A Letter of a Deceased Woman. Joanna's Page 41
* * *
In early summer the following year she again was blissfully happy, jogging on the hills and forests of Ilyichevska.
Denis and Anton shooting nature in the Baltic region, her mother in-law was in the hospital. But Philip, instead of having to go hawking in the empty apartment, suddenly became interested in radio and began to earn much, turning his room into a workshop.
The day came when Joanna brought her mother in-law home from the hospital.
And she, handing her a sealed envelope labeled: "Send to 'Pravda' or 'Izvestia', told that it was one old Bolshevik from a neighboring house learn that her mother in law has family connections with the famous detective duo, put her envelope in the hallway.
To Joanna and Dennis to pass to the destination.
'What kind of nonsense is it,' I told her that the courier? What is it?'
The mother in-law did not know. She only said that only performed the request of the sick woman, and now so let Joann can do what she wanted.
'Some kind of schizo, and then I must face the consequences!
Yana resolutely opened the envelope.
The author complained to the most central press that in such a hospital staff nurse in the person of Varvara Stepanovna Zlatova instead of treating patients with advanced scientific techniques, threw them all confused with holy water, oils, and other prayers of witchcraft.
What was causing irreparable harm to their psyche and health.
A few days ago and did come up with that by wishing the guise of a relative can come to the priest.
And in general, it was religious propaganda.
In the sense that God existed.
The patient, a communist and veteran, asked higher authorities to restore order in the hospital, to protect the patient from the dark forces of the ignorant and the sectarians.
Yana wanted to immediately tear the letter. But then it occurred to her that this bitchy grandmother can write again; inthe hospital there was nothing to do; you can write and write.
And some regular letter would find its fool.
And then Varvara Stepanovna would have to pay for it.
Learning on the phone when Zlatova was on duty, Yana went to the hospital.
Varvara Stepanovna seemed at first a typical 'Mary'.
Denis had such a classification of female types, mysterious to the uninitiated, but in which all work fine with Denis oriented.
By age, the degree of intelligence, physique, sexuality, social environment and the nature of a woman he fell into 12 categories:
Mar'ya, Maria Petrovna, Mary, Mary, Manya, Masha, Mashenka, Marusia, Musya and Murka.
If he said that we need two for shooting Mary, Manya and five Mash, it meant two grandmothers, a simple woman (Manya from the village, Manya from the city). A five Manyas were girls-students.
'Maria' meant rather dry-closed Turgenev young woman parted with illusions
And so on.
She was slender, clad in snow-white robe and a hat, without a hint of makeup.
A tight braid coiled at the nape, lightning-tenacious, as a throw of a lasso.
Varvara Stepanovna instantly scanned the complaint.
'So you're from the newspaper?'
"no, do not be afraid,' Joanna briefly explained how the complaint came to her And I write, mostly for television. The serial 'On the black track'...
Have you watch it?'
'We threw it out. I mean a TV-set. It just burned down, and we threw it out.
Bless you Lord, I do not know what your name is...'
'Then I Varya. Sit over there, I'll soon be free, seagull popem. There is homemade jam... Just put on a dressing gown, we've got strict.
Yana saw from behind the screen, as she deftly wielding a syringe, bandages, swabs, tinkering over outstretched on the couch, the yellow-wax bodies - were mostly old men, apparently well-deserved.
And they were nasty: they made rows, whimpered, muttered. Who demanded the repeal pricks who nominate someone sleeping pills, someone fresh logs.
'What patience you have!'
' Wait, there will be at their age ...
You know, when all the pain? For that reason they are so capricious.
Patients are as children. It hurts, bad, scary, is not clear why and for what... So they need someone to hold her hand.
You're probably sick, remember?'
No, her new friend was not exactly 'Maria', rather, 'Masha'. Or maybe even 'Mashenka'.
How old is she? Thirty? Thirty-five, twenty-eight?
Yana increasingly felt a strange relationship with her. She would get up and go long for, and she sat like glued in the poorhouse.
Then they drank tea in the utility room, including nets with hospital laundry, storage and ducks enema.
'Do not be afraid, no I do not sect member, God forbid. I'm an Orthodox, with sect members we have not even bless to drink tea.'
'You can drink it with me,' Yana smiled, holding out his empty cup, I'm not a sect member. What an amazing jam!
'With cherry leaves.'
You you are Orthodox. I was baptized as a child by an old regime grandmother or aunt, rather superstitious than a believer, but also the glory of God.
Since then, the church you probably never were. Maybe you do not want trouble, when in the party. Or think it's a place for dark bigoted old woman, and faith must be in my heart...'
Yana smiled and nodded in agreement. She was wondering where Varya was getting at.
'And your soul knows that God exists. You remember him, when something happens, shout, 'Help!'.
And then even forget to thank. Again you do not believe in His love for you.
And if you have the gospel and if you have it is collecting dust on a shelf.
Is that right?'
The absolute idea, the Supreme mind... A computer that swallows our lives like this... Well, the picture... Well, that devours its children.
Then I one says, 'God we swallowed our experience of life and improved. " Academy of Sciences of the patient.
And why, I say, God be improved if it is the absolute idea? If you do not add to it, do not turn down?
He was silent. It would be bettr for him read the Gospel ...
You also have not read it. In the best case you leafed through once, and to the side. And it has to be read every day.
You do not take offense, all around are not you alone. We are all terminally ill, but nobody will want to hear.
Please, forgive me...'
'No, that's right.'
'Again, here is a man snapped, and so it is impossible. My father said it with pride. You said, Barbara, of the Lord you want to get around. Each has its own way to Him...
Recorded in the Book of Life must come when the time will come up.
I do not listen to him. I'm a fool ...
She took the letter from his pocket Bolshevik, smoothed on the table and suddenly burst into tears.
'Varbara, do you mean, because of some nasty old woman,' Joanna began to say.
But Masha-Masha-Maria suddenly began to argue that this old woman, almost a saint. What's in a war she pulled out of the battle hundreds of wounded, she herself some serious injuries, there is no living space.
And two orphans raised that it is not the soul chayut, came almost every day, 'Mummy and mummy.'
And the old woman refused to get an apartment in someone's favor...
Maria. Maria Petrovna. The names of any high level.
It was getting interesting to Yana.
'Well, this holy informer something you decided to destroy you?'
Varya's eyes instantly drid. She said that all her once, unfortunately, and all further discussion was meaningless, because Yana still cannot understand it.
Because on this same invisible barrier, when the eyes do not see, and ears not to hear.
Because more must particular perception of world. And Joanna, even if she believes in God, but the forces of darkness for her as an empty phrase.
'Maybe you're right, but I really want to understand. I'll try to explain...'
Do you know what 'spiritual warfare' is?
All of our lives are a continuous spiritual battle. For souls.
You are either God be or with the devil.
I do not know whether Dostoevsky believed in the devil, but he also writes that the heart is the battlefield.
And we have here in the hospital there is the last line, front line, you know?
Life or death.
Here all the forces of hell rise up, but it had not let the soul to God. Great caution is necessary here.
Infinitely regret and help. With love, humility ...
It's my fault; I rushed to the priest. And force my weak, weak, and prayer... That darkness had the upper hand, and killed all...
'Forget it, my dear. Do you want me to talk to her? I also know how they should be treated, I worked as a journalist.
Thank you, say, a signal will take action...
She looked surprised.
'So she died. Tonight.
I thought, you know...'
Jan sat down again.
'Oh, God! So you want to call her before his death, the priest...'
'Igor Lvovich. said: wait, the end will soon come. And she herself knew. She asked me to tell her the truth.'
' Wait, so she wrote before her death on your complaint, and dies without repentance. The complaint that you would like to help her save the soul.
It is full schizo.
OK, let she not be a believer, something to complain about on that?
Well, come to the priest, just in case - when something is there? Although even one chance in a million - worse than something not to be!
Next there is a paragraph...
So this is my pit worms upheld the complaint says. On his deathbed!
This is not no atheist, it is some antifaith...
It is a madhouse!'
Well, you understand what is spiritual warfare,' Varya sighed wearily. 'This is when the screaming, 'There is no eternal life, there is no God, no Heaven. There is only eternal death, the coffin, and worms.
And in order that they may have eaten together with the soul of our country, we reject the kingdom, and immortality.
And write complaints.
'Oh you and say ' I will understand'... They say it is delirium or schizo.
Why are you not sorry for the deceased, if she is in their power? If it was not she?
Not in herself, but with them!
After all, if you believe in light and darkness have to admit... God cannot do all these horrors. To think that God is to blame for the evil; the blasphemy against the Creator!
There they are, and we voluntarily dance to their tune. We should be together, kind, spare each other.
And we even kick the dead...
'Well, my dear, a letter will not hit. All is well...
'What's good, if her conviction is now? I provoked it, put in the sin of rebellion...
It is my fault, Oh Lord...'
'Hey, Khokhlova, that you have in your house is going under the bed, eh? You are too lazy to bend down.
The last words referred to in the back room nurse Newbie.
Yana had to admit that the image of Vari with a constantly changing image is enthusiastic and romantic middle-aged virgins, the humble pilgrims, then like a woman nurses compassionately, then coarsely-business medical student became more vague and less relevant it is already vague notion of believers.
And all the more intriguing.
'But, Varya... If she is, as you said, such a good and God is merciful, will he not forgive?'
'A lot of us, of course, no one knows, will the Court...'
But why we are given life, if not to choose between God and the devil?
If your time is over - how could God take you by force into the light? That would be against your will, is not it?
And we are granted freedom. God cannot take away our freedom.
'You know what, let's burn this cursed letter,' suggested Yana, 'With the envelope. It is not and never has been, eh?
It is manuscripts that does not burn. But as for complaint, let them burn.
Varya liked this thought suddenly. Striking a match, she crossed herself.
'Lord, erase my sin and the sin of unwitting children of thy deceased husband in front of You. My fault, God, cross out the words of your Book.
You do all you can, O Lord. Change the time, so there was nothing, no letter...
'And you ask too!' she told Yana, 'Do you know at least how cross?'
Yana crossed herself.
On a platter with the remnants of blood-red jam, writhing, dying crumpled letter of the deceased.
By icon-painting which became suddenly rushed Varya's face glow of the flame, and suddenly Joanna clearly felt that now, in this dimly lit back room, among the bales of linen and hospital bedpans, indeed there is something mysterious and unfathomable.
Which linked suddenly her, Varya and this crazy Bolshevik, fastidious dislike of which has been replaced by forgotten-achingly blissful pain.
Pain somewhere at the bottom of the soul. Where it was kept her memory of Ignatius, of her childhood, the first cry of Philip. But about two or three wonderful moments when time stands still...
Is she not a witch, this Varia? 'Masha-Mashenka-Maria'...
All froze in yana, quivered on the childlike anticipation of a distinct miracle. Close, 'at the door'.
'I have kept you waiting, perhaps? Want I will take you home?'
' Thanks, Joanna, I'm going to my cottage.'
'And I'm too. Where do you have your cottage? It is a pity, in the opposite direction. Then the station, OK?
It is so good that we met...
' Well, then wait in the hallway, I will take the cherries out of the refrigerator, the guys bought it. I have them after all three.'
'Wow! How old are you?'
'I'm thirty-four,' she replied without coquetry, 'Please, give the smock.
In the deepening, dividing the corridor into two wings, so that a small hall, was a color TV-set, small table with a stack of newspapers and magazines.
Two patients in their pajamas, playing chess.
A miracle hung on the wall between traditional reproductions Vasnetsov's 'Alyonushka' and Levitan's 'The Golden Autumn'.
A small study, for some reason, once confined view Yana, though only coming close, she saw a familiar Ignatius right 'DI'.
Her heart tumbled down.
Ignatius' picture? Not even a picture; only a fragment.
Dead pale waxen face in the same pale halo pillows and somebody touches the person's hand - surprisingly passed its motion.
Her hand barely touched it, it is drawn from somewhere in the depths of a light pattern, though it is woven out of this festering Highness.
And yet this is a common hand, visible veins, the veins.
But from the point between the closed-eye and closed-mouth, where the fingers touched the person, life begins, the movement of life, barely perceptible swell pink cheeks.
Life runs from the toes towards the corner of a dead eye, eyelash is about to falter, dead mouth, even inanimate corner, but not dead.
And then dead white the other cheek, forehead, pillows, turning into the deepening darkness of eternal death.
This elusive face, the mysterious threshold; it was the eternal Ignatius' topic.
Only the first of the paintings left Ignatius' life.
Here death left.
'Here, hung up, the icon is not allowed, heard Joanna behind Varya quiet voice, come on, I'm ready.
'The Raising of Jairus's daughter,' the Gospel story. It seems like a painting, not an icon, and we are sanctified it. And helping the sick amazing.
Some even secretly baptized her and venerate.
'Varvara, where did you have it?' Varya asked, feeling that she'd better not turn around. All the usual explanations like 'I know Darenov' or 'Darenov is my friend' was absolutely impossible.
'Darenov... He also ... This is what you have 'out of there'? ..
Varia said that all the talk in the car, because there is a chance to catch a train, and then a big break. Next only forty minutes.
In the car, Varia said that Darenov was almost half a year back (Joanna thought that Regina is, of course, she knew, but she, John, almost never happens now or in the Mosfilm studios, houses of any of these, or at parties). What he learns at the Theological Academy in Zagorsk, but the painting did not give up, now writes a series on the Gospel stories.
Flats had its unavailable, some pictures stored in their house (Darenov met with her husband abroad and now are friends).
Ignatius allowed to hang 'The Raising in the hospital, and nothing got away.
But let her, Joanna, keep silence of Darenov's pictures to anyone. You know, the religious theme, for him, and so you probably want .
In general, Darren anyone not specifically informed of his arrival, is a very secluded life (Varia said, 'almost as a hermit'), which is preparing to become a priest is quite natural.
Ignatius, with whom she had said goodbye forever - here... As it is impossible to believe.
Not the Ignatius at the bottom of the soul, a symbol, symbol of the ineffable state, which is called happiness, which was always with her, and Ignatius materialized.
To which you can touch, hear his voice...
Changed, older, like her, but he was the same Ignatius
The priest is the shepherd, an astronaut, a beggar, living or dead he's still Ignatius. He there will be.
While she was there, he is with her, and this is important. And if they had better not see each other, then it really is better.
So Yana thought prudently.
And she just Varya said that if Darenov wants to see her, let him give to know through her, Varya.
They arrived at the station. Before train left ten minutes, and Varya was slow to come out.
Then she said that Darenov may be a vacation with her husband invited him to live and work in their country house.
And if he says 'OK' for a meeting with Jana, Varya will know her by registered mail to Ilyichevka at call.
'God willing, nothing will happen...'
'You, Varya, be careful on your 'front line'. I bet more than once you were summoned and warned?
'In war as in war.'
'It's a good that the Bolshevik woman's message got to me.
'But it was written for you,' suddenly said Varya. 'Have you not realize it until now?'