I return to my courtyard on one of the saddest days of my life. My childhood room window over looked the garden. That enormous, huge fig was growing in the corner. During the sunny days its shade of leaves covered the space where I spent most of my time fantasizing while there was an open textbook in front of me. It was so calming to follow the theatre of shadows that would start with a breeze moving the leaves and their shadows. The shadows spread across the floor, falling on the walls, moving in the wind, turning into a lion’s head, a clown’s smile or a car. When I used to hear the rustling of the leaves, the shadows suddenly became a stirring sea. Everything became salty. And then the breeze would disappear and the shadows would become what they really were – the soul of the fig tree. So, what surrounds us doesn’t just give us sweet and fragrant fruits. Everything around us also gives us its soul, sometimes playful, in the dance with the wind. But we are humans and don’t notice such things. Always, it seems, we have better things to do. We hurry somewhere, not paying attention to our own or other people’s shadow.
The whole world changes irreversibly every day. It is a pity that human destruction changes all changes. My town is still pretty much devastated. That devastation took place in the name of some purported change. The world is demolished so that some new world can grow over its ruins. So they say. Somewhere in the human soul, in its shadow, these and such changes leave scars. But I’m convinced that in the stomach man is disturbed by that small, for the most part of humanity, invisible guillotine. The fig tree from my courtyard remains to exist in my and my neighbours’ memories, just as it happened with my childhood. Carelessness has been gathering into a spasm for years, and the fig tree theatre is no more to take me into moments of complete tranquillity. The shadows are actually the soul of everything. Sunlight like X-rays passes through something and that dark record of the things we see is actually the record of the soul. Therefore, when we talk about the world of shadows we mean the inexplicable and the unknown, what we are afraid of, what is beyond the imagined reality.
It is dawning. The spring rain stopped a few minutes ago and now I can hear the birds agreeing to go to a market. The sky over the town is slowly clearing and my thoughts, if I look through the window in front of which trees grow, are attracted by the play of dim shadows. The shade of the fig leaves is gone. When I look at the town, I only see the clear contours of the buildings. A world as if cut out of paper. If I look at the wall, I see the shade of my dishevelled head. It looks kind of upset, just like I feel when I remember the old fig.
Translated by Zorica Teofilova