Written by: Mehmed Begić
Days like wild horses
Aging is merciless to almost everything – hardly anything can survive the fists of time. And yet, I can bet in my best memories that I would recognize you even on the darkest night. I have come to terms with that fact, and look at it as I look at my favorite river, I am happy – like when wild horses appear before us on the hill. And all you need is to yield and observe, to keep that moment in the palm of your hand, regardless of how long it will last. The gallop is imminent, everyone knows it is coming, and I am not refusing to think about it in advance.
“The most important thing a person can have is friendship. It is worth more than money, land, horses, or cattle. Friendship is probably the one thing you never forget.”
History has proven it, and there is no doubt: that when things are not what they seem, it is only a matter of time before the masks fall and the true face emerges. The safety net of experience only cushions the fall somewhat. The cost of that net is a different story. Because of it, we breathe shallowly and unhealthy. Being distrustful, we are always ready for an outcome that once might happen when things are not what they seem. The possibility of betrayal is a daily occurrence – it is a slow disease with fatal consequences.
Raindrops fall, but nothing worries me
It is okay to forget everything we have been once. There are many combinations, and they are as realistic as thoughts of a new beginning. That thought occurs every time we find ourselves in front of a wall so high that we cannot see the endless forest on the other side. And such a massive wall that the babbles of the stream do not break through it.
In the early years of the twentieth century, Butch Cassidy was one of the most wanted outlaws in North America. Known as the leader of legendary gangs (Wild Horde and Train Robber Syndicate) and – by both the law and the mercenaries of big companies – he was a hunted person. He fled to South America along with his best friend, whom everyone knew as Sundance Kid. As it was said, both of them were killed in a skirmish with the Bolivian Army in 1908 near San Vincente, Bolivia. Recently, researchers with modern equipment analyzed the remains of the bodies found, as witnesses claimed, at the site where Butch and Sundance are buried. They have not found them there.
The stream is still where we imagine it to be. It is unchanged. It is the same as we keep in childhood memories. And the forest is the same; same are the clear water, tall trees, fish and eels, birds and foxes too. Everything is exactly where it should be, on the slope, on the way to the mountain. It is behind the wall that we should cross. There is that reddish twilight that leads us into a new morning.
More important than the past
I have traveled to many countries. I have stopped where it seemed to me that people were calm and minding their own business. At that kind of places where the people are at peace with the wars of their past. To build a life in such places is easy. These are places you would not leave unless you have to. And everywhere, I came across miracles of nature. In the deserts that demanded wrestling and blisters too. Geography has never failed me, and I am taking many homes with me on my last trip. Burn my letters; don’t forget the lessons learned.
“Sometimes it seems to me that there are only two important moments in a man’s life: the first is when he leaves home, and the second is when he returns home. Everything else is just the thing in between.”
Some mornings bring change. They don’t happen often; for many people, they never happen. There must be no obstacles on the way to the bubbling of the river under the shack’s window. No question must remain unanswered. Turn over every stone as you retreat beyond the neon light that indicates the future. We are disguised so well that we even do not recognize ourselves. Many people’s lives should be prolonged. To write letters, to finish the goodbyes. To choose life and to leave the gradual dying to others too. Easily, as you left the light of the cities. Soon we will go together into the embrace of the night.