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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 63 | volume XI | November-December, 2008



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                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 63November-December, 2008
Prose

The Dancer’s Haik

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p. 1
Igor Isakovski

She had brisk, light steps. But all that ease concealed careful calculation. Each of her movements through space spoke a word. So as not to reveal everything, so her words would be even more inscrutable and deep, she danced in a precious haik.

* * *

    He was a clever and restless boy. His father was a weaver of haiks, continuing the family tradition, which went back eight generations. Periodically, someone in the family succeeded in weaving a haik of astonishing beauty. It happened once in each generation; when the weaver completed the haik, he fell into something resembling mental dullness and physical exhaustion. It lingered for a few days, during which the whole family prayed for the recovery of the weaver.
    When it happened in the first generation, the family was considerably bewildered—and frightened. They considered various hypotheses for why that strange fatigue persisted, what caused it, what kind of consequences there might be… Meanwhile, the family members carefully allocated their money, in case the weaver did not recover, so that they would be able to survive until the first and at the time only son of the weaver began to work.
    The weaver not only recovered from that strange, perfidious illness, but he also began to weave with much greater speed, as if he wanted to make up for lost time. So thought those who saw him, and they were delighted by the skill of his hands. Only he knew that a beautiful haik is the result of slow and determined effort. Deep within himself he had yearned to weave such a thing, even if it were his last haik, but the thought of obligation to the family drove him to work with half a mind, thinking more of the next haik than of the one he was weaving at the moment. The work provided extra income for the family, of course, so that when the weaver of the third generation, after working three weeks on a single haik, fell into unconsciousness, the family was not overly worried; their prayers were not so urgent, for everybody knew that it would only require a few days before the weaver would return to his work. His haik was placed alongside the other two. Here I do not mean to say that it was more or less beautiful than the others, for the family cherished each of these haiks as a special treasure and relic,


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