Maria Pleshkova (Russia): Days of War, a Pillow Book
‘War’ and ‘Waiting’ begin with the same letter. I’m not a soldier’s mother, neither am I a soldier’s wife. But I know what it feels like when the loved one goes to war. It happened to me – and war became a very personal matter. It became part of my life, of my thoughts and soul. For a while it dominated me. I spent my time waiting, worrying, counting days and hoping for the best. I couldn’t unglue myself from thinking about the conflict zone, I spent days following the news and photos. I began to have dreams about war. I wished I had been there. Every single day I was hoping to get a message from my friend saying that he was alive and well. Sometimes I felt it was the conflict zone – not my peaceful city – where real life was going on. I felt like a character in a play or simply a puppet. Everything around me seemed artificial. War was being fought out there. And everything was changing: the country and people in distant places, the global political situation… I was changing, too. Now it’s all over. But I think that war left a stigma on me, a kind of incurable deformity.