Shaded Field by Kate Green

Is being born. Gets through a painful process. All the muscles are equally tense. In order to break through shell-like walls and get out of vacuum, crashes to and fro. The sound of blood rings in the ears, rushing like a stream. Is unable to make out where strange sounds come from. The walls are gradually cracking. Just like in the thunderstorm, the sky unrolls in furls. The protective membrane wrapped around the body loses its elasticity and shrinks.  Hears the sound of crackle, then of something falling apart. Cool air reaches the closed space.  The naked body feels cold and trembles. Leaves a temporary residence and meets a new world. The sun casts dazzling rays on the misty eyes in the form of dew and rubs them softly. The lungs open  breathing oxygenated air  and the shocking news makes one scream like a newly hatched chick. Sounds emanating from the body first cut through the environment and disperse into vague sounds around it.  

     Place of birth- the earth!

     Name- the earth man.

     Time- spring. The time of the sun’s appearance.

     The man of earth  is an elastic branch, growing day by day. The polluted environment does not pose a serious threat to his health, endures everything so far. There is a long way ahead  before he starts rolling,  gets  accustomed to taking steps independently. Is not keen on talking. Is rather more observant and attracted to the process of thought.

    Somewhere far away a stage is being built for a man of the earth. Has no idea that every person has  such a scene on which they have to present themselves from time to time.

   The snow covers the shore, invisible for the man of earth in a frozen city. A large tree can be seen there at the end of it. Spreads out like an oak, with many branches. The snow is clean without any stains.

   The facials of the man of earth change, beginning to transform. Opens the windows of his own room wide looking at paths interwoven into one another. The man of earth changes plots. He opens the windows of his own room widely and makes paths close to one other. Refrains from separating them, skillfully handles of work tools  and begins to explore new paths.

   The spring period is coming to an end for the man of earth, the milieu gets torn apart around like knitted cloth passing through the comfort zone. Summer approaches with an empty sack in its hand.

   The planets move, do not stop.                


The man of earth is facing an active period of his life. Creates templates for the cloak of experience and prepares to appear on stage. He knows the audience are slowly gathering around him expecting his specific word. Carefully chooses the time, role, costume and make-up for the very first performance.

     And that very special day arrives. A crowded open space awaits his speech.

     The man of earth suffers. His palms sweat and his heart beats twice. Forces himself to take the first step. Staggers like a drunk man and walks towards the middle of the stage tottering.

     A huge audience confuses the man of earth. No longer remembers what  to say. Nor does he know how to behave at such times  but  still starts to play a role. Does not shine at it at all.  

    The audience is dissatisfied. He raises his eyebrows and does not  hold back from rough exclamations. The  man of earth  hears everything  but still continues to stand on stage.

     No one listens to him  anymore. Disappointed people leave the venue.

    The spirit of the man of earth is crushing. Walks down the stage stairs  with his head bowed and   tries to hide somewhere.

    “Congratulations on the first pain!” The white-bearded old man stops him with a smile, staring at  his  face.

      The man of  earth is flabbergasted.  Does not know what to answer. Looks straight into the eyes of that old man and his smile irritates his nerves.

    The old man stands resignedly, trying to say something else  but the man of earth  overcomes his anger and limits himself to just passing by.

    The old man gazes after him and smiles again.

    The thoughts of the man of earth  boil his brain and he gathers strength for the next performance to successfully replace today’s failure.

   White replaces black, black – white. He gradually refines his performances. People applaud. He himself  is satisfied too.

    He gets petrified. Managing things is not as easy as before.

    At the end of the day, like everyone else, he goes to the house of sin. He stands in a long  queue, puts the sack aside and before his name is called, steals a glance at others’ sacks. Everyone has a sack of different weight and size. Some smell of spoiled fish. The more a sack stinks,  the more the backbite conversations last.

    The man of earth  is often lucky, has not added much to his sack. It does not stink and it is not too heavy to carry.

   Before going to bed he puts the sack by the bed, then goes to bed and summarizes the news of the day. Then the night comes, locks his mind and  disconnects  himself from everybody and everything.

   The man of earth realizes that he is getting  alienated from everything and feels lonely. The existing environment encourages him to  increase the area of his action  and make large-scale steps.   He gets out of the box and periodically disappears into time and space.   He separates the world from material values and feels it in a filtered form. It makes much easier for him to approach freedom.

   The man of earth temporarily bids farewell to his family members and leaves to continue his quest of the world’s essence. Now that he no longer has a concrete house, takes refuge in a house built from nature. Lying on grass the sky is his blanket  and he  begins to snort  sunk deep into the scent of the earth.

    Sometimes being in open air and staying alone seems superfluous, he returns to material pits,  adapts his own desires to situation management  and follows the flow of life sometimes fast, sometimes at a slow pace.

    The man of earth  travels. Meets countless  people of different religion and order.  Sees plenty of untapped space. Aims at collecting memories and creates a museum in his mind. The only part he  does not like is rules made by people, bordered territories and limits. The man of earth will never tolerate  the limits and prohibitions.

     Storms in the open seas often blow his ship over other people’s ships  but battles reward him with life again.

   The planets move, do not stop.


The man of earth is in his season of maturity. Together with daily activities he collects the harvest from his past.  Sometimes heretical thoughts attack but he knows how to deal with them.

    He realizes that it is high time to return home. Finishes everything and returns to his family members. He has changed a lot  and speaks a language they do not understand. They move around him considering him a stranger. In the end they get accustomed to him  and  accept him the way he  is.

     The man of earth is capable of  communicating with any  earthman. Past roles help him to do so  but in most cases he tries to remain a real person. He has two  friends alike himself,  thinks enough.

     The leaves begin to fall.

     Periodically age reminds him of  itself and he suffers from illnesses. The emaciated body begins to wear out  but  he  stands firm, nothing  fears him. Knows this is inevitable.

     He moves to a wooden house built by the lake. Enjoys sitting by the shore, quietly glaring at the harvest in front of him  brought by the autumn colors. Thoughts begin to travel to the sky and hug clouds. Hears the voices of the loved ones from the house window. The aroma of vanilla apple pie and black tea revives  childhood flashbacks.


     The man of earth often visits the depths of the forest near his house. The leaves fallen from the trees rustle and get painted into carpets. Squeezed joints can not stop him, wanders and deeply absorbs the smell of autumn. Time  flies. The evening in dark clothes approaches  and brings a handful of coldness.

     “Man of earth!” He hears sounds like an echo.

     The man of  earth  looks back and catches sight of  the friends-  the men of water and air behind the horizon.

     “Here! Here!” They shake hands, implying  to go back.

     The man of  earth  is happy to see his friends, starts walking towards them with a spark of joy shining on face.

      Makes a fire in a fireplace for his frozen friends and hosts them.

      The temporary feasting fades away like a fire prepared to extinguish in a fire place and the cold and silence sets in again. It is characterized for  late autumn, he is to fail anyway…

      The planets move, do not stop.


The man of earth starts to lose  health like buttons attached to clothes, gradually  getting  like a dead empty tree.

     His voice is no longer heard to anyone.

     Has not held performances for a long time. All his roles are being forgotten.

     Is getting shackled to a bed, staring at one point.

     The recent past remains as fragments of a collapsed building.

     Strong winter winds attack  the window, trying to break into the room roaring. 

     The wonky man of  earth gathers  his last strength, gets out of bed, puts a sack on his back, leaves the house and goes to the forest. Continues the way without looking back and greets the frost. 

      “Come back, man of the earth!” The men of water and air try to stop him but in vain, the man of the earth does not listen and follows  the frost.

     The voice of friends is lost. The wind  stops. The  man  of earth  goes to the frozen river. All around is a frozen city  with frozen streets, squares and houses. No noise at all! Silence reigns.

      The man of earth crosses the frozen river and goes to a snowy bank.  There is  large tree beyond the bank…   The mission …  Moving forward notices footprints on the snowy bank. The sack leaves stains on the snow. A shaded field is made.

      The man of earth walks up to the tree, looks up at the branches with poor eyesight. The sun is setting. Tired of waiting the last leaf falls from its stalk and falls on the shoulder. A strange feeling takes over him. His body gets chilly, slowly dissolves and scatters like dust in space.

     Only spots and steps  are left  on the shaded field!..

     And the planets move again, do not stop…

translated by Inga Zhghenti

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