Iveta Vaivode SWORD LILIES

It is a hot summer day. I’m walking along the path through the nettles, until I find myself in the yard of a long-abandoned house. I see a broken window, and it seems that it gives me a chance to plunge into my childhood for the last time.

In the kitchen there are jars of jam, neatly arranged coffee cups, a refrigerator and a Soviet-built radio recorder. I am standing in a half-empty room and trying to reconstruct the already lost images of 20 years ago. It seems that then the rooms of the house were more spacious, and the stairs to the attic were steeper. This house is and, at the same time it isn’t the home of my childhood. And it cannot be compared to the house that lives in my memory. Whenever I recall this place, I come up with a new look at the house. The same applies to people whom I met then, and Latgale, which I saw with the eyes of a child. It is impossible to return to the past or to your memories! And yet, I stubbornly collect little crumbs of memories. I look for them in a scent of the cattle court, haystacks, in a smell of evening bathing in a forest lake or even in a face of an elderly person.

While in Latgale, I am overtaken by a sense of loss and at the same time – by a feeling of wild joy. Latgale has become for me a metaphor of my lost childhood. Seeing emptiness of the place and the rotting legacy of past years, I am witnessing the disappearance of Latgale which I used to be familiar with. But nevertheless it is not only my lost past, it is also my attempt to catch a glimpse of such a familiar landscape.