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reflections on belonging

a palmers chronicle right bw

Graphic Novels

Photo by Margarita O
In spite of the changing partners, Inga's life was constant and monotonous. Two days working in a jewellery shop in the Old Town, two days off. She tried to drink less on weekdays. Sex and alcohol disconnected her from herself: everything that didn't matter was wiped away. The only thing she liked more was the sea. She would sunbathe on a secluded beach in the summer, and walk in the wind in the winter.

Photo by Monika Požerskytė
I had never taken any interest in those distant generations. Why would I have? What did I care about people buried one on top of another in layers in far-away villages, buried in sand and clay? Overgrown with ferns. Their graves fallen in, sucked in by the earth. Burned. Vanished in Brazil and the Americas. On clouds of down in paradise or in the cauldrons of hell. For eternity.
A person cut adrift from my roots, living only for today, yes, but now... Am I now going to drink from a pool of water I'd spat into? Am I going to try and retrieve all the names that have disappeared into oblivion until I've retrieved them all? All the voices? All the bones?

Photo by Laura Vansevičienė
Paulė believed that small dwarves lived in the forest and that they had dug deep caves under the ground. They slept with their arms around badgers because badgers are clean animals – they worked as servants for the dwarves. Paulė imagined herself living in the forest and crawling into a burrow to be with the dwarves – it would be cosy and warm there. Without being aware of it she dozed off and when she woke up, they were travelling along the village road.

They, with their curses, their shoving, their self-righteous hatred, had taken away her voice—her voice that loved to sing, to gossip, to chatter with Lucia and with her sisters. The voice that shared her dreams with Mama in the morning, in the kitchen, over a cup of black tea, before anyone else in the house was awake, even before Papa left for the pharmacy. The voice that egged her into squabbling with her brother Ilya. The voice that teased Papa during their long talks about philosophy, about Pushkin, Lermontov, Don Quixote. The voice that talked too much, and made Mama bade her stop, be quiet, be still, to give her a moment’s peace so that she may think. Her poet’s voice.
That voice was gone.

Photo by Robertas Daškevičius
You see, all the cats (there were seven of them at the time) lived according to a strict, ascetic, individual time table, so strict that one might think that they lived only for the purpose of putting it into effect, that that time table was divine guidance with the cats being the devoted and trustworthy executors of its will. It would not be overstating the case to say that behind them their actions – meaningless at first glance, their everyday languorous movements, their royal-like ways of stretching and snoozing, there lay a noble mission to uphold our world order, which we humans, of course, carelessly, irresponsibly, relentlessly disrupt like foaming waves do endless sand dunes.

Photo by Michelle Playoust
My longing was a little piece of shit stuck to the sole of my shoe. Longing was a city on the periphery where you don’t want to stay. Longing was a little tune, annoyingly stuck, a quartet that resides deep in your blood. Longing was a migrant’s address.

Photo by Laima Stasiulionytė
The cops helped her bury the dog, cursing the whole time. “These women, always think of something. Who would’ve thought we’d be burying a dog? But you have to help a pretty girl, don’t you?” Their eyes flashed with twisted thoughts, their faces shining voluptuously. “Is it warm in your car?” she asked them. “I’m frozen.” While she made love to one of them, though she invited both, the other smoked nervously outside. “Do you like it?” he kept asking her, trying to cuddle like some little boy.

Photo by Vygaudas Juozaitis
Creative types can be divided into those who believe that they are led by an invisible hand, and those who believe that everything is controlled by chance. Though you can also meet hybrid varieties.
     Then there are artists who just don't think about anything.

Photo by Agnė Šyvokaitė
All of them are equal under the law, yes, they have the same human origins, the same divine forefathers, if you like, but they are not granted equal worth and respect. This is the way it has always been, you see, except in the last few decades, when it has become fashionable to repeat the phrase ‘we are all equal’, although no one has even the slightest understanding of what this actually means.

Photo by Vladas Braziūnas
I saw how every day, inch by inch, patch by patch, nature was taking the city back from man. Wandering around it, I would sometimes think that it must hurt, just as it hurts a dying man tormented by illnesses, but when we see with what an unemotional face the man surrenders to his fate, it looked like nothing was really hurting him, that he regretted nothing, that now he wanted only one thing—for everything to end quickly.

Photo by author
And even if he was only a ghost, arising from the depths of her own unconscious, that day was stuck in her memory. And in it was born the weak shadow of a feeling that she had never before experienced. Not fully understanding, she made peace with the memory, as though something she experienced in a dream could happen in real life. Maybe not to her, but to someone. And that was new, like a small azure flower in the bottomless grey of indifference.

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