Mum and I are watching Russian mini-series Таинственная страсть (Hidden Passion – my translation) based on the novel by Vasily Aksyonov with the same name. It’s a semi-fictitious story about a group of shestidesyatniki (60s youth) – super-talented, popular, extra-sensitive, sharp-tongued but naive and free young men and women who were to become names in the Soviet and Russian and world history of literature, cinema and even politics.
There is a scene in the series when three poets Bella Akhmadulina, Yevgeny Yevtushenko and Andrei Voznesensky are in the throes of their talent, of their passion, of their life essence – poetry, rhyming, confessing their souls – when they are writing their poems. The scene looks like three young beautiful people have gone completely mad: talking to themselves, writing in blood-red ink, rolling on the floor and convulsing trying to give birth to magical lines of their poetry. My daughter came in at that particular scene and asked, ‘Mum, are these people crazy? What’s happening to them?’
All I could say to her, ‘Victoria, they are poets. They are really talented people. Poetry is their life, their essence. It’s inside of them and it exists independently of their rational thinking. They live to write and write to live’. I understand these people because I am a bit like them.
Call me crazy but I write. I write everywhere and all the time. I write in Russian and in English. I write prose and poetry. I write, I make up, I plan and I write some more. I cannot not to. I have tried.
I have tried not to write for a few years. My husband was very much against my writing. He was very much against my Journalism degree as well. It was only much later that I realised that was his jealousy speaking. However, I wanted to keep the peace. I stopped. I stopped writing and imagining, creating and rhyming. I’ve stopped.
As it turned out, I have stopped living. I paid the price. I paid the heaviest price of all – “C” word. I will never do that again. No matter what happens, I will not and can not stop writing.
I am, just like those poets, live and breath words. They are feelings, emotions, pain, power, pride, joy and happiness all rolled together and rolling out on paper, screen and air.
Call me crazy but I write.