Little Life Stories

13. A Little More of Me Stays Here

It’s my last evening here. I’m in Uzdin, in the park next to the church. I’ve been told there were once so many trees here that you couldn’t see the church for them. Now you can catch glimpses of the church through the firs and poplars and birches, and you can hear David ringing the bells. One rope wrapped around his leg, two around his arms and the physical pain fades as the bells begin to ring through the village. That’s how the Easter of 2020 was, when David and the priest brought light to the village. The priest circled the church by himself, while David rang the bells to let the people of Uzdin hear the news that Jesus had indeed risen. 

I can hear dogs, children’s voices, someone plays football on a field in the distance, there is a rehearsal at the village festivity hall, Alina practices Duolingo, or at least tries to, if she can find wi-fi. 

I’ve delved so much into some stories that some aspects are starting to hurt or bother me. I try to stay neutral and do my job. I feel hopeful though. 

The Uzdin sunset is the best. The field is so yellow, the sky is so blue, and the sun is so orange. Strong colors like in the naive painting here. I went to Sofia Ionașcu tonight. She is a painter. I had a hard time deciding. I liked all the paintings. I left with two of them. Sofia, small, smiling and quick, asked me to help her and tell people about her. I believe that whoever seeks her will find her. One painting in particular caught my eye, the bride of Uzdin, dressed and adorned according to custom, looking at herself in the mirror in profile. The bride in the mirror, however, is not painted in profile, but up front. The bride appears to be in dialogue with herself. I asked Sofia about this, or rather I told her what I liked about the painting, she replied so beautifully: It’s naive painting! 

It’s hard for me to go back to Timisoara, I will miss coming back here. I may be naive too. I enjoy the crickets and the peace of the village. I want to go back to the train station in Covăcița, with my little lizard in the sun. 

Photo credit: Mircea Sorin Albuțiu

English translation: Cristina Chira