Såhär blev det.
Object of memory - the yellow armchairs in Sunnemo.
I guess you can say that we furnish our lives with objects and memories. We are all bag ladies that drag along things important to us, both actual items and memories of feelings, sounds, textures, smiles we seen, people we meet and places we have sat. In a film, Songs From The Second Floor a character says “blessed be the one who sits down.” I think he’s right. I also think my grandfather would have liked that idea.
When I was a child my family would spend a week or two of every summer at my grandparent’s summer house. There are many memorable things in the house but I especially remember two armchairs. The furniture in the house was all a bit of a mix but a lot came from the 60’s like these chairs. They have a wooden frame with a seat of coarse fabric. But my grandmother placed yellow cushions upon them which made them loose a bit of the designer feel to them. Then there are leather straps as arm rest. I used to wiggle the leather straps from side to side. It makes a particular noise and softens up the leather. The chairs are also low and comfortable which makes it furniture you spend a long time in. I remember my grandfather spending a lot of time in them. Their place is in the living room but in the summers the doors were always open so we kept running in and out of the house and taking the chairs with us. In the mornings the yellow armchairs where at the porch on the side of the house that faced the forest but as the evening came along everyone wanted to see the view of the lake from the other side so then the chairs was moved yet again. Everyone loved the view. My grandfather loved the view. He sat there, quiet and watched the light of the early summer night change over the valley and listened to the grandchildren running along. Then a few hours later you could hear the squeak from the chair as he rose up to go to bed.
I didn’t know my grandfather very well; he was already starting to get ill when I was very little. He was the quiet one and I was slightly scared of him as a child. My grandmother did the talking. But I do remember a game we had, me and him. I have no idea if this happened many times or just once. But as he sat in one of the armchairs in the morning I would crawl up in his lap and hit his big belly with my tiny little fists. He wouldn’t move a muscle, almost ignoring me. But suddenly he would grab me by the arms and hold me still. The surprise always made me shriek with laughter and I could feel how strong he still was.
I am yet again not sure but as me, my father and uncle sat talking about my grandfather at the same spot years later, a year after he died, we might have sat in the same yellow chairs. It was a summer’s night again and we sat up late and talked for hours. It would have been natural that we used them but it might as well been as normal if we just let them stand there, empty in the living room.