Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it

Boisoara village - Today's Belarus
Boisoara village
© M.M. Loviste 2020

I look at the Loviste hills under the mountain ridges, with their smooth backs and green meadows. Throughout human history, beauty has always paid tribute. Our ladies are well aware of this. My native Lovistea has paid a heavy price too, when, impressed by the divine landscape of the place, Ana Pauker, passing through Boisoara, decided the forced collectivization of the village on the spot; those who opposed ‒ and there were many ‒ were imprisoned and considered irretrievable.

Today is Sunday, close to noon. The people of Boisoara are leaving the church, crossing the road to the cultural house, where together we will commemorate the sacrifice of our parents who opposed the forced collectivization of Loviste ‒ the starting point of my fictional prose The Irretrievable.

There is quite a hubbub, the villagers take my hand in their palms as big as a spade and full of calluses. My fingers are numb. Now it’s the women’s turn, who give me motherly hugs. I am gladly handing out copies of the long-awaited book, to soothe their hearts and ease their pain after those lost in the terrible clash in the ’50s between the people of Lovistea, and the militia and security troops.

The most vivid seems to be Victor Peperigeanu, one of my heroes (mentioned in the novella with his real name). He already knows the book by heart, even more so than I do, and has made everything his own. People listen absorbed. Victor Peperigeanu talks with aplomb about all he has or has not experienced, as he read and reread in the book. The villagers greet him with frantic applause. They know now that the city people will find out all they have been through.

Their cries rise above Loviste, resounding throughout the hills, with their smooth backs and their green meadows, to climb towards the mountain tops and fall in huge waves over the ground. Yesterday’s irretrievable wake up, and their fierce roar reaches as far as today’s Belarus. A whole world is in tumult: Oh, Belarus, oh, Belarus. The echo responds from a distance…

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