~ A strange bride ~

Great works last long, they make us observe and study them as if it was our first time. We often ask ourselves: Why do we return to them? Who are the people who can create something so strong? I've been thinking for quite a long time about one movie made in 1994. It’s a special movie, not only because of great names like Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt. The thing I always remember when I think about “Legends of the fall” is the soothing voice and the words I’ve returned to so many times: “Some people hear their own inner voices with great clearness, and they live by what they hear. Such people become crazy or they become legends.” A friend of mine has recently told me that one should sometimes listen to their inner voices. The word “sometimes” is the right word. Maybe we should only “sometimes” set off into uncertainty, perhaps at times when we deeply believe in something or when we have nothing to lose, and perhaps being too brave isn’t a very good thing. Some people simply can’t run away from their “sometimes” and from the past, they are constantly coming back to it and waste their whole life. Miloš Crnjanski observed this in a completely specific way: “The past represents a terrible, gloomy abyss; whatever goes into that darkness does not exist anymore and have never existed.” In that darkness we meet various people, different destinies. We occasionally remember some of them and some we completely forget. This is a story about a woman whom many people forgot a long time ago, a story about a tragic destiny and an insignificant human life for which one didn’t care for. I was a child when I saw her for the last time, but that image remained engraved into my memory. Maybe I remember her because she was strange, because she dressed and acted strangely and maybe because she was called “The strange bride”. She was always going the same way at the same time. She was always dressed the same and carried the same purse. Even now, after so many years, I remember each detail of her clothes, her white scarf and a dirty white coat, dirty sandals and tights. I remember her red face and big eyes which hid from others. She was always quiet. Children threw rocks at her and chased her. The older ones, those who got used to her appearance a long time ago, didn’t pay attention. I asked many people what happened to her, but I didn’t get the answer. Now, after so many years, I’ve started searching for the data about her destiny and found not so many of them. “The strange bride” used to be a beautiful girl. Poverty made her seek her fortune, and she found herself working as a laundress for a wealthy lawyer. There she fell in love for the first time. Her own brother had destroyed all her dreams on her wedding day. Her trauma couldn’t come to an end. Embarrassed and humiliated, she ran away from everybody. A greater mental crisis came with years. She turned into a wandering ghost. She lived in the world which was only hers. And then, she disappeared quietly, taking with her the unknown world she created, all of her sorrow and the life which was hell. A Jewish proverb says that those who abandon themselves aren’t worthy of salvation. Is it so?
A strange bride, author Suzana Stojanović, July 11, 2008