As I walked those eerie steps to look into her cabin, I had no idea what I’d see. Her door was fully open and she stood inside. In the back of the single room, that large round window you see in the painting above looked out at the field behind. One wall held a hundreds of books, and back by the window was a heavily padded chair. Freya probably used it as a bed and an all-purpose chair. The lone chair, nowhere else for anyone to sit.
Careful not to step into the room, I remember the advice of my dad: When alone with a woman who is older, do not enter her room. Not sure if he had a bad experience with that, but before this time I had no opportunity to take that advice. I never found myself alone with a female of any age.
The room smelled of incense, which I could see wafting toward the ceiling, and sweat. Not sure why I smelled that. My belief at age 12 was that women didn’t sweat. That distinct combination surprised me.
The painting that I’m showing above hung on a wall across from her books, and a easel with canvas and oil paints lay nearby. She told me she painted that picture of herself when she was in her 30s, a self sleeping portrait, and since then has painted beautiful works of art that I could see on the ceiling and in other places. She’d even get paintings to Amery, in the middle of the night, and leave them for people to discover and claim. Freya said, without bragging, that about 50 homes in Amery had her painting on their walls.
The current painting, in its early stages, looked like a young boy with a confused look. He wore some of the same clothes I wore. What a coincidence.
More about her next time, but the most haunting and beautiful part of this woman and this story is her singing like an angel. From my house a half mile away my family and I heard her every night and every morning, a chant or an aria exactly at sunrise and sunset. On clear, calm days, morning and evening, the one minute soprano solo stopped people in whatever they were doing. It was never the same melody.