Saturday, June 6, 2009

Memere's Birthday

Hi folks!

My Nana's funeral was the other day, and my Memere's birthday was yesterday, and Pushkin's birthday is also today. And my birthday is in 4 days. Wow....the cycle goes on.

Anyway, Pushkin was the greatest poet and storyteller in the 1800s in Russia, and died in 1837. All Russians love Pushkin. He was not political, not too religious, but he spoke to the soul of the great Russian people.

The following is a poem by the great Pushkin that maybe works with the current things happening in the hearts of the family after Nana's death.


I saw the Death, and she was sitting
By quiet entrance at my own home,
I saw the doors were opened to my tomb,
And there, and there my hope was a-flitting.
I'll die, and traces of my past
In days of future will never be sighted,
The look of my eyes never delighted.
My dear gaze, is my existence at last.

Farewell the somber world, where, precipice above,
My gloomy road was a-steering.
Where life for me was never cheering.
Where I was loving, without needing to love.
The dazzling heavens' azure curtain,
Beloved hills, the brook's enchanting dance
You! Mourn--the inspiration's chance.
You, peaceful shades of wilderness, uncertain,
And all, farewell, farewell at once.

Anyhoo, this is all Pushkin, translated by Yevgeney Bonver, and with a little editing by me to make it sound better, but I am really puzzled why he chose the word Imitation as a title. Perhaps Imitation of Christ as someone slides into death, but clearly it's a death poem.

I have seen too much death here and in Bosnia, because of war, and in Ghana, Burkina, India, because of malnutrition, natural disaster, etc.; I don't like to think about it anymore. Hopefully my own will come without announcing its approach.

Here I sit and I forgot Memere's birthday, and have a lot of work to do to wrap up here in Iraq and pack up my you-know-what, and arrange to move it all home.....It's too early to call Memere, so I will hold off on that, but it looks like she was born on the same day Nana was buried....only 80 something years apart.

My grandmothers have been wonderful to me over my 39 years (yes, in 4 days it's 39). I have loved them both dearly and hope to meet them in heaven when I go there.....if I make it there....I am sure Nana and Memere will help with a ladder from the other side of the wall if that becomes necessary!!! Maybe even a full-scale siege-engine to punch a hole in the wall for me to get there to be with them.

I will surely call Memere today to wish her a belated Happy Birthday. I totally forgot it was so close to mine.

Love and Peace, and Pushkin, to all!

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