In a land in our time there lived a man, who read a book and found lots of wonderful stories therein. There were true and invented stories, experienced and pensive, enjoyable and painful stories. There were stories which contained stories, and such which were actually not stories. For every story he read, there occurred to him nearly five which he had either experienced or thought up himself. So the thought came to him, that a lot in the world was a story which could be healing for himself and others; he only needed to absorb the healing stories well and to forget the terrible ones immediately. Then he would learn which story he had used when and for what. So he organised his own stories which he knew, and which had become a help to himself and others, or could become so. Sometimes he noted it down when a new story came to his ears and sometimes when a helpful story occurred to him, he memorised it.
Then he saw before him in a picture the storystories of this life arranged in long shelves, as in a large pharmacy. And behind the counter there sat a man who had learnt to listen to himself and others. He was a master of his subjectspecialty. His talent was that he understood how to tell the right thing at the right time to himself and to those who visited him.
Mr Gundolf said: “I have begun a partnership. But now I have met a woman whom I like even better than my girlfriend.” I answered: “I bought a house and moved in. A few weeks later, I saw a house which was even more beautiful than the one in which I now live. I stayed put.”
Our ferry left from Copenhagen. It sailed homewards in the direction of Germany. I stood at the railing on the upper deck. At the quay stood a pretty, delicate young woman. She waved at me. I am sure she meant me. Did I know her? No. She was a stranger to me. But the young woman’s gesture touched me. “Wait!” I wanted to say “stop the ship!” It became clear to me a ship such as this is very heavy. Even the helmsman couldn’t bring a ship of this size to a halt in seconds. I waved back, and the ship sailed on.