A Letter, A Cross and A Horseshoe by Lucia Daramus: Romanian and English

O Scrisoare, O Cruce Și O Potcoavă De Cal

 

Iarnă, iarnă și câmpii înghețate. De jur împrejur soldați pe frontul de bătălie dintre aliații Germaniei și aliații Rusiei. Bunicul meu este tânăr, un tânăr tată pentru fiul său,  tatăl meu. Este țigan. Ar fi trebuit trimis în ghetourile naziste, ca țigan. Dar mașinăria de război are nevoie de soldați. Ca civil obișnuia să fie țigan lăutar, cântând din vioară la nunți și, de asemenea, își mai petrecea timpul ca ucenic pe lângă un pictor de  biserici. Niciodată nu a făcut o școală de muzică sau de arte frumoase. Dar era lăutar, cântând orice fără să cunoască notele. Și mai picta, cu sufletul lui de țigan.

Dar acum. 1943! Este înconjurat de moarte. Se află pe câmpul de luptă, fără voia lui. Când a plecat de acasă, a luat cu el o cruce. O cruce din altarul bisericii din satul lui, ca un semn de noroc, ca un simbol pentru sufletul lui, în eternitate. Ca legătură cu radăcinile lui, cu familia lui de obârșie. Deși soția era evreică.

Dar acum. 1943! Este inconjurat de moarte. Înconjurat de soldați tineri. Nu, nu a vrut să lupte. Voia să cânte din vioară la nunți. Voia să picteze icoane cu sfintii de pe pereții bisericilor.

Iarnă, frig, zăpadă, și câmpuri înghețate. O altă zi pe front. O dimineață. Și moarte. Moartea bunicului meu.

Un camarad de război i-a trimis tatalui meu (era pe atunci copil, doar 6 ani) o scrisoare, crucea și o potcoavă. Acestea au aparținut bunicului, țiganul lăutar. În timp,  crucea și potcoava au dat curaj tatălui meu să fie de asemenea un lăutar, ca tatăl lui, și ca bunicul lui. Acum, acestea mi-au pus mie aripi să zbor …peste întreg pământul, ținând în  sufletul meu dorința bunicului meu de a cânta. De a cânta prin cuvinte, de a picta, de a zbura, zbura, zbura….

 

A Letter, A Cross and A Horseshoe

 

Winter, winter and frozen fields. Around soldiers the battlefront between German allies and Russian allies.

My grandfather is young, a young father for his son, my father. He is a Gypsy. He should have been sent to Nazi camp, as a Gypsy. But the war machinery needs soldiers. As a civilian he used to be Gypsy fiddler, playing to the violin at weddings, and also a disciple by a Church painter. He never trained as a musician or painter, but he was a Gypsy fiddler, playing music and painting, using his native talent as a Gypsy. But now, 1943, he is on the war fields, without his consent.

When he left his house, he took with him a cross. The cross of the altar of his village church, as luck, as a symbol for his soul in eternity. As a connexion with his roots, his family. Altough, his wife was a Jew.

But now, 1943, is surrounded by death. Surrounded by young soldiers. He did not want to fight. He wanted to play the violin at weddings. He wanted to paint icons with saints on the church walls.

Winter, and frost, snow, wind and frozen fields. Another day on the front, a morning day. And death, my grandfather’s death.

A battle colleague sent to my father (he was a child, only six years old) a letter, the cross, and a horseshoe. These belonged to my grandfather, the fiddler Gypsy. In times, the cross and the horseshoe gave courage to my father to become a fiddler too, like his father, and like his grandfather. Now, them give me wings to fly…over the world, keeping in my soul my grandfather’s desire to sing through words, to paint, to fly, to fly, fly….

 

Translated by the author

Lucia Daramus is a British- Jewish-Gypsy-Romanian writer and poet, living in England— classicist, linguist, freelance journalist, and artist. She has Asperger’s Syndrome. Her work has been published in various magazines in Romania, France, Germany, England, Canada, and the USA. Recently she completed her course in Creative Writing (Memoir, Biography, Autobiography) at Oxford University. She holds an MA is in Linguistics, and a BA in Ancient Greek and Latin from Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca. She has published poetry, essays, short stories, plays, and novels. Her most recent novel is The Cortege of The Lambs, a book about the Holocaust, and her most recent poetry book is Flying with Memories. She has won prizes for poetry in Romania, and internationally, including the Canadian Prize for Poetry (Gasparik), and the International Prize for Poetry in 2018 at The International Book Festival Dublin. She has published ten books in the Romanian language and three books of poetry and plays in the English language.   Lucia Daramus