A thin line between courage and madness

I’ve injured my foot on the weekend, and spent my entire Saturday at a hospitals waiting room. Luckily I’m okay, although I am limping like a Quasimodo lol. So while I bummed around on a couch, I stumbled upon some videos, which are as visually compelling as they are frightening. They got me thinking about the glamorization of danger in sports and our entertainment-craving culture that defines risk taking as “cool.” It’s not a new phenomenon: back in ancient Rome politicians appeased the crowd through means of panem et circenses – meaning bread and circuses. Gladiatorial games is a good example of that.

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“You never know…” poem by Vsevolod Rozhdestvensky

Poetry, a sidelined art that is like music, emotive and touching, has always been my passion… Maybe because I’m a granddaughter of two poets, and poetry speaks to your very soul. I don’t mind spending my evenings translating poems that have touched my heart. Here is my attempt to translate a poem by a Russian poet, Vsevolod Rozhdestvensky:

You never know what they will think
About the line you hold so dear
And who will kindly smile at it
And who will read it with a sneer

And who will be skimming
Through the book
Not caring about the joys
Or the troubles that it took
To pen these words.

But you, my unknown friend,
Or should I call you a companion?
You, whom I have touched
With my unexpected phrase –
Take a little break
From life’s never-ending race.

For in this very moment
While your heart is racing
And your mind is abuzz –
Fate has connected us.

We are on the same wavelength
On the same spectrum we stand
We share ponderings and secrets
That only you and I can understand.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Не знаешь ты, в ком отзовется
Твоя заветная строка,
Кто ей приветно улыбнется,
Кто только взглянет свысока.

А кто по книге равнодушно
Скользнет, не думая о том,
Как было радостно иль душно
Словам рождаться под пером.

Но ты, неведомый приятель
Иль даже друг — кого порой
Коснусь я кстати иль некстати
Своей нежданною строкой,
Прерви привычных дел теченье,
Пока порыв твой не угас, —
Ведь в это самое мгновенье
Судьба соединила нас.

Мы на конце единой нити,
Мы на одной звучим волне
Для всех раздумий и открытий,
Понятных лишь тебе и мне.

–Всеволод Рождественский

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“Life in the Fast Lane” – Chapter 18

“Sweetie, there’s a call for you!” Susan yelled from the living room.

Did I just hear the word sweetie? “Sweetie” was something out of the ordinary, and something told me that her word choice was influenced by the presence of a male friend, who was paying her a visit.

Frowning with suspicion, I walked into the living room. Susan was sitting on a couch with a glass of red wine in her hand, looking like she was in an upbeat mood. And lo and behold! Was that a hint of a lipstick I could see on her thin lips? I hurried to pick up the phone, before she could notice the look her guest was giving me.

“I’ll call you back,” I murmured to Amy and hung up. I was on my way out of the living room, when Susan stopped me.

“Daria, sweetheart, I can assure you that I’ll run a telephone extension to your room soon, so that you can get some privacy,” she said affably.

I writhed in response to such hypocrisy. Does she really have to lie through her teeth just to impress her friend?

At least school was almost over. Nina told our nerdy gang (that had gathered in the middle of the school hallway) that she met someone during her recent trip to Kiev and that she was planning to move there. I was astounding and impressed by her courage, and ability to accomplish what Kaezar and I couldn’t.

“Who’s the lucky guy?” I asked.

“He’s a son of a priest,” Nina said.

We all exchanged glances. Getting married to a religious fanatic (whom she had known for a week) at the mere age of 19 seemed a little odd.

“By the way,” Nina said, turning towards me. “I was wondering if you would like to take over my cleaning job?”

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The Assault

Digital art by LordHayabusa357 “It gets Harder from Here on Out” http://fav.me/d7bk6mw

I think I might have talked too much about soldiers yesterday, cause I had a weird dream. I dreamt that I was a part of an elite military unit. We were in a city paved with yellow cobblestone, the sort you might find somewhere South, perhaps in Spain or Portugal. The air was dry. The narrow, winding streets were drenched in golden sunlight.

Our unit was dispatched to fulfill some sort of misson – I’m not sure what it was about, but we had to make our way uphill on foot. It was not until we reached the fork in the road that I got an eerie feeling, as if something was off. In that moment, a torrent of water appeared out of nowhere, swept over the area like a shallow, but powerful wave, and washed over the soles of my boots, threatening to knock me to my knees. It was gaining momentum, rising rapidly.

There was a brief moment of panic, when we realized that we were about to be ambushed. I shouted for everyone to fall back, but we knew our orders were to complete the mission by all means. We regrouped, and retreated to a path that ran along a dam-like structure that concealed us. We could see our stay-behind unit through the thick hedges on the other side of the wire fence, but there was no way for us to communicate with them and let them know that that it was us, and not the enemy. And as the water levels kept increasing, we had to make a choice: to stay and die, or to go back and face the bullets from our own.

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Runaway Bride

bride-727004_1920

I had this dream today. I was in this big old villa, because I had to get married. There were all these unfamiliar people and in-laws, who I couldn’t recognize. They took me to a changing room, and gave me a choice of the things I could wear. I tried a few of them, and they were all uncomfortable: there were transparent shirts, and colorful tunics and none of them were “me”, none felt right. Finally, they gave me a beautiful white skirt. It was humongous though, really wide and heavy, with a few meter long train. People were waiting downstairs, but I realized I forgot something, so I went searching for it through the house, getting lost on one of the floors. I could barely squeeze myself through the narrow doorways and I couldn’t find a way out. In a rush, I was getting tangled in my own skirt, thinking, “Oh God, people must be waiting for me!” When I finally came down to the marriage hall (or altar or whatever its called) there were almost no people left. Everyone just went home. And to my embarrassment, I realized that my white skirt was stained all over. Why was I pleasing all these people when they didn’t even care? Why was I wearing what they told me to wear, when I didn’t even want to be there in the first place?

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Recent posts

A thin line between courage and madness

I’ve injured my foot on the weekend, and spent my entire Saturday at a hospitals waiting room. Luckily I’m okay, although I am limping like a Quasimodo lol. So while I bummed around on a couch, I stumbled upon some videos, which are as visually compelling as they are frightening. They got me thinking about […]

“You never know…” poem by Vsevolod Rozhdestvensky

Poetry, a sidelined art that is like music, emotive and touching, has always been my passion… Maybe because I’m a granddaughter of two poets, and poetry speaks to your very soul. I don’t mind spending my evenings translating poems that have touched my heart. Here is my attempt to translate a poem by a Russian […]

“Life in the Fast Lane” – Chapter 18

“Sweetie, there’s a call for you!” Susan yelled from the living room. Did I just hear the word sweetie? “Sweetie” was something out of the ordinary, and something told me that her word choice was influenced by the presence of a male friend, who was paying her a visit. Frowning with suspicion, I walked into […]