A Pair of Wings: A Pair of Wings

September 8, 2015   |   Galya Morrell


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There are two types of fire. The fire of war and the fire of love. One brings death. And one brings life. As we travel the Road of Life in Yakutia we meet the local artists who out of garbage, out of barbed wire, out of rusted “nothing” create music, art and everything else that makes people happy.

I dream of growing wings, Siberian White Crane wings, so I could fly from one settlement to another, instead of crawling like a snail half buried in mud. All I need is a pair of wings. I know I am asking for a miracle. But even though I don’t have wings, miracles happen on the Road of Life.

Yakutian blacksmiths. Their imagination is the wings that lift them high up into the sky so that can soar above the crude reality. And that’s the miracle I am talking about.

Yakutian artists create things that may have never existed. They don’t have many tools. But one tool – their limitless imagination – compensates for the absence of all the rest. The fire of their imagination creates the light that illuminates the darkest and emptiest corners of our existence.

It is easy to give up. It is easy get depressed. It is easy to let the dangerous toxins of depression, apathy and disbelief eat away our hearts. The only way forward – is to find the energy to resist them somehow, somewhere… And where else would you find it except for within ourselves?

A homus.

A knife.

Far away from museums and galleries and exhibition halls, they work and create miracles.

It’s work, hard work. Long work.

The great distances, isolation and the great mud that swallows up tractors could be a valid justification for hopelessness. Where to go and what to do? And why? On the Road of Life its Great Mud reminds us every single minute: how weak we are, how imperfect we are , how limited our abilities are. Here it is easier than anywhere to find an excuse. Here it’s easier than anywhere else to end up believing in nothing.

And now, please, meet Rimma. Rimma is a pharmacist. And this is her private pharmacy. It’s not like any other pharmacy. This pharamacy is made for people. And not for profit. Anyone can call Rimma day and night and she will open up for those in pain. She gladly gives credit so they pay when they can. The medicines are simple, not sophisticated, but they save lives. And this is what it is all about.

There are “impossible” dreams… Look at this tree which Rimma made out of beads. She did it in her spare time when she took a break from tending patients, milking cows, collecting wild onions, and so on and so forth…. She calls it “A Tree of Life”. And now her dream is to create an entire forest filled with these trees – a forest that could give hope and alleviate the sufferengs of the most desperate, desolate, and difficult of her old patients.

As she is making “The Living Forest” her grandson is watching her from the door step. He is learning his fist life lessons. This is the best school one can attend.

Schools are important in Yakutia. While travelling on the Road of Life we visited many schools, including the very old ones that had been built from dirt and stones.

This one has only one classroom. The second room was for the teacher who lived in school. A Spartan room – a bed and a book shelf. Nothing obstructs the view. But Yakutia has the best dreamers, philosophers and writers because they went to these schools.

There is everything in this land, except for boredom. Work hard, wake up before sunrise, use your hands and mind, and share with others. Through hard work people learn to compensate for the cruelty of nature and their own shortcomings. This is a secret of Taatta that we are learning on the Road of Life.

Our journey in Taatta continues.


Thank you to all those who continue to support my work and occasionally are crazy enough to jump into a frozen river to see if the whole thing is real!

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