Back to the motherland, to the mother tongue, but mother lives in Norway, she is Norwegian. Then back to the fatherland, to fathers street: a hundred meters west, fifty meters north and twenty-five meters west from the hospital. Uncle, my father's older brother, lives at the end of the cul-de-sac. Located in one of the buildings between my father and uncle is a health clinic for young women in need. My father built, owns and leases it to the hospital. He says it’s nice the building is being used for a good purpose; it’s also a good income.
Two houses down from the clinic is another townhouse he used to own together with my uncle several years ago. The facade of the house is a large cage of cold steel bars, meant to keep people out. On the patio mirroring the street, on the inside of the enclosure, there used to be another cage of thinner steel wires. These wires didn't keep people out, but the birds inside. At most they had many hundreds of birds in the cobwebs of steel. Birds in all possible colours, sizes and shapes. It's a bit like the horses and dogs, the number of wives and children, years lived and accumulated experience, because father is a collector of everything life has to offer.
One day my father and uncle opened the doors to the cage, they had decided to set the birds free. Perhaps my father had taken inspiration from a picture my mother had given him. It was a postcard-like photograph, in a black frame with a supporting foot on the backside, and the picture was of a bird, against a saturated and idyllic blue sky. In the middle of the picture, with a silver pen, there was a quote from Gibran: "If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. If they don't, they never were." My mother went back to the motherland, to her mother, my mother's mother.