Like the rivers that mark and flow through the earth,
Like the mountains and trees, which rise of the land,
Like Hope, that reappears after a war,
Like the sky and the stars that govern our lives,
The seas, desert winds, flowers of one moment,
The Birth and death, eternal beginnings,
Like the past, present and fragile future,
Such as happiness or distress all our life we carry,
I would like to imprint the memory of my family.
Without my parents who gave me life,
Without my friends and their confidence,
Far from the churches, but not without belief,
It is not beyond tears and emotion
These memories were awaken and written.
Sat behind my window to contemplate motionless nature, I reminded myself the years of my childhood, my adolescence and finally of a young and mature woman, intersected with voyages, of more or less long stays always in new countries. I remembered the years during which, whatever were the circumstances, sometimes overtaken by dangerous events, my parents, often in delicate situation, did not cease lavishing tenderness and love on us. Of that, I cannot but be grateful and hope that my memory is faithful and is an accurate account of what I saw as the witnesses of these same events.
1989 was a black year during which my mother’s illness became progressively worse and my father’s distress deepened. To see the doctors being helpless before such a malady was, for us, desolating. At the same time, we hoped that rapid medical evolution or a new discovery could, in the absence of effective treatment, save the woman we cherished.
We still had the hope that my mother who, even weakened, still resisted a few years and which her hour had not come yet. She will die on November 21. She had decided it. As I knew it, she was to be serene at the time of her last sigh, I suppose, because I was not there when she died. Only my father was present.
This standby, sometimes difficult to sustain, brought me back certainly to a nearer reality, that which we had lived under other skies, which had followed me along my life which is already of a half-century. I became more sensitive to the least emotion than a more or less precise memory awoke.
So that my sleep should no longer be haunted by nightmares and that my nights should no longer be sleepless, I use to read. So that my daily life should not become a black hole, I built castles in Spain. In order to calm my pain and to show, as often as possible, a smiling face to her who needed it, I hung myself to a blank page in the shape of a chronicle what I shall call "my Past".
1989 also saw the events, which our generation will not be able to forget: the awakening of certain East European countries, their return to a still supervised liberty, but freedom all the same, however letting the anguish that for these countries, in process of emancipation, was not a new “Prague Spring”, leaving us to re-examine or revise, simply or doubly, certain of our politico-socio-economics judgments.
To this boiling of the History I wanted to bring my small stone through my own saga, of the experiments lived only or with my family, by my testimony and surprising desire of my mother, discovered with the reading of her will, that part of her biography and the one of my father, be written but never be published.
Whereas I recall what I have or what we lived in France, in Iran, in Israel, in Poland, in Austria, in the United States and in Italy, I do nothing but fly over Greece and ex-Yugoslavia where we also "put our feet". I also describe my experience as an expatriate in Slovakia and Northern Ireland, and my holidays in Turkey.
I speak about France where I was born, lived with my parents and returned when I was an adult, about Iran to have remained with them lasting three years, about Poland "to have visited it" during three months, about Austria to have resided for six months, about the United States for the discovery of the country where my mother resided for ten years and taken as part of my “roots”, about Israel for the search of my Jewish origins, about Switzerland to have remained there a very a long time, about Italy for the holidays and to have also worked in the country. However, I do not write about the forty and some other countries, which I could admire at the time of my holidays and will describe shortly some events in various countries. On a later stage I will speak about Scotland, the country of my husband, which became my country.
A whole crowd, so compact that it is difficult to count exactly the number of attendees. All these people keep burning candles and chanting in the streets, in and around churches. The crowd moves slowly at times tense and collected. As it advances toward the wall, the voices of these men and women are becoming increasingly strong, lively and energetic. They become angry rumblings. Now they are hostility, hatred. This crowd is ready to explode in all directions; it becomes uncontrollable, and then … “We are free!” Everyone kisses the first coming and hugs each other. Everyone stretches his hand toward the sky with the symbol "V" for victory. Everyone cries and laughs at the same time. The same crowd that was desperate is now hysterical with happiness. The Eastern take the hands of the Western Germans for them to meet on the wall. The Berlin Wall fell on the 9th of November 1989, brought down by Germans of both sides. At Checkpoint Charlie Germans from the East met their family from the West for the first time after 28 years and will disappear only in 1990.
© Copyright 2017 Laurence Marquis Northcote. All rights reserved.
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