FICTION AND FAITH.
Upon reaching senescense, we tend to look back on our lives and begin to ask questions of ourselves. Questions that maybe we should have asked of our forebears when they were alive; like where did we come from, and who were we, and the ultimate; what have we become now [not that they would have come up with answers either]?
A GRAIN OF SALT.
Here's a word association experiment -- or narrowing the scope a bit we might call it an Ukrainian Haiku since it encapsulates a few uniquely Ukrainian terms however decidedly non-traditional in structure:
Salt >> Chumak >> Galicia >> Ruthenian >> Ukrainian >> Salt of The Earth.
Now there is an expression that was once popular among the precariat in the Detroit area where I grew up: "back to the salt mines" which, since Detroit was built over a large glacial deposit of salt,...
Monument to Taras Shevchenko, Lviv.
DAYS THREE & FOUR
Having survived the first two days of my insane itinerary, my guide Diana Borysenko had scheduled us for two relatively relaxing days in Lviv consisting of various historical, museum and church tours, a vist to several unique cafes for coffee and confections, the sampling of local cuisine, and an evening at the Opera House to attend a "gala" presentation of the inaugural season of the LvivMozArt Festival.
Annunciation (The Savior) Church, a 15th Century Carpathian Wooden Church.
Well if the itinerary for Day One was ridiculous -- four towns, 350 kilometers or more round trip, and roads that were in places more like obstacle courses -- Day Two would prove to be insane. We're talking about a tour of Sub-Carpathian Ukraine that involves at least 400 kilometers of driving in one day -- a weekend day at that -- smack in the middle of August which is high tourist season for this part of the world - not the smartest...
The earliest recollection I have of hearing the ethnic appellation Ukrainian applied to our family name Babij was in the Fall Quarter of my first year of college during the Kennedy Era when I received a telephone call from a woman (whose name unfortunately I do not recall) inviting me to a gathering of Ukrainian-descendant students to be held at an apartment in the campus married housing complex. The woman went on to describe what typically went on during such occasions: an exchange of tales...