Jivka, 2018

Ravnishte, Bulgaria

Along a road scattered with potholes.

Upwards and Onward .

As if with closed eyes.

Avoided by the carful driver, landslides and potholes,

aggressive turns speaking of lessons once learned.

Onwards and Upwards.

At least some 300 meters up, sitting in the foothills of the Rhodope Mountains. A town of less than 230 permanent inhabitants.

Scars of potatoes and fake crosses. Women bosses, and men only know how to drive cabs. A wife lost her teeth, he made her a new jaw out of wire. They drink our snow, summer comes slow, they drink our snow.

Here I met a woman by the name of Jivka.

“A freshly plucked fig from the impervious tree of the region ? “

“ I will not refuse” she said smoothing one hand with the other. Her hands where worn with the earth and her face kissed by hard work and relentless sun.

Pausing before reaching into my bucket she asked “what is your price”

“A story and a portrait if you wish “

More than eager to pause the monotony and indulge a stranger, she grabbed a fig and went on to tell me of her life and how she’d been to Sofia once.

A young girl with a pale blue dress. the movement of the tram gave her shivers down her spine.

She asked I mail her the photo and left me with something to ponder, saying ; “In Ravnishte we do not think, we calculate”