My art teacher had said that if you breathed deeply and imagined something, you could be there. You could see it, feel it. During our standoffs with the NKVD, I learned to do that. I clung to my rusted dreams during the times of silence. It was at gunpoint that I fell into every hope and allowed myself to wish from the deepest part of my heart. Komorov thought he was torturing us. But we were escaping into a stillness within ourselves. We found strength there.
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APARuta Sepetys Quotes. (n.d.). Jar of Quotes. Retrieved , from JarofQuotes.com Web site: https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=my-art-teacher-had-said-that-if-you-breathed-deeply-imagined-something-you-could-be-there-you-could-see-it-feel-it-during-our-standoffs-with-nkvd-i-ruta-sepetys
ChicagoRuta Sepetys Quotes. Jar of Quotes, 2019. https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=my-art-teacher-had-said-that-if-you-breathed-deeply-imagined-something-you-could-be-there-you-could-see-it-feel-it-during-our-standoffs-with-nkvd-i-ruta-sepetys, accessed .
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My husband, Andrius, says that evil will rule until good men or women choose to act. I believe him. This testimony was written to create an absolute record, to speak in a world where our voices have been extinguished. These writing may shock or horrify you, but that is not my intention. It is my greatest hope that the pages in this jar stir your deepest well of human compassion. I hope they prompt you to do something, to tell somone. Only then can we ensure that this kind of evil is never allowed to repeat itself.
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Tadas was sent to the principal today, " announced Jonas at dinner. He wedged a huge piece of sausage into his small mouth. "Why?" I asked. "Because he talked about hell, " sputtered Jonas, juice from the plump sausage dribbling down his chin. "Jonas, don't speak with your mouth full. Take smaller pieces, " scolded Mother. "Sorry, " said Jonas with his moth stuffed. "It's good." He finished chewing. I took a bite of sausage. It was warm and the skin was deliciously salty. "Tadas told one of the girls that hell is the worst place ever and there's no escape for all eternity." "Now why would Tadas be talking of hell?" asked Papa, reaching for the vegetables. "Because his father told him that if Stalin comes to Lithuania, we'll all end up there.
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I remembered Papa talking about Stalin confiscating peasants' land, tools, and animals. He told them what crops they would produce and how much they would be paid. I thought it was ridiculous. How could Stalin simply take something that didn't belong to him, something that a farmer and his family had worked their whole lives for? "That's communism, Lina, " Papa had said.
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People I didn't know formed a circle around me, sheltering me from view. They escorted me safely back to our jurta, undetected. They didn't ask for anything. They were happy to help someone, to succeed at something, even if they weren't to benefit. We'd been trying to touch the sky from the bottom of the ocean. I realized that if we boosted one another, maybe we'd get a little closer.
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