A photo-fairytale about the memory, the most vivid recollections of every person, about the most valuable, genuine and sincere things

From the author

I remember that I was too little, but my memory has preserved that night, that dark and menacing night in our little old house on the bank of the Vilyui River where during the war matches were made. Behind the dark windows, flashes of lightning were dancing eerily every now and then. A cold strong rain was pattering against the window… In the middle of the night mom and Aunt Mira, no longer capable of enduring the overwhelming fear, took me and my sister into their arms and descended to our small cellar. The desire to avoid the unbearable rumble led to some strange, fairytale like excitement and shuddering horror of being exposed to the elements. Only the golden-hued onions in mom’s stocking were looking at me cheerfully and, as it seemed, were smiling and shining. And I felt neither anger nor resentment because of the fact that my mother did not let me sleep during that beautiful night. I was a year and a half…

Five years. Summer. I am standing in a washbowl. My grandmother is rubbing my back very hard with a bast wisp… It is painful, hard, cold, and unpleasant. And I am thinking that spending the summer in the village with my grandmother is no fun at all. After this “bath” my sister and I went out into the only street in the village and, without saying a word to grandmother, we went to our relatives.  We stayed with them for the summer. I still do not understand why grandmother did not come to pick us up… And this is my only memory of her…

Seven years. Apparently, mom and dad are no longer together. My sister and I are going along a narrow path, one after another. Round the corner, there is a little hut where dad lives… Mom has allowed us to spend a night in his house. The three of us are lying on the wooden bed, I am next to the wall… I enjoy lying next to the wall where dad’s pocket watch is hanging… The watch is ticking… The watch is very beautiful. Dad is telling us an amazingly kind fairytale, which he has made up for us: about the huge moose on whose antlers two little girls dwelt. I almost believe that these girls are me and my sister. Coming to see the father in a few days, we would only find a lonely, burnt carcass instead of the hut… I would start rummaging in the pile of burnt trash trying to find that very pocket watch… My dad’s very beautiful watch… Perhaps I knew even then that I would not see my father for many a day…

This is a photo-fairytale about the memory, the most vivid recollections of every person, about the most valuable, genuine and sincere things, about something that may not succumb to any influences, changes and destruction. Memory is something that belongs to us only, and no one can take it away from us. These are the most concealed corners of our soul where we often hide from the world. The story is based on the memories of my own childhood, of my family, of the places, smells, sensations that have become more acute since I left Yakutia. This is a story about something that we preserve in ourselves. Memory and recollections somewhere deep inside. How we are living in the present, here and now, will affect what we are going to remember many years later, because all of us are magicians, capable of creating the future…

Ayar KuoAyar KuoAyar KuoAyar Kuo
Ayar KuoAyar KuoAyar KuoAyar KuoAyar KuoAyar KuoAyar KuoAyar KuoAyar KuoAyar KuoAyar KuoAyar KuoAyar KuoAyar KuoAyar KuoAyar KuoAyar KuoAyar KuoAyar KuoAyar KuoAyar Kuo

© Bleek Magazine. Text and all images: Ayar Kuo.