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Bēhance

Kökar

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  • My other home
    Kökar, Åland, Finland
  • In the autumn of 2007 my mother was terminally ill in hospital, one of her wishes was that I would contact her cousin, John Wickström who lived as a hermit on an remote island in the middle of the Baltic sea. After my mother passed away in January 2008, I contacted him and we started to write to each other. In the spring he  told me that he had cancer and was not feeling well.

    In August 2008 I spoke to my friend Barbro Björkfelt, a documentary film director and told her about him, suggesting to her that she might make a documentary about him, she was interested so I contacted John
    and spoke to him about it, he agreed..

    After much discussion, we decided to visit him on Kökar, the perfect opportunity for me to visit him for the first time in October 2008. It was a hugely emotional jouney, the experience of meeting him and being on the island
    .

    One moment deeply rooted in my heart and mind was the walk one evening to his house, it was very dark and windy, with a sky full of shining stars. There are no lights along the road and the only thing I could hear was the wind. I was not afraid and felt completely safe.

    Since then I have visited this place every year, sometimes several times during the different seasons. I have been there twice in the winter and seen only 5 people in one week. There are about 300 people living there permanently, with quite a lot of tourists in the summer.

    Since that first visit the island has played a central role in my life, two years ago while staying there my husband left me very suddenly. It was utterly traumatic but finally led to something even better.

    This summer John died, and I had an opportunity to see him just before he passed, the timing was quite miraculous.

    Kökar is my other home, it is a sacred place to me.