top of page

Letter #


Chaim Kaufman




my first and last confession. Fata morgana….

Full Translation

My dearest and beloved child, After all, during a certain period of time one has to account for things and actions as well as for the poorly used up years, which will never again come back, to see what true value a person’s life possesses when his life turns round and round always in the same direction. Now what does the beautiful legend teach us, which holds on to tradition (Yiddish word follows in parenthesis), once a year? The tragedy is that we, in the final analysis, cannot judge others at the time when we are not right in reference to ourselves. Did I not waste my years, unfortunately, to regret it always? Salenka , let these words serve you as a confess ion. - After all, I do have to confess, so who should I confess to, but you? And so the years pass by year after year and time sometimes stands still. But when I realize that I am getting older, sadness overtakes me, and I ask, why oh why did the years go by, the most beautiful years, the most valuable years; years which will never come back, years to be regretted. It’s not worth talking about my past which is too poor and too gray to be immortalized, a pale past which was not stormy. And then quiet took over, and God only knows how long this peace would have lasted if it were not for you. And so, after a long long quiet period I fell in love again, a love that is pure, pure as you are. Still I cannot accept the expression ‘‘time will tell’’. No, no, time will not show me anything anymore. I lost confidence and do not trust time, for I see myself injured because of Fata Morgana*. I decided for good or bad that if you will let me down (just because you say, ‘‘time will tell”). I will finish my life in obscurity and I shall not share my tragedy with anybody. That is my first and last confession - Evenings, I shall drag myself around and my only desire will be for peace and quiet. My beautiful one, do not misunderstand my only request. And why should I not be sincere? What would my life’s situation be, if such would even exist? You are my everything: my future, in hard times of downfall of which there are many, and at times when I am capable of everything, also when human despair reaches a pinnacle, a culminating point in times of doubt. And then, when I consider everything lost I remember my Sala , my little enchantress, and my heart feels lighter right away, oh now much lighter! Some kind of force, which takes hold of me, quiets and soothes me. And if I am so lucky that my ‘‘mischievous one’’ is good to me, then I see myself as happy as I have never seen myself before. And so you must think it’s enough a1ready of my ‘‘Muse’’. If I felt better I surely would have written differently, unfortunately I do not feel well. And so I interrupt, repeat interrupt, because I am not finishing. Now you know me, so judge me, but understand me before you pass judgment. Chaim Kaufman Should I expect an answer? P.S. If you are still irritated don’t judge me. *Translator’s note—Fata Morgana is a mirage consisting of multiple images

bottom of page