March 18, 2018

Siberian Mystics

Siberia is often thought as a foreboding place...during the purges, undesirables who were lucky enough not to be killed, were often sent there...once there, they had to deal with brutal conditions...depending on what part of Siberia it was, it could be a death sentence...no matter what, it was cold...permafrost was rampant...there are those that choose to live there...fishermen, trappers, etc...the trappers often have a plot of land that was given to them...usually by the old Communist Soviet government...trappers caught animals and were paid for them by the local government...in recent times, they now work for themselves...it is extremely hard work, but many of the trappers say they are happiest when they are spending the winter by themselves...in huts that they constructed by themselves...they are almost entirely self-reliant, still using the old ways that they were taught by the men who came before them...only a few ‘modern’ conveniences are used...they enjoy the solitude, maybe they are most happy when they are by themselves...away from the world...no government, no one telling them what to do or when to do it...no television, no social media, not even a radio...the silence is a sauve that keeps them, the wilderness around them, the animals such as moose, bear, the sable that they are intent on catching...and even the cold, yes the cold that is reassuring like a warm hug or a cup of hot cocoa...the men are not totally by themselves...they are heavily reliant on dogs that assist them and keep them company during the long, cold days of winter where the sunlight is very limited...when the winter trapping is over, the men come back to the tiny village where their wives and friends wait anxiously for them each year...Rasputin was from a small town in Siberia called Pokrovskoye...he was an interesting, mystic fellow...it’s been said that the woods there are full of them...and why not?...the weather can certainly drive a man towards reading and/or deep inner contemplation...and when one digs deep...who knows what can be found?...maybe by sitting around a fire, huddling from the extreme cold, a fire of another kind develops...the fire of that of a mystical nature...of looking into a dark sky and seeing thousands of stars and wondering how all this came about, and what your place you have in all of it...Siberia can be harsh, but it can also be a place of unspeakable beauty and peace...and yes, it is the birthplace of the Siberian Husky dog breed which is linked to northeastern Siberia.

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