APPLE TREES

3 generations: My grandmother Polya, her daughters Masha, Liza, Lyuba, Valya, Ira Zoya (my mother, top right) and their children

3 generations: My grandmother Polya, her daughters Masha, Liza, Lyuba, Valya, Ira Zoya (my mother, top right) and their children

There were six appletrees in the garden of the Russian family house.  Every apple tree had a name for every daughter born, I learned from my aunt Valya. It was under the appletrees that all the family members gathered in summer to eat and meet. And moste of the pictures I have are also under the appletrees. So here they were sitting, this family, like all Russian family deeply  traumatized by all the big upheavals in Russia. My mother commented to this picture by saying: Look, we are all looking in different directions. That’s how we were. I would say: look, everybody full of hope, for love, for a good life, but inside the wounds of childhood en deprivation, of lies and propaganda, all of this present and waiting to unfold in life. My grandmother had a very specific relationship with each and every apple tree. Some bore a lot of fruit, except one that was called ‘Muchorka’.  My grandmother Polya scolded the tree for being ugly, with branches that were in the way. She threatened it to cut it down. But once the tree strarted to bear fruit (ugly apples ofcourse) the apples had an undescribable good, full taste. 

Now they are all cut down. Like in the ‘Cherry garden’ of Checkhov.   And it hurts in some inexplicable way. 

(Thanks to my cousing Tania Ionova, keeper of familiy stories, who told me the story)

Aliona van der Horst