. I took up the knitting again after several years of break, I baked heart-shaped Pepparkakor in enormous amounts and did some little paper handcrafts to decorate the house for Christmas. I also borrowed a set of markers for drawing and started a blog to write about my days of travel.. (you can find and read the Norsesund-related post right here wloczkastory.blogspot.com/2012 )
Although I've never gone to the gallery to actually see Rosen's works, it was important for me to feel it was so near.. really, a few hundred metres away! There were other households in the area with an evident artistic vein in them, I could see it through the windows and in their yards.. together, with the Mask Rosen Gellery, they formed a supportive ring around me.. adding courage, zest and a nudge to explore in that new place I've come to live in.