Such a good day today/yesterday (Sunday) - must be because of the weather, Indian Summer. One of those days when I feel so happy to live in Kyiv.
Must be also because there are very few cars here on weekends, unlike the rest of the week.
Kyiv has grown so big; night traffic at the Besarabka/Khreshchatyk corner that I see from our window is mesmerizing - all the glowing, non-stop, like an electronic music video.
I've noticed today that during the day, when the crowd on Khreshchatyk isn't too drunk yet, there's a lot of beautiful Ukrainian language out there: normally, I pay more attention to what people look like, not how they speak, but today I kept eavesdropping on the bits of relaxed weekend conversations in Ukrainian - and loved it.
Loved it so much that, on the way to the tiny and cozy courtyard of St. Sophia's, I suddenly had a craving for something Ukrainian to read. I stopped at a tiny Ukrainian-language bookstore that exhibits a selection of its books outdoors when the weather's nice (located on that tiny street that starts near Zoloti Vorota and goes parallel to Volodymyrska towards St. Sophia's). I bought Lesya Ukrainka's biography (13 hryvnias/$2.60, published in 1971, signed by the author, Anatol Kostenko, for poet Oleksa Novytsky) and a work on Petro Mohyla - read from both of them while Marta was taking her afternoon nap. Loved it, of course.
On the way back home, I passed a group of krishna/hippie/dervish kind of people who do the Whirling Dervish kind of dance on Khreshchatyk every weekend. Two girls were circling around in a trance, in those amazingly beautiful skirts of theirs, a beautifully happy-looking bearded man was beating the beat for them on a drum, and another guy was playing some repetetive tune on a flute. A dozen or so people stood nearby, watching. Among them was an old woman - a village woman, most likely, though she wasn't wearing a headscarf - and she was singing, she was sharing the beat with the whirling girls and singing in Ukrainian, the song that I think I recognized because Mishah used it to calm Marta down in the first months - but he had been performing it in that exaggerated, funny "goat" voice, while the old woman on Khreshchatyk was singing it beautifully - "Oy, u vyshnevomu sadku, tam soloveiko shchebetav, dodomu ya prosylasya, a ty mene vse ne puskav..." (Update: mp3 is here - thank you, R. Smith!!!)
A lovely day.
Two pictures from St. Sophia's:
Dear Neeka, Thank you for allowing us to share in your beautiful reverie, and thank you for your daily insights, commentary, and observations. Please keep it up !ReplyDelete
I'm going to have to track down that tune now, because I've only ever heard the words sung by Pikkardiys'ka Tertsia, to the tune of "She's got it!". :-)ReplyDelete
Found it, by the way. It's here.ReplyDelete