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by Katarina Tesic, Serbia Nov 10, 2004
Child & Youth Rights   Short Stories


From this moment I start to go back to the past through events and meetings of today, of this month, this year…. I go back to my childhood…. I become a baby in my mother’s lap. I return to her womb….

But what I think and feel now hasn’t begun there. I still go back into my parents and their lives, in lives of my grandfathers and grandmothers…. Slowly I proceed through the 19th century. I am in my ancestors whose names I can not recall any more but whose movements and smiles live in me. I go upstream the river of life going back in time through industrial revolution…back to Middle Ages through the time of the plague and pilgrimage into the lives of my older ancestors - with the hands like mine – which were carving the stones of the big cathedrals. They had the eyes like mine and were following the paths of the stars with both astonishment and fear.

I continue to go to the dawn of civilization going into the times of wandering in small groups of people living in the woods…. Curiously, I watch the feasts and rituals around the sacred fire…with sadness and fright I see their long march through the ice age. I arrive to my beginnings, and I am in the heart of Africa, standing on the forest edge. My eyes stroll across savannah. The travel of my people is in front of me…. Cautiously, I descend down the unpredictable river of life. My ancestors welcome me. With joy and gratefulness each one is making a special gift to me; the chestnut color of my eyes and hair, the shape of my nose and lips, fine long fingers of my hand…. They give me the brains and wisdom, courage and perseverance, and laughter and sadness… Suddenly I realize who I am and why I am exactly like this.

Slowly I return through the time to this year, this month, this week, this day and this moment. Those who protected and loved this land have left to me lots of beauty and goodness to do what has to be done – to wisely, with dignity and joy, continue their travel.

Today it’s Monday, June 4th, around 11 a.m. I feel my full existence. I feel sad for leaving the “Eden of unpunished lawbreakers.” I’m happy because I’m 19 and scared by responsibility for my own life in future. I need courage to experience the freedom that comes with autonomy; the courage to accept the responsibility for my choices and to be the way I really am. To nourish and respect your own distinctive uniqueness, and respect the unique ways of the others -- that is all that anyone of us can have and can do.




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Katarina Tesic

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Zorica Vukovic | Nov 22nd, 2004

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