In Memoriam Margaret Aldiss by Maya Saparova

  Under the dome of the very blue firmament two swans were flying while skilfully performing their rituals.  Heaven
cleared its face of all clouds as if it admitted the graceful movements of the dancing white swans and opened the curtain trying to make it possible to be seen by all spectators.

   The swans showed all sorts of tricks while flying up and down with their wings nearly touching each other.  The sharp dagger of the sun dipped the white wings of the swans in the beautiful golden dust of rays.  The sun would be thrilled watching the swans' dances. However, the swans could not take its warmth any further and descended like a flying arrow
towards the blue lake, the rival of the blue From left, Orazgul Annamuradova, Maya Saparova (the author), Charlotte Aidiss, firmament. a guest, Margaret Aldiss and YoussefAzemoun at the Aldiss Residence, Oxford

   Then the birds began to sing in their own language.  "See, what fun it is!  We dive whenever we wish and swim whenever we want; we have been flying in the vacuum of the sW' they said to each other.  The lake, the sweet dreams, swimming, diving in the lake - there was no end to such feelings in the hearts of the swans.

   This little lake was the home of the swans.  This was their home where they loved each other and grew up together and they raised their young together.  Whenever they had time they performed their rituals which they enjoyed so much.  One day when they were enjoying themselves, a bird-hunter appeared near the lake.

   While hiding amongst the reeds, the hunter decided to shoot the two swans which were outstanding among other birds.
The hunter initially hesitated, felt sorry for the swans.  Why should he not do so?  It seemed that the swans felt the separation. They were taking turns in picking food with their beaks.  They leaned their heads against each other while closing their eyes and casting their wings on each other they swam and swam.  The hunter decided to shoot one of them.

   The female swan became an easier target.  After a powerful bang all the birds flew away.  Without understanding what was happening, the white cob too, took off.  He looked for his companion in the sky.  And he could not find her. ;He looked down and could not see her.  The cob could not see anything in the lake.  It was getting dark.  The birds became tired of flying in the air and began to fly towards the lake.  The white swan too slowly landed on the lake and looked around amongst the other birds with hope.  He could not see his companion anywhere.  Perhaps she will come tomorrow.  Frightened by that horrible bang, she might have flown far away.

   Early the following morning when birds woke up, the white swan too woke up.  He did not see his companion swimming in the water.  He did not look up in the sky.  The sky had closed the cloud curtain.  The sun, standing behind the closed curtain, knowing that there would not be any dance and ritual movements, turned its face back in anger.

   Left alone, the white swan believed that his companion must be flying somewhere.  He thought that his companion might have found a peaceful lake. Perhaps, saying "What a wonderful place this is  ", she might take her beloved with her. The white swan made his mind talk "Only then will you not find us, o cruel hunter!  In this blue heaven we will make the golden sun smile once again".

   Swans       Brian and Margaret / Sky Happy days of life
   Sun Hope, love / Hunter Fate, the appointed hour of death
   Bang        Death / The lake to be found         Eternal life

   When I was a child I did not believe that birds would die.  I thought that they would fly away and come back again.
To be honest, I still think so; birds fly away and come back.

   I believe that Margaret will come back to Brian.  Because human beings might be as strange as birds.  May everyone have the chance of waiting for communion with his or her swan and then flying to the eternal lake together.

          translated by Y. Azemoun