Once I introduced Emily, an American poetess to a Russian poet. Let call him Alex. And she disappeared out of my sight for a three months, or so! Today she was back…
I am very angry with you for introducing me to that womanizer?
I said: … Because, I sensed your wish to storm into his hug, remember?
Emili said: I counted on your honesty and trustworthiness.
I exposed my doubts. Really? The book of destiny contains a registration that Alex would be my husband in the next embodiment of our generation? Maybe the destiny can be changed and you will take him away from me?
Interference. A third party, let call him Brian, offered his view on given situation. He asked, if he may join the ladies’ company. He said … Tata, I want a word with you! You gave Alex to her, and blinded by your generosity, she did not see any underlining in that gifting of yours? Almost any lady would miss it, as he is an old fashioned womanizer, skillful to ‘donjuan’ any woman into his trap!
And she ran into that trap without any hesitation.
The Third Party Brian, continued: It was still not enough for you, and you are still at your games… The lady knew who was I, your latest squeeze given to make the old age tolerable.
Why you pointed at me? She had learned nothing, she continues to run with a butterfly catcher in her right hand … after a cheap Woodstock womanizer, master of one-night stands, capable fell in love only quarterly… encouraged by you, she runs after me, for God’s sake… Why you are sending her to me — to reload your hidden pain on her frail shoulders? Maybe you are still pondering, if you are a winner or looser? Are you courageous enough let her duet with me, “Paroles, Paroles, Paroles,” and let me fell in love with her?
Are you sure that creating a new loop, you will emerge as a winner as always? Look into mirror, maybe this is time to stop playing Russian roulette, inching her into my lavendered linens? Better stop the rivalry, forgive me and take back, take me under your wing. I know, I am worse than Alex, maybe a Don Juan is your destiny after all, it has a brighter side as well. There are no more faithful husbands than womanizers, they never divorce, they never change wives, they never …
I did not listen anymore… I erased my love story, I healed my pain,
I decided to ignore loneliness, I sat down to write an excuse to Almighty why I was giving up his precious gift — to start an unusual family shortly before transition… …
Here is my letter to Almighty. “It was my brother, who sent me a book in Russian, a collection of sayings, jokes from the beloved Russian drama actress and comedian Faina Ranevskaya. On the cover, under her stylized portrait was printed:
Family can replace everything. So, before starting a family, one should think what’s more important for him/her: family or everything.
Brian, sorry, I chose “everything”.
Of course, it is not my smartest move. I am already finishing
the ride through my eighties… But stupid me still prefers unreachable
“everything” instead of happiness to awake between the lavendered linens… Poor
me! Lucky me! Cruel me, Empty headed Tata, who avoids looking into mirror on
daily bases, doing it only when joining social gatherings to say instead of
hello—good bye! Do I still dream become known, if not famous? How stupid can a
woman be? Of course—not! Then what makes me run for a bird in heaven, not being
able to walk without a cane on earth?
Is it a poison, dream, or irresistible feel of better frequencies that poems bring when reaching my so imperfect and poor mind receiver that catches about a drop out of the mysterious waterfall that heaven sends down into every eager catcher’s head on earth… Nothing can be compared to the joy of touch of these frequencies that introduce us — for a short moment — to the higher realms….
Once upon a time, a scary guess popped up in my mind out of the blue. It was so outlandish that, please, read it with the grain of salt. Why it is so unbelievable? For instant, can you imagine a connection between, say, filling Siberian Gulags with inmates and building Dneproges dam? Of course, not! Maybe, my worn imagination was too wingless to fathom that these two may be connected? Too old for it? Lately, a youngster shouted, “Hey, you, granny, watch your step and take your cane off my feet?” In my eighties, my cane hurt him, as I was pushing through the street crowds. In general, this is a critical age when we do more than hurting people, we hurt ourselves counting our errors, diminishing their count and idealizing our scanty achievements! As I am one such “bookkeeper” and still counting and hoping that Higher Powers would interrupt it by whisking my soul from here to over there, to another world. We do not know the date, when it will happen, but we can observe, how our loosening memory brings suddenly to light forgotten details from our colorful past. We cannot find, where we dropped our keys, watch, jewelry, cell phone, glasses, but recall completely forgotten name of our boss 55 years ago, a man whom you did not like, who was rude and terrible and a typically hated by the office folk. What for memory produced this name today? Yes, lost glasses were on my nose, and lost keys were in my pocket, and I definitely did not need the name of the forgotten boss. My head looks to me as an empty Halloween pumpkin with forgotten to light a candle inside its carved emptiness… We forget… Sometime an entire nation can forget something significant never forgetting one of our flagmen, comrade Stalin! Despite passed decades, the random ringing of a doorbell makes a wave of fear run through my body. And I calm down myself, bubbling, you are not there anymore, you are here, and ‘black crows’ are not picking up people without charges or warnings in the United States of America.
But it’s time to move from words to deeds. Recently, I found
an interesting article in my Inbox that went viral in American Russian speaking
Such Kind of Information Was Not Delivered in Our Schools
For example, the famous Stalingrad’s Tractor Plant was
entirely built in the United States, dismantled and transported and assembled
in the USSR on 100 ships. The first tanks were created at this plant.
Dneproges was built by the American Cooper Engineering
Company and by the German company Siemens.
Gorky Automobile Plant GAZ was built by the American
The current car company AZLK was built copying Ford’s
design. The famous Magnitogorsk is an exact copy of the metallurgical plant in
the city of Gary, Indiana.
Albert Kahn Inc. designed and built 500 Soviet enterprises!
Albert Kahn, the pioneer
of the industrial design
As an architect, Albert Kahn designed Detroit’s industrial
businesses. Designing all Ford plants, Khan worked out high-performance
technology for designing industrial enterprises. In the USA, his company with a
staff of 400 people prepared working drawings in a week, built industrial
buildings in five months. Kahn was able to prove that he can do the same in the
USSR: the STZ project was completed in record time; building constructions were
made in the USA, then brought to the USSR and mounted in six months!
Albert Kahn Inc. created in the USSR a school of
advanced industrial architecture.
Around the factories, simultaneously, the cities were
created for workers. Ernst May, a German architect, participated in the
development of architectural projects in about 20 Soviet cities!
For 10 years, the Americans built in the USSR about
500 plants and factories!
About 200 thousand American engineers and technicians
arrived in the USSR, who led the almost million-strong army of Gulag prisoners
— plus the few pre-revolutionary cadres remaining in Russia.
American professors trained three hundred thousand
qualified specialists at the labor faculty — that is, all the cadres for Soviet
industry for many years to come!
Thus, the capital base of socialism was built by US
capitalists, plus the cheap labor of GULAG’s prisoners.
This information was new to me and many others. How did
happen that none of us had ever heard about the foreign capitalists’ ventures
in Russia? Over the Internet, I asked my friends’ opinion regarding our amazing
forgetfulness. But people had nothing to share, as myself, they also had no
ideas about it. Nevertheless, the question was still there, maybe I had missed
something talking to people in Russia. I was born in Estonia, which was
connected to the USSR in 1940, when waves of mass arrests of civilians seemed
to subside. At the Estonian Polytechnical Institute, I received an engineering
degree, and fate gave me work of supervising production of an Estonian product
on plants in Russia. My business trips whisked me to Vladivostok, Leningrad, Kamchatka
on the Amur, Barnaul, Tashkent, Samarkand, Frunze, Tavda, Novorossiysk, Odessa,
Kiev, Petrozavodsk… I had to stay in hotels, booked for me by the
administration of the plants producing silicalcite, a new building material,
the invention of the Estonian scientists Johannes Hint. In the Soviet Union, there was lack of hotels.
For average travelers the stay in hotels was an unthinkable luxury. The hotels
were filled mostly by business folks called “komandirovochnie,” in other
words, people on the business trips. In case of longer stays, the hotel guests became
acquainted to the degree of talking, sharing information where to find a tolerable
dinery, or buy snack to go with hot tea. Oftentimes, these conversations around
the cup of tea started a variety of other topics, like how the Baltic “three
sisters’ –Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were occupied, or how our life changed
under Moscow control. But I can’t remember that anyone would ever say a single
word about the American large and so memorable business ventures in the USSR. Could
it be that no one knew anything about the 200,000 well-fed, well-dressed, tall,
confident foreigners walking around the country, strolling with their straight
backs, athletic walks and their heads held high? … And no one ever noticed
them, and there were no stories about couples in love called “he is an American,
and she is a Russian,” or the other way around. Legends about the sons of
the gods, who descended from heaven to mix with earthy beauties have been alive
for millenniums, and here people’s memory, film makers, writers and journalists
had not noticed Americans presence in the Soviet Union, and had never
wrote or done documentaries about it? How
was it possible?
Once, a scary guess struck me, inspiring my imagination to stay some seconds into the shoes of the Greatest of all Great Leaders, Great Liar Josif Dzhugashvili, nickname Stalin from word “сталь” meaning “steel”. It was whispered that he started his splendid rise as a Road Robber of gold for Bolsheviks and serving as an informer of tsar’s Okhrana, or simply, Okhranka (1881-1917), the department of combatting political terrorism and revolutionary activity, especially to curb the spread of Marxism, Leninism and Stalinism, the only holy “science” of the Russian communists. Stalin learned early on how to gain power and once, becoming the head of government and “father of all nations,” he did not waste time searching ways to modernize Russia, as there were no ways to do it overnight. Instead, he hired the best of the best Americans to copy their industrial success stories in Russia. But how to make the 200 millionth people FORGET about the USA engineers’ work? Media shouted about the dizzying success of Stalin’s socialism. Of course, media did not spill a word about the repetition of American industrial experience in Russia. So, Stalin bought his success! But how to pass a lie that he did not buy, but built it? How to make people forget about his business with the Americans? How to make us, the fools, to believe that this was not our gold, but iron will and wise of great Stalin who took over the country with wooden plow, and passed it to posterity with atomic bomb?
The matter was urgent and he, Stalin, found a way out of his uncomfortable situation. Again, he succumbed to means that he mastered to perfection – spreading fear! He cast the country in deep fear that silenced people for good. He organized the waves of mass arrests. Застучали по рельсам колеса … поездa шли на Восток — “the wheels pounded on rails… the trains were heading East…
Aleksander Galich, performing bard wrote in his classics “Clouds Are Floating to Abakan”
Clouds are slowly floating.It’s warm, I suppose, to the clouds,The cold in me would last centuries. like a horseshoe, I freeze in the track of toboggan,
When my iron cane break ice on that road!What for I do my twenty-year term, Tossed along the net of Gulags?
Wikimedia. A map of the former Soviet Union showing key gulag locations.
Going to bed, people were not sure that in the morning they would wake up at their apartment. Black Crows, as people called the black cars without windows that could stop at any house arresting its residents without trial and investigation. The base to pick victims came from denunciations, phone calls, simply by suspicions that this or that citizen does not approve the purge of country from “foreign spies”. All over the country popped up “troikas,” – mini committees of three non-juridical individuals, “true communists,” appointed amidst proletarians, or industrial workers to judge and sentence victims during this seemingly idiotic purging complain. However, the key for understanding the real motivation behind that wave of mass arrests laid in the content of the charges, as if invented by devil’s himself. Thousands were charged of being Japanese spays not knowing any Japanese… An arrested person could be charged as an Argentinean intelligence officer, Madrid terrorist, person who had rich relatives in Paris who stole tsarinna diamond tiara and are hiding it under their bed. Some other unmasked people’s enemy could be the friend of anti-Bolsheviks committee in Shanghai, and there were multitude of other equally ridiculous sentences.
Please note that in any listed charge, there is the name of some foreign power, and the main reason of arrest is communication with that foreign power. The credibility of these charges didn’t bother anyone. The intensity of the horror and despair to become the next victim of this complain had eaten up the last crumbles of common sense in Stalinist Russia. This was how Stalin found a sure way to cover up the truth about his deal with American capitalists.
Quotes from a modern day article.
BEARS, VODKA AND HARRY POTTER: THE HUNT FOR STALIN’S FORGOTTEN GULAGS IN SIBERIA.
“…. Northern Siberia (…) is a logistical nightmare for fieldwork. Winters can get down to -50 degrees Celsius, there are no roads, and the landscape is cut through with rivers, swamps, and shrouded in dense taiga forest, meaning a lot of travel is spent on foot hauling heavy gear. “
“In summer — when temperatures pass 20 degrees Celsius — you have to contend with rivers swollen with melted snow. They can take up to half a day to cross, with hours spent drying out clothes and equipment.”
“Then, there’s the insects. Mosquitoes and flies are everywhere and there are about a million for each of us,” says Lukas, a member of expedition.” “Repellents and smoke from cigarettes work only briefly, but the fire reduces their quantity to a bearable limit.”
The rest I leave to your imagination. Why we, the humans, cannot exist without great leaders in order to avoid nightmares created by Hitler, Stalin, and their mad followers, do we ever learn to go by without unimaginable nightmares of Nazi stoves and Russian icy Gulags, and so many other nightmares that had never been discovered by media. I am grateful to the bold group of ABC life explorers who took the trouble to find the traces of Gulags in Siberia. I own to Robert Burton-Bradley for his great publication about this trip to Siberia, started with the personal money of the participants. Once American industrialists helped to launch the Russia industrialization, today American journalists help to launch the honest talk about how average people, Russian and all the other nations under Stalin’s rule paid for Stalin’s and Communist Party dirty secrets along the way…
Thank you ABC, for finding some rare Gulag’s photos. I assure you that none of “zeks”, the Gulag prisoners on this photo had committed something worth to be sent to Gulag do time… But here, in this crowd, are definitely some poets, scientists, musicians, writers, everybody smarter than Stalin. Russia performed here, on the fields of Gulags its hara-kiri …. God’s ways are truly unfathomable.