Autor: by Alexander Fainberg
Authorized translation: by Sergei Zubkov
Illustrations: by Leyla Basharova

Did not they say that present-day deserts used to be seas’ bottoms and oceans’ depths millenniums ago – seas and oceans unknown to us? Why not contemplate that once, in time immemorial, axis of equator had changed its position in space? And what is hidden there at present – what mysteries are there in boundless depths? And what would happen to us living today and cherishing hopes for future great happiness?
Happiness is happiness. All human beings have their own separate different happiness, luck or fortune – whatever one prefers. But always are full of love and light reflected in arts types of happiness! Even in tragedies. Such are waves carrying Shakespeare’s Hamlet away to exile. Such are irate crests of waves in The Sea Sonatas by Churljenys. They – the waves – are everywhere for water is part and parcel of animate nature – soul of every living thing – all flesh, man and beast. Therefore any kind of arts cannot do without water. Either purposefully or independently of each other Creators of the World and their followers in all human cultures worship water. Some of them dip into water with delight; others come to water with repentance to purify their souls. Not to mention the rite of christening. Don’t I dare to touch upon it?! I only mean music, painting, and poetry. Water, water – wherever one goes…Tropical cloud-bursts, snow blizzards, seven-color rainbows. And why there is absence of water in R. Kipling’s the “Great Dry Spell”. Throat gets parched when I read verses by this outstanding romanticist and once again sense his great dry spell. And once again the lines emerge:

Let fishermen cast down their seines,
A drunkard drink, a blockhead strive
for power.
Look up! The treble clef’s soaring
to heaven,
To make the music raining down
to water flowers.

It has poured down…Do you sense it? The music has poured on us – like longed for reviving water for our souls among suddenly sprung up hot dry winds.

Sea waves dandled a yacht with a sail set
Lazy waves are tapping sandy seaside.
A woman beautiful and attractively naked
is strolling in her morning promenade.

Back in Moscow a year ago she
Hopeless life – no shelter, no work –
in a reckless race,
When suddenly a rich Arab guy
Bought and brought her to Mediterranean
for just in case.

Moscow blizzard is throwing snow
At night bars’ windows and bright
Downtown ladies here – shivering with cold,
Try to survive their stampede from

So far, clinging to Moscow in a death grip,
They share its drunken feasts and brigandage.
A dolphin’s playing in the Mediterranean sea
A young lady’s strolling along the beach.

She has forgiven, forgot her grief
Remaining calm, not pondering over her fate
A cockleshell is in the hand, she hears
sea tune
And sees the prince of the childhood

You would never pull in to these
far away shores
Neither gold nor power could ever
tame you.
You’ve curbed the waves fawning
upon you.
And who knows what happiness is? Who
could tell you?

Who could tell you, really? Where is the answer? Is it in the Mediterranean Sea, in the Black or Japanese sea?
It is the eternal mystery of Her Majesty Water; and The Queen of Life may reveal her secret to us – but only then when we are eager, when we learn to listen to whisper of waves’ crests and comprehend them or… well, just simply to meditate upon ripples on water generated by a leaf fallen from a waterside tree.
When you are young the world seems to be open wide and infinite. With passing years a lot of changes occur: – other impulses, revised values, newly born affections, different desires. Incredible are the ways of Destiny.

Who have they not believed
in me
Cherishing hope in the hearts.
Pets, flowers, trees – all confided
in me.
Mother was happy with my
studies’ results

I have swapped all values for freedom.
Now disappointed – look at the graves.
Burned flowers, trees are behind me,
I killed the pets – my dear kind slaves.
Look, here I am – my own Master.
Wondering about like a sad lost soul.
Why is there no more trust in me?
Where’s Liberty? Do you hear my call?

Where are dreams of far-away land?
Where are my travels by ocean and sea?
Cranes in the sky – I am getting sad,
They turn to carrion-crows diving at me.

Drought. Cracked ground supports my feet.
Backpack’s empty, not a drop in the flask.
Do I burn with shame or suffer from heat?
Bitten by fortune. Remorse stings like a wasp

Weary and thirsty I’ll kneel to the spring,
Stoop in an unhurried old-man way
Slowly the spring starts drawing in,
My water reflection is carried away.

Oh, day-dreaming! What curious reveries I used to have, being eager to travel all over the globe in my youth; and, of course, to make all people happy.
It sounds funny, but as a child I dreamed of finding a tight purse – to buy presents for everybody. And at that, I meant only the purse that had not been lost by anybody. Isn’t it amusing? It was really quite childish. Then, later, as a teenager I got attracted by submarines. No, they were the ones carrying weapons – just subs for aqua-entertainment. In my imagination they might had been moving much faster, provided water friction is lessened. I was proud to hit the right idea. The gist of this “invention” boiled down to a proposal of enveloping a submarine with a layer of air jacket – thus enabling it to get rid of any friction while moving through water. They might have moved like planes in the sky. But an engineering decision I failed to invent. It remained just a childish Dream.

Half a century has passed. Recently I got to know that someone somewhere had made my dream come true through application of “air-bubbles blanket” around the entire submarines hull. The speed jumped up to… Well, let it be. The trouble is that these submarines do not navigate just in round-the world tourist cruises, they have been sent on the destructive mission by a certain Unknown Someone – the villain carrying nuclear missiles. To forecast the disastrous outcome of such like cruises would be a nightmare try.

But the dream was to become friends with Water. And if everything is set on fire who would be the first one to blame? Of course it will be the dreamer himself. If not for him there would not have been any sub-water devices at all. Agree? As to these omnipresent certain Someones, nobody can accuse them of whatsoever, no one of them will be remembered. So, what remains? A futile question, isn’t it? What about this centuries-old consolation?

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