“Have your dream, (Satsuki),” Nimit said as if sharing kindly advice. (…) "Cast off mere words. Words turn into stone."
“My Norwegian employer was actually from Lapland,” he said. “You must know, of course, that Lapland is at the northern-most tip of Norway, near the North Pole. (…) In summer there is no night, and in winter no day. He probably came to Thailand because the cold got to be too much for him. (…) But still, to the day he died, he missed the town in Lapland where he was born. He used to tell me about it all the time. And yet, in spite of that, he never once went back to Norway in thirty-three years. Something must have happened there that kept him away. He was another person with a stone inside.”
Nimit lifted his coffee cup and took a sip, then carefully set it in its saucer again without a sound.
“He once told me about polar bears – what solitary animals they are. They mate just once a year. One time in a whole year. There is no such thing as a lasting male-female bond in their world. One male polar bear and one female polar bear meet by sheer chance somewhere in the frozen vastness, and they mate. It doesn’t take long. And once they are finished, the male runs away from the female as if he is frightened to death: he runs from the place where they have mated. He never looks back – literally. The rest of the year he lives in deep solitude. Mutual communication – the touching of two hearts – does not exist for them. So, that is the story of polar bears – or at least it is what my employer told me about them.”
“How very strange”, Satsuki said.
“Yes”, Nimit said, “it is strange.” His face was grave. “I remember asking my employer, ‘Then what do polar bears exist for?’ ‘Yes, exactly.’ he said with a big smile. ‘Then what do we exist for, Nimit?’ “