KEYS AND LOCKS
The Swedish artist Sven Ljungberg was, among other things, headmaster for the Academy of Fine Arts, created quite a number of monumental frescoes and mosaics, designed Nobel Prize diplomas, was a friend of several famous authors and illustrated their books. Even he shared much of his time between Stockholm and San Benedetto del Tronto, a small Italian town where he died in 2010, Ljungberg remained loyal to his birthplace – the small boring town of Ljungby, nor so far from where I spent my childhood. All through his life Ljungberg depicted his Ljungby in numerous paintings and woodcuts and he also wrote about it in a variety of autobiographical books, filled with anecdotes and reflections.
Recently I read one of those – Iakttagelser, Observations, written in 1994. Since I also find my roots in a somewhat boring small town and occasionally live in a house outside it, as well as I spend a lot of my time in Italy, I have in Ljungberg's books found some parallels to my own life. While reading Iakttagelser I came across an anecdote that I reproduce in its entirety. It is typical of Ljungberg's storytelling and made me remember a similar key loss of mine:
Social media gives legions of idiots the right to speak when they once only spoke at a bar after a glass of wine, without harming the community … but now they have the dame right to speak as a Nobel Pize winner. It´s the invasion of the idiots.Social media gives legions of idiots the right to speak when they once only spoke at a bar after a glass of wine, without harming the community … but now they have the same right to speak as a Nobel Pize winner. It´s the invasion of the idiots.
There are several scriptural religions, like Christianity which bases its religion on the Bible, Islam on the Qur´an, Judaism on the Torah and Tanakh, Sikhism on Guru Granth Sahib, Mormons on the Book of Mormon, Taosim on Daozang, Hinduism on the Vedas, Bahgadavita and the Upanishads, Buddhism on Tripitaka and the Mahayana Sutras and a plethora of other religions and sects which have found the word of God and absolute truth in a variety of scriptures, which they strongly believe in and which laws and regulations, preferably those which they themselves picked out, everyone else has to follow .
Like a radio telegraphist an exegete has to determine who is the sender and who is the receiver. Who was Matthew? Nobody knows. It was certainly not the one of Jesus's disciples who went by that name, sometimes also called Levi, and who when he was called by Jesus to become one of his disciples worked as tax collector in Capernaum, the small town where Jesus lived after leaving his family home. It is more likely that the author, which was very common at the time when the gospel was written, was a devout Christian who used Saint Matthew's name to give his story greater credibility and power. This is just as common today as it was in those days. It is enough to take a look online to see what Einstein, Gandhi, Kafka or Garcia Marquéz have said and written, although they have actually not said or written all of those wonderful quotes, poems and musings which are imposed upon them.