Trafika Europe 13 - Russian Ballet

Val Votrin

separated. Through all of it, he was laughing. He was wise, Giovanni. We became friends. He laughed a lot and talked a lot. At first I understood him, like I understood no one else in this country. I couldn’t grasp the language in the beginning, then suddenly, one morning, I began to understand it: through the thicket of the unfamiliar language some sense began to seep through, like the bottom of a river shimmering through the murky water. And so, Giovanni and I began to converse. At first, he questioned me, asked a slew of questions, and I answered as best as I could. For some reason he thought that we were Russians — that was the impression he got from my fragmentary stories. What did I tell him about? Of the scorched steppes, above which for hours on end soar black birds; of huge, swollen mounds, the cairns of ancient begs, on the tops of which dimmed fires burn all night with an unearthly glow; of the villages where black houses stand in a round, in the center of which is erected a tall, narrow tent —the shaman’s habitation. I told of Khoron — the sacred ground, as we call the land of the Magog when we are speaking of it to people from other lands. Then, it was my turn to ask questions: I was interested to find out about Ogon — of the other lands, where I now found myself. Is it true that here, they pray to a single God? Is it true that the land of Ogon is not a land, but lands — of which there are many, and in each they speak in their own language? Is it true that each one here has, from birth, his own, individual name?


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