Maria Filipova – Hadji (Bulgaria)
Maria Filipova-Hadji was born on May 31, 1954 in the village of Sitovo in Bourgas region. She studied at the high school in Sliven and Plovdiv.
She also studied Russian-Tatar philology in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, as well as Russian philology and journalism in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Since 1992, she is a member of the Writer's Friendship in Plovdiv. She is the author of several collections of poetry and short stories, published in Bulgarian and Greek. She also translated stories, poems and fairy tales from Greek into Bulgarian and Russian. Since 2009, she is a member of the Writers Union in Northern Greece. Her poems and stories have been translated into Greek, Russian, Uzbek, French, English, German and Arabic languages, and included in various anthologies around the world.
The snow covers up last night’s cares,
and in my soul silence falls
which seems like a solitary cabin,
lost among the whiteness.
Its little white flame flickers and evokes
memories of a hundred summers.
In my soul begins to babble a brook,
hidden under the ice.
Translated by Professor Andrew White
A Bashful Flower
That time, I was about ten years old. Together with my mother I went to the vineyard. As we walked down, she kept bending over a grass, then over the other one, and the next, and as she touched a grass, she began to tell me about its medicinal properties. One day my mother tore a white flower with a flat inflorescence, formed of several tiny blossoms on a long stem. There was a tiny black dot similar to a spot, no bigger than
the nail of the little finger, right in the center of the flower.
“This flower is called a bashful, shy flower”, my mother said. “Once, all its petals were black, but over the years people have become less and less conscientious; there have been less shame and shyness, and more shamelessness, that's why only one spot is seen here. I remember that in my childhood, the flower had wavy white stripe only at the edges and the whole flower was black. I did not believe the stories of your grandmother that people have changed over the years, and they are increasingly losing not only shyness, but conscience as well. But now I'm convinced of this.”
I confess that I did not believe my mother’ stories either, and throughout my life, when I remembered our tour of the vineyards, I thought that it was her next life lesson. However, I still remember that flower.
This summer, in the middle of the mountains, not far from the villa, I saw a flower of my childhood. I could hardly recognize it. I looked at it thoroughly to make sure that it really was the right one. I saw that it has changed over the years, only a few small petals with black spots remained. Now it was almost white. So my mother’s words proved to be true: people have no conscience. And nature “documented” it as it is.
And then I came up with a new tale. I thought that there is a little more time and the blackness of human being’s soul will disappear forever, along with the flower. And the world will be cleansed of dirt and becomes lighter, cleaner and more beautiful. So, tell me please, what kind of tales do you like most?
Translated by Aazam Abidov