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Tainaron by Leena Krohn, 1998

Mail from another city

© Leena Krohn

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Tainaron - Mail from another city





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Not enough - the twenty-first letter


How are you? How are things with you? That you are so implacable in your silence makes you gradually become more like gods or the dead. Such is your metamorphosis; and it is not entirely repugnant to me.


For let me tell you what has happened to me. What has happened to me is that people are no longer enough. They are not enough, be they ever so great or beautiful or wise or complicated. They are not enough, even if their antennae were to stretch further than radar beams and their clothes were to be stronger than armour.


For that reason I confess that everything I say contains the unspoken hope that it is linked with all my actions as well as to the moments when I just sit and look. Ardent hope! Incorrigible hope! That gods and the dead might hear. That gods and the dead might see. That gods and the dead might know....


But there is only one who can make them hear their song. But he was one who became truly unhappy and was torn to pieces.


Last night I returned to you after long years, from such a distance and over many obstacles. Barricades and brushwood fences, barbed wire obstacles and piles of stones rose up in my path. Craters, chasms and stinking trenches opened up before my feet. But my speed was so dizzying that I flew over peaks and depths and sped along the bright, frozen channel that led straight to your door.


The bell rings through the house, through the darkness of the winter's day, and you open the door, the same as before. How happy we are! How we embrace each other!


But at once I notice how absent-minded you are. You are expecting something completely different; yes, I am right: you listen over my head, which is pressed against your chest. And now I, too, hear footsteps approaching below in the stairwell.


Then the light of a living flame spreads across your face as you ask: 'Are they coming here? Are they not close? Are they not familiar footsteps?'


But I do not reply, and you would not hear what I said. Your arms have already loosened around me, and I have returned on the same road along which, just now, I sped toward you, trembling with anticipation.


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