A Walk With LinnBy Liv Ullmann
Liv Ullmann Linkpage
Linn and I go for a walk in Beverly Hills.
We are the only ones who stroll in these streets.
There is the smell of rain-drenched lawns and flowers. Bushes ripe with all the colors
of the world.
We talk about life- about men and women and children, about griefs and happiness we
know and about strange dreams we have when asleep.
Linn knows much more than I. She has a built-in wisdom that I never knew.
We talk about responsibility, and she tells me that in fact she doesn’t need me:
“You only decide two things for me: that I’m to fetch the newspaper in the morning and
at what time I must go to bed. And you look after me and give me food. That’s all.”
At this moment Linn and I are close. Walking on a street far from home talking about
friends in Norway. About her father and the strawberries that at this very moment perhaps cover the ground on his island.
“What is life, Mamma?” Linn asks. “Is it just people?”
She looks at some tiny insects crawling along the ground by our feet.
I tell her that when I was a child, there were surely more kinds of crawling things, but people destroyed their possibilities for life, in the same way we have destroyed birds and plants and animals.
Creatures she will never see. And we who remember them will not live long enough to keep the memory of them alive.
“The world of flowers and play and dreams and belief which is still yours Linn,” I say, “the one you share with me at this moment----that world you will forget. Even if life itself- what no one can teach you—lives in you now.”
Linn will grow up into a world where one has never seen anything but seas and air that
are impoverished. Where stars I saw, when I was small, can not be seen any longer.
She, who can switch on television when she wants company, who will cram in dates
and grammar, and be surrounded by indigestible information from the society she lives
in—she who is so alive and free today—will slowly be ground in the mill out of which only adults come.
We sit down in a patch of shade from a palm tree and I tell her about an orchid I once heard about. It can live in the heat of Africa or the ice of Greenland. And the strangest thing is, I tell my girl, that it can retain its fertile seed within itself for hundred years. So that the two of us one day might find it and plant it in our garden, and with care bring forth life that had its beginning such a long time ago.
I tell her about a special flower that grows in France and has taken the shape and fragrance desired by a bee that lives only there.
Maybe it is like this because thousands of years’ experience let it know whom to seduce and how. But one can also choose to believe that it was God who gave the flower this gift.
Linn listens with an open mouth. Reality, such as I know it, is suddenly close to the world of fantasy that is hers.
We watch a dog run past, followed by a fat, out-of-breath woman. We sense a thought in a glance it gives us. A bird hops and cocks its head and wonders at two people so quiet here where almost everything else is some kind of bustle.
This is a simple and beautiful read by one of the world's most legendary of artists.
Norwegian extraodinary actress, filmmaker, activist and literary author Liv Ullmann.
This small piece selected from her autobiographic book "Changing" is one of the many instances in the book where you can feel that literary essence which transcends the mere capturing of events. Where the writing becomes more revealing and lyrical.
Liv Ullmann had romance, friendship and a productive working relationship with
the Swedish world-renowned filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. She acted in many of
his best known films such as Persona (1966), Shame (1968), Cries and Whispers (1972), and Autumn Sonata (1978).
Liv and Ingmar maintained an intimate friendship even after their romance ended.
As recent as 2012 a young Indian filmmaker has depicted the relationship
between these two cinema giants in the documentary (Liv and Ingmar).
Liv and Ingmar
Norway, 2012, 75 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Art/Filmmaking, Biographical, Documentary, Romance
DIRECTOR: Dheeraj Akolkar
Producer: Rune H. Trondsen
Editor: Tushar Ghogale
Screenwriter: Dheeraj Akolkar
Cinematographer: Hallvard Braein
Principal Cast: Liv Ullmann