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Romualdas Granauskas
(1939–2014)
graduated from the Seda Labor Youth Secondary School in 1957. He worked as a builder, a smith, an editor at the Skuodas newspaper Mūsų žodis and the magazine Nemunas, a radio correspondent, and briefly as a teacher at the Mosėdis Secondary School, before becoming a full-time writer from 1972.
Granauskas began publishing short stories in the 1960s, with his debut novel Medžių viršūnės published in 1969. During the Soviet era, his works, which were marked by a synthesis of nature, history, mythology, and a particular attention to language (especially the Samogitian dialect), had modernized and raised the standards of the Lithuanian prose tradition.
He published more than twenty fiction books. Among the most notable works are Duonos valgytojai (1975), Jaučio aukojimas (1975) Gyvenimas po klevu (1988), Duburys (2003), Kenotafas (2005), Rūkas virš slėnių (2007), and Trys vienatvės (2011). Granauskas also authored plays and a film script. Two of his works were adapted for film – Gyvenimas po klevu (1988) and Duburys (2009).
Granauskas received the Lithuanian Writers’ Union Prize in 1999 for his book Gyvulėlių dainavimas and the National Culture and Arts Prize in 2000. In 2013, his book Šventųjų gyvenimai was selected by scholars from the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore as the most creative book of that year. Two other works, Kai reikės nebebūti (2012) and Išvarytieji (2013), earned him the Lithuanian Artists’ Association Award for literary merit.

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reflections on belonging

a palmers chronicle right bw

Graphic Novels

Photo by Romualdas Rakauskas

Translated by Izolda Geniušienė

 

The Immolation of a Bull
(excerpt)

 

I implore you to ponder on how terrible it is not to know God,
what perdition for a soul heathendom spells out, and how the evil spirit
is constantly raving and inciting new heathen mania and delusions.
M. Mažvydas

 

Antanas Miskinis 02Photo by Romualdas RakauskasPART ONE

The twinkling of leaves, the twinkling of shadows, the twinkling of stems, blades of grass, boughs, the twinkling of twigs, it seems that even the twinkling of shadows with shadows, of shadows cast upon the needle – covered path, you see it yourself: your bare feet treading on the needles, on the shadows and on the footprints left by animals; by those that are still running about the forest, that are shouting, howling in the moonlight, breaking their horns onto the trunks; later they will die or will be killed and their footprints will be covered by other footprints – those of animals, of humans, by needles, pieces of the bark, shadows, twigs, perhaps by some motley-coloured feather of a small bird;

and your hands, holding an earthenware pot, a fragment of the pot, deep enough to fetch some water from the spring in the forest, only you have to be careful when carrying it, as very little water goes into the fragment and it is always eager to escape where it was drawn from: eager to flow into the air and then down, it flashes shortly before falling down and then it soaks into the earth as if felt safe there, the water feels safe under the roots, under the grass, under the blossoms, under the leaves, under that twinkling; it is hiding not out of fear, the water testifies to its courage and grandeur when flowing out, extending across the forests, the water is frightening not so much because of its grandeur, but because of its unvanquishable eternal desire to exist freely, to be; that is why (and for that reason only) it is constantly trying to break loose from any place it feels incarcerated in, be it a hand, be it a river, though it itself is a river, be it an earthenware fragment, which you found near the spring last year and in which you are carrying the water through that twinkling; and you are afraid to pour it out, and it is rumbling in that fragment, that you found in a site of the fire, that still contains the foundation stones, the marks of the horse hooves and the marks of bare feet, and you see the burnt-out grass of the yard, and the grass is trampled down, and it is covered with ashes and flake-ashes, and some time ago each of these footprints also contained flake-ashes and soot, but now the living flame is absent, it has removed itself, and you who are carrying that fragment of the pot and several pieces of the overburn iron, you have felt that strange smell of fire, and you grew frightened but your fear was not as strong as it had been when for the first time you saw the fire beating over the roof, under which you had lived with your father and mother, and under which you remember yourself small, quite small and stupid, and, living under that roof, you even did not know that fire and iron together signify either death or sorrow; likewise, you do not know anything now, when you are carrying the fragment of the pot further into the forest, into that big twinkling of leaves, of the grass, of stems and blades of the grass, into the twinkling of shadows, into the twinkling of needles on the narrow path, trodden by beasts, till it disappears totally – it is not that twinkling of the forest with its quietude and the safe existence promised to everything and everybody that disappears, but the path itself; it is so small, so narrow, so void of mystery, it is not for the first time you are going there, to the outskirts of the forest to the site of a fire, from where you have lifted that fragment of an earthenware and several overburnt pieces of iron, yes, you have found it there and do not hear the stream of the forest, which you are constantly trying to convince yourself of before lifting that fragment to your lips, really, you have found that splinter together with the pieces of iron in the site of a fire, you have picked it up from the ground, and your arms were black as high up as your elbows, and you knew you were acting badly when you carried that fragment of a pot and the pieces of iron to the forest – you are following the path which is secretly guarding, your footsteps alongside with your footsteps and other mysteries and footsteps of the forest, but for you the path has lost all its secrecy, and you still hope you will follow it many times on the way to your abode, which you have built high up in an oak tree for the purpose of protecting it from iron and fire; you have plaited it from thick branches intertwined with thin branches, you have stuffed it with moss and dry grass, then you climbed the closest trees to inspect and to watch the birds building similar nests, you wanted to know what they do to avoid the cold during the rain and during the storm, in spring and in autumn, but, anyway, in winter it feels very cold, because you do not have feathers, and what you have is a big fur of a beast, and beasts do not live in nests, except squirrels may be; that is why you have dug a cave on the bank of the stream, a deep cave, you are going to prepare your food there, to keep fire, for nobody just to be able to find you there, and now you are going deeper into the forest, carrying that fragment and the overburnt pieces of iron from the site of a fire; is there any evil in that? – your arms are black up to your elbows, but that is what has happened, before: and this splinter and these pieces of iron, your black arms and a black face, even the fur of the beast covering your shoulders, even your very shoulders and all of you are black like an uninvited mourner at an absent grave, into which you have not put anything, from which you have only taken something, and the things you have taken you are still carrying in your hands; but that is not happening now, and how, during this real now there is only the silence, the twinkling of the forest, the water in the fragment, and one hand of yours, holding that fragment – a half withered hand of an old man, marked by protruding veins under a brown skin, under your tanned skin, in fact, though you are trying to avoid long walks in the sun, in the glade, in the wood, in the cut area, where the air is shimmering with heat; and from where, far in the distance, you can see blue and green forests, rivers, hills, heaps of stones, a valley of a dried up lake with red fins of fishes flickering over it; you are drawn to the valley and to a village on the other bank – you would like to gaze at that view for a long time – is it not strange? – you are an old man, and you have had enough of the view of the forests, of the rovers, hills, heaps of stone and dried up valleys of the lake, where dead fish with red fins still sparkle; and the fishes are red; the villages are burning – they are blossoming like big red flowers, you really have had enough, you are an old man and you would like to live like a tree, like a field, like any other thing; and you cannot go there, where on the other side of the valley an unburnt village is still alive; no, you cannot go there, you keep repeating it in your thoughts, while carrying that fragment in your brown tanned hand, and you yourself are twinkling in that twinkling, and so is your water, and your fragment, and your thoughts, streaming from your eyes; the thoughts are streaming from your eyes, from your eyesight, from your luminous seeing, but now your gaze is fixed on the splinter filled with water; and you are going to carry that splinter to your nest in a tall oak; soon the heat will mount and you will feel the thirst, while the working are always thirsty, and you have to work; you have to work every day, from morning till night, for you to be able to last the winter, to survive in that cave, in that lair of leaves behind the smouldering fire, behind the smoke; beasts of the forest feel that smoke; the very darkness of the cave is redolent with that smoke, and you will have to live in that cave if you do not meet people, because you will be killed, because the people in the village think that it is your fault that the intruders are burning villages like blossoms and houses like small blossoms; the villagers think that it is because of you that they pierce the wombs of women, for the earth to lie sterile and fruitless, without anybody reaping a harvest, without human voice to be heard; may the future god be glorified only by the wheeze of the mute; can God be the power which you have to fear, to hate and to try to avoid; God should be that undeniable force which penetrates a human being from the tree, from the blossom, from the sparkling of water, that force which provides a human being with a repose, with joy, with a wish to love or to plunge into a reverie; just run, run deeper into the forest, for you not to die while there are other people still alive; because it is God that determines when the last one should die, after he has seen all the horror and pain that has befallen everybody else and the suffering that each of them has separately endured; and at the hour of death all of it will amalgamate, and like a mountain, it will fall over the last one who, of his own free will, has chosen the lost of being the last survivor; so run, run deeper into the forest, and in the evening it is not you, who is standing near the outskirts of the forest, covered by branches and keeps looking at the other side of the valley; you are gazing through transparent fishes, through dried up rivers of the past; but that may be not a bank at all, it may be only a slope of the bank, and all the huts along that slope are stooping down, they are afraid to come up, they are afraid to come up, they are afraid to be seen from afar, but they are seen, they have been seen a long time before; some of them have been burnt, others have bent down even lower, but today you should not be going to the edge of the forest, you have to collect and dry up mushrooms and berries, and you should be working all day long, till the very evening, and in the evening you will climb into your nest, into your moss, and you will attempt to fall asleep, while listening to the bull of the forest bending over your ear, quite close to you, and whispering not over your head or some other part of your body as those who sleep in their huts on the ground sometimes hear – while listening to this murmur of the forest you will be able to remember everything that you have experienced, that you have seen and heard, but you have not experienced much, because you had a father and a mother but never a wife, never a beloved woman, and that is why your suffering may be stranger than the pain that other people endure; it is never returned, that is why it rambles away over forests and villages, it follows meandering rivers as far as the lagoon, as far as the yellow shore of the colour of sunset, as far as the moving waters, and sometimes it calms down, sometimes it stays quiet, and sometimes it flies into a furious rage – your pain can reach everything, it can stray around unheard as a shadow or stand on the top of the mountain as an idol – every night your sorrow saunters away from this forest, but it does not reach further than the lagoon, than the yellow sand of the lagoon, than the waving of its waters, though there is another shore on the other side of the lagoon, there are other people and even other lagoons, but you are pleased that some time ago your house stood on this and not on the other shore: it stood under a big pine tree, just behind the dune, and when it was burnt to the ground, there were even no flake-ashes left, a very strong eastern wind was blowing, and it scattered all the ashes over the waters – and that was all that was left of the value of the life of your village, and the value of your own life, which has not come to an end yet; though you are old and self-withdrawn, but at night, while suddenly awakening and covered with cold sweat, you tremble with fear and listen whether the terrible guest is not coming, whether it is not climbing up to your abode, clutching with iron claws at a rough bark of the oak tree, you would wish to tell her that you were never too much afraid of her; though tens and hundreds were dying around, anyway, you were not too much afraid of her; look, death, I am confronting you with an open face and it is not my fault that I cannot live any longer; from the top of the oak tree, from the nest among the branches a sparkling soul will arise, and at midday it will shimmer among the leaves, among the stems and the boles, it will glimmer over the water in a useless fragment of the pot, which you are still carrying in your hand while crossing the clearing and approaching the oak tree, and in the fragment that you are carrying the water flashes so glaringly that it even cuts across your eyes, but you cannot avert your glance, you do not want to spill the water that you have brought from afar, from the very slope, from the boiling stream, but you do not have a bigger bowl, you are only planning to mould a bigger vessel by using those overburnt pieces of iron that you have picked up from the site of a fire, you want to scoop out the centre of a bloc, but you have not flattened these pieces of iron on a stone, and you have not whetted them yet, you are going to undertake this job tomorrow in the morning; anyway, in winter you will need that vessel, your life has been hard enough, if you could just manage to scoop out a second vessel, too, that would be good; only for your strength and for that overburnt iron to last till the job is finished; if only the vessels were made out of soft wood, out of a young lime-tree, and unwittingly you direct your glance into the distance, as if you were searching for the tree, and there under your nest, under your oak-tree you see three men standing, one of them is holding a diagonal spear in his hand, the other two are emptyhanded; but all the three are tensely watching you, who so carelessly have appeared from among the elm trees still with a fragment of a pot in your hand and the fur of a beast covering your shoulders, and you are looking at them at the spear, and you know that it would be senseless for you to try to run away now, the spear would catch up with you and pierce through your back, through the fur of a beast, through your skin, your muscles, and a glittering spearhead would get stuck deep in your body, and even now you feel the terror of death in that place where the spearhead might penetrate your body, but that fear soon panes and some unknown force paralyses your joints, though you clearly see that those people are not strangers, but does it matter now whether they are your own people or strangers; their glances, directed at you, at your hands and at your fragment of a pot with water inside, are so tout, what could all of it matter you do not understand it; you just enter the centre of a clearing and start moving further, because it makes no difference now, whether you are going towards them or they are approaching you, you are just walking, forcing your joints to bend, and you do not divert your glance from the spear, which trembles in the hand of the man standing in the middle, the spearhead lurches towards the ground and the spear stands perpendicular, the iron pierces the ground of the clearing, and the shaft stands upright; it does not stand straight in front of the face of the man in the middle but it inclines sideways, so that it should not prevent the man from making a step forward and bowing down before addressing you: hail, priest, we have come to honour your white-haired head, and you find it difficult immediately to perceive the sense of those words – here you are, in the middle of the clearing, and for a very long time you have not heard human speech nor have you heard the sound of human voice, when for such a long time you have not seen a human face so closely,

and passing your eyes over their faces, you say: welcome, all of you; then you glance at the fragment, containing the water and you see yourself – your white head, the hair of your head and your eye brows reflected in the water, and then you notice something brownish, and behind that brownish you perceive something dazzlingly white and it is not at once that you realize that the brownish thing is the fur of a beast, and that the dazzlingly white object signifies clouds, but you feel better when you understand it, you feel much better when you approach the three of them, by-passing a slanting spear, and you are going there, where the grass of the clearing is covered by a dark shadow of an oak tree, you are placing the fragment near the very trunk, you are taking your seat and motion with your hand for the three of them to follow suit, but they are not sitting down, they are just squatting in a semicircle in front of you, they are touching the gran with their lowered hands, and you are inspecting those hands respectively; how scarred they are, not very clean, with thickened finger joints resembling knobs, and you are listening to their kurzonian speech, and they say they are from Degimai field, from the sea shore, you do not know of any field that would be called Degimai, nor do you know of a castle or a farmstead of that name, though so many times villages and castles have been burning, that might be a new village, after all, but who is building new villages now, when there are too few people left to inhabit the old one? – let them tell you everything, let them, but in what way could you help them – in what way could you help the people who had been by a foreign god and a sword, the people whose houses had been burnt by strangers, whose food and clothing had been taken away, and all of them had been weeping on the shore, and women wanted to throw themselves in to the lagoon, but men held them back, – they took their axes and out of logs they started building new huts in a new place; what else could those men do when everybody else was weeping on the shore, when heavy autumnal showers were approaching, what else could those men do, if a long time before they had not been able to defend either their old villages or their children or their faith? – and they took their axes and started building a new village in a new place, for them not to have to revisit the old one, when they walked accompanied by the wind blowing cold flake ashes into their faces, but, most probably, they did not expect their old wrongs and injustice to be completely forgotten, either, that is why they gave their new village the name of a Degimai Field , but in some time the strangers came even there, drove them all into the lagoon and baptised them, announcing that from that time on all of them were the people of the bishop, they would catch fish for him, they would gather mushrooms and honey for him, they would repair his roads and build bridges and churches, and on Sundays all of them would attend the service in those churches, they would kneel down there, and in their prayers they would beg God for health and for all kinds of happiness to attend upon their bishop; and all of them went, knelt and prayed, and they were weeping when praying and they continued to catch fish, but fish had disappeared from the lagoon; from the very spring their nets had been pulling out only the weeds from the bottom of the lagoon, but the people of the bishop would constantly be coming to the village on horseback, they constantly kept demanding what the villages could not give them did not the armed people of the bishop see, how pale the women standing on the shore were, did they not see that the children were dying in the wombs of their mothers, and a new village was already emptying out, and there was no place the people could hide, as all the land, all the fields and all the forests belonged to strangers? –

and you hear it all, and you know everything that they are telling you, you have known it happening in other villages, you have known it from the fates of other people, and though you feel what they expect from you anyway, you ask them while closely examining their faces: “What do you want from me? What do you expect from me now?” – and you know how difficult your question and your look is when directed at those who have been wading into the lagoon, who have been kneeling in front of a painted face of a new god and in front of his robe embroidered with silver and gold, surrounded by burning made of wax that had been carried by the bees of the forest, you know how difficult your question is when it is directed at those who have been sprinkled with water from their own streams, who have been thrashed with whips, made from the skins of the bulls that they themselves had raised who have been cursed with the words they did not understand, the words that neither their fathers nor ancestors could understand, and which they, with their heads bent down, were trying hard to grasp, –

how pressing is your fixed gaze when it is levelled at them, but did you feel it any better when sacred oak-tree groves were falling down one after another, when sacrificial altars were toppled into a hole, and hissing gran-snakes were coiling in the fire, and further away, in some distance, were lying priests with their blood-covered faces turned towards heaven;

did you feel it any easier, when you, the last kurzonian priest, were standing on a hill and watching a long line of people on foot and people on horseback, descending along the other side of the slope, while you kept watching how their armour was glittering in the sun; and in front of them a hunchbacked cripple was hurrying along and showing them the way;

did you feel it any better than those three men, squatting in front of you, are feeling now, when you, carrying a basket with a sacred gran-snake in your hands, were running deep into the forest and, like a wolf, you were being chased through brushwood, and the dogs were set on your track, did you feel it any better when you were constantly falling down and getting up again, when you were bleeding and hurting yourself against the roots, windfallen trees and stumps, when you were wading through swamps, choking from the stench of the silt, when you were constantly shivering with cold;

and, having desperately embraced the trunk of the tree; you were tearing the ground with your nails, and later you were roaming around the forest and bushes, shunning human homes like a traitor,

did you find it any easier than they are finding it now, when you had fallen and were lying in the middle of the forest and the only wish you had was the wish to die, because for the first time in front of your eyes all the kneeling devastated country arose,

no, you are thinking, no, and you are looking at the three sad faces and at the three pairs of narrating lips, no, you are thinking, no,

because a great incomprehensible force is destroying everything in people, everything that they had held sacred before – the force which is similar to the wind, on its way bending everything down to the ground, similar to a powerful invisible hand, which would not let you get up and enjoy life, but the worst thing is that you cannot explain all this to them, they would not understand it, or, maybe you yourself do not understand fully what you should be telling them now, which you believe only in the justness and grandeur of your hate,

I agree – you say, while standing up and drinking water from the splinter of a pot, you have not got anything you could take along on your journey, which will last two days, because the journey to the shore of the lagoon and to the village of Degimai lasts two days; all of you will be travelling on foot, because the visitors have no horses any longer, they have brought their meagre provisions in their sacks; and the sacks that are hanging from the shoulders of those two that do not have any spears are half-empty, and there are many more things that you understand but there is no need to speak about them now,

that is why you prefer – not being too much in a hurry – to start moving westwards, till you reach yellow shores and the blue radiance, only do not more too fast – for the strength to last and for you to be able to reach your destinations – just move ahead keeping to the outskirts of the frost, trying to avoid villages which are peopled with bad populace; you are ready to drink water from rivers and to pick berries, somehow you will survive, just cross rivers only at shallow places and avoid foot-bridges, roads, shun everything and everybody before you reach your goal – which is the yellowish golden shores and the radiance of waters, and nights you will be spending near the fire – the one who has a spear may also happen to have a flint, –

thinking like this you are crossing the forest, the three of you are moving forward; no, now you are already thinking about something else, namely that none of these three has promised you a safe return, and their spear seems to be a very paltry and ridiculous weapon; you are thinking that nobody is going to protect you from the fate you have chosen of your own free will, except treason maybe, black treason, from whose black colour like from the fire of Perkūnas[1], stones should be cracking and trees should be snapping

but why did not stones crack, why did not trees fall, when thousands were wading into rivers and lakes, when they were rolling their trousers up to their knees, and submitting to baptism – what had their souls lost by that time, what had their hearts lost, what could make an obedient crowd tremble again with bravery and fierceness, what could make the steel of the swords and not wooden crosses glitter in their raised hands – maybe that crowd could not tremble any longer it could not be affected by a word, by a curse, by the bloodiest of sacrifices? – when those crowds had seen thousands of deaths, when babies knew already what blood, and suffering and loss meant – oh! if only you knew that! – if only you knew that! – may be you could understand then what was happening in the souls of the people, what was taking place in their new huts and in towns, behind tall stone walls, where you had never been, but you knew

very well, that swords were being sharpened there, the swords that were harder than swords of your tribe; you knew that there brick churches were being built, and their churches are taller than the tallest oaks in your shrines; if only you had known all that, maybe then you could have understood why so many of your gods could not defeat their only god, – not even Perkūnas himself, who was able to smelt iron like wax, and stone like tallow, and what those baptised ones think when they were kneeling down on stony floors in churches, when they were looking with hope at the visage of their new god, – were they asking for the same things, that they used to pray to their old gods, namely, for food, peace, health, and once again for place, were they asking for the corn to move and for the weak cattle to bellow under the cover of peace like under the cover of the sparkling sun; are they still expecting his support in misfortune, poverty and loss of health, God, they may be saying, you will be my god now, just protect me from the sword and the fire and the rapacity, protect me and my woman and her womb, and the wombs of my daughters and the womb of the earth and of water and of the cattle – are they begging for all this, are they begging for it? – you do not know,

and futile is your attempt to see something in the faces of the three men, when you all are standing in a circle round the brook and you are trying to choose a place where you could rest at night, and when finally the place is found, and all the four of you are going to wash off the sweat and the dust of your journey, then the other two start untying the strings of their sacks, but one of them cannot disentangle his strings, and his friend is waiting for him, just keeping his hand in his sack and not taking anything out of it; then both of them put their bread and fish on the grass, but you feel a sickness, mounting in your throat, you feel sick from the smell of the bread which you have not seen for a long time, you feel sick because of the pity and bitterness deep in your heart, and quietly you get up and return to the stream where you drink water, eat some sweet-flag, and return, when everything is completely covered by darkness where the three of them are lying around the spear strict in the ground, huddled up on the grass; and you are lying down next to them, but the smell of the bread and the fish does not let you fall asleep, no, you are not going to touch it – you are not going to touch the bread of the vanquished and of those who stand on their knees, that is why you get up, grope for that bread and hurl it somewhere into the darkness in the direction of the forest, though tomorrow all day long till the very evening you are going to be pushing your way through the thicket, following the three of them, you are going to wade through fords or, covered with sweat, you are going to climb a steep slope and you will feel how the last strength is fagging out in your muscles, which are dried out by old age, they understand it, they may understand even much more, because they keep silent, when you fling their bread away, they are silent, when you lie down again on the grass and, having calmed down a bit, you ask them what their names are, and they answer very sincerely and simply: “Jansis, Kiklys, Daukantas”, but you are not satisfied with their answers, and that is why in some time you fling the question into the darkness as if into somebody’s face: “I am not asking you by what names your mothers called you, I am asking you what your names are now,” and you would have been very glad if at least then one of them jumped up hard and screamed at you, holding his spear in his hand. “Priest, if you do not keep quiet, we shall kill you!” – but nobody jumps up, in their eyes there lies the same warm and thick silence of the outskirts, and you hear the words uttered by one of them: “Now all of us are Johns”, – and you know already what you are going to think all through the short night when the dawn is so quick to come,

and you start your journey again, none of you having eaten anything, – yesterday you flung their bread and fish into the darkness, and today in your presence none of them dares to eat anything, and up to the very evening all the four of you are going to endure hunger and heat, – did you not manage to sow in their hearth the seed which was not going to rot even when you were long dead; may it pass into their children and the children of their children, till finally it will leave out and carry dark blue blossoms of pride; after all, somebody has to sow, somebody has to be sowing all the time, even if you know in advance that you are not going to see either the blossoms or the fruit, may they continue growing under the clear and eternal sun,

which is getting hotter and hotter with every passing hour, the forests are lightening up, with every step you come across fewer and fewer groves, rivers are getting wider, and by and by you are stalking among rare pine trees, inhaling their sour smell, and enjoying the brownish sour smell, and enjoying the brownish golden light of the trunks, and you start already feeling the approaching spirit of the lagoon:

judging by the whiteness of the clouds, by their movements differing from the clouds that are gathering over the world of fir-groves and alder-groves, by a different fluttering of birds in that whiteness of transparent altitude you feel the spirit of the lagoon,

judging by the voices of rivers, by the slower sinuosity of their design, by their concentration and intense precipitation towards grand waters, towards the future place of comfort, you feel the spirit of the lagoon;

judging by the density of the wind, by the blossoming of flowers, by the wish that every flower has to blossom brighter than all the meadow, to sparkle with a more resplendent light than all the flowers put together do, you feel the spirit of the lagoon,

judging by the warmth of the earth, by the colour and heat of the sand, by the shadow of the bent grass, by the transparency of the air, by the shudder of stones, by something tearing your soul out of your body and urging you to return, to stay, and never again to leave you feel the spirit of the lagoon.

 

From "Vilnius" journal, 1994, Autumn edition

 

1. Perkūnas – the chief God of Thunder in the Lithuanian mythology

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