Sunday, August 24, 2008

ניפגש באמצע הדרך

Dear Mr. Rossi.

I am Yuval, the author of the novel "I'll Meet you Halfway". It's an honor to be writing a poet whose work has left a mark on my life.

You are asking how I came to know your text and quote it in the book. Here is the story: Years ago, when I first visited Finland as a traveling musician, I fell in love with a Finnish girl. She and I lived in London together for a few months, during which learned to play "If You Love" on the guitar. She even joined me on some of my trips as a musician and we would sing "Jos Rakastat" together to people in Britain, Finland, France, and here in Israel.

A few years ago we met in Helsinki. I am no longer working as a musician but was visiting the city as a journalist. I met her for dinner and found that she now owned a guitar. We sang Jos Rakastat together, as well as other songs we loved.

When I came back to Israel I had an idea: to use this situation of two old lovers meeting ten years after their break up, and write a novel. I overdramatized the story, changed the charecters, added many imaginary scenes and omitted other scenes. I left the scene in which we sang "Jos Rakastat" nearly untouched. It was just so perfectly beautiful as it was.

I also included a few verses in the book, because I felt that the lyrics shed a new light on the story, as if saying: if you are a truly special human being, I will go with you to the beach and draw your likeness in the sand, no matter how long I have to wait for that.

I thank you again for your wonderful work and for the permission you gave to use it. You were credited in the book and I will see to it that you will be in any future translation. We will of course also send you a copy of the book. Se on täyttä hepreaa, but you have a part in it.

All the best,

Yuval Ben-Ami

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