A Photographer's Notebook…Unframed
Images by Margo Berdeshevsky

Six days in Slovakia . . .
the end of the earth in some ways; the dying colors of autumnal flares here, an odd parallel to the world stage, its dyings and foaming and frothing.

In the ditches of humanity, Tsigane villages, gypsy babies so ragged it helped me to perceive Afghanistan anew. Of course there's a damn war. People like this all over our planet and us with utility vehicles and flags.

~ .
© 2001 Margo Berdeshevsky
But these were not angry people, just very, very poor ones. Some allusion to the Allegheny mountains might be apt. Saw mothers like the ones Dorathea Lange made famous in the 1930's.

There we border on 2002…but here is the eastern autumnal landscape, not old coal slopes, not grape growers' California hovels, not distant, dire Afghan. All here, against the riches of autumnal jewels on each heavy branch,
and there are a thousand castles across the horizon left in varying stages of crumble from their old Austro-Hungarian empire lords and dames. I kept trying to imagine the Gabor sisters peeking out of a casement window, saying, "There, there, little Slovak peasants. Don't worry." doorway
© 2001 Margo Berdeshevsky
~ .
© 2001 Margo Berdeshevsky
There is truly nothing left but "now." There's no time left to "work on" enlightenment. We get it now or forget it. A woman back in Paris, yesterday, tried to tell me her whole sad divorce story, as though it were dire. All I may say is, "Bravo! You're free. Get on with it." There is no time for anything else. Not this year.
~ .
Still, autumn in gorgeous Paris, so pretty today, you cannot help smiling sweetly--only the International Herald Tribune editorials to make me nervous.

I think of the friar I met in one of the convents in that country of five million Catholics. He spoke of the murder of all those in a Pakistani church last week. "Well," he said, "what a blessing; they died in church."

Does he understand Euro-irony? I am still translating. All my life…always translating.

(Margo Berdeshevsky is a contributing editor
to the magazine. She lives in Paris and Maui.)
© 2001 Margo Berdeshevsky