Blog

During each residency, guests will publish blog entries through which the interested public will be able to track their journey through the locations included in the project.

Marilena Papaioannou: MLJET


 

MLJET

 

The sky is gray; by all accounts, it’ll rain again. It still smells like autumn, even though it’s the start of spring. Pollen makes you sneeze constantly. You’re coming down one set of stairs, climbing up another, turning onto a street, getting lost, going down the stairs again, passing through the yard of some house. You’re impatient; you want to finally see water again. A woman who’s speaking in a language you don’t know is asking you for some kind of information. You’re motioning to her that you’re also a foreigner; you can’t help her, you’re lost in this labyrinth. 

            It takes you a whole twenty minutes to find the path leading to the sea. And when you finally reach the pier, all soaked in sweat and with that ticking in your nose, you realize that you’ve just missed boarding the boat to get across.

            And despite everything, you don’t despair; you’ll wait for the next boat – it’s not the end of the world.

    It helps a lot that the weather has completely changed in the past twenty or so minutes. It looks as if a change of seasons has just occurred, and irrevocably so. You take off your jacket, shake the pollen off it, roll up your sleeves, gather your hair and tie it high atop your head.

    You find a bench and sit on it. You set your things down and begin, without consciously deciding to do so, to travel to the other side of the shore inside your mind – just as you’ve traveled inside your head on all your trips in the past two years.

 

 

Suddenly, you’re setting foot on a small island which offers shelter to hundreds of plants and animals. You find yourself in a place with such great natural beauty that you feel utterly incapable of expressing it in words. You head northwest. No map – you’ve studied it so many times on Google Maps that it’s been carved into your memory well. You enter some kind of endless forest. Moving quickly. Eyes acting as if they’re hands – grabbing everything that passes before them. You see the earliest messengers of spring clearly; you smell the unrelenting regeneration of nature. You have the sense that there is an awakening happening all around you. The animals and birds are waking, the plants and trees, the water and all the creatures that live within it. You’re also waking from some long sleep that has troubled you for an entire two years. Your body stops being sluggish; you feel nature blowing the dust from your eyes, blowing away the unfeeling from your brain.

    On the south shore of a small lake, next to a cabin that resembles a bird observatory, you lower yourself to the ground to rest a bit. And then you embark on a bold endeavor to measure the beauty, to weigh all that is beautiful. You’re able to somehow plant images inside your brain; you take photos so the memories remain for later, for when you return to your land, your home; so they’re on hand for when you’re stuck on a crowded subway again, where the only things you can count are sweaty necks, tired bodies and knees bent from the weight of everyday life, and where perhaps the only exception will be a couple of faded dreams. You take photos so you don’t forget what you’ve seen.

 

But here, where you are now, planted on a bench, waiting for the next boat to take you to the other side, you realize that any sort of measuring makes no sense in the end. Beauty can’t be measured – it simply exists. And photos won’t help you remember all that you’ve seen, but all that you’ve felt.

 

Your eyes snap open and you’re taking off your headphones. Someone has asked you how many stops until Thissio. You don’t remember. You show him a map above the train car exit and count the stops with him. You remove your glasses and rub your eyes to get rid of the sleepiness. You’re in the last car in line, your back hurts, you’re as hungry as a wolf, the people around you smell of fatigue; and you’re certain that the only thing they long for is to return to their homes and lie down in their beds so they too can embark on a journey inside their minds – to somewhere.

 

Translated by Jana Smrekar


 

MLJET

 

Nebo je sivo; po svemu sudeći ponovo će pasti kiša. Još uvijek miriše na jesen, usprkos tome što je početak proljeća. Kišeš neprestano zbog polena. Silaziš niz neke stepenice, penješ se uz druge, skrećeš u jednu uličicu, gubiš se, ponovo silaziš niz stepenice, prolaziš kroz dvorište neke kuće. Nestrpljiva si; želiš napokon ugledati vodu. Jedna žena koja govori nekim tebi nepoznatim jezikom traži od tebe neke informacije. Objašnjavaš joj znakovima da si i sama strankinja; ne možeš joj pomoći, izgubila si se u ovom labirintu.

            Potrebno ti je čitavih dvadeset minuta kako bi pronašla put koja vodi do mora. I kad napokon stigneš do mola, sva mokra od znoja i s onim golicanjem u nosu, shvaćaš kako si upravo propustila ukrcavanje u čamac za preko.

             I pored svega ne očajavaš; sačekat ćeš naredni čamac – nije propast svijeta

           Od velike ti je pomoći to što se u proteklih dvadesetak minuta vrijeme potpuno promijenilo. Izgleda kao da se upravo sada dogodila smjena godišnjih doba, i to neopozivo. Skidaš jaknu, treseš sa nje polen, zavrćeš rukave, skupljaš kosu i vezuješ je visoko na tjemenu. 

          Pronalaziš jednu klupu i sjedaš na nju. Spuštaš dolje svoje stvari i počinješ, a da to nisi svjesno odlučila, putovati u mislima na drugu stranu obale - baš kao što si u mislima odlazila na sva svoja putovanja u zadnje dvije godine. 

 

 

Iznenada kročiš nogom na jedan mali otok koji pruža utočište stotinama vrsta biljaka i životinja. Nalaziš se na jednom mjestu s tako velikom prirodnom ljepotom da osjećaš istinsku nemogućnost da je svedeš na riječi. Krećeš u pravcu sjeverozapada. Bez mape - toliko puta si je prostudirala na Google Maps-u da ti se dobro urezala u sjećanje. Ulaziš u nekakvu beskrajnu šumu. Krećeš se hitro. Tvoje oči se ponašaju kao da su ruke - grabe sve što promakne ispred njih. Sasvim jasno vidiš prve vjesnike proljeća; čulom mirisa osjećaš neumitnu regeneraciju prirode. Imaš osjećaj da se svuda oko tebe događa neko buđenje. Bude se životinje i ptice, bude se biljke i drveće, budi se voda i sva bića koja u njoj žive. Budiš se i ti iz nekog dugotrajnog sna koji te muči sad već čitave dvije godine. Tvoje tijelo prestaje da biva tromo; osjećaš prirodu kako ti puše prašinu s očiju, kako je otpuhuje neosjetno i iz tvog mozga. 

                Na južnoj obali malog jezera, pored jedne kabine koja liči na osmatračnicu za ptice, spuštaš se na zemlju da se malo odmoriš. I onda se upuštaš u jedan smeo poduhvat da izmjeriš ljepotu, da izvagaš sve ono što je lijepo. Uspijevaš nekako uglaviti sebi u mozak slike; fotografiraš ih ne bi li ti ostale za uspomenu kasnije, kad se vratiš svome kraju, svome domu; kako bi ti se našle pri ruci kad se ponovo zadesiš u gužvi u podzemnoj, tamo gdje će ti na raspolaganju za brojanje biti samo oznojeni vratovi, umorna tijela i koljena savijena od tereta svakodnevice, i gdje će možda jedini izuzetak predstavljati par izblijedjelih snova. Fotografiraš kako ne bi zaboravila ono što si vidjela.

 

Ali tu gdje si sada, posađena na klupu, dok čekaš sljedeći čamac koji će te odvesti na drugu stranu, shvaćaš da bilo kakva mjerenja na koncu ipak nemaju nikakvog smisla. Ljepota se ne da izvagati - ona naprosto postoji. A fotografije ti neće poslužiti da ne zaboraviš sve ono što si vidjela, već sve ono što si osjetila. 

 

Otvaraš naglo oči i skidaš slušalice s ušiju. Neko te je upitao za koliko stanica je Thissio. Ne sjećaš se. Pokazuješ mu kartu iznad izlaznih vrata vagona i brojiš zajedno s njim stanice. Skidaš naočale i trljaš oči da s njih odstraniš pospanost.. U zadnjem si vagonu kompozicije, bole te krsta, gladna si kao vuk, ljudi oko tebe odišu mirisom umora; i sigurna si da jedino za čim čeznu jeste da se vrate svojim domovima i da legnu u krevet ne bi li se i oni otisnuli na neko putovanje u mislima - nekamo.  

 

S grčkoga prevela Mina Radulović


IMPRESSUM

 

Sandorf - publishing house founded in 2008, engaged in Croatian literature and literature in translation, and in a wide range of books in humanities.

 

Center for Research and Promotion of Urban Culture (CIP) is a non-profit association that has existed for twenty years. Established in 1998, it operates in the areas of culture and art, urbanism, youth mobility and social dialogue.

 

Editor in chief: Ivan Sršen

Managing editor: Jana Smrekar

Editorial board: Matko Abramić, Thanos Gogos, Sena Zereyak
Graphic editor: Nikša Eršek

Website maintenance: Nabukodonozor d.o.o.

 

 




 

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