There are no words for what happened just now. No good ones, anyway. This is a tragedy overlapping another tragedy (Katyn, that is, in case you don’t realize). I don’t even understand how something like this can be possible. This sort of thing belongs in screenplays. It shouldn’t happen to people. Nor should it happen to countries.
Like I said, I haven’t got the words.
…I stand in stillness, hear the migratory cranes,
Their necks and wings beyond the reach of preying hawks;
Hear where the glow-worms glide across the plains,
Where on its slippy underside a viper writhes through stalks.
Amid the hush I lean my ears down grassy lanes
And listen for a voice from home. Nobody talks.
Also, Poland is beautiful. All clothed in a snowy shroud. But what else is new, really? I have always loved this country. It’s in my tendons and my blood and other parts of me as well. It’s the country where I shot a gun for the first time.
Paustovsky loved Poland, and Paustovsky and I are practically brother and sister. He wrote one of the best autobiographies ever, incidentally. Everything is in it – Kiev and Bulgakov, Moscow and Gilyarovsky, summers in Bryansk, war in Lublin. His Kievan ghost was the first to hold my hand (squeeze his nails into my palm, truth be told) and tell me to write. So, you know. This is srs bzns.