Posted in Culture, fiction, Quotes

#A2Z- The Ciselure Shop (fiction)

The chimes on the door clanged. A portly gentleman dressed in an olive-green tweed suit just entered Vpyshit’sya, a small shop nestled within a mountain village of Dzembronya, Ukraine. Novak took a burgundy handkerchief from out of his breast pocket, and wiped the dust off his gold rimmed glasses. He breathed a sigh of relief that he arrived in one piece as the foggy weather made safety of the travelling conditions questionable.

After taking a quick glance inside, he decided to walk around the shop quietly studying the craftsmanship of the metal pieces that were on display. He displayed a keen perspicacity in recognizing quality pieces. He heard about this shop as he chatted to the barman last night. Ukraine was well known for a variety of metal and wood carvings.

He was immediately enthused by the diversity of products he found: unique jewelry that was encased by glass display boxes, brass Viking shields that hung on the walls, intricately engraved kitchen knife sets, engraved metal wall decor.

He slowly found his way to the check out desk in the back of the shop. He noticed a young lady diligently working in the back room. Sophia’s family has been in the ciselure business for five generations. Her family taught her everything they knew, and precocious Sophia became a young master in the craft. She was inspired by a few techniques from a video she watched.

She was finishing up an jewelry box for an exhibit held at the Metal Working International Trade Fair in Kiev, the capital. She was looking forward to learning new things in metallurgy and the innovative tools in metal industry.

Novak cleared his throat, “Excuse me, mam. I was told that you can create metal designs for a wide variety of things.” Sophia broke from her trance, got up from her workstation, and walked towards the man. He took out a wooden box from his bag, and set it on the table.

“Careful now, there’s a golden pocket knife I would like to engrave for my son. It’s his birthday and there is something I would like to inscribe.” He took out a note for Sophia to read:

My son, take time to sharpen your skills, your tools, your resources, and you’ll be more productive. Much love, Novak

Image Credit: Pixabay

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Posted in Culture, Quotes

A-to-Z Challenge: Kalinin

Photo Credit: Pixabay

As it unfolded, the structure of the story began to remind me of one of those Russian dolls that contain innumerable ever-smaller dolls within. Step by step the narrative split into a thousand stories, as if it had entered a gallery of mirrors, its identity fragmented into endless reflections.

Carlos Ruiz Zafon

A few days ago, I was playing around with one of childhood keepsakes, a Russian doll, that I got from one of my family trips as I was relaxing watching some cartoons with a group. I thought about the various layers people have as I took the dolls apart and put them back together again.

Fascinated by Russian culture and history, I decided to learn more about an influential Russian political leader and Bolshevik revolutionary by the name, Mikhail Kalinin.

Despite this quote by him above, on March 5, 1940, he and six other members of the Soviet Politburo signed an order to execute 25,700 Polish “nationalists and counterrevolutionaries” kept at camps and prisons in occupied western Ukraine and Belarus, part of the Katyn massacre.

He was a master of the house. From 1919 to 1946, he served as Head of State of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and later, the Soviet Union. In 1926, he was a member of the Politburo, a supreme policy-making body, of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

For thousands of years humankind’s finest minds have been struggling with the theoretical problem of finding the forms that would give peoples the possibility, without the greatest of torment, without internecine strife, of living side by side in friendship and brotherhood. Practically speaking, the first step in this direction is only being taken now, today.

Mikhail Kalinin

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