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In Front of the Sun, Behind the Moon

In Front of the Sun, Behind the Moon

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In Front of the Sun, Behind the Moon

344 pages
5 hours
Jan 25, 2013


Vojislav Deric was born in Zaplanik, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1938. He graduated from the University of Sarajevo with a Bachelors degree in Architecture and Urbanism. His work was published in many magazines and newspapers including: Culture, Stig Belgrade, The Seventh Quarry, Swansea PoetryMagazine (U.K), Literary newspaper, Europe newspaper, The News Sidney ...etc.

He is the recipient of several awards in dedication to his work. He has organised many independent literacy evenings in Ex Yugoslavia and Australia and has published many collections of poetry. This includes: The Boomerang does not forgive (2002), It was summertime (2003), Distance Harvester (2004), Sun and Gate (2004), Spasm of Dawn (2006), On the Swirl of Tears (2006), Splinter of Times (2010) and The plastic color of light (2010).

Alongside writing poetry, he also enjoys painting and draving (oil, acrylic, ink, water colour). His first exhibition was in 2001 in The Art & Soul Gallery Exhibition in Melbourne-Australia.
Jan 25, 2013

Despre autor

Vojislav Deric was born in Zaplanik, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1938. He graduated from the University of Sarajevo with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Urbanism. His work was published in many magazines and newspapers including: “Culture”, “Stig –Belgrade”, “The Seventh Quarry”, “Swansea PoetryMagazine (U.K)”, “Literary newspaper”, “Europe newspaper”, “ The News – Sidney” ...etc. He is the recipient of several awards in dedication to his work. He has organised many independent literacy evenings in Ex – Yugoslavia and Australia and has published many collections of poetry. This includes: “The Boomerang does not forgive” (2002), “It was summertime” (2003), “Distance Harvester” (2004), “Sun and Gate” (2004), “Spasm of Dawn” (2006), “On the Swirl of Tears” (2006), “Splinter of Times” (2010) and “ The plastic color of light” (2010). Alongside writing poetry, he also enjoys painting and draving (oil, acrylic, ink, water colour). His first exhibition was in 2001 in “The Art & Soul Gallery Exhibition“ in Melbourne-Australia.

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In Front of the Sun, Behind the Moon - Vojislav Deric


The River Islet

The only reason Dvass decided to build his summer house here was the deep serenity which filled the place. Built in a V-shape shape and measuring about sixty square metres, it only had a basic living area completed with a study that he used during late hours and rainy days. He spent most of his time writing or reading about literature, art or music. He would often get up early in the morning and after an unfailing morning walk, he would sit on the terrace drinking a glass of cold milk, his favourite drink. Just as he did on that early May morning, he would give himself up to thoughts and inspiration pouring out of the rich natural world that surrounds him. The house stood on a plateau to the right of a river bank, about a hundred metres above the river.

A beautiful image of the river islet and the two wide backwaters of the calm river unfold themselves to view. Clear yet rich colours of the landscape, veiled by the clear blue skies overcame Dvass. The impression of nature’s magnificence which influenced his thoughts carved inside him, blending spiritually into the space. The natural essence of the rugged and playful area of the river islet intertwined. The islet was spacious enough to house a whole population and it had all the necessary facilities to satisfy all of life’s basic needs. There was rich vegetation a few metres above the water on either sides of the river and the surrounding mushroom-like tree tops made it seem almost impassable from both sides of the wide backwaters. The islet itself could only be accessed from the west side through a port constructed in the shape of the spread of a seagull’s wings, after which it received its name. While observing the port, it seemed to Dvass as if the seagull would detach itself from the water and rise, carrying the islet towards the sky.

It was a rapture of embrace with charms of true beauty, the reality that infused him with deep feelings. Through a shiver of freshness from a gentle morning breeze, a feeling which resembled an outpour of the tempestuous power of emotions that could make even the strongest enemies of nature abandon their indifference clung to Dvass. This image weaved accomplishment to him for the uncompromising battle against the ongoing evils of human existence, and so, it formed a basic sense of his own existence. He was sometimes confused by the severity and depth of his thoughts and by the easiness of creation. They were often unified, however in front of them was a unique and clearly defined path towards a goal—a huge mass of guided dark consciousness that led them on their way to purification and the dawning of a sane mind. This was especially true for the young generation in which he saw the core of the future rouge image of the world. Nothing has been lost, he thought to himself. Only the source has to be devised and set free to emanate its force into the ether. He did not care about himself and he never sought to carry any sign of fame.

Dvass was a professor of world literature at one of the well known universities in the world, a visionary that dedicated his life to art. He earned his doctor’s degree at Sorbona. The physiognomy of his face revealed an expression of a true thinker. Dvass was dark-skinned, with a broad forehead and prominent cheekbones that reflected in his eye like dark leaves in the late summer, revealing mild sternness. He had a particular interest into twenty two-year-old Sion, a very sensible, humble and talented student whose intellectual potential significantly overshadowed those of his peers. This was the reason behind why Dvass paid him special attention. He considered Sion to be his true successor in governing the literature department.

Good morning, Mr. Dvass, Sion’s voice captured Dvass’ attention. I hope I’m not disturbing you in your moment of tranquillity.

O, good morning Sion! I was not expecting you this early, Dvass replied after turning to face his student. Although it is obvious that you are cheerful and in a good mood, it seems to me that you have had a rough night.

You are right, added Sion. After I went to bed last night, it was very late, I could not fall asleep right away. All kinds of thoughts were running through my mind. I tried to calm them down, to make sense of them all, but it did not help. The thoughts were running through my head faster and faster, making me incredibly anxious and I was afraid in a way. It is not a simple thing at all to find yourself in the company of a genius. It was as if my mind had stopped, as if it had started feeling weary of the reality that I will soon be facing.

It is alright, my dear. Modesty is a virtue, and your sincerity is capturing but self confidence also characterises a human being, and as far as we know, you are not lacking it. I myself was assured of that so many times. Dvass encouraged him just as he was expected to do so.

I had visited Homer last night, Dvass continued. Goethe and Pushkin were there too. They will be pleased to meet you. Maybe you are in for a pleasant surprise. I believe you will enjoy many pleasant encounters and other delights.

O, Mr. Dvass, Sion exclaimed.

O, stop it, Sion! You are really trying to make me angry by being so modest. It is, however, nice to be addressed with so much respect, but you should know that they are only ordinary human beings. They rejoice and they grieve, they cherish and suffer, they hate and they love, they get ill and then get better. Therefore, you have no reason to be worried. By the way, a cup of coffee could make us feel better. Without waiting for Sion’s appreciation, Dvass asked Ivana, a woman who was staying at the summer house and who was at his service, to make them a coffee, and immediately she did.

You have probably already noticed this river islet, Dvass began talking as he pointed at the islet. You see, there is a city there, a very unusual city, noticeably different from other places like that. I will introduce you to its content and detail when we reach the port which you can see at the very top of the island. The city is my home; I spend a lot of time there. I have been going there ever since my childhood. I love the magnificent sight of it; it is overflowing with emotion and the glamorous sway it possesses. That place represents the beginning of a legend, a legend about humans, a legend interwoven with life experience, temptations and obsessions… it is a clean space transferred in to the deepest pores of the human mind. Its lungs breathe in the fresh air of the mind. It is burdened with various nuances of reasoning from which darkness turns to harmony. There are no sharp or dirty corners in life, there are only those who made their nests all over this big world. Here, the sweet cracking sound of sparks become a firework of knowledge, and, as you are well aware, knowledge is the most important thing one can possess. It is one’s way of life from dusk until dawn, his ‘destiny.’ This islet is my religion, my faith. My dear Sion, on your own you came to be aware of the fact that this world is one big fire room from which dangerous smoke and flames come out and lead us towards destruction. That is why we are here; we are the water that is meant to put this insanity to an end.

Inspired by Dvass’ vivid description, Sion felt the need to say something, to express his thoughts. However, he did not get this opportunity because, after he looked at his watch, Dvass stood up, hastily walked towards his study and remarked to Sion; We will be leaving son. We have to reach the dock in time, and I have to prepare some documents that I have to take with us to the island.

They had already reached their destination by ten o’clock. They boarded a small motor-boat and immediately left for the seagull. The day was bright and the sky was blue with few scattered needle-like white transparent clouds. Leaning against the boat railings, Dvass was watching as the boat cut through the water creating foamy waves and then leaving them to peacefully sink into the bluish surface of the river. He was silent. The only thing Sion could notice was his glowing eyes which were especially clam in moments like this one. He felt it and he respected it, trying not to disturb this balance of peacefulness and his thoughts. While watching the same thing, Sion could also drape himself with his own imagination. He enjoyed watching small drops of water dissolving like sparks of sun, causing this passion for day-dreaming. All this lasted for a short while. The engine soon stopped working and they slowly made the port.

The host of the Seagull was expecting them. He wished them warm welcome and they immediately made their way over the wide stone stairs to a spacious room on the first floor, used for receiving guests and visitors to the island. It looked like a museum setup and in fact it was. Sion was fascinated by all of this. He enjoyed looking at the displayed artefacts. Their characteristic scent created an even stronger sense of their value. The personal bitterness and dissatisfaction which he brought with him instantly disappeared in front of this setting. He freed himself from the negativity of egotism, greed and self absorbedness of those who have long lost their human dignity, turning it into the most primitive passion of their own existence. He was entering the light of the freedom of thought, imagination and spirit—the realm of the few who fought for the dignity of spiritual values and for knowledge modern people were deprived of. He was entering the world of those who want to feed knowledge to their creativeness, just as plants are being fed and watered with organic manure in order to grow and bare healthy, rich fruit. This feeling cheered him up, bringing about certain easiness.

The central part of the room was occupied by a scale model of the river islet. Perfectly compassed and impeccably built, it was a faithful replica of the islet itself.

I believe you should carefully analyse the scale model, Dvass said. It will make your tour around the islet much easier. The legend is on the right side and it comprises all of the necessary data on the islet. You will have enough time to do that. Now we will go to our room where you can make yourself more comfortable and spend the night.

The room they entered looked more like a smaller apartment. It occupied the beak of the seagull and it had a nice view of the upstream which disappeared in the distance in the form of a wide arch. Sion felt a kind of spiritual surge of beauty that could only be caused by this nature realm, and feeling a special kind of joy, he said to Dvass; It feels like I’m levitating. Dear professor, I have to admit that while you were talking in your office, I had a completely different notion of your explanations; moreover, I accepted it with certain prejudice. I am only now aware of your excellent description. Do not resent me for being honest.

I understand, Sion. Personal experience is far more convincing that the words of another. I will leave you now to decide what you would like to do in your spare time. You have everything you need here. If you are hungry, there’s a restaurant on the ground floor, it is easy to find. Do not hesitate to address the staff of the restaurant at any time until ten o’clock in the evening and they will serve you. I will be very busy for the rest of the day and I will not be of any use to you, Sion. Dvass slowly stepped out, closing the door behind himself.

Sion started unpacking when Dvass left. He felt a strong desire to go back to the room that he just came from. He was saturated by a feeling similar to the one a young man in love feels while preparing for his first date with a lovely girl. When he re-entered the room he was previously in, he inspected it. The earlier, first impression, although convincing and thrilling, was just superficial. Now it was a completely different thing. It was an art pavilion with abundance of valuable works. The walls were covered with artworks by famous painters, the carved furniture was decorated with miniature copies of the work of famous sculptors, there were music papers for sonatas, quartets, symphonies and operas written by extraordinary composers, copies and few original manuscripts of heavenly narrators, as well as numerous ceramic, porcelain, ivory and silver objects. Close to the ceiling, barely separated from the rest of the room there was a rich collection of books. All of this resulted in an impression of magnificence recognisable on Sion’s face.

Knowledge has not yet reached the bottom of my brain, and it is questionable how much it will be filled until the end of my days, but in any case, it should be filled as much as possible. Sion thought to himself. This knowledge should be used, of course, because unused knowledge in not knowledge at all. The professor has a point of saying that it is the most important and greatest human gift.

He stopped at every item with particular pleasure, analysing it in detail. He was finding something special in each one, feeling the gratefulness because of their existence. Although he was not predestined for his own experience of creation, the great works of art aligned him to start being creative, and the respect he felt was enough to express itself as his own act of creation. Everyone benefits from their existence, but they benefit the least. The ones who actually create, whose thoughts are sweating and pouring like rivers out of their minds, inexhaustible nourishment for a true human being. Their depth, painstaking work discipline, energy and enthusiasm create a path toward realization of the noblest goals of human existence. This is the path of all paths—a path for all those to grow and who have already grown. This can only be done by specially valuable and talented people, who beside talent carry from their birth a seed of true love for human beings. He was always thinking about these special traits of human beings. He was often listening to Dvass telling him that every human being is born with some kind of gift. Art is a general idea. A farmer, a carpenter, a blacksmith, a mechanic and many other people can be artists; it is merely a question of loving the job they chose to do. Besides that, one also has to believe in his own capabilities, and constantly study to improve the job, and then the desired goal can be achieved. Unfortunately, most people are not patient enough, and it is not just that—most of them have no patience, not even the younger generations. They let them take care of themselves and their surroundings, being satisfied only with what they have. That is a reason why poor knowledge exists at all. That is why anxiety of fear and uncertainty exist, and that is why the dark forces are swallowing them and holding people tight, especially now. However, he was hoping, he was even convinced that this would not last for a long time. The cyclic character of nature and a specific feeling came to him like a vision in his dream representing a confirmation of what he wanted, a combination of the lost spiritual enlightenment of humans.

Entangled in these remarkable thoughts, he approached the scale model. He was studying every detail he could recognise in its urbane size. He has not even felt the time slipping by. He looked at his watch, it was nine o’clock. The night was already setting in. He stopped for a moment and it was only then that he felt he was hungry. He went down to the restaurant. After having a light, healthy supper—a meal of mixed salad, green onion, cooked potato and chopped tuna fish, all seasoned with freshly squeezed olive oil with a touch of sea salt, he went p to his room.

This was a rich day, he thought as he entered his room. He was not tired enough to go to sleep immediately. He made himself comfortable in his armchair, half lying down, with his feet stretched out and his arms folded behind his head. He was looking at the starry sky through the wide window; he was admiring its incomprehensibility and expanse. Thinking about that, somewhere from his sub-consciousness, his thoughts focused his attention to two Rig Veda hymns from India, Veda and Hymn of the Night, with its verses:

With all her eyes the Goddess of the Night looks forth approaching many a spot:

She hath put all her glories on.

Immortal, she hath filled the water; the Goddess hath filled height and depth:

She conquers darkness with her light.

And Song of Origin, a wonderful hymn about the creation of the world:

There was no immortality or death back then,

There was no trace of day or night,

The one breathed on its own law,

Without vibration of the wind, and outside that

There were no other and distant things.

This barren endless space was given birth by creation. How and why? A complicated question and even more complicated answer. All gods, and there are many of them, came much later, only after the world was created. Even the most solemn science has troubles to interpret the origin of all that. There is still a question of whether it will ever come to a real discovery. There could be some compromise, but the question will always be there. That is why we have to accept the magic without ever answering it; we can only dare to express our judgements. The only thing we can do is to accept the fact that we are all a part of that creation.

Drifting too far away—from infinity to infinity—in an incomprehensible game of thought, Sion roused back as if dreaming, saying in half voice:

It would be better just to enjoy the value of these things created. We exist, that is the only certainty.

He slowly fell asleep. He was woken up by a knock at the door. He heard someone telling him: Mr. Sion, Mr. Dvass is expecting you downstairs in the restaurant.

I’ll be right down, thank you, he answered.

Everything was quiet. He could only hear the unknown person walking away. The professor had already finished his breakfast when Sion arrived.

So, how did it go, Sion? Dvass asked.

I was very excited yesterday. I was amazed at how far greatness of man can go. I think that knowing all good work represents the basis of knowledge. Some of these works should be considered in detail in order to be applied in science as well as in culture.

Your interpretation is completely true Sion because, generally speaking, a useful thing is supplemented by a useful thing, and it is not just that. In a vision of reality there are also many problems creators have pointed at or are even still pointing at. One of such problems is connected to constant struggle against dark forces, political Machiavelism, discrimination and similarly, a struggle for human dignity, for general wellbeing. Had you noticed something that particularly impressed you?

I have analysed in detail the parts of the scale model in order to make our tour much easier. All in all, I had the impression that it was an enormous ship sailing the seaways of the world. Sion replied.

Yes, yes, Sion. The ship sailing the seaways of the world and it will sail! replied Dvass.

The Sphere Ring

They climbed the rare staircase below the Seagull’s tail wing to a nicely furnished square plateau. A magnificent scene revealed itself to Sion. A globe-like building was dominating the end of a wide longitude with a long pool in its centre, rugged by water waves in various forms of water games. The outer layer of the building was covered in glass, the colour of the blue sky, with teased reticular diagrams of meridians and parallels. Four trapezoid concrete pillars came together at the top of the globe making a statically stable connection. Its settings marked the four immediate directions. The lower fifth of the building was dug into the surface of the plateau paved in stone. The access to the monumental entrance of the building was decorated with about fifteen profiled stone steps extending in a shape of a wedge towards the entrance. Two statues of lions lying down, with erected heads symbolising the power of the building were placed on pedestals on both sides of the entrance. The building looked especially impressive at night. It was lit by reflectors, and its deep blue colour depicted the beauty of unity, substantially emphasising the power of life streaming through the place. One facility followed the other on the left and on the right side of the Globe, in a straight north-south line. Throughout the middle half of the sides of the island, fan-shaped objects formed like pearl shells that rose towards the sky and looked like wings of the island. The one on the south side was adequately equipped and used for theatre shows. The shell on the south side was used for performances of sonatas, quartets, symphonies and operas.

The area between the Sphere, on the left and on the right of the longitude where the pool was placed, was arranged as a park. In places it was overgrown with dense forest. It represented a unique small nook for those who enjoyed complete silence. A deep spring watered a smaller lake on the north side. Excess water flowed into the side water in the form of waterfalls. The park was populated by deer, lamas, peacocks, swans and wild ducks. Besides for the ordinary forest birds, the tree tops were home to parrots; the diversity of their colours completed the park. In early morning hours when their song could be widely heard, it was a special pleasure to listen to the constant changing of melodic singing of nightingales. They would change tunes, as if composing a melody in the most beautiful performances, causing complete admiration.

Throughout the park, paths in different directions were grafted with flower oases with wide strips of grass. Miniature sculptures made mostly in bronze were placed along the rims of the paths. Candelabras and sculptures of white dolomite were placed in other sections of the park, alongside four-pillar porches built of forged iron. They were used for shorter breaks, sometimes for leisure, and sometimes, especially in the evenings, for romantic encounters. Everything represented a harmonised coupling of natural and artistic perfection. It was a place for poets of words, notes and brushes. It was a place of mind, happiness and pain, a place for creating great human work.

Carefully grown hedges shaped in various geometric figures flourished along the pool on the way towards the Sphere. Sculptures of great artists sculpted in real size were upright between these hedges in geometric shapes.

They entered the Sphere leaving this impressive scenery behind. In the centre of the Sphere there was a fountain with an elevated base supporting Rodin’s Thinker resting on dark brown blocks. A shiny, surging fountain was spreading from the facing part of the base and stone blocks, resembling a transparent hat of sea jellyfish. From inside the object, a slow melody of Strauss’ On the Beautiful Blue Danube could be heard, making the already powerful impression of the room even stronger. A Bible was placed on the front rim of the fountain, with its most beautiful parts visibly written, including Solomon’s Song of Songs:

I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride;

I have gathered my myrrh with my spice.

I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey;

I have drunk my wine and my milk…

Eat, friends, and drink,; drink your fill of love!

This, in a way, represented the symbolism of the island. Stradivari’s violin was placed on the left, and Tesla’s White Dove on the right. Michelangelo’s David occupied the north rim of the fountain and a female chalice with Venus de Milo stood opposite to it. The birth of the sun was symbolically depicted on the east side of the fountain. Da Vinci’s Last Supper stood above the entrance, where Equator is placed, and on the rims, an array of Michelangelo’s The Holy Family, Correggio’s The Mystical Marriage of Saint Catherine, Botticelli’s Allegory of Springs, Titan’s Sacred and Profane Love, Tintoretto’s The Origin of the Milky Way, Rafael’s Beautiful Gardener, Velazquez’s Venus and Cupid and inevitably the Mona Lisa. The transparent ceiling of the Sphere emphasised the direct bond with nature, wether day or night and no matter the weather. The dark blue veil made the light coming from the outside appear smothered, and it was pleasant to watch how it emphasised the artistic nature of inner space, most notably the pictures and their artistic expressions.

For all interested visitors like you who crave for knowledge of art, even bigger parts of the building can be found south and east of the Sphere, Dvass commented. They are named the Great Library, Apollo and Tune of Soul. I hope that the bliss of what you have seen reinforced your first impressions, but I have to warn you that in these chambers of the Sphere that we are currently in, there is much more that cannot be seen, only felt. It is space and time that could be denoted by embodiment of thought, framed with cover of carefully written words, notes, painted and sculpted visions, with scientific achievements and findings. It is, in fact, a certain meaning of the message of this place, an artery of beauty of everything created and of everything being created.

That is exactly how I am feeling right now, Sion smiled in satisfaction, nodding approval of what Dvass had said, feeling the richness of simplicity fully expressed, as a form of message given by this source of wisdom.

As they were entering the Great Library, it seemed to Sion that this was the beginning of paradise on earth. He was surprised when he spotted a large reading public in the reading room. People were reading the chosen work in complete silence.

This can be seen every day, professor reacted to Sion’s notice of them. The books are categorised and they make a complete whole. This here, for example, is Mesopotamian literature. Here we have epics, legends and hymns to God, proverbs and short tales. Here, this is an epic six tablets talking about the creation of the world, and this one here, the Epic of Gilgamesh, consisting of twelve tablets or cantos, it is the biggest and most perfect.

Yes, I know, replied Sion. I have read both parts a month ago; a man in relation to the outer and the inner world. I was very impressed by the description. You can clearly see how the good side of human beings can be dominated by their bad side. Cunningness, hypocrisy, deceit, kidnapping, wars…

This part here includes Chinese literacy before Confucius anthologized in his Confucian Classic. These are Shifu-King or Book of Songs, I-King or Book of Changes, Shu-King or Book of Documents, K’un-K-ina or Travelogues of Spring and Autumn and Book of Music, and Li-kia or Book of Rituals. All these are books that truthfully depict complete education of human beings in China. Next we have Greek, Roman, Italian, Fresh, Russian and German literature, as well as literature of all countries of the world. This is a blood stream of knowledge, Sion.

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