Once, when I was about seven years old, I had asked my mother whether she thought that the idea of me had existed before me, and who could had stored this kind of information and where and how (just to be complete), and she had looked at me with that dreamy look she always gets when she comes up with an idea for a new story. She hadn’t answered me but had rushed over to her desk and started scribbling. You probably know the wacky kids’ book “The What is the Who”. It ‘s still in print. She never answered my question, by the way. Maybe you have to find out some things by yourself.
They never talked to each other of their feelings. After a while it was difficult to say whether they didn’t talk because they didn’t want to deepen the grief in the other, whether they were anxious that even the one person they shared their grief with would not be able to relate to its depth or even feel hurt by it – or whether it was because they were guarding their own grief with a certain possessive jealousy. The spring changed their marriage. It was the first time they did not talk to each other about something that kept their minds occupied. It became more difficult to talk about the daily life as well.
Thus they were quiet in each other’s company. Iris was dedicating herself to creating miniature watercolors, none of them larger than the palm of a woman’s hand, some as small as a postal stamp. She used the finest brushes and worked deliberately slow. She had perched a nature encyclopedia on the kitchen table and truthfully to nature had copied illustrations of small insects and birds, placing them in imaginary and impossible landscapes filled with a soft green light that on better days implied a spring day, on days of more severe depression dark and damp shadows.