Trafika Europe 5 - Slovenian Interlude

days. Pečnica took in the terrorized children who had barricaded themselves in the house, paralyzed with fear. She went and got Klari, ten-year-old Roki, three-year-old Rozika, and thirteen-month-old Mihec and brought them home to the Pečniks.


Hojnik over Pečnik, Kuchar under Pečnik, the farms one on top of the other and our farm nearby, I stand near the door left ajar and listen. As I listen, something collapses in my chest, as if a stack of logs were rolling away behind me, into the time before my time, and that time reaches out to grab me and I start to give in out of fascination and fear. It’s got hold of me, I think, now it’s here with me. The child understands that it’s the past she must reckon with. She can’t just focus on her wishes and on the present. The sprawling present that allows the grownups to oversee the past, which, when it was still the present, blocked their view of everything else. Childhood is naturally oriented towards the future, but against the background of the past, the future proves lightweight. What could it possibly bring, where will it lead? Isn’t it enough, when it simply makes life possible, thinks Father, and occasionally thinks the child. ---


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