This story is by Ira U and was part of our 2020 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
We heard rumors roaming around
but we refused to listen –
until they materialized
as the thunderous knock at the door.
We were awakened in our own houses,
naked, and taken aback
in the middle of the night,
separated from our spouses,
outlawed, and repressed,
silenced, and isolated.
Most men were held in custody
others were in lockdown at home
until further notification.
we were dangerously contaminated
by our Asian genes.
They called it a dormant virus
that can outburst and attack
the whole country without remorse.
In the sacred War against Japan,
Stalin was taking all necessary measures
to eradicate any potential source
of high treason.
And Koreans (1) were the first
to be put in prison.
We almost started to forget
and forgive our own roots,
when we were uprooted again
from our second homeland,
that was promised and found in the Russian Empire
as if, ages ago,
or just a millisecond earlier –
before the entire timeline
shifted in the blink of an eye,
and it kept shifting our collective reality
playing out inside of the darkest railway carriage,
where we were thrown like cattle.
The coal-black steam locomotive
was steadily outstripping its own shadow
through the death valley.
It was looping in a vicious circle,
crossing the starting line over and over.
And the sun blazing on the horizon
was marking its endless movement with a crimson volley.
It was humming through the chimneys,
merging with the night fog.
And its sedative chanting
was interrupting the rattle of the wheels
and inconsolable sobbing inside the boxes.
We were lost in time and stuck in isolated space
of the moving locomotive,
looping in other dimensions,
yet grounded in one co-created reality,
All as one, and all by ourselves.
We were sophisticating from our own fears and conditionings,
that kicked back in,
as a repetitive karmic pattern
that created enslavement of our collective minds.
We were seeing off the souls of our beloved ones
betaking themselves to another journey.
As they were safely leaving this plane
into the unknown,
we were left behind
with the horrendous feeling
of unsafety on Earth;
on our own paths…
It was our distorted projection of their liberation
that we secretly prayed for.
And as their photons were uploading back to Source,
we were downloading the emanated traces of light
as the error codes straight into our DNA.
And these codes would run in the subconscious
of the next generations to come,
until the moment,
when nobody from nowhere
finds her way back to sovereignty.
our world was flooded with sunlight
beaming 360 degrees from higher dimensions.
the seemingly same world
was pressing down on us
with the darkness,
oozing and dripping from the cattle boxes,
saturated with sweat, tears, and blood.
In the faint light of the neighbor’s eyes,
we were reminiscing the world
that was softly lulling us
in its loving embrace,
as we were touring around the country
in a cart of our mobile theater.
We almost purged through
the palatable FEAR
that forced us out of our own land,
when we managed to start anew.
But it was so deeply engrained,
and ingeniously sophisticated,
that it manifested itself again.
And there we were,
witnessing the same world,
shaking those flashbacks of the illusory ideation
out of our collective memory.
We still couldn’t believe
that it was ALL happening for us.
we were watching a collective dream
of our own selves
acting in the national drama,
with a staggering narrative,
strange and intrinsic
to human nature.
And we were awaiting
in awe, horror, and thrill in disguise,
for the final curtain to fall.
Or to rise.
Death kept solving its equation,
subtracting lives from the stock cars
one after another.
And we were trying to keep our hearts alive,
mindlessly guessing over the final solution.
We did not know,
for how long this endless road
to the unknown destination would last.
And we seized to perceive
that destination as a physical point.
fear has given way
to humility before past,
surrender to the present,
and hope for the future.
That’s when space merged with time,
in both, perceived and transcendental holograms.
And that zero points
made the locomotive finally stop.
Our bouncing bones reminded us of our own aliveness.
that hope is the last to fade away.
And they’re right.
As soon as they lifted up the shield,
we called upon that hope,
crawling down onto the new Earth.
I looked up and saw mythical creatures –
those were the trees swaying in the wind.
Their lean branches mimicked my skinny wrists,
as I was pulling in the invisible threads of life.
A copper-yellow space,
covered with spiral veins,
stretched in front of our eyes.
It was studded with tuberous hills,
and the ball-shaped shaggy shrubs
were rolling across the land.
And as we were contemplating these baby’s breaths (2),
we were slowly claiming our own breaths
back into the present moment.
And those breaths would never be taken for granted
by generations after us.
it was one of the most dramatic scenes
we’d ever played and witnessed.
We were watching ourselves
mirrored in these thorns,
withered under the sun,
and orchestrated by the divine hand.
We felt like fools
who stepped into the void,
ended up hanging upside down
on the tree of life,
swung by the wheel of fortune on the hero’s journey.
And as the steppe drove the thorns across the land,
scattering the seeds of the new life,
the same steppe breathed the breath of light
into the tattered costume of one’s attorney,
and sealed the new timeline in our untethered souls.
That late autumn,
we found our new home,
on the red planet called Ushtobe (3).
And amid that whole strangeness,
there was something soothingly familiar.
These were the galaxies of stars
that lit up the darkness of the night.
They revived the photons in our membranes
and brought laughter from distant family members.
It was the first night
when we surrendered into the unknown
without a single fear of the illusory future,
and regret over delusional past,
feeling thankful for the given moment,
feeling safe on Earth,
and on our newly discovered path.
I woke up the next day from the call.
My smartphone thrummed –
I saw my mom’s avatar.
I wish she was aware of her own character,
I laughed to myself and picked it up.
Mom, I saw a weird dream tonight –
I took the lead, overtaking her fuss.
We were locked inside the coach,
as one collective…
And then we eventually landed
somewhere that looked like… Mars!
Sounds like Qyzylorda (4), – she said.
That’s where your grandparents would settle down
Are you all alright in this quarantine? – she asked.
You’re all by yourself there.
I am safe, mom, I am safe on my path, – I said,
lucidly waking up into that dream,
using her voice as my reality check.
And then suddenly I realized
that it takes no time and space to give my mother a call.
It was my most astounding wake-up call.
My ancestors made it all through,
through the separation from their origins,
through the separation from their second homeland,
through the separation from their Soviet utopian ideology.
My parents made it through Perestroika, after all!
And now, as we are witnessing
this universal pattern of the self-imposed illusion,
the illusion of separation,
the illusion of money-based safety,
manifesting itself as the global lockdown,
we can undo everything that has been done,
and build anew.
Mom, – I whispered.
I am so blessed to be your daughter.
We will be all alright.
This time, we are all in this together.
We’re ALL safe and sound and honored,
on our paths to be shortly found.
We will come out of this lockdown
renewed and rebirthed.
All as one.
All in Oneness.
We will make it through our own
- Almost the entire Soviet population of ethnic Koreans (171,781 persons) were forcefully moved from the Russian Far East to unpopulated areas of the Kazakh SSR and the Uzbek SSR in October 1937. The official reason for the deportation was to stem “the penetration of the Japanese espionage into the Far Eastern Krai”, as Koreans were at the time subjects of the Empire of Japan, which was hostile to the Soviet Union. Estimates based on population statistics suggest that 40,000 deported Koreans died in 1937 and 1938 from starvation, exposure, and difficulties adapting to their new environment.
- A town and seat of Karatal District in the Almaty Region of south-eastern Kazakhstan.
- Gypsophila is a genus of flowering plants in the carnation family, Caryophyllaceae. They are native to Eurasia, Africa, Australia, and the Pacific Islands.
- A city in south-central Kazakhstan, capital of Kyzylorda Region and former capital of the Kazak ASSR from 1925 to 1929, (from Kazakh, stands for ‘red land’).