taevas_ja_maa
2,50 €

Published
12. 2011

This is the story of a child who grows up in a clergyman’s family in the Soviet Estonia of the 1950s and 1960s, where Man is said to be almighty and belief in God is regarded as a relic to be disregarded on the road to a brighter future.

In spite of that, the child of a clergyman is expected to share her parents’ religious beliefs as a matter of course.

Why was I born into such a family in such a country? Why does my family have to move about from one place to another? Why has my father chosen to do work that is of no value in this society? What sort of country is it that regards a family like ours as being strange?

The teenage girl ponders these questions over and over in her diary. After a long period of reflection she leaves the path her parents had set her on and decides to participate very actively in Soviet life. She is motivated by the desire to be like everyone else – to enjoy respect and recognition from society as whole. She achieves all that but in her soul she sways between Heaven and Earth. Her heart is divided –  in being like others she is still strongly bound to her parents in her heart.

Standing under the darkening starry sky in the evening, she asks herself how things will go on from here. Or rather back?  Back to the legacy of her parents?

One thought on “Heaven and Earth

  1. I liked Hille Karm’s childhood story very much. It gives such a candid and illustrative picture of the life and its norms those days. My parents faced quite a similar problems as they wanted to follow their parents beliefs and faith. The conflict between the values of the family and of Soviet society were typical and impacted many people. In your deep desire to be like others , play in the same game and not be seen as an outsider, Hille grew to doubt her parents beliefs and question her granny’s sage advice. Perhaps from her perspective (and from that of many others in similar circumstances) this was the only way to survive and to enhance her life opportunities.
    It’s true that times have changed but these introspective questions about fairness in life and of the notions of faith and heaven continue on. There are default norms and prejudicial attitudes in every society that may compel us to compromise our own inner beliefs and expectations. And yet, in our hearts we all yearn to be accepted and respected by others just as we are. We are so unique and special.
    Throughout our lives, in our thoughts and feelings, we may search both heaven and earth for answers and the guidance in making our life choices and in affirming our individual values. This search and struggle is so human and understandable- and it was so poignantly expressed and shared in this book.

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