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Memory Suitcase: “The Love for Writing Runs in my Blood”

The historical diary and a literature prize one next to the other. (Photo: Private)

Sometimes, the answers to the great mysteries of our lives are hidden in plain sight. Our author Rusudan found her great grandfather’s diary while cleaning out old bookshelves, revealing a link between the past and the present.

Standing next to piles of old books, the dry smell of dust permeating the air, I did not hesitate in the slightest to open the diary with immense curiosity the moment that I caught sight of it.

The Treasure of Testimony

This is the diary I accidentally came across three years ago when my parents and I were redecorating the old bookshelves. It turned out to be a hand-written story written by my great grandfather (my father’s grandfather on his mother’s side) called “Settling Down”. The fact that it is an original story is expressed on the cover. I have not read it fully because reading the hand-writing clearly is rather difficult but I discovered that the story is about a Georgian family and the society in which they live.

They have to overcome difficulties in the 20th century – the period of the Soviet Union. For instance, they have to cope with losing their beloved property in which they had put lots of love and perspiration and deal with their friends who used to fight on their side but decided to go against them. The story shows the dreadful results and hardships caused by collectivization.

My other great grandfather (the grandfather of my father) died of a heart attack as a result of it on the exact day collectivization spread to our village, Kavtiskhevi. That is why this story is so meaningful not only for me, but for my family as well – it shows the reflections of the past as a literary composition, and it is, from what I have read, I dare say, quite well-written.

Reading Between the Lines

Another main reason why I chose this object, which is very important personally for me, is that I always wondered why I was so passionate for writing and literature when my family is made up of mathematics, physics professors and chemists. Whilst standing next to the piles of the old books, in the dry smell of the dust, I did not hesitate even a little bit and opened the diary with a huge curiosity when I came across it.

After I started reading, all of my questions were answered. I was so shocked and carried away with the style of writing and the specific phrases used, the formations of sentences, that if I did not know who the writer was, I would think that I had started writing it and then just stopped and forgotten about it. I felt so close to the relative whom I had never seen as if I had known him all my life. I already knew how a certain chapter would end, what twist would be used even before I finished some of those chapters.

To be Continued!

I felt my personality improving. Slowly I started to realize who I was and what I wanted to be. This little diary made me believe in myself much more and consequently, I made one of my biggest achievements – the first prize (the silver lily) of Amirani Youth Literature Award in the nomination of Translating . I dare say that the inspiration of reaching this goal, proving that I am doing something important and memorable, was my grand grandfather with his story written 70 years ago. It was then that I finally realized the phrase I was always told by my family – everything new is well-forgotten old.