"The Old Man On The Rain"

2005. Bronze. h-60 cm.

...It is a summer, warm rain... An old man with a pear in his hand is standing on a leaves-covered hill.... He is barefoot, wearing a wet clinging shirt and old-styled baggy trousers... The fine slanted rain has dropped a few leaves from the trees onto the head, beard and clothes of this "bobyl"...("bobyl" is a lone villager who has no family and no household and earns his living doing temporary jobs)... His name is grandpa Pasha... Hes quite content with his fate and lives in accord with his environment, the nature and the people... Grandpa Pasha is healthy still and full of worldly wisdom, calmness and friendliness... I knew such a "bobyl", a village "philosopher", who guarded the local orchard aided by two sleepy, kind and lazy dogs... He lived in a wooden gatehouse in the orchard and gladly communicated with me, a visiting sculptor... (For a few months I was fulfilling my contract for the collective farm, working in a temporary workshop that had no walls; it was just a shed on four "posts", near the orchard)...

Grandpa Pasha was fond of talking about God, Cosmos, women, and the "communist bosses"... It was important for him that he was being listened to by a learned person, a sculptor... The porch of his hut was visited by feral village cats, the hunters for field mice.... During summer the cats lived in forests, orchards and thickets... The old man kept friends with them, gave them names, fed them with fish boiled with millet or pearl barley... The full and haughty cats, two mongrel dogs and sculptor would all be sitting on the porch, drowsy, squinting at the sun and listening to the forest philosopher reasoning about God and the meaning of life... It was the old mans family, in fact... When I was leaving, I memorized grandpa Pasha like that: hes seeing me off, barefoot, holding out a large ripe pear for me to eat on the road... The rain is running down his hair and beard on the clinging clothes... Hes full of inward calm, hes good... He is smiling and saying to me, Well now, sculptor, live long, be rich and healthy... Regretfully, we never met again...

Ponomarev I.

 


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