I. The beginning


Once upon a time, early in the morning a woman left her home and children (alright, the children were already somewhere else, it just sounds good as the beginning of a story) and went along the river. The sun was blasting and she walked admiring fresh waves and busy boats gliding up and down the stream. Some boats were resting at the piers and grey herons stood still on their roofs, their fine long feathers ruffled by a gentle breeze.

The woman was driven by a desire to make things. On her way she was wondering: should she turn into a beaver, which is so skilled at building wooden huts? Or into a swallow, which knits its nest so masterfully with sticks and clay (and saliva)? Or into the magical Przevalski’s horse, which when discovered was found to be able to breathe fire and melt earth into beads and even ingots of gold? Later on, tiny working elves turn these beads and this gold into golden books and zines. Everybody participates in the content.

For a little while, until it was clear what to expect, she decided to stay a woman. What looked like a 15-minute walk to her desirable destination took her more than a year, during which she lay in bed with influenza and dreamed it all in a fever. Or maybe her whole life, which wasn’t that short.

Walking along the river, birds singing, she arrived at a kind of palace. It was built of priceless earthenware bricks, the colour of the sun just visible through November clouds (it was September, by the way), and shining crystals. Many early arrivals in high spirits were there, laughing and flapping their wings. Not the angel wings, although they were rather sweet, but more like chickens or even chicks.

Everyone started making enthusiastically.

But that’s not all. Wise tutors walk into the crystal hall and tell their tales of the ceramic, glass, metal, and painting universes richly illustrated with magical pictures of their creations and their world-construction schemes.

Everything was so new for our heroine. She began creating a story in clay. The story was about the horrors of the wars. It was what was on her mind all the time. Quickly she realised that she was building a theatrical mise-en-scene, ritual layout or, finally, a War Memorial. For this, she went to the War Museum and looked at the conflict in Northern Ireland and The Holocaust. Then she went to the Museum of Childhood, primarily to reflect on her idyllic childhood now far, far away.

In the heart of her ritualistic anti-war memorial in clay was a heart. It was a symbol for her: not a vessel of human sentiments but a knot of feelings, empathy and desires. Two crying angels stood on either side of this heart, bent over, their sorrows too heavy for them.

-What is the state of my heart? – she asked herself.

-My heart is bleeding… – answered the voice in her head. She looked inside herself and there was a bleeding heart looking through twisted ribs at the sad world outside. Glass lungs couldn’t really breathe and her pelvis, drawn with white chalk on the blackboard of her mind, couldn’t bear a child.

-It’s all pointless! – she shouted, running away on the endless spiral steps, down, down, ah, no! Up, up from this dreadful Micro world back to the Macro, to her Gods and angels.

She was losing her mind. Darkness was coming closer and closer and a pulsating crimson of the human body smelling of blood and bodily fluids pressed on her and was closing in quickly.

-This is the end…- crossed her mind. A red spiralling waterfall of nature swept her.

And at this moment a tiny, cool, yet surprisingly strong hand grabbed her wrist. With unbelievable power, a tiny hand pulled her out of the running stream of blood and horror, swung her around and landed in a pool of light, surrounded by flowers and friends. In front of her stood a little girl in a pink dress, she had only one leg and crutches made of wire. She was slightly angular.

> Nastaran Kavir:
-Here you are, a grownup. Go to your Gods. And remember, if someone like me, like us – the girl made a round gesture and our heroine now saw a sea of people with crutches, in wheelchairs, with prosthetic limbs, children who lost their parents and parents who lost their children –

-If we are strong enough to carry on, so must you be.


II. The making

She was busy all month long.

She fired her Angels, little one-legged girls, and the torn-off hands, which she then buried in the earth, exactly how it was after the bombing.

One-legged girls needed some work on a lathe to be more cubist. After this finishing such girls came out sharp and strong in character.

In a Hot Glass workshop, in a blazing white fire, a heart was born. She wanted glass lungs. This would happen later.

She made a few scientific discoveries along the way. That human lungs resembled wings. The hip bones which she drew on the floor of her installation had a heart shape. She found herself in a dialogue between Macro – Angels/nearly Gods – and Micro, inside the human.

And everything came together all at once. The kaleidoscopic, brilliant world inside the Palace, the faraway horrors of faraway wars, and this particular moment of a broken, bombed, ripped-to-pieces person were there for her in this installation, in this nicely lit studio in front of her friends and teachers. She realised that she was a Metamodernist.

-Informed naivety is exactly my language – she murmured, stroking her newly fired low bisque porcelain heart driven in a cart by a tiny donkey.


III. What next

In his book The Philosophy of a Moscow Backstreet, our heroine’s philosopher friend Piatigorsky says to his philosopher friend Mamardashvili: ‘Gurdjieff was right, but only if we look at it from the capsule of the London Eye.’

-Well, what next? – asked the grey heron from the boat’s roof, long gentle feathers ruffled by the icy winter wind.

-I will grow an army of Angels. I will make them their natural size. These angels will become strong in the golden fires in the blazing heat of our Palace of Across Across. They will wear shiny armour of kindness, wisdom and bravery. And a bit of gold and lustre to entertain babies. The Angels will uncover their crying faces, stop sobbing ng, silly things, and start to do their job: guard humans, turn away horrors and sorrows, save children and stop the wars for God’s sake!

That’s the plan for the year. And this book of anti-war poetry.

Katya Gerasimova Bosky


Katya Gerasimova Bosky