By Oleksiy Fesenko
March 13, 2019
The person with whom I used to work for some time in 2014 got fear of flights. He would not hear of flying without explanation; his panic was starting from nowhere before boarding an aircraft. His psychologist recommended him to explain which bad memories eat away at him to put the bad experiences behind. Understanding suddenly flashed back to him as he started a narration.
His fears became apparent in 2014 when all of the sudden terrible news blasted out on TV informing about shooting of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) by Russian counter-air missile over the East of Ukraine. As a result, he boiled down to a decision: as proof, he served up a collection of brick-a-brack items.
He knew much of the insider information and was a backseat driver to his company. At the back of his mind was worry about his company should he die. But he knew the company must cross that bridge when they come to it. All the data could be restored in several months of the company’s work. But, what about his unique experience his co-workers were going with. During the flight, all most crucial moment of his life came back to him: TV news and the MH17 crash, the black box of the aircraft and the recovery of the statistics, a lot of things scattered in a radius of many miles. That frightened him.
It was horrible; wisdom can expire with the people who disappear. Unlike information or knowledge, it cannot be stored on a computer, recorded in a book or retrieved from the black box. People on the place of the incident would attempt to conjure the fragments scattered around, but all in vain. Only the owners are the genuine carriers of the unique wisdom about the things
Suddenly my friend’s memories came flooding back cracking his ‘black box’ to my display.
When he was at school, his peers used to call him Narcissus (a hint about fixation with himself), so he came out against them. At that time one of the city environmental organizations went into the historic buildings restoration project bringing in the volunteers. He participated in the project. After the successful completion of the project, the team leader had presented him a piece of fresco with a fragment of the Narcissus flower. Finally, his peers have sided with him.
The next item of his collection was the glove is the question about the staff of the glove made of the animals. How we would feel about women wearing the skin of the killed animals?
Knick-knack in the shape of a heart, which was on the wall of the café, opened up his entrepreneurship talent – is a confirmation of the correct move in his business. He named his bar “heart of the big city,” and every third visitor was able to receive a brand cocktail called named “heart of the big city.”
Seashell, pebble, and round stone are just the things which remind him of the days spent with his best friends at sea is now a ritual - the annual meeting inseparable from the team.
Crystal, he believes was his lucky talisman when his NGO raised a question about the cleanliness of the water in the river nearby.
Fragments of lacework and a strap of fabric came from the house burned down by the twilight. When he saw a burning house, he saved a baby from it.
The spoon originated from Ukraine as a present from the old lady, when he participated as a Member of the Peace Corps in Ukraine supplying food to the aged people in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
When he was an animal activist he stuck up for the rights of the hairs, he presented hair figure to each of the club members as a protest against taking hairs from the wild for coursing that caused suffering to the animals.
When he was a schoolboy, he found in a park a chick of a magpie which would die, he fed it with moth until it grew up.
When he was in the West of Ukraine, he took a coin, melted it and molded a medallion with an inscription “Glory to Heroes,” because glory is over money.
As he was a volunteer and participated in the study of tornadoes in the US, when the project wound up, his project leader presented him with a spiral pendant.
He used to do extra work at home on the eve of the Mother's Day as sewing the mother of pearls buttons, etc. A set of mother of pearl buttons was the reminder of his important duty.
The wooden artifact is indeed a piece of a smoking pipe, is symbolizing a period of his life when he was active in the green movement for carbon reduction at the Ukrainian cement factories and transition to the new dry process of cement production. He purchased that artifact at the market in that region.
A collection of the stamps followed the long process of correspondence between the Ukrainian officials and a participant of ATO about returning his legal housing in Kiev. The man had invested into the apartment in 2015, the house was to be commissioned at the end of 2016, and still at the beginning of 2016 he had gone to the Ukrainian Army and ATO. When he returned from the Army, he had neither his original house, had been sold earlier, no the new apartment. He submitted the issue to the Ukrainian court and to the officials. Collectively he received 100 replies leading into nowhere and having no sense; the 100 stamps represented that collection.
Now he swears by his collection presenting it to his friends. He believes that any simple thing has its story and inherent wisdom until a person is alive. Only the owner can transfer their history. Now he is no more afraid of the flights.