Monday, May 12: Border Crossing

The river Dniester, here, near the town of Soroka, separates Moldova from Ukraine.

Armed border guards patrol on either side, and the correct papers must be inspected. To me, however, the visual difference between the landscapes is like the difference (to a New Yorker) between New Hampshire and Vermont. The political reality, however, is quite another matter.

As we crossed, Natasha told me the story of another roots-seeker whose grandfather had been a ferryman on this river. She was able to bring him to his grandfather’s place of crossing. I was filled with envy that someone of my generation was able to revisit an ancestral place and reenact an ancestral activity. But even so, I reasoned, as Heraclitus has taught us, in our belatedness the river, however real, is never the same river.

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