Waiting for Superman
After Prežihov Voranc
25 May 2018
Mary’s tears as a promise and a present.
»Hell was so dull and hostile that it made the heart of the one who entered it squeeze unwittingly.«
Mary’s tears, as a promise at the bottom of the ravine, where they grow as a sweet present and a silent oath to the mother:
»I’m a child no longer.«
»I heard my parents talk of Hell. They taught me the first Christian lessons about Hell. I heard of Hell in the church when I started attending mass, holding my mother’s dress.«
We all contemplate, bemoan and rejoice full-heartedly when we envisage the images of joy and bitterness from the period of our growing up. Remembering one’s mother and father; or else remembering a yawning hole in the memory of them. Remembering the birth of a brother or one’s grandparents ‘death. Remembering a funeral parlour, the trembling relatives unable to grasp the death of a family member. Remembering one’s brother casting curious glances at the smiling faces of the newlyweds. Remembering one’s mother lying in bed, trying to fall sleep, worried about what tomorrow might bring.
»Oh, how I yearn to bring Mary’s tears to the church tomorrow, but they will have been gone by then.«
Mary’s tears as a promise and a present. A promise that we are no longer children. A promise that we are able to provide for one’s family. A present for one’s father who comes home tired and leaves in no time again. A present for one’s younger brother, playing in the courtyard free from worry. A present for one’s youth that we bid farewell and thank. »Mary’s tears and Hell ̶ these are weird things indeed.«
The more we think about Mary’s tears, the less they seem to present a certain experience in a dark, damp cottage deep in the Slovenian countryside, and increasingly we follow a fragment of Everyman’s story.
»Oh, the elation, when I sat in my room waiting for her to show up. To show up and kiss me good-bye.«
A child who wonders about the fairness of the world. A child who asks his father to justify his actions; and a mother, trying to explain to his son why God allows injustice happening to honest people. A dog that gets lost in the woods, and a distressed family looking for the dog late at night. A village, slowly disappearing in the flames of a huge fire, while the church bells continue to toll.
»What a constraint, what a mighty hysteria, what a deep pain piercing my childlike heart, when she failed to show up or when she came back late or was unable to be there for me due to other commitments …«
Mary’s tears are neither a promise nor a present. Mary’s tears are nothing but delicate flowers growing at the bottom of Hell.
Dorian Šilec Petek