Out of Serbia

wrote this at the Zurich airport a week ago…

Out of Serbia, shall i say finally, out of Belgrade the city where i was born where i had a child, and other best and worst moments of my life! Yes, after almost 4 months of the corona clinch lockdown between a totalitarian president Vucic and a irresponsible tennis star acting as a role model Djokovic, dictating rules and moods…I think i am done with Serbia, not for good but as a nostalgia. Those things i remember fondly will still be in my heart and mind but they are gone, there is only a echo, an imitation of that life i am missing.
What is a writer who does not write? A woman who does whatever she does when she does not write. So i didn’t write much during the lockdown and all the news pouring in as black water, some fake some real, some true and many foolish and untrue. In good or bad faith it was maybe the most interesting period of my life even though it is my fourth lockdown, even through i went through sanctions bombing political persecutions. This was a world globalisation of the balkanisation . I read about plagues, pandemics and i come from a doctors a scientist family but i never thought i might live through one. Life is always different from the life in books but this time i was not tempted to write a diary in order to record the difference. First because everybody was writing not only diaries but books, there was nothing else we could do and everybody had something to say. The inner writer of human being, the voice of a single mind hurts as i always expected it would. It was more interesting to read, research and speculate than write just an observation from my window. Where i did sit with my binoculars watching the birds, the neighbours, the empty streets , the police patrolling , the random strollers not caring about this state of the world or it s troubles. And some of those moments i will never forget, as if i were a painter: a young man, a health worker coming back from the corona hospital, taking off his working protective gear on the terrace very shyly because we were neighbours and then sitting in the sun and drinking coffee and a glass of water. Just staring in front of him, without a smart phone, without a book, or binoculars. He wasn’t chilling out, he was recovering from the shock of being a corona health worker. In the evening a lot of people would applaud to those workers, but he never went to the terrace after the light was down. Maybe he had a night shift! Who knows, but after the lockdown was over i never saw anybody in that neighbouring flat again. It was locked just as the hospitals were.
I remember also the huge birds hovering over my terrace, never seen before in that part of town. I remember the ants all over my flat, also never before coming so high. My solitude was gratifying and sad at the same time. In those weeks two of my dear friends died alone of cancer , in the hospital…and an old friend died fo corona. Other victims were mostly numbers to me and everyday i was just hearing the numbers from the press. It was a day of rituals signed by numbers, just as during the bombings we had regular hours of alarm and when so called humanitarian bombings were late we missed them. The prison is made of a different perception of time, a very physical and musical sense of passage of time. Being a time obsessed person my sense got sharp and perceptive in this nothing but time flow.
This will never end what started a couple of months ago, other life and death situations will come in a different way stricken by new rules of living together with corona and each other. How will the children be born, nurtured, educated? Online? How will the cranks who refuse to be cured and vaccinated effect our survival. Killing us, or we them? How shall we older survive, if? Is it worthwhile to live without really living fully? Some live in denial refusing to change their stable lives even if they are based on lies, comfortable lies. Some will plunge into the new not remembering the old. And some will stay in between. Suspended in the mid air. Just like I am now, flying out of Serbia to some destination which doesn’t even matter, as long as it is out of Serbia and where i will be welcome. And among those who have the courage to face the truth! Only way to pull through with dignity!

About jasminatesanovic

Jasmina Tešanović (Serbian: Јасмина Тешановић) (born March 7, 1954) is a feminist, political activist (Women in Black, Code Pink), translator, publisher and filmmaker. She was one of the organizers of the first Feminist conference in Eastern Europe "Drug-ca Zena" in 1978, in Belgrade. With Slavica Stojanovic, she ran the first feminist publishing house in the Balkans "Feminist 94" for 10 years. She is the author of Diary of a Political Idiot, a war diary written during the 1999 Kosovo War and widely distributed on the Internet. Ever since then she has been publishing all her work, diaries, stories and films on blogs and other Internet media.
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