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“The Journey” and “Lucifer’s Monologue” by Aivar Lembit

Read the original Estonian version here. To discuss this and other finalists, visit Mormon Lit Lab.

“The Journey”

written by Aivar Lembit translated by James Goldberg

We are on a journey. We are pure: flowing waters cannot remain impure.

In a blue jug, wounded feelings settle like poison on our table: let’s go before we fill up, let’s escape the lull of the everyday.

We are real. We are free: blacksmiths forging our own destiny.

We are strong. We are alone: on a path pressed between the steps of the soul.

On a wonderful expedition into the eternal everyday: toward the western sunset and a Kingdom worn ragged by our rhymes.

“Lucifer’s Monologue”

written by Aivar Lembit translated by James Goldberg

This morning, Joy packed her bag, pulled on some frayed, faded, fashionable jeans. She laughed and waved— then along came Sorrow, who watched me reproachfully, and sneaked in a few tears that felt like a horse’s bit in my mouth.

At night, I heard someone fumbling at the door. There were no thieves there, just Joy, returned from a worldwide journey with wide eyes. Sorrow saw it; I let them in and locked the door. We were three: I fed them with the blades found in the depths of my soul, dropped into their hearts the germs of envy.

Joy put Sorrow into song, Sorrow put Joy back in the picture.

No one touched me I was just a soul, suspended. Overseer. Knocker. Informer. Accuser in court, reporting before the Father.

I wrote down their every mistake, liberating them from their angel-souls with shining, virtuous bodies. I taught them the world’s wisdom: hard-working obedience, obedient hard work, and they praised me.

We became more and more alike: Joy became Sorrow and Sorrow, Joy. Life became beautiful. Order was happiness and it was everywhere: order in the house, order in the sauna. Your own river and your own mountain…

what else could you want? Life always up and down, like a roller coaster? Heights and depths like in American mountains?

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