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Passe-Temps. Story of One Life. VII

Yana Malysheva-Jones


I am suffocating and I do not understand why. I cannot hide it — I am scared of what the world is turning into, of all the truths that have been hiding there for years and I am shivering at the thought of my future. I am thinking of you, my son. You brought the sense of eternity, but also the reality of fatality into my life. And again I don’t understand why. They said it would be the most joyous experience in my life, but I can’t agree with this. And I would like to say it out loud — I am scared of being your mother, I am scared of being so close to you, being the essence and the source of your being, of your life. Who am I to decide to bring you into this world? But I understand it too late and I am scared-scared-scared of it and I pray, I hope I will get better at this. Better at being braver to hold your hand and walk with you through this world.

I love you. These words are just pouring out of me. The last time I was here writing these pages on the 21st of April — almost three months ago. And today I felt this urge to burst it all out of me again, this inexplicable grief that hasn’t shaped into anything until I started typing and probably figured out that the nature of my grief is being away from you, because if not, then why would I be writing these words right now?

I am away from you for so long — it’s been three days and there will be a few more and now I understand what being truly empty and lonely feels like. I am away from you and this is the loneliest I’ve ever been. When I realised it on my first night here I was scared at the thought of feeling this when you grow up and inevitably leave me. Is this what they feel when children leave, those adults? Is this why these bonds turn into ugly dependencies and blind disabilities of letting them go? This is so much bigger than something you explain to someone or put into words. I am aching, my body wants ro run.

Funnily enough (or not), I am now in Kalmykia, in the region of Russia surrounded and built on a steppe — vast, immeasurable and…lonely. Does it add to how I feel? I am here to work on a film about a mother who lost her son. I am a potential casting for the main role…and words run out. I am scared to say what can be said here, so I leave it at this.

Does the director of the film Ira know that this steppe is almost a perfect illustration and a metaphor for the solitude of that mother? The land of emptiness and eternity, the land of grief and stillness. The land that every mother carries inside — to various degrees, from 0,1, to eternity like the character of the film Lena. Even if you live till you are a hundred years old, we are so scared of losing you. We do not choose it, rather it inhabits us once you are born, our children, our little miracles and little mirrors. I feel that now, being away from you Maxime, is the first time I fully recognise and accept myself as your mother.

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