Wednesday, March 28, 2007

First love

First love seems never to be forgotten. People wonder what happened to the other whether the chemistry that was, would still be some 40 odds years later. A tenderness floats around a first love, yet it is unclear whether the warmth is towards one’s younger self, towards the young bud love resplendent with innocence, optimism and endless possibilities, or to what could have been, but was not. We are shaped by the path of our life, our circumstances, what we made of it, our choices (if we have any) and geography. Not history, since the same time segment lapsed and we have been shaped by the world’s occurrences. But remember to look at the map realizing how history leaves a different footprint in different areas. My first love and his family is from Yugoslavia, a country that is no more, that fell apart, saw cruelty and ethnic cleansing. People knew fear and hatred and are scarred like their cities, thus telling a tale. Just very few can find it in their heart about 10 years after the war to relearn trust and respect, seeing the former enemy as a human being with the same needs and fears doesn’t seem possible yet. When the bombing was going on, the massacres and the rape of thousands of women in this beautiful southern region of Europe, I wondered what the family did, whether it was divided, and according to what lines: ethnicity, religion, or to where they lived… I wondered about choices. My road has brought me to a spectrum of colors that is so different, so incomprehensible if all one wants is ‘having a normal life’. A normal life in Africa is dying before you’re 40, in northern Europe it is 82 and in southern Europe 72 for women… So to my first love I probably am as foreign as an alien from one or other distant universe… A universe that was 1000 km away from the sounds of war and the bullets flying, a universe that encompassed a desert and a low country, a life lived in two continents, a universe of ahimsa that lived on hard work, words and colors…
If you want to understand more about the war that ended Yugoslavia read: The Sound of Blue, a novel by Holly Payne. Through the fate of the characters and the magnificent old city of Dubrovnik on the Croatian coast one can begin to imagine, why beauty and grief in this region is so interwoven and why a real refuge is so hard to find…

1 comment:

  1. In each life there is a series of people you "Love". I think it generally starts with our mother and ends with our spouse. I have taken a little bit from each woman I loved and am a better person for it. I hope that sharing our kisses helped them grow and feel good about themselves and prepared them to love someone else. I don't even try to find another woman to fit in my life because I am convinced that once I found my true love I need to work hard to keep our love alive. I hope you have found the person you will spend the next 40 years with (only 39 for us) MUD