|Self reflection at TCHQ. Winnipeg, MB; October 2019. Kiev 60 / FP4|
I swallow the lump in my throat, breathe in the briny smell of the ocean. I think of Diaghilev, with his utter terror of any open water. Of his nervous half-smile when he watched Vaslav swim in the Lido. Of his relief when my brother, in his striped swimming costume, ran toward us, cold, dripping, splashing us with water he managed to carry in his cupped hands. "Come on, Serge, you coward. Come with me."
Will I find the strength for another struggle? After all I have lost?
Kolya is a few steps away from me, his face dense and heavy with waiting. I see his chest heave; I note a pulse throb in his throat. Don't blame me, Bronia, his eyes plead. If I could give my life for Levushka's I would.
Harsh winters strengthen trees. The ring that forms through a time of stress is stronger than the ones formed in milder ones. The Chosen Maiden, my brother once told me, is a warrior, not a dying swan. She dances to make life possible again.
This is an old memory, but Vaslav's voice remains urgent: Are you ready, Bronia?
I step forward and raise my hand.
An excerpt from page 408 of Eva Stachniak's "The Chosen Maiden".
Shed / Flow
Ain't that the truth, whether we like it or not.
"She dances to make life possible again". Ah HA!