Thursday, 23 June 2016

...of a wanderer

I was just like Nora, I saw blood and death everywhere. It was winter, the sun scorched the hills of Galilee, seared the roads. And that weight in my womb, that ball of fire. Nights, I couldn’t sleep, my eyelids opened, I had salt in my eyes. I just couldn’t understand, I felt I was tied to Jacques beyond death, by the life that he had sown in me. I talked to him as if he were there and could hear me. Elizabeth heard me, she caressed my hair. She thought it was grief. “Cry, Estrellita, you’ll feel better afterward.” I didn’t want to talk to her about the child.
In the daytime, I wandered aimlessly through the streets. I had the same stride as the madwoman who begged by the marketplace. Then I did that crazy thing; I hopped on one of the military trucks that transported material and provisions. I succeeded in convincing two soldiers - so young, still children - that I was going to visit my fiance on the front. I went to Tiberias, and once there, started walking in the hills, not knowing where I was going, just wanting to walk on the land where Jacques had died.
The sun beat down, I could feel the light weighing on my back and shoulders. I climbed up through the terraced olive groves, passed abandoned farms, walls riddled with bullets. There wasn’t a sound. It was just like on the road to Festiona, when I used to watch for my father to appear in the mountains. The silence and the wind made my heart quicken, the sunlight was blinding, but I kept on walking, running through those silent hills.

[Wandering Star, Le Cl├ęzio, J. M. G.]

No comments:

Post a Comment