Today I’m working on the ending of Finding Zbaraż–because it really doesn’t yet have an ending. And so at long last I am opening these DVDs that have been with me, that got transferred from VHS, that I have not managed to open during the busy days of the semester. And the first moment, suddenly, after so many audio cassettes, that there is now video: Sabti says, “And I felt very…” (she is in the middle of a story, as these videos and cassettes often start out right in the middle of a sentence)— “First I felt…” We are in the middle of a story of the war. But what strikes me is this little gesture: she starts out looking down, like this:
And we see the little wrinkle between her brow, and she reaches down and she is going to give her forehead a little scratch.
And she says, “First I felt, the most important thing is to die with dignity.”
And then, a breath, a beat:
and on with the story. Something so precious, a little thing, on a Wednesday morning–not puzzled, just telling the story, from inside of a thought, moving forward, forward into the story–
(“Itches you?” she used to say to me.)
A gift for me. Here it is. A little scratch.
“Nobody can take away the dignity.”