Food for Thought-The Priest in Priština (The Ninth Letter)


2 May 1957
Belgrade, The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Between the arrival of the post and watering of the three dying plants

Dear Friend and Colleague,

Though only chronological hours have elapsed, I feel there has been a long silence between us. If I cannot read, I cannot know. It will be a great delight to me to receive your next letter. I do wonder what transpires of your life and affairs beyond breakfast. Does the toast linger with you through lunch? Are the consumption snacks and chocolates part of your afternoon as well? These are facts I can no longer remember or recall.

The unaccustomed joy to which I was moved in recalling the legend of the Grand Vizier* brought fragments of the tale of the Picus Viridius* closer to forefront of my own mind. In the south, closer to Pristina*, the bird was said to fly from tree to tree. To the amazement of one village priest, the startled creature would simply stop pecking upon one tree in one location and move to another, without any warning at all. This pattern would continue hours at a time. It is my belief that the day, in the place, by the road, adjacent to the restaurant, where we saw the brown horse turning left, may have been in the path of one such quest to find a new and better tree. Како то може бити?*

Until tomorrow, when more questions await.

Yours truly,


*Grand Vizier a title of Ottoman Turkish authority
*Picus Virdius the common European Woodpecker
*Pristina the capital of Kosovo
* Како то може бити?* Serbian expression, left in the original, “How can this be?”