The Wild Sea Waves Have Been Women


Dear Reader,

Above you can see the pictures of four women, spanning five generations and about 100 years. The relationship is as follows, left to right and top to bottom: mother – daughter – daughter of the daughter – granddaughter of the latter.

I was thinking – if these four women got the chance to meet and talk, what would they say to each other? Would they discover anything in common, a common trait or a gesture? Anything that could be summed up by the Bulgarian saying ‘Blood does not turn into water’ (Кръвта вода не става)?

At the broader level, how did each of them feel about her life – was she fulfilled, what did she have to sacrifice, what did she learn, what was she thankful for, what did she regret?

With regard to this, I also thought of a poem about women. I am not revealing who the author is, you may already be able to recognize his style by yourselves :). It is a beautiful poem with a nice explosive ending, but dear Reader, I am not very sure what it is all about.

I believe it is about women pursuing their true calling and leaving behind situations and people that are in the way.

Something like the plot of play A Doll House by Henrik Ibsen…or like short story The Colonel’s Lady my Somerset Maugham.If you haven’t read those, you could, they are short and won’t take too much of your time.

A Doll House caused a scandal at the time it was released, in Bulgaria as well. Here, it was staged under the name Nora, after the main character. National poet Ivan Vazov makes references to it in some of his short stories (describing the downfall of women :)).

Once, while I was waiting for my son in a city garden and was holding his classical guitar in a case, a man approached me, asking if I played. I explained that that was my son’s guitar and he told me he used to play but quit some 20 years ago because of obligations to his family.

Now he said he was unable to play through a guitar piece from beginning to end without mistakes. I had to go, I thanked him for sharing this and left. But I was astounded at how this guitar I was holding attracted a stranger to share something personal with me.

I guess almost everyone has their own stories like that. 

Now here’s the poem, let anyone understand what they like:

The wild sea waves have been women,
Who’ve fled the humdrum ways ashore.
Become a sapphire wave unridden,
The wind in you keep chained no more.

Step closer, dive into the deepest,
Into mighty swirls unquelled of yore,
The roaring vortexes will tell you
If you’ve been ever loved before.

The Coward would kneel and whimper,
He’d whisper of his love so true.
The Weak would tear up unblinking,
The True would brave the Hell for you.

He’d hug you tender, he’d beseech you,
But don’t look back, nor heave a sigh,
The element of waves is in the deepest,
They only come ashore to die.

And now the original. Yes, you guessed right, it is Evtim Evtimov. The translation’s mine.

Вълните на морето са жени,
избягали от къщите – окови.
Ела, една вълна сама стани,
сестра на вятъра бъди отново.

Ела, сред най-дълбокото иди,
при царството на тъмните стихии.
Била ли си обичана преди-
едва сега ще можеш да откриеш.

Страхливия ще седне на брега,
ще шепне колко много ти е верен,
безсилния ще плаче от тъга,
а истинския сам ще те намери.

Ще иска той с прегръдка да те спре,
но ти не се завръщай, нито спирай.
Вълната е вълна насред море.
А тръгне ли към плиткото – умира.