Saturday, 25 August 2012

A Conversation with Aleksandr


Devastated was the word.  Yes, it fit.

The night before found her restless and fitful,  up and down, churning, besieged with scattered thoughts. Noisy chattering, fragmented bits of fear, hurt, shame, regret, disappointment and judgement, all jostling with one another, all scrabbling like jackals to be the first to gnaw on her bones.

Why was she carrying the full burden of shame? His flaws had been uncovered on several occasions.

But as the indignation rose,  the 
words of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn  wept through like an Artesian wellspring of wisdom reminding, "But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

"WAIT JUST ONE MINUTE HERE, AL!" she protested.


"Oh no!" says she to herself,  as she dusted off her Ouija board, "You will come back here!"  

Nervous fingers and shaky vocal chords work together in a synchronized effort to pull him away from his glass of fermented potato and there he was, a bearded wild haired man with an intense stare that left her wriggling under her skin. But she was on a mission and she would not be deterred. 

Clearing her throat, she began, "Mr. Solzhenitsyn ---"

Aleksandr raised his hand up  in a gesture to stop her and his heavily accented English softly penetrated the air. 

"Pебенок, tell me, what do you need?" 

"I need to understand." 

"Tell me why." he pressed.

"Why?"  She forced her words past the hurt that sat lumped in her throat,"I'm trying to make sense of betrayal. How can people insist they truly love even after lies have been uncovered?"

"Tell me Кэтрин, would you agree that morality can often be found to be at odds with passion and desire?"

She nodded.

He continued, "And that our good intentions are often found to be at odds with unconscious motivations?"

"Yes." she whispered

Aleksandr sat thoughtful for a moment and then gently and softly spoke. "You understand Кэтрин, your problem is, you want too much from understanding. It cannot turn shadow into light and it cannot right wrongs. So, no Pебенок, you are not in need of understanding. What you need is to accept that a thing is what it is." 

He drew on his pipe and smiled tenderly.  "And you need to make a decision. You must decide if your wounds have made you more ... or have made you less."