The Destiny of the One Who Wrote by Mich Beyer, translated by Kuzul ar Brezhoneg

The Destiny of the One Who Wrote by Mich Beyer, translated by Kuzul ar Brezhoneg

Part Three

Friday, October 1, 1920

Half a month went by without me opening my notebook. The story of my first school days laying unfinished. Right now I want, before going any further, to first write down the events that prevented me from saying more about it. I will write everything down on paper, indeed, and will do so at all costs, little by little, probably, since I have been doing very badly in the last weeks, and lost nearly all of my strength. Today is the first day that I feel better and the Waterman pen is not trembling as much as it used to between my fingers. I shall give it a try, and we will see…

That day, on August the 12th after supper, I was sat at my new table, full of energy, anticipating the enjoyment I would feel telling the story of my first school days. Remembering the events, big or small, describing at length the classroom, the playground, the teacher in his ash grey coat, my fellow classmates wrapped in their aprons — some brand new but most of them patched by the mothers —, as intimated as I was by this new world, the noise of the footsteps on the classroom’s wooden floor… Quite an adventure indeed and so many things to tell!

As I was writing, then — I had quickly put down half a dozen lines — I heard unusual noises on the other side of the wall separating my kingdom from Eujen Dagorn’s. That immediately caught my attention. Eujen is not messy, and one could not find a calmer person in the whole sanatorium. And it was such a late hour! There was another reason, sadly even more obvious, that made me worried: Eujen had been locked in his room for quite a few days. He did not go on the balcony anymore. Visiting him was out of the question and when I tried to convince the Shrew in a desperate effort, all I obviously had in return was a poor and meaningless answer. To put it simply, I was abruptly told where to get off. That was no surprise, the Shrew was only abiding by the rules, the sacred Code of Silence, and I was certain that she had not come to terms with the outcome of the tables case. I had to remain with my worries and ignorance.

I was listening carefully, holding my pen in the air, not daring to make a move. I could hear little steps, muffled voices… Someone knocked at my door. I hardly had time to tell them to come in before Blanchet half-opened the door and said from the doorstep:

“Eliaz, you have to come with me. Eujen, your neighbour, is in agony.”

And since I was staying silent, gawping at him, he added:

“Did you hear me, Eliaz? Your friend is dying. We do not think he will make it through the night.”

“But, Mister Blanchet,” I spluttered, “What can I… He needs a priest, I think… and to be given the last rites! Eujen is a Christian!”

“You are right, Eliaz. The priest came with the altar boy. They did what they had to do, do not worry. But now it is your turn to come to his bedside. You and no one else. Come right after me, please.”

“Please?” That was no invitation. That was an order. The kind of order you can but follow, even when your legs start shaking and you can feel your heart racing in your chest.

*

Saturday, October 2, 1920, at night

Blanchet half-opened the door, and glanced from the doorstep.

“The nurses are no longer here. His is on his own. You can get in.”

And he closed the door behind me. The ceiling light had been left on but someone had put a thin cloth around the china lampshade, which made the light softer. Surprisingly, my eyes were first caught by the window and the glass door that led to the balcony. Both of them were wide open. There were countless stars shining in the clear sky. Despite the late hour, the weather was warm and a light breeze was blowing into the bedroom, like a gentle caress. Which did not prevent me from shivering.

“If you are cold, Eliaz, you can put the blanket that is down my bed on your shoulders, but please, let me smell the scents of this world… for the last time. Just look at how clear the night is!”

His voice, dear me! It made me shiver. Was it Eujen Dagorn that I just heard calling me with that voice that sounded like a high-pitched rattle, like a death rattle?

There was a moment of silence. I was lost. I did not know what to say, nor if I should say anything. I did not know how to stand or what to do with my body. I felt like an imbecile. Although death and I had been familiar for a long time, with war and diseases raging endlessly around me, it was still an abstract idea to me. I had never actually been around a dying person. And worst of all, I had been called to come to see him and was on my own with him! Who was I to be chosen as his last guide?

“Come sit by my side. The priest’s chair has been left here.”

I complied. And I looked at him. Eujen was half sat half stretched out, they had put two pillows to hold his back and his head. His lips and his face were pale, apart from two scarlet spots on his hollow cheeks. His dark black eyes were sunk deep in their holes, with an ugly coal-like shade under them. I could barely see the shape of his body under the bed sheet and the blanket, because of how thin he had gotten. I could not take my eyes off the bed sheet moving at the irregular rhythm of his breathing. When I think of it now, a month and a half month after his death, a question comes to my mind, a scary question: had I been feeling sorry for my poor dying friend, or had I been foreseeing my own probable end?

“I am just skin and bones now. If I were to be sold by weight I would not be worth a penny, would I? But that does not matter since I do not intend to go to the fair… Do not pity me, Eliaz, I could not bare it… Do you know why I have asked to see you?”

“I do not. Tell me, Eujen, if there is anything I can do…”

“There is. I would have loved to talk with you, like we used to do on the balcony… I really enjoyed that. However, I am so weak… The time for debates is long gone for me… I am short of breath… I am suffocating… Pronouncing a single word is a huge effort. You will have to break the silence… I would like…”

“Yes? You can tell me.”

“I would like… I would like… Do you remember the day you told me so many things about your former life? That was an actual confession, if you allow the failed priest that I am to make one last joke… I would like… this is difficult to say… I would like to hear Gabriel Gwiader’s story again. You see, I have not forgotten his name. That would make me feel good, very good.”

I was stunned. Absolutely bewildered. I could not believe it. Nor did I understand the reason for his request. That was so unexpected and came as such a shock that I stayed silent, as if paralyzed. When I told him that story for the first time, three months before, I did so without even noticing or, I should say, almost unthinkingly. I had such a need to get things off my chest! Until then, I had never found the strength to do it nor someone willing to listen. Eujen, that kind magician, had found the way to open the floodgate and I could not but follow the stream. On went the flow, strong and unhindered. For what it’s worth and despite the relief I felt at the moment, the scar that made my chest burn was not healed. The loss of my friend would remain within me and hurt me forever. Therefore, although I had decided to entrust these facts to my notebook, I was not sure I had the strength to do it, I could not stop beating about the bush, telling all sorts of less relevant memories of the kind one does not get tired of. I was even wondering about his pilgrimage project. Was it nothing more than a dream? A doomed dream due to a lack of proper will? It might be so but Eujen Dagorn was dying, and I was face to face with him… You cannot deny a person’s last will. Definitely not. Whether I understood them or not, whether difficult or not, I had to comply.

“You are not saying anything, Eliaz? You must find my question quite surprising indeed, even completely uncalled for. And I also know that you are full of sorrow. It would do me good, like I said. It would do me a lot of good to hear the story of that brave man, who stood up without hesitation despite his approaching end. I need someone to warm my heart, do you understand? The example of an unwavering soul would help me reach the end… The blessing of a priest and the last rites are not everything, far from it… Neither is faith, sadly!”

I can still see myself in the room with him: one last glance at Eujen, a shy sidelong glance at his imploring eyes gleaming with the fever. I put the chair closer to the bed. One more glance at the stars, the stars I love so much, as if they could make me stronger. My back is bent, my elbows on my thighs, my hands supporting my head. I can hear myself too: my hoarse voice trembling, stumbling over the first words…

“You remember, Eujen, when I told you how close Gabriel and I had become during our studies. We were boarders so we did not get to see our families much, or at least, we spent more time together than we did with our parents. As for our classmates, for right or wrong, we did not find much interest in socializing with them. Although they were more or less the same age, we considered them as immature teenagers, unintelligent and uninteresting fools… That was ridiculous boastfulness on our part, probably, but there you go, we were little brats too, what can I say? As time went by, our friendship grew and deepened. We would meet outside of school too. Sometimes, Gabriel would come to visit me at home, and I, more often I have to say, would go to Telgruc. I loved these days. I especially felt at ease with Yann-Vari Guyader. His ideas were not that different from my father’s, but I thought his thinking went further. Or maybe his knowledge being more profound and broader, he knew how to express his ideas more clearly. Dad talked, Yann-Vari explained. Be that as it may, he had a strong influence on the young boy I was. Young people’s brains are like sponges, all they are asking for is to absorb, and Gabriel and I enjoyed Yann-Vari’s lessons as much as an invigorating drink… After Gabriel’s death… Oh! Not right away but little by little, this disturbing question arose in my mind: did Yann-Vari actually assess how strongly and deeply our young men’s minds could be influenced by his obstinate pacifist speeches? Did he realize how inflexible and unwavering his son would become? Obviously, Eujen, I never had the courage to ask him.

“The end of our courses arrived. It was July 14th. War rumours were spreading and it looked like the future would be dark sooner rather than later. Despite that, or because of that, we were determined to carry out our bicycle trip. Our studies and training year had come to an end, and so did our happy exemption period. It was time for military service. Whether or not our country was at war, we would spend the next three years far from home and our country. Three years separated from each other. So there was no question of abandoning our project. The departure was set for the 22nd. We got on our bicycles in Cléden, our backpacks chock-a-block, as were the saddlebags we had bought not long before. Carriers had never deserved their name more than ours. When drawing a route with the help of our road maps, we were unwise enough to forget we would have to carry such heavy luggage. But anyway, we managed to stick to our plan. Around 30 miles a day. Cléden, Locronan, Ploudiern and the Menez Hom, Argol, Le Faou… I will not describe our route in detail, all you need to know is that beauty was everywhere. Excitement, fright, and bewilderment: such was our daily program. Once in Le Faou, we took the boat to Daoulas and Logonna.

“You know as well as I do, Eujen, that straight routes are scarce in our country! The more we went uphill and downhill, the more my bloody stitch was hurting at the top of my lungs. Despite the regular halts we made to look at the countryside — so magnificent and yet so diverse —, the churches and chapels or any old building that was on our way, despite every little lunch break being a welcome rest period, my pain was getting worse. Many times did Gabriel find himself so far ahead that he had to wait for me. I tried to hide it but he quickly noticed and when we arrived in Logonna he pretended to be exhausted and suggested we made a proper halt. Holidays during the holidays! We spent two whole days in the Logonna peninsula. A farmer gave us permission to sleep in his barn. And we did sleep, like babies, for the whole night and part of the day! We looked pitiful, for sure, since his wife invited us for supper. We had a big meal and when we left the following morning, early enough so that we did not get sunburned, we found fresh food near our bicycles: a loaf of bread, a huge slice of pâté packed in a handkerchief, and a bowl full of strawberries! There was a piece of paper under the bread that read: ‘You can keep the handkerchief but could you please eat all the strawberries before you go and leave the bowl here.’ I cannot tell you, Eujen, how deeply we were moved by such generosity. It also made us exceptionally invigorated.

“Afterwards, we went to Landerneau. What a lovely and dynamic city it is, with its inhabited bridge crossing the Elorn River! La Roche-Maurice is equally beautiful, with the ruin of its majestic fort on top of its own rock! And there were pointy rocks everywhere, and abundant forests and you could hear the lapping of the streams everywhere! Our journey ended in the village of Sizun, which we found quite dull despite its church and its majestic parish close. The following day, we hit the road to Saint-Rivoal. The path we had to follow was rough and hilly once again, but we benefited from the coolness brought by the abundant trees. From there, we went to the Mont-Saint-Michel-de-Brasparts. We planned to sleep in the shade of the little chapel’s walls, and after having sweat profusely pushing our bicycles by their handlebars — since pedaling on these rocky paths similar to those leading to Golgotha would have been a grueling effort —, we were rewarded from our efforts with a magnificent sunset. Quite a reward indeed… Of which we had never seen the like! Gabriel could not stop saying: ‘Dear Lord, how beautiful, how beautiful it is, that is incredible!’ And I obviously could not help but make fun of him: ‘Dear Lord, here we have Gabriel Gwiader, a staunch pagan, worshiping God!’ Afterwards, as it was customary after we had been laughing at each other — which happened a lot — a clumsy gouren match started on the sweet grass that surrounded the chapel. And then came endless laughter…”

Mich Beyer (1948, Douarnenez, France) is a teacher of Breton language and author of several novels and short stories written in Breton. She has taught in a variety of schools and even taught pedagogy to future teachers of the Breton language. She began publishing in 1991 with Ar Pennoù Koltar war an enez and has won the 2006 Prix France 3, the 2008 Prix Langleiz, the 2010 Prix Pêr Mokaer, and more. Planedenn paotr e bluenn (2022, The Destiny of the one Who Wrote) is her most recent novel.

Acknowledgments for Lesser-Known Languages

Acknowledgments for Lesser-Known Languages

The excerpts from Virgil’s Fountain / Fenten Feryl appear courtesy of Clive Boutle of Francis Boutle Publishers.

The poems from Pierobežas / Borderlands are excerpted courtesy of translator Jayde Will.

Photo of Ligija Purinaša by Raivis Nikolajevs.

Photo of Jayde Will by Inga Pizane.

Jeff Schinker’s Sabotage, translated by Alasdair Reinert, appears courtesy of the author.

Kim Simonsen’s poems, translated by Randi Ward, appear courtesy of the translator.

Photo of Kim Simonsen by Thomas Koba

Photo of Randi Ward by Perry Bennett.

The short story, “The Old Well Underneath the Old Walnut Tree” by Boris Sandler in translation by Jordan Kutzik, appears courtesy of the translator.

Mich Beyer’s Planedenn paotr e bluenn / The Destiny of the One Who Wrote in translation by Kuzul ar Brezhoneg appears courtesy of An Alarc’h.

Poems by Olena Duc-Fajfer translated by Elaine Rusinko and Bogdan Horbal appear courtesy of the author.

The excerpt of Máire Zepf’s verse novel Nóinin / Daisy appears courtesy of the author and publisher Cois Life Teoranta.

The excerpt from Euri zitalari esker / Thanks to the Acid Rain by Itxaro Borda in English translation by Clayton McKee appears courtesy of the author. A special thanks to Itxaro for translating the Basque into French.

Máret Ánne Sara’s Ilmmiid Gaskkas / In Between Worlds in English translation by Laura Janda is excerpted courtesy of DAT.

Photo by Máret Ánne Sara by Frank Lande.

Alija Krasnići’s poems translated by Teodora Avramovic appear courtesy of the author.

A special thanks to John Cox for his support in communicating with Alija Krasnići.

Thanks to Thomas Porte for sharing his amazing photography.

A very special thanks to TE intern Veronika Miskowiec and veteran editor Joe Williams for their support and work on this issue.

Poems by Alija Krasnići, translated from the author’s Serbian translation by Teodora Avramovic

Poems by Alija Krasnići, translated from the author’s Serbian translation by Teodora Avramovic

SILVER STARS

Flickering words over the fields above the gypsy wagons.
And a miraculous contact with fire erases all their past
While the gypsy waited for night to hide the starry stories
Her dreams became the illusions of wandering and her song sad
               and cursed

The immersive silent songs of the gypsy in the murky river sank
And from her soul as if the silver stars had disappeared
Eyes cannot be closed by the guard as the gypsy is the one
               who sleeps in silence
It was as if she wanted to bring joyfulness and warmth
               back to all homes.

Black night empties with the hands of the gypsy mockingly
               and seemingly silently
And while the strange fire doesn’t want to turn twilight
into a white day
Sad and tired, she wanted to express what her soul was dreaming
Early lost dreams in the late hours petrified silent
Eyes filled with tears stirred up with silver stars

FAIRY TALE AND HEART

Fortune Teller you were born with a gypsy wagon and white horses.
The weather has become dark and heavy
Happiness hung from the branches of a dry tree
You whispered words from dry and hungry lips
A forgotten fairy tale will remain the pain of your life

You wanted to become a source of dreams yes
You tell fortunes of the unfortunate dark-skinned with ashes
She spoke your grandmother’s tongue of fire
And thirst quenched from the rivers of your forefathers

You name night devils with drums
You sing them a song of departure
You melt lead and sweat a tired face
By talking about the hearth, you put the body to sleep


SILVER STARS

Flickering words over the fields above the gypsy wagons.
And a miraculous contact with fire erases all their past
While the gypsy waited for night to hide the starry stories
Her dreams became the illusions of wandering and her song sad
               and cursed

The immersive silent songs of the gypsy in the murky river sank
And from her soul as if the silver stars had disappeared
Eyes cannot be closed by the guard as the gypsy is the one
               who sleeps in silence
It was as if she wanted to bring joyfulness and warmth
               back to all homes.

Black night empties with the hands of the gypsy mockingly
               and seemingly silently
And while the strange fire doesn’t want to turn twilight
               into a white day
Sad and tired, she wanted to express what her soul was dreaming
Early lost dreams in the late hours petrified silent
Eyes filled with tears stirred up with silver stars

GETTING TO KNOW THE LANGUAGE OF NATURE

Not everyone can count the stars in the sky.
To speak the language of birds
To sing about the life of the gypsy
About the green fields with Djurdjevdan flowers
Poems about the bones of unmarked graves
Distances travelled with the path of the sun

Oh man, the words of pain were born with me
Performed at Homer’s Theatre
The soul burns in flames for an unwritten legend
Life is too short for a revival.
Oh, my happiness, distance yourself after my mother’s death

You can’t find a more unhappy one in the white world
The depths won’t let you call him by name
To believe my verses
You should experience my life.

SOLITUDE

My solitude converses with the stone
A long road in a chilly gypsy wagon
The stone whispers the fairy tale of life

A child cries for a lost dream
My life goes by on the way home
The wind swirls and changes my direction.

I see the death of the night with my eyes
My day is lagging behind time.

MY SYMBOLS

When I was a kid
A sorcerer was telling my fortune in a crystal ball
One day I will become a Tzar.
Or maybe a stone slave

There were different dreams
The green eyes shocked me.
I lost my gypsy wagon in the field.
And my life a stone myth

My muse of green fields
Stop my eternal wanderings
The river has no abyss
In which my sufferings are born

CAULDRON OF WANDERING

In the paleness of your face
The Paths of My Ancestors
Told over the quiet fires
In the flames of your eyes

The stars of our quests
On the lips of the rose

Dried potatoes
For unborn children
Wild horses
And distant expanses

In the paleness of your face
Our daily bread

NO WORDS

My black eyes filled with tears
A star has fallen from the sky
The winds are fought by night dreams
Close by a whitebeard old man
It is like he is twisting in his shabby shirt
Before us wails a white dog
Stones are thrown at someone in the distance
Gypsy wagons and tents in the fields are rising
A fairy tale woven out of pain
The snake under the rock hardly tells of it
Geese, gaggling is heard faintly
You can’t cure a flared wounded heart
Break between night and day
Forget the unattainable and unreal dreams

THE NIGHT WEEPS

I’m looking for your shadow
Like a summer star
My lips dried up with flames
Unwanted songs bitterly woven
Between dreams and sleepless nights
The white shirts appeared
The goosebumping continues
Nearby, the love of youth
The night cries with my pictures
The forests sob to my fairy tales
What wheels among broken wagons
The great winged horses have trodden my tears
No one tells anyone anywhere
A soul like its song to a bird hides
From a distance, angry dogs bark
One life in its century grieves

MEETING

How do I get into your dreams
When my angry ones were stolen
The night fell apart on the roads
From a distance, the Gypsies smiled at me.
My dried-up soul is burning
A blazing fire flares up
I met a snake under a rock
My heart beats inside me, sleepless fear
The stars in the sky began to shine
The geese in the Gypsy settlement Mahala began banding
I cannot recognize myself
On my body willow bitter from the river
I cry for a place nearby.
I laugh at life in the distance.
Break my heart – sob my soulmate

Alijia Krasnići (1952, Crkvena Vodica) writes in the Gurbet Romani dialect. He has written over 80 literary works in various genres. He is the author of the first play written by a Yugoslav Rom in Romani language, Carra me, carra tu… (1974). He holds as a strong tenant that the only way to enrich the Romani language is to publish in it. He completed studies in law and became active in activism related to Romani culture and life. He ended his activism when he moved to Serbia after the Kosovo conflict. There, he dedicated himself to literature and Romani language. He even created and edited various anthologies of Romani literature.

Poems by Alija Krasnići, translated from the author’s Serbian translation by Teodora Avramovic

Poems by Alija Krasnići

RUPUNE ČEHRAJINA

Izdran e alava andar kal umaljina upral e rromenđi cahra
Thaj daramno azbavipe jagasa sa ljengo nakhljipe khosol
Đikaj e Cahrarka ašuđarda e raći kaj e čehrajine mothodina
               garavol
E sune ćerdilje laće učhaljin phirimasi a e đilji dukhamni thaj
               arrmandindi

Tasadilje poloćine đilja e Cahrarkaće ane melalji ljen
Thaj andar lako ođi sar te hhasavona e rupune čehrajina
Pe jakha našti phandol arakhavni si e cahraći savi ano š’tipe dremil
Sar kaj mangla te irisarol putaripe thaj tatipe ane sa cahre

E kalji raći marol prasape katar e čuće Cahrarkaće va thaj sar te
               š’til
Thaj đikaj e daramni jag ni manđol o raćipe te putrol ano parrno
               đive
Ćhindi thaj dukhamni mangla te mothol safar sune lako ođi dićhol
Rano hhasarde sune ane majpalune sahata barrastuni š’til
E činđarde jakha asvenca hamisajlje rupune čehrajinenca

E PARAMIĆI THAJ JAGAKO THAN

Drabarko bijandilan cahrasa thaj parrne grastenca
E vaktese ćerdilan kalji thaj phari
Umladi bahh po krango e šuće kaštesko
Ćućurisardan e alava katar e šuće thaj bokhalje vušta
A e bistarutni paramići ka aćhol dukh ćire đuvdimasi

Manglan te ćerdo hhajing e sunenđi
Kaj e kalorrenđi bibahh te drabare ano prahho
Vaćaresa ćire mamijaće jagaće ćhibasa
Thaj ći troš aćhavesa andar e ljeja e papo papose

Davuljenca alavisare e raćaće benđen
Đilabe ljenđe e đilji đapeimasi
Bilave o moliv thaj terisare o ćhindo muj
A mothojmasa katar e jagako than sovljare o šariri

TE PINĐARE E NATURAĆI ĆHIB

Sarsavo našti đinol e čehrajina po badali
Te vaćarol e čirikljenđe ćhibasa
Te đilabol e cahrarenđe đuvdimastar
E vunato umaljinendar e Đurovdanose luluđenca
Đilja katar e kokala e semnosarde ljimorenđe
Nakhlje durimate ano vortope e khamese bijanimasko

O manušeja, manca bijandilje e alava dukhajmase
Čhelde ano teatri e Homeresko
O ođi phabol e bihramonde ljeđendaće
O šelberšutnipe si hharrno jećhe anglalbijanimase
O munrri bahhone, durilan mandar palo meripe e dako

E bibahhtalje našti araćhe ano parrno them
E hhorimate ni mećen te akharelje po alav
A te paća me
Trubul te naćhe andar mo đuvdipe

KORKORRIPE

Munrro korkorripe ćerol lafi e barresa
O lungo drom ane čorrikani cahra
O barr čučuril e paramići đuvdimasi

O čhavorro rovol e hhasarde sunese
E asvin pićal katar o galbeno muj
Ano vudar o đive mothodol ljese hholjarne

O šelberšimate, so ćerdol manca?
Nakhlo mo đuvdipe po drom katar đav ćhere
E balvaljorri e balvaljenđi paruvil mo vortope

Jaćhenca dikhav o meripe e raćako
Munrro đive aćhol palal e vaktesa

MUNRRE SIMBOLA

Kana sema cikno
E drabarka dikhla manđe ano fusuj
Jek đive ka ćerdijav thagar
Ja barresko phanglo

Sesa savone sune
Andar o vunato jakha thodilo baripe
Mi cahra ane umaljin hhasardem
A munrro đuvdipe barrastuno garajpe

Devljunone munrrije e vunatone umaljinenđi
Aćhav munrre biagorune phirimate
E ljen najla bifundosi hhar
An savi bijandon munrre pharimate

E KIKAVI PHIRIMASI

Pe ćiro galbeno muj
Munrre droma e anglalavutnenđe
A e kikave upral e jaga
An ćire jagalje jakha

E čehljarina amare rodimatenđe
Lolje luluđenca pe vuš

E bibijande čhavorrenđe
E kompirorre šuće
A e divo gra
Buhljune durimatenđe

Pe ćiro galbeno muj
Amaro manrro šućilo

BILAFESKO

Pherdilji munrri kalji jakh asvin
Katar o badali pelji e ćehrajin
E balvalja marenpe e raćaće sunenca
Ano pašipe o phuro parrne ćhorenca
Sar te paćardol ano gad pharrado
Anglal amende hincil o đućol parrno
E barr varekastar dural ćhudinjon
E rromane cahre ane umaljin vazdinjon
E paramići katar o dukhajpe khuvdol
O sap telal o barr phare latar mothol
E davuljaresko davulji ašundol tasade
Našti saston e rrapedime ilje dukhade
Pharrov maškar e raći thaj o đive
Bistar e bireslje thaj bićaćune sune

ROVOL E RAĆI

Rodav ćiri ućhaljin
Sar e milajesi ćehrajin
Šućarde me vuš e rrapedime
E bikamlje đilja ćerće khuvde
Maškar o suno thaj o bisunipe
Mothodilje e parrne gadenđe
Lunđardilo o maripe e davuljengo
Ano pašipe – kamljipe e terrnengo
Rovol e raći munrre tasvirenđe
Hincisaren e voša me paramićenđe
Safar rrote maškar e phađarde vordona
Uštade e bare phakalje gra munrre asva
Khoni khatinde khanikase ni mothol
Jekh ođi sar piri đilji e ćirikljaće garavol
Đikaj dural bašen e nahudime đućol
Jekh đuvdipe an piro šlberšipe dukhavol

MALADIPE

Sar te resav an ćire sune
Kana munrre e nahudime ćorde
E raća ćhordardilje pe droma
Dural asaje mandar e Rroma
Munrro šućardo ođi phabol
E rrapedime jag buhljol
Maladiljem e sapesa telal o barr
O ilo marol an mande bisovimasi dar
E ćehrajina po badali strefisarde
E davulja ane Rromani mahlava marde
Naštiv te pinđarav korkorre man
Pe mo boj ljenaći ćerći rran
Rovav e thanese ano pašipe
Asav e đuvdimase ano duripe
Pharrov iljeja – dobođisar ođeja

Alijia Krasnići (1952, Crkvena Vodica) writes in the Gurbet Romani dialect. He has written over 80 literary works in various genres. He is the author of the first play written by a Yugoslav Rom in Romani language, Carra me, carra tu… (1974). He holds as a strong tenant that the only way to enrich the Romani language is to publish in it. He completed studies in law and became active in activism related to Romani culture and life. He ended his activism when he moved to Serbia after the Kosovo conflict. There, he dedicated himself to literature and Romani language. He even created and edited various anthologies of Romani literature.

In Between Worlds by Máret Anne Sara, translated by Laura A. Janda

In Between Worlds by Máret Anne Sara, translated by Laura A. Janda

6

Freshly cooked blood sausages were steaming on the table. Lemme went straight for the reindeer intestine, held it out for Sanne and laughed.

“Stop that! Shame on you!”

Rija was quick to stop her son when she saw that he was fooling around, insinuating nasty things about the stiff sausage.

Sanne restrained herself but couldn’t help giggling at the blood sausage.

“And you, Sanne, put away your telephone when we’re eating!”

Sanne grabbed her phone, which had just then started beeping again on the table. She peeked at it to make sure that it was just the battery, not a message, before she put it in her pocket.

“Dad. Have you heard the news? We’re gonna get a brand-new dirt bike track.”

“Oh yeah?”

Juho wasn’t really interested, but he let his son talk.

“It’s going to be as big as ten soccer fields, and it will be really close to us, right between the town and our neighborhood. They started clearing and leveling the land last week already, and when they build it, it won’t be more than a few kilometers away from here, so I’ll be able to ride over there right from home, and…”

Juho dropped the vertebra that he was scraping meat off of.

“Where?”

He was suddenly sincerely interested.

“Right between the town and our neighborhood, about four kilometers away on either side.”

“And what are you saying… the size of ten soccer fields… they’ve already started digging??”

“Yeah.”

Our memorandum, they promised to wait.

Lemme was still smiling, but when he saw his father’s face, the corners of his mouth drooped.

Juho’s cheeks turned red.

“Are you complete idiots? Utterly out of your minds?! A dirt bike track the size of ten soccer fields? A place that will be booming with noise around the clock, all year long? With a road there? And a parking lot? And big lights… and electric lines?”

“Well, yeah…”

“And what were you planning to do with your reindeer when there are bad winters? Now that the climate is changing so unpredictably, and the snow melts and freezes over and over until layers of ice lock up the grazing grounds? Do you think that the reindeer will go anywhere near such a site? A dirt bike track?! Where people buzz around like drunken flies?”

Juho pounded his fist on the table so hard that a glass of water tipped over and spilled down Chorre’s back and onto the floor. Chorre got startled and ran away, and at the same instant the telephone that Rija had commented on started beeping as if on purpose. Everyone felt instinctively that the atmosphere around the table was seriously heating up.

“Can’t our reindeer be somewhere else? They’re never there anyway, except for this year…”

Lemme was speaking in a low voice. He was trying to explain and restore calm, but Juho wasn’t listening anymore.

“Our own kids, just as stupid as the colonists!” Juho was really furious.

“Does one really have to explain everything for them? They’re like little children! Don’t you understand that we’re talking about the most essential piece of land that we have as backup? The one that will rescue us if such winters keep coming? If the winter grazing lands are covered with ice? All…locked…up!” Juho was speaking slowly, emphasizing each word as if he was talking to someone who was mentally handicapped.

“But it’s not…” Rija tried to head off the approaching storm, but before she managed to say anything, Lemme threw his fork down on his plate, jumped up from his chair, and ran out through the door.

The bike was heard revving up outside and Sanne ran after him.

“Where are you going?”

“Away from here.”

“Wait, I’m going with you.”

Sanne jumped on the back and Lemme took off through the forest toward the town.

7

“Let’s go.”

Sanne was pulling on the arm of her brother’s jacket. When the roar of the motor stopped, everything grew quiet and the darkness that suddenly crept in was eerie. Lemme had driven to the new dirt bike track, which was far from finished. There were excavators and bulldozers on the site. All around were just piles of sand, which Lemme had driven ruts in until he ran out of gas. Sanne was poking at her phone again. She tried to turn it on but the battery was completely dead.

“Try taking it out and warming it up in your hand,” Lemme suggested.

“I tried that already and it’s no use!”

Sanne wanted to slam the phone on the ground, but she tucked it into her pocket instead.

“All because you wouldn’t lend me your crappy precious charger…!”

Lemme didn’t answer. He didn’t know how many times he had repeated that Sanne, like everyone else, should get and take care of her own things, but he also knew that he could easily have let her borrow his charger.

At any rate, there was no point in arguing about it now. Now they had more important problems to solve.

“What should we do with the bike?”

Lemme had his own worries. He didn’t want to leave his new bike behind, after bringing it here in an angry outburst and without permission.

“Dad will understand if we put it to him nicely. He’ll come and pick it up…”

Sanne tried to talk her brother into leaving the bike there until tomorrow. She didn’t want to stay here, but she quickly understood that Lemme wasn’t going to leave his new dirt bike behind no matter what.

“Take the handle from the other side. We’ll push it!”

Lemme shoved Sanne over to the other side of the bike. The same vehicle that a moment ago had been showing off all of its horsepower, was now a heavy dead weight.

*

All around were abandoned backhoes and dump trucks like huge shadows in the darkness. It was a long way home. Especially now that they had to push a dead dirt bike. Lemme reasoned that there would be some streetlights along the road to light the way, but that was a detour.

“It will take us at least an hour to get there. We can take a shortcut along the path through the forest.”

Sanne didn’t really like that suggestion, but given that they had gotten themselves into trouble, it was best to choose the quickest and simplest solution. The construction site had been placed outside of town because the builders wanted to take advantage of the empty forest instead of tearing down buildings in town. Besides, dirt bikes were too noisy to be in people’s earshot. Here on the other hand, in the empty wilderness where there wasn’t a single soul, the darkness was free to level out all the mounds and bumps in the entire forest. Lemme had ridden along this way so many times that he knew the way almost by heart, even though he couldn’t see the path.

Once we get through this little piece of forest, it will be easier to follow the path over to the hills that lead up to the houses.

He glanced over his shoulder, to make sure that the town was to the north and they were headed south. All the while he kept talking to Sanne so that she wouldn’t think too much about the darkness and lose courage.

“Did you hear that they’re planning to open a McDonald’s and a movie theater in the new shopping center that they’re building in town? And in the basement they’re supposed to open a bowling alley…”

The darkness was nearly forgotten and the dirt bike wasn’t so heavy anymore.

“Really? When will it be ready?”

Sanne was curious because Lemme promised to treat her to a movie and a burger, since he was the one who got them into this mess by losing his temper. This was enough of an incentive for Sanne, who got so excited that she started to push the bike a little too fast. The wheel sank down into a little cleft between two mounds and put a stop to their progress.

“Dammit! Pull it back!”

Lemme was in a hurry now. It was almost completely dark and it was hard to see which way to go in the forest. He didn’t want to have to make any detours. The excavation vehicles still loomed large behind them at the site, but in front of them was nothing but pitch-black forest. Sanne bent down in order to pull on the front wheel, but she stiffened up as she grabbed ahold of it.

“EEEEEEEYAAAAAAAH!!”

*

Something let out a hideous shout that went right through their bones.

What’s that…? A fox? An animal in danger?

Sanne looked at her brother who was standing completely still and staring into the darkness. Neither of them made a sound. Now was no time for conversations or discussions.

“Hurry up!” Lemme yelled while trying to yank the bike loose.

“It’s stuck on a bush, you come do it yourself!” Sanne yelled back.

Lemme took a step, but with each step he took, there came a rustling in the bushes a little way off. He took another step and there was that rustling again.

“Holler at it to scare it away,” Sanne suggested anxiously. She had seen enough times how hungry wolves, bears, and wolverines had torn up reindeer as if they were paper bags. Lemme flapped his arms, yelled and ran a few steps toward the sound. Just then something moved. It flew out of the bushes and hid behind a nearby rock. Lemme ran back, and at the same time the something slipped from the rock to hide behind a nearby tree.

“EEEEEEEYAAAAAAAH!!”

The sound raised all the hair on his neck and Lemme stiffened up. He didn’t dare to move anymore. Sanne was still holding onto the bike, but she let it fall to the ground when she ran over to her brother.

“EEEEYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!”

It howled again and flew from the tree to another rock even closer. A moment ago it was on their right, now it was to the left of them, and they could see its movements out of the corners of their eyes.

“If it’s an animal, it sure isn’t afraid of us,” Lemme whispered.

Sanne agreed.

We have to get out of here.

The bike would have to be left behind, that was clear now.

“Let’s run back to the dirt bike track. Dad might be there looking for us…”

Sanne nodded and swallowed hard. The dirt bike track was closer than home and she knew that if they ran as fast as they could, hardly anyone could catch up with them.

“One… two… three!”

Sanne almost tripped as she ran, but she managed to follow her brother. They were fast, but the thing that was moving in front of them was faster than either of them. The tree that it had been hiding behind a moment ago was quite far away from the nearest bush, rock, or any other hiding place. That something was extremely fast, but now the distance was great enough that Sanne and Lemme got a glimpse of it. It was a little creature on two legs. It had a voice that could crush your bones and it moved with a speed that left the wind behind. Lemme and Sanne held hands. For an instant they were petrified by fear and struck by the same thought:

We have to get away from here, now!

They held each other’s hands tight and ran. They ran as fast as their legs could carry them, but the faster they ran, the wilder the screaming became. The howl went around them, from a rock to a tree, from a tree to a mound of earth, from there to another mound. It wasn’t rushing from one hiding place to another anymore. It was flying fast, counterclockwise. It was circling around them. Although it was far away, it had already gotten around them once. Now it was closer. It was behind them again, going around a second time. Suddenly it moved directly in front of them. It was very close, and its voice was so harsh that Lemme closed his eyes and had to cover his ears.

What the…?

Sanne, who was right behind him, shrieked when she saw what came into view in front of Lemme. She grabbed Lemme’s jacket and yanked him back.

“What?”

Sanne didn’t have time to answer, she didn’t want to try to explain what she had seen. She just yelled at her brother to sit down. She was all out of breath and frightened.

“That mental patient… this is what he was talking about. The devil-child… goes around three times!”

“What? Why are you blabbering about that now? We have to get away from here!” Lemme yelled.

“Hush! I think that old guy saw the same thing we are seeing now, and he said something more about it. He talked about reciting the Lord’s Prayer. It goes around three times… Amen, Our Father… He was trying to tell me something, but what was it?”

Sanne grabbed her brother’s jacket again, but this time she wasn’t joking.

“Don’t let it go around three times! That’s what he said.”

Lemme jumped up and pulled Sanne along with him.

“We can’t play games here, come on!”

Right when Lemme jumped up, the sound moved again. By now it was terrifyingly close. It seemed to be coming from all directions. It screamed and howled fiercely and moved like a bird in flight. Soon it would complete the third circle around them.

“Stop!” Sanne yelled.

She got left behind when Lemme started running.

“We have to recite the Lord’s Prayer…”

Sanne wasn’t quite certain what to do, but she knew that this was no joke, and that the crazy man by the swings had been telling the truth. Lemme was so frightened that he couldn’t focus enough to stop. He ran toward the excavation site as fast as he could, and the sound flew along at his side even faster. It went counterclockwise and it was catching up.

“Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy…”

Sanne tried to hurry. She knew the prayer by heart, but in this situation it was hard to think straight. Lemme ran so fast that he tripped and fell. He jumped up and called to Sanne to come FAST!

“…forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…”

Sanne didn’t manage to recite any more before she saw it. A pale, little naked child vanished behind one of the excavation vehicles right in front of Lemme. It had completed the third counterclockwise circle and that was the last thing that either of them saw before everything went dark.

8

The clock on the wall struck seven. Juho and Rija had been awake all night but the two kids hadn’t come back or called since yesterday’s outburst.

“I have to go and look again.”

Juho was restless. All evening he had called all of his children’s friends and acquaintances, and he had spent the night walking through the forest and calling their names.

“Hi, this is Sanne, you know what to do…”

Juho ended the call, and even though he was holding Lemme’s dead telephone in his hand, he called that one too.

“It’s Lemme here, call again later.”

*

Are they still angry?

Rija burst out crying.

What if something happened?

Fear was beginning to eat away at their strength, and their patience was running thin.

“Did you have to be so tough on him? He’s just a child! It would have been possible to reason with him if only you had talked with him on a sane level. You could have explained and he would have understood… but now maybe…”

Rija wiped away her tears and Juho’s heart sank. He sat down, leaned his elbows against his knees, and took his head between his hands. Chorre crept quietly up to his side and nudged Juho’s hand with his nose.

“Forgive me, dear… of course it’s not your fault.”

Rija bent down and pressed Juho’s head against her chest.

Juho straightened up his back.

“I’ll go to the dirt bike track, maybe there’s someone there now.”

He put his hat on his head and went outside. Chorre followed after.

*

The coach had just gotten to the construction site where soon there would be a brand-new dirt bike track. He was satisfied, in a good mood.

We’re going to be the most popular dirt biking club in the whole country. Ha! You can’t put up a track this size just anyplace!

Just then he saw the ruts that someone had made riding around and he guessed who that someone might be. Who might be that enthusiastic and also lived nearby?

That’s exactly how they become the best. By showing real interest.

He smiled to himself and stared at the beautiful spot they had found for the dirt bike track.

*

“Have you seen Lemme and Sanne?”

The coach was startled to suddenly find someone there.

Who’s that? I’ve seen him before…

As Juho came up closer, the coach recognized him.

Juho Joansu!

“No, I haven’t. Are you guys playing hide-and-seek? Haha…”

Juho was in no mood for jokes, and he shouted once more.

“Have you seen them?”

The coach, who of course had no idea about the seriousness of the situation, was taken aback, but after he had a chance to collect his thoughts and saw Juho’s despair, he shook his head.

“No, but somebody left some tracks here. I was just thinking that perhaps it was Lemme who had…”

Juho took a look at the tracks that crisscrossed over the sand piles and open land. The tracks were fresh.

“But you haven’t seen them?”

“I just got here, and they aren’t here.”

Juho started following the tracks.

“Follow around the edges and see if you can figure out which way they came and went in this god-forsaken mess!”

The coach was going to protest, but he held it in when he saw the man’s desperation and followed after him. They walked single file and examined and reexamined every track that could have led out of the sand-covered site.

“All for some damned entertainment. For such childish waste!” Juho started mumbling again. “For the sake of some damned idiotic wasteful entertainment…”

He felt the fear and grief clenching his throat so firmly that he could hardly breathe.

“It’s all your fault!” he roared.

“What?”

“That you people encourage our children with wasteful nonsense and make them rebel against us!”

The coach had had enough. He didn’t understand what the matter was, but he wasn’t going to put up with some stranger yelling at him and making a scene.

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“This damned project!” Juho snarled. He pointed at the ravaged earth and waved in every direction where the machines had felled trees and torn up the ground. “You people are destroying our livelihood with this diabolical hole! And you didn’t even ask for permission! You’re doing it illegally!”

The coach was clueless.

“You mean the dirt bike track? What’s been destroyed? There’s nothing here. Just a completely empty piece of birch forest that isn’t used for anything!”

Juho spat on the ground and shook his head in rage.

“There’s no use talking to you people. You’re all idiots. Don’t understand a thing. And don’t give a damn either!”

“Give a damn about WHAT? We got all kinds of permits from the municipality, and there wasn’t ANYTHING here before. The closest house is several kilometers away… This site isn’t being used for anything. And what’s more, we live in the most empty place in the world, if you count the number of square kilometers per person. Of course we should make use of this empty wilderness, which is otherwise wasted! I don’t understand what you’re whining about. Your own children will get to come and train here. They’ll have lots of fun!”

*

Juho was about to let him have it.

“What good is having fun if we lose the means to earn our living? When we run out of money to buy dirt bikes and other playthings? When we don’t have anything anymore! Do you get my message? No, of course not!”

Now the coach lost his cool.

“You think I don’t understand? You people have everything you need! The whole wilderness is yours. The rest of us can’t even go near it! And what’s more, you get money from the government, so you can buy everything you need. The newest dirt bikes, snowmobiles, big cars. And cabins all over the place!”

“I know what you think. But you don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground! Do you think that I buy dirt bikes and snowmobiles for fun? NO! Do you think that I buy a big car in order to show off? NO! I need a new snowmobile and a good motorbike because I have to go wandering miles away from civilization, in places where there often isn’t any telephone coverage. A new snowmobile is what keeps me safe! And I NEED a big car because I have to transport reindeer and dirt bikes and snowmobiles.”

“Why can’t you walk or ski along with your reindeer like real Sami people did in the old days..?”

“Do you think that the reindeer we have today just stand around waiting for people to come near? That’s impossible … and why should we … in that case you should also sell everything and move into a turf hut!”

Juho was on the verge of exploding. He was in no state to continue the argument.

It’s hard work educating people who are totally ignorant. It takes time, and that’s exactly what I don’t have right now.

“I don’t have the patience to fill empty skulls,” Juho growled at the coach and went to the car.

The coach gave him the finger.

Damned greedy Samis. They’re never satisfied!

*

Juho took a few long strides toward the car and then stopped short. There were tracks that led into the forest. He rushed after them. Ran until he found the bike in a cleft between two mounds, stuck on a shrub of dwarf birch.

Máret Ánne Sara (1983, Hammerfest, Norway) is a Sami artist and author. Her art focuses on Sami identity and livelihood. She has been greatly influenced by reindeer herding, which is a key component to Sami culture. Her work has been exhibited around the world, including at the Sami Pavillion during the 59th International Art Exhibition of the 2022 Venice Biennial and the 2022 Arctic/Amazon show at the Toronto Power Plant gallery. She has published two novels. Ilmmiid gaskkas / In Between Worlds, excerpted here, was nominated for the 2014 Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize.

In Between Worlds by Máret Anne Sara, translated by Laura A. Janda

Ilmmiid Gaskkas by Máret Anne Sara

6

Beavddi alde lievddistedje duoldi varas márffit. Viellja dohppii dokki ovddemus, geigii oappá guvlui ja boagustii.

– Hušš! Heahpan eret láhttemis!

Eadni lei jođán šiggulit go ipmirdii maid lunta lei heaimmisteame.

Oabbá veahá heahpanii, muhto ribahii goitge skužistit.

– Ja don Sánne, rájat eret telefovnna boradettiin!

Oabbá dohppii beavddi alde telefovnna mii lei vuot rigeregoahtán. Geahčestii vel sihkarvuođa dihte ahte lei báhtter, iige diehtu, ovdalgo nahkehii dan buksalummii.

– Áhčči. Leat go gullan? Mii oažžut áibbas ođđa crossabána.

– Nugo?

Áhčči ii beroštan namuhan veara olu, muhto jearahalai vai bárdni beassá muitalit.

– Dat galgá leat liikká stuoris go logi spábbačiekčanšilju oktiibuot, ja boahtá leat oalle lahka min, dás gávpoga ja min viesuid gaskkas. Dat leat juo mannan vahku álgán njáskat ja jalget, ja go diesa dan ceggejit, de han ii leat go moadde kilomehtera dás dohko, nu ahte mun sáhtán ieš vuodjit dás njuolga dohko, ja …

Áhčči luoitilii čielgedávtti maid lei sohpame.

– Gokko?

Dál son beroštii duođas.

– Na dákko gávpoga ja min viesuid gaskkas, sullii njeallje kilomehtera goappásge eret.

– Ja maid logat … logi spábbačiekčanšilju stuoru … álgán juo roggat??

– Juo.

Min cealkámuš, sii han lohpidedje vuordit.

Viellja ain mojohalai, muhto go oinnii áhči ámadaju, de gal njálbmečiegat njulge.

Áhčis ledje ruvssodan muođut.

– Lehpet go áibbas jallat? Oalát hoavrráskan?! Logi spábbačiekčanšilju stuoro crossabána? Mii boahtá japmat birra jándora, birra jagi? Masa vel ferte dahkkot luodda? Ja bisánansadji? Ja stuora čuovggat … ja el-fápmolinjját?

– Na … várra.

– Na gosa don leat jurddašan iežat bohccuiguin dáid goavvi jagiid, dál go dálveorohagat leat soaittáhaga duohken? Jáhkát go ahte boazu manná goassege lahka ge dien rusttega? Crossabána?! Gos olmmoš jorrá dego gárren čurot?

Áhčči čorbmadii beavdái, nu ahte čáhceláse gopmánii ja golggihii Čorre čielggi mielde láhttái. Čorre suorganii ja ruohtastii eret seammás go telefovdna, mii aiddo lei hárbmadan eatni, vuot rigeregođii dego livččii hárdime. Buohkat dovde gamus ahte beavdde birra lei duldeme.

– Eai bat min bohccot sáhte leat eará sajis? Eai dat goit láve goassege diekko, earágo jur dán jagi …

Viellja humai vuollegaččat. Geahččalii čilget ja jaskkodahttit dili, muhto áhčči ii šat gullan geange.

– Iežamet čivggat, liikká jallat go dáččat! Áhčči lei duođas moaráskan.

– Buot dat ferte čilget. Dego smávvá mánáide. It go ipmir ahte die leat min deháleamos liige eatnamat? Dat mat min gádjot jus dákkár dálvvit joatkašuvvet. Jus dálveguohtuneana šaddá jieŋa vuollái. L–á–s–s–a–š–u–v–v–o!

Áhčči humai njozet, ja deattuhii sániid dego livččii miellaváillagii hupmame.

– Ii son goit …

Eadni vikkai bissehit bajándálkki, muhto ovdalgo háhppehii maidege eará dadjat, de lei viellja bálkestan gáffala dállerkii, njuiken eret stuolus ja jávkkehan uksaráigge olggos.

Olggobealde gullui crossa jamiheame, ja oabbá viehkalii maŋŋái.

– Gosa ban dál leat?

– Eret dáppe.

– Vuordde, mun vuolggán mielde.

Oabbá njuikii maŋábeallai, ja viellja čavgii vuovddi čađa gávpoga guvlui.

7

– Vuolgu.

Oabbá rohttestalai vielja jáhkkasoaji. Go mohtorjurra bisánii, jaskkodii buot, ja seavdnjadas mii fáhkka lei njáhkalan šaddagođii soaiggusin. Viellja lei vuodján ođđa crossabánii, mii ii lean heađisge gárvvis. Dáppe ledje boltunmašiinnat ja juvlagoivvonat. Birra lei dušše sáttoguhppán, gos viellja lei vuojašan suokkisin dasságo bensiidna nogai.

Oabbá čuokkui vuot telefovnna. Vikkai oažžut dan ala, muhto báhtter lei áibbas jámas.

– Geahččal váldit eret ja ligget dan veahá čorpmas.

– Mun lean juo geahččalan ja das ii leat ávki!

Oabbá beaškalii telefovnna gitta.

– Die oainnat go it sáhte luoikat dan gavrri divrras láddára…!

Viellja ii vástidan. Son ii diehtán man gallii lei dáguhan ahte oabbá, nu movt buohkat earát, ferte ieš háhkat ja bearráigeahččat diŋggaidis, muhto seammás diđii maid ahte son roahkka livččii sáhttán luoikalit láddára. Movt dál de ain leaš, de ii lean dál ávki diggogoahtit dainna áššiin. Dál ledje deháleappot áššit maid fertiiga čoavdit.

– Na movt moai crossain?

Vieljas ledje iežas heađit. Ii mange dihte háliidan iežas ođđa sihkkela guođđit deike, gosa lobi haga leigga suhtuid siste bijadan.

– Gal áhčči goit ipmirda jus moai čábbát čilgejetne. Son goit viežžá dan …

Oabbá vikkai humahit vieljas, guođđit sihkkela ihttážii. Sus ii lean miella dáppe ájahallat, muhto ipmirdii jođánit ahte viellja ii boađe guođđit ođđa crossa, vaikko mii livčče.

– Dolle nuppe beallái, moai láidejetne.

Viellja duvdilii oappá nuppe beallái vuojána. Crossa, mii eske lei buot beakkán heastafámuiguin girddáhallan, lei dál lossat ja jámas.

*

Birra ledje ávdin rogganmašiinnat ja guorbmebiillat, mat ledje dego stuora suoivvanasat seavdnjadasas. Ruoktot lei mealgat. Erenoamážit go galggai hoigat jápma crossa. Luoddaráigge, viellja rehkenasttii, gal livččii soames gáhttačuovga čuvgen mátkki, muhto lei beare guhkki.

– Ádjánetne unnimusat diimmu. Moai njulgejetne vuovddi čađa ja manne bálggesráigge.

Oabbá ii riekta liikon evttohussii, muhto danne go ieža leigga dagahan iežaska dán bártái, de lei buoremus jeagadit jođáneamos ja álkimus čovdosa. Huksenbáiki lei válljejuvvon olggobeallai márkana danne go huksenhearrát háliidedje ávkkástallat ávdin vuovddi, dan sadjái go gaikut viesuid čoahkkebáikkis. Dasa lassin ii heiven crossa riedja olbmuid sisa, sin muosehuhttit. Dáppe gos ii orron garjáge, bállii seavdnjadas hui ráfis leabbanit juohke bovdnagaskii, muhto viellja lei dán geaidnoráigge vuodján nu máŋgii ahte diđii sula geainnu, vaikko vel ii oaidnán ge bálgá.

Go dán vuovddáža čađa beasašeimme, de gal jalggodivččii bálggis gitta dievážiid rádjai mat gorgŋejit viesuid lusa.

Son vilppastii maŋos, dárkkistit ahte gávpot bázii davábeallai ja ieža leigga jođus lulás. Seammás humahii oappás, amas jurddašit seavdnjadasa birra ja baldit iežas dárbbatmeahttumit.

– Leat go gullan ahte dien ođđa gávpeguovddážis maid márkanii leat hukseme, doppe galgá rahppot McDonalds, ja vel kino. Ja geallárii soaitá rahppot vel bowlinga …

Seavdnjadas lei measta vajálduvvan, ja crossasihkkel ii orron šat nu lossat.

– Goas son dat gárvána?

Oabbá lei sáhkkii danne go viellja lei juo lohpidan sutnje lonistit kinotuvrra ja hamburgera McDonaldsis, dan sivas go lei suhtuid siste dagahan sudno dán bártái. Oabbá lei eambbo go duđavaš dainna, ja hoigagođii sihkkela measta beare jođánit. Juvla roahkkasii stuora bovdnaroggái ja bissehii njuovžilis mátkki.

– Gavri dette! Gaikket maŋos!

Viellja hohpohallagođii. Lei meastá oalát sevnnjodan, ja vuovddis lei váttis oaidnit gokko gánnáha vázzit. Ii songe háliidan bearehaga ájáhallat. Rogganmašiinnat bás ládje ain oidnojedje buggáme maŋábealde, rogganbáikkis, muhto ovddabealde ii lean go čáhppes vuovdi. Oabbá guvnnjádii ovdajuvlla gaikugoahtit, muhto stirddui nu movt dohppii juvlii.

– IIIIIIEEEAAAAH!!

*

Juoga huikkádii dakkár fasttes jienain, mii manai dávttiid čađa.

Mii …? Rieban? Jápmaheađis?

Oabbá geahčestii villjii, gii čuoččui áibbas jaskadit ja gaifái seavdnjadassii. Eaba goabbáge jietnadan maidege. Dál ii lean áigi čohkkedit digaštallat.

– Doama!, čergii viellja ja ravggahalai sihkkela.

– Dát lea roahkkasan murrii, boađe ieš! Čergii oabbá ruovttoluotta.

Viellja lávkii, muhto oktan su lávkkiiguin gullui dobbelaččas skoabiheame miestagiid siste. Nubbi lávki, ja dobbelaččas fas skoabihii.

– Rágát, vai ballá eret, evttohii jierásmuvvan oabbá, gii lei nohkka oaidnán movt nealgegeatkkit, guovžžat ja vel gumppet ge gaikkodedje rávis bohccuid dego báberseahkaid. Viellja ramšadii, čergii ja viehkalii moadde lávkki jiena guvlui. Dasttán lihkkasii juoga. Jávkkihii girdi leavttuin miestagis lagamus geađggi duohkai. Viellja viehkalii ruovttoluotta, ja seammás livkkihii juoga geađggi duohken lagamus muora duohkai.

– IIIIEEEEEAAAAH!

Jietna ceagganahttii guolggaid niskkis, ja viellja stirddui. Ii duostan šat lihkkasit. Oabbá lei ain sihkkela doallame, ja gahčahii dan eatnamii go viehkalii vielja lusa.

– IEEEAAA!

Juoga fas biškkádii ja girdilii muora duohken lagamus geađggi duohkai. Eske lei olgeš bealde, dál gullui gurutgieđa bealde, ja lihkastat oidnostii čalbmegeahčái.

– Jus die leaš makkárge meahciealli, de dat ii bala munnos, savkalii viellja.

Oabbá mieđihii.

Dás ii leat go báhtarit.

Sihkkel oaččui beare báhcit, dat lei dál áibbas čielga ášši.

– Moai viehkaletne ruovttoluotta crossbánii. Áhčči soaitá vuolgán munno ohcat …

Oabbá nivkkuhii, ja njieládii. Crossabána lei olu lagabus go ruoktu, ja jus viegaiga nu olu go nagodeigga, de diđii ahte eai lean beare gallis geat sudno jokse.

– Okta … guokte … golbma!

Oabbá measta snuvttii go galggai viehkalit, muhto háhppehii čuovvolit vielja. Sudnos lei leahttu, muhto dat mii sudno ovddabealde lihkkasii, lei jođáneabbo go goabbáge sudnos. Muora duohken gosa eske lei čiehkádan, lei oalle mealgat lagamus miestagii, geađgái dahje eará čiehkádanbáikái. Das lei leaktu, muhto gaska lei nu guhkki ahte oappášguovttos vieljain háhppeheigga oainnestit veahá. Lei unna diŋggaš, guovtti juolggi alde. Das lei jietna mii basttii dávttiide ja leaktu mii guođildii biekka. Vieljašguovttos oappáin dolliiga giehtalaga. Čalbmeravkalanbotta leigga goappešagat bisánan balus ja háhppehan jurdilit dan seamma:

Ii dás leat eará go beassat báhtui, dasttán!

Soai čárviiga čavga giehtalaga, ja viehkaleigga. Viegaiga nu jođánit go juolggit gudde, muhto mađi jođáneappot viegaiga, dađi eambbo huikkas šattai. Huikkas jođii birra sudno, geađggis murrii, muoras bovdnii, bovnnas nuppi bovdnii. Ii eambbo livkkihan ovtta čiehkádanbáikkis nubbái. Jođii girdi leavttuin, ja vuostebeaivái. Lei birasteame sudno. Vaikko lei guhkkin eret, de lei juo oktii háhppehan birra. Dál lei lagabus. Fas sudno maŋábealde. Lei nuppes jođus birra. Fargga livkkihii das, njuolga ovddabealde. Lei oba lahka, ja jietna lei nu garas ahte viellja čárvii čalmmiid ja fertii dollet beljiid ovdii.

Mii hearráid …?

Oabbá, gii lei jur maŋábealde, huikkádii go oinnii dan mii vielja ovddabealde oidnostii. Son dohppii vielja reddjui, ja gaikkehii su ruovttoluotta.

– Maid?

Oabbá ii astan, iige háliidan álgit čilget maid son lei oaidnán. Dušše čergii villjii čohkkedit. Son lei šieđđaluvvan ja ballán.

– Diet buohcci olmmoš … dán birra han son humai. Neavrri mánná … golmma geardde birra!

– Maid? Manne daid álggát dál muitalit? Viehkaletne eret dás! Čearggui viellja.

– Hššš! Diet áddjá lei áibbas sihkkarit oaidnán dan seamma go moai, muhto son dajai juoidá eará. Humai Áhččemiinna birra. Golmma geardde birra … Amen, áhččemin … son oaivvildii juoidá, muhto maid?

Oabbá vuohon dohppii vielja reddjui, muhto dán háve ii lean leaikkas.

– Ale luoitte birra, golmma geardde! Dan son dajai.

Viellja njuikii čuoččat ja gaikkehii oappá mielde.

– Ean astta dás dádjut, boađe!

Dasttán go viellja njuikii bajás, lihkadišgođii fas jietna, mii dál gullui oba lahka. Orui gullome juohke sajis. Lihkadii girdi jođánit, seammás go huikkii. Fargga lei ollen birra sudno goalmmát geardde.

– Bisán! Čurvii oabbá, gii lei báhcán, go viellja viehkalii.

– Moai fertejetne lohkat áhččemiinna …

Oabbá ii lean áibbas sihkar maid dagai, muhto diđii ahte dát ii lean leaika, ja ahte dájáskan almmái suhkosiid luhtte lei hupman duođaid. Viellja lei nu balddáskan ahte ii dárránan šat bisánit. Son viegai rogganbáikki guvlui nu jođánit go nagodii, ja seamma leavttus girddii jietna bálddas. Vuostebeaivái, fargga joksame.

– Áhččemin, don guhte leat almmis, basuhuvvos du …

Oabbá doamáhalai. Áhččemiinna gal máhtii, muhto dán dilis lei váttis jurddašit njuolga. Viellja viegai nu jođánit ahte snuvtegođii. Gahčai. Njuikii bajás ja huikkádii oappá boahtit DAKKAVIĐE!

– … atte midjiide min suttuid ándagassii, nu movt mii maid ándagassii addit …

Oabbá ii háhppehan guhkkelii lohkat ovdalgo oinnii unna šovkes, álás mánáža jávkkeheame rogganmašiinna duohkai, njuolga vielja ovddabealde. Dat lei ollašuhttán goalmmát gierddu vuostebeaivái, ja dat lei maŋemus maid goabbáge sudnos oinnii ovdalgo buot čáhpodii.

8

Diibmu seainnis coahkehii čieža. Áhči guovttos etniin leigga ija gohcán, ja mánáguovttos eaba lean dihtton eaba ge gullon ievttá bajándálkki rájes.

– Mun ferten fas mannat ohcat.

Áhčči lei stađuheapme. Olles eahkeda son lei riŋgedan buot mánáguoktá olbmáide ja oahppásiidda ja ija lei vázzán vuovddis ja čurvon.

“Hei, dá lea Sánne, you know what to do …”

Áhčči deaddelii eret telefovnna, ja vaikko doalai Lemme jápma telefovnna gieđas, de goitge geahččalii riŋget dasa maid.

“Lemme dá, riŋges maŋŋel.”

*

Leaba go ain suhtadeame?

Eadni ribahii čirrot.

Naba jus juoga lea dáhpáhuvvan?

Ballu lei borragoahtán searaid, ja jierisvuohta unohasttii.

– Lei go jur dárbbašlaš nie fasttit dadjat sutnje? Iihan son leat go mánná. Gal son goit ipmirda jus suinna dábálaččat hupmá, ja čilge … ja dál soaitá …

Eatni sihkastii gatnjaliid, ja áhči váibmu vuojui. Son čohkkedii, deaddelii gardnjiliid čippiid vuostá ja dollii oaivvi gieđaid gaskii. Čorre njágai siivvut báldii ja lihkahalai áhči gieđa njunnegežiin.

– Ándagassii guoibmi … dieđusge ii leat du sivva.

Eadni guggii ja dollii áhči oaivvi ratti vuostá.

Áhčči njulgii čielggi.

– Mun vuolggán crossabánii, ammal dál leat doppe olbmot.

Son deaddelii gahpira oaivái ja jávkkehii olggos. Čorre maŋis.

*

Hárjeheaddji lei juste ollen huksenbáikái gos fargga galggai leat spildar ođđa crossabána. Son lei duđavaš, ja buori movttas.

Mii gal šaddat bivnnuheamos crossasearvi olles riikkas. Hah! Ii dákkár stuora bána leat vaikko gosa beare cegget!

Son oinnii dasttán ahte soames lei vuojašan dáppe, ja árvidii maid sullii gii dat lei, gii lei nu áŋgir ja dasa lassin orui dáppe lahkosis.

Nie dat šaddet ge buoremussan. Albma beroštumiin.

Son mojohalai ieš alddiinis ja gaifái dan čáppa báikái maid ledje gávdnan ođđa bánii.

*

– Leat go oaidnán Lemme ja Sánne?

Hárjeheaddji beanta suorganii go olmmoš lei fáhkka das bálddas.

Gii bat dál die leage … lean oaidnán su ovdal …

Ovdalgo áhčči lei ollen biilla rájes su lusa, de lei hárjeheaddji dovddiidan su.

Juho Joansu!

– In leat. Lehpet go čiehkádallame? Hehe…

Áhčči ii lean leaikkastallan mielas, ja čergii oktii vel.

– Leat go oaidnán sudno?

Hárjeheaddji, gii dieđusge ii dovdan duođalašvuođa dilis, healkkehii. Muhto go háhppehii jurdilit ja oinnii albmá heađi, de šluvgilii oaivvi.

– In leat, muhto dás vuhtto soames vuojašan. Jurdilin ieš ahte ammal Lemme lea leamaš …

Áhčči geahččagođii luottaid mat manne ruossut rássut sáttogubáid ja jalggaid badjel. Ledje varas luottat.

– Muhto eaba leat oidnon?

– Mun lean jur easka boahtán, ja dás gal eaba leat.

Áhčči guorragođii.

– Guora ravdda, ja geahča oainnát go gokko leaba boahtán ja mannan dán helveha boltosis!

Hárjeheaddji álggii gierddahuvvat, muhto doalahalai go oinnii váhnenolbmo duođalaš balu ja vázzilii maŋŋái. Soai vácciiga maŋŋálagaid ja dárkkisteigga duppaliid juohke luotta mii sáhtášii sáttobáikkis spiehkastan eret.

– Helveha dušši ájanasat. Joavdelasvuođat!

Áhčči vuot humeštii.

– Dán neavrri joavdelasvuođa ja jallasvuođa dihte …

Son dovddai movt ballu ja moraš cikcii čoddaga nu ahte illá šat nagodii vuoigŋat.

– Dat lea din sivva!, čearggui son.

– Mii?

– Go joavdelasaide oalgguhehpet min mánáid ja bostibehtet min vuostálagaid!

Hárjeheaddji lei ožžon nohkka. Son ii ipmirdan mas lei sáhka, muhto dál son ii šat gierdan ahte amas olmmoš suinna čearggui ja láhttii.

– Maid helvehiid don humat?

– Na dán beargalaga ráhkkanusa!

Áhčči gáskkii bániid. Cuoiggui billistuvvon eatnamii ja fáippui juohke guvlui, gos mašiinnat ledje njeaidán muoraid ja bolton eatnamiid.

– Dán neavrri rokki mainna lehpet bilisteame min birgejumi! Ja vel jearakeahttá! Lobihemiid!

Hárjeheaddji ii ipmirdan maidege.

– Crossabána go? Maid billistan? Ii dás goit leat mihkkege. Áibbas ávdin soahkevuovdi, mii ii adno masage!

Áhčči čolgadii eatnamii ja šluvggii oaivvi vašiin.

– Ii dinguin leat ávki hupmat. Bieggaoaivvit. Ipmir maidege! Ehpet ge beroš mastege!

– Beroš MAS? Mii leat ožžon suohkanis buot lobiid, iige dás LEAT mihkkege ovdalaččas. Lagamus viesut leat kilomehteriid duohken … Dát báiki ii adno masa ge. Dasa lassin orrut mii máilmmi ávdineamos báikkis, jus rehkenastá njealjádasmehteriid juohke olbmo nammii. Dieđusge mii oažžut, ja berret maid ávkkástallat dán ávdin meahci, mii muđui ii anit masage! Ja mun gal in ipmir maid don biegut. Du iežat čivggat han besset dáppe hárjehallat. Suohtastallat!

*

Áhčis ledje čáhpodeame čalmmit.

– Mii ávkkiid dain suohttasiin, jus mis ii leat šat birgejupmi. Go ruđat nohket oastit dieid crossaid ja suohttasiid. Go mis ii leat šat mihkkege! Ipmirdat go? Ii mihkkege!

Hárjeheaddji lei maid eddon.

– Ii mihkkege? Dis han lea buot maid dárbbašehpet! Olles meahcci han lea din. Mii earát eat oaččo lahkonit ge! Ja dasa lassin oažžubehtet vel stádas ruđaid, oastit buot maid dárbbašehpet. Ođđaseamos sihkkeliid, skohteriid, stuora biillaid. Ja barttat juohke sajis!

– Gal mun du árvidin. It ipmir it bahtaráiggi ge! Jáhkat go ahte mun oasttán skohteriid ja sihkkeliid suohttasa dihte? IN! Jáhkát go ahte oasttán stuora biilla čájehallan dihte? IN! Mun dárbbašan ođđa skohtera ja sihkkela danne go vánddardan miilaviissaid eret sivilisašuvnnas, báikkiin gos dávjá ii oba leat telefonoktavuohta ge. Ođđa skohter lea sihkkarvuohta! Ja mun DÁRBBAŠAN stuora biilla danne go mun ferten geasehallat sihke bohccuid, skohteriid ja sihkkeliid.

– Na manne bat don it sáhte vázzit, dahje čuoigat bohccuid maŋis, nu movt albma sápmelaččat dahke dolin …?

– Jáhkát go dán áigásaš bohccuid vuordit olbmo lahkosii ge? Dat lea veadjemeahttun … ja manne galgat mii … de galggašit don ge vuovdit buot ja fárret darfegoahtái!

Áhčči lei measta duldeme. Dien digaštallama son ii oba gillen ge joatkit.

Gierdá guoros oivviid deavdit. Dasa dárbbašuvvo áigi, ja dat ii gávdno dál.

– Diekkár dásis in oba gillege joatkit dán digaštallama, harai son hárjeheaddjái ja vázzái biilii.

Hárjeheaddji fáippui suorpmain maŋŋái.

Helveha doahpalas sápmelaččat. Eai goassege duđavaččat!

*

Áhčči lávkkui guhkes lávkkiiguin biilla guvlui, go fáhkka bisánii. Luottat manne vuovddi guvlui. Son doapmalii. Viegai dasságo gávnnai sihkkela bovdnarokkis, roahkkasan skieranii.

Máret Ánne Sara (1983, Hammerfest, Norway) is a Sami artist and author. Her art focuses on Sami identity and livelihood. She has been greatly influenced by reindeer herding, which is a key component to Sami culture. Her work has been exhibited around the world, including at the Sami Pavillion during the 59th International Art Exhibition of the 2022 Venice Biennial and the 2022 Arctic/Amazon show at the Toronto Power Plant gallery. She has published two novels. Ilmmiid gaskkas / In Between Worlds, excerpted here, was nominated for the 2014 Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize.

Trafika Europe