nili_bracha (nili_bracha) wrote,


забыла прекрасное. обсуждали с М женщиной постулат, что носитель русскоязычной культуры, вместо походов к аналитику, пишет книги
м - судя по твоим объемам, у тебя масса нерешенных проблем
я (бодро) - и это только те, что остались после анализа!
м (наставительно) - но у Достоевского, все равно, было больше
сугубо горда, а заодо и представила себе ФМД у аналитика. оччень органично!

еще написала англоязычный кусок)

There is always a certain tranquility in the place of rest, however old and misused it might be.
In a few scattered places the Eastern European landscape, usually bleak and flat, suddenly opens up to the vistas, not unlike those you might encounter somewhere in the midst of rural Tuscany. I remember one of those rare experiences of absolute perfection, the moment in life that you would want to recall again, and again.
It was a tiny, former Jewish cemetery, perched on the edge of the hill, above a not-so-wide river, with a few pieces of ice still floating around. You see, it was the spring of Botticelli and all the rest of them, the spring of the milky, soft blue sky, spring of dried leaves from last fall, and the few springs of the fresh, emerald grass. Here and there lied the grey gravestones, the wall of the cemetery, of peeling white stucco, was shining in the
low light of an already warm sun. I sat outside, on the old bench, looking at the village birds, above the river. There were no bridges or cars, no noise, except the birdcalls, high above, in the great expanse of the sky. People behind me, under the gravestones, lived and died in that village, two or three centuries ago. There were at rest now, and so was I.
Today nothing similar is happening. First, it is a hot and humid summer day, on the dirt road, that leads to the skeleton of the abandoned village. I see the remains of stone foundations, the unusually thick mass of raspberry bushes, the sunflower heads, above the unkempt, wild grass.
The mosquitoes are buzzing all around me. The day is so hot, that even the short rain did not succeed in making it the least bit tolerable. My feet hurt. I have just made a couple of miles on that road, among the wheat field, with few poppy flowers, on the side. Life, as usual, beats literature. In the book, the poppies that blossom on the way to the place of mass murder would have been too much. Here they are, right beside me.
Archeologists seldom use maps, but I am not an archeologist. Well, not only. As we sometimes say, I am the grave whisperer. I cannot bring exterminated people to life; I cannot hunt and punish their murderers. Everyone is dead. The village is empty, and will always remain so. The war has ended.
No, in my bag, it is not.
I use the officer bag of my grandfather, made from thick, dark brown pigskin. His last day of war happened in China, but the last piece of army map in this bag was one of central Berlin. Grandfather made a note, on the edge, which no one can read now, outside the lab. I know what he had written there, he told me, a girl of six: “No one is forgotten and nothing will ever vanish”.
Nothing, indeed.
According to the large-scale military map, issued in spring of 1944, I am getting closer to the place, where a certain rifle company of a Soviet army, guided by locals, have discovered a mass grave of murdered Jews. Before the war, victims have lived in the bigger settlement, nearby.
I am staying in the hotel there, for the lack of better word. My job has just started and settlement will be one of the parts, but that can wait.
Now I see it.
Beyond the few remains of the houses, there is a wasteland, full of decaying, rusty pieces of agricultural machines. The sun is getting truly unbearable; the bugs are trailing behind me. I stand on the edge of the road, not moving, not consulting a map.
This is what I do. I bring the names back to life, every single one of them. There is no memorial, no sign in front of me. Just the high grass and the sound of the car, passing behind.
Time to go. My lips move, I step forward, in the summer of 1942.
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