I spent a week in StP.
A record for meetings and conversations.
Meetings all about organising DEREVO’s work in St. Petersburg.
I was not on my own for one minute.
I met the Committee for culture, theaters, directors, officials, students …
Two days of rest and now I try to analyze my feelings
- This happened in some other world. With this world DEREVO never was connected.
- I was always in danger in these days.
- Danger to look independent.
- Danger to make a compromise.
- Danger to be misunderstood. Danger of too many jokes. Danger to absorb the private lives, which pour from virtually every interlocutor.
- Danger to get sick at heart seeing all these people’s insecure plans.
- When there are millions of troubled people all around you - you will be troubled. The dream is gone. Just whisky and music.
- Desire to vacuum and clean the shoes.
- Flashes of anger with vendors and taxi drivers - never had this before.
I leaned too far out of the trench. Could be shot.
The last day, two students came to say their goodbye and thanks for the master class. To speak of the work, I forbade them. They asked - is it possible to smoke.
I gave permission. They smoked a joint and the smell drew from memory a distant morning when I woke up in space. It was 4 am. And from the window flowed a sound that did not belong to Leningrad, nor to the USSR nor to our damp morning courtyard …
I remembered how I went to the window and sat on the windowsill for forty minutes …
My 17 years have been dismissed by the judge. I’ve started from the beginning.
And I did the same thing!
I put an ancient speaker in the window and turned on “Wish you were here” …
But something strange has happened. Soon we became scared.
I reduced the volume - the fear never left.
I turned off everything and had to close the window to calm down.
I showed the girls a book, just bought that evening.
Searched for three years and bought it!
The first small edition of his book “Stone” that Mandelstam paid for himself in 1913.
300 small books that changed my world, and not only mine … We read the poems ….
and Pink Floyd came off and flew back home…
I sang page 8 to them.
Then the taxi and the familiar: “Do you mind turning off the radio?”
Text: Anton Adasinsky
English text editor: David Kemp
Lyrics by Osip Mandelstam
Music composed and performed by Roman Dubinnikov
Photos from DEREVO archive by various photographers