The god of my childhood

Mikhail Epstein about the very first and warm memories, memory and oblivion, about childhood.

I remember that I did not feel such a related feeling as to my grandfather in my childhood. They came from afar, with their affairs and worries, with the life that has not yet been living and attracting them from me. Now I understand that there were no more devoted to the house and the son of parents than mine-but still they had something else: work, colleagues, relations between themselves. And grandfather – only I. The age difference did not share us, but rafting us – bypassing my parents. Behind their backs, we seemed to exchanged all -bearing glances. And together we spent a long, sweet and tidy time of childhood and old age, inside which, with their constant haste and instructions, there was no place.

Where did we hurry when on a summer affectionate day we walked, holding hands, in the sun, once again examining the same fallen fence and a rusty barrel? Or when a stove was melted on a boring winter day, throwing down a pinch in order to follow the fire for a long time? They examined some pictures in a magnifying glass that were perfectly visible without it, cut old clothes on shreds and strewn them and with colorful sparkles of cotton wool between the frames, so that it was more fun to look out the window. Our life, slowly for any purpose, was filled with meaning in itself – the highest good for those who are just starting or already finishing living.

I already thought that when my grandfather would die, then almost all my life would be in memory of him: I would call him the name – Samuel – my son, I will remember him every time. This was not how it turned out, and even the day of his death, March 13, sometimes passes in oblivion. The mountains of melting snow in the cemetery and the paths between the fences are not trodden – which is why I have to visit it in the days of other deaths. The otherworldly haze, in which his soul dispersed, seems to me similar to the sky above his grave: everything in lace loops from countless branches – scars and marks of earthly experience. But the feeling of a hot grandfather’s presence, invisibly protecting me, remains stronger in me than my parent. After all, we know the father and mother when we grow up – already as individual people with

their shortcomings, habits, a special character warehouse. In their images, the memory of childhood was already erased, replaced by later and conscious impressions. The grandfather remains the omnipotent and the all -good god of infancy, when you still magically perceive the world, not debunking his secret and spirituality … representing in grandfather’s appearance, the divine moves away from me beyond the brink of the knowledgeable and conceivable, although it remains the closest to the sensation of affection, warmth. When my grandfather was alive, I exaggerated his power and omniscience by infantry. When I began to grow up, he died, and remaining forever behind the line where the sacred. Grandfather never appeared to me in the everyday light of noon – only in the colors of dawn and in the shadows of dusk, at that hour about which the proverb is composed: “Dawn with dawn kiss”.