Happy Birthday, Valentin Grigoriyevich Rasputin–born 15 March 1937

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Happy Birthday, Valentin Rasputin!
Valentin Rasputin was born March 15, 1937.

from “Siberia, Siberia”:

“The normal concept of beauty fits Baikal least of all. What we take for beauty is an impression of a different type, like something that hangs above the horizon of our sensitivity, No matter how often you’ve been to Baikal, no matter how well you know it, each new encounter is unexpected and requires effort on your part. Each time you seemingly have to raise yourself to a certain height again and again in order to be on the same plane, in order to see and hear it.
Not everything, as we know, has a name. It’s impossible to give a name to the regeneration that occurs in people when they’re near Baikal. There’s no need to remind anyone that for this to take place a person must have a soul. And here stands and looks around, is filled with something and carried off somewhere, and can’t understand what’s happening to him. Like a fetus in it’s mother’s womb, he passes through all the evolutionary stages of human development and, spellbound by the ancient, mighty unfolding of this miracle, he experiences the timeless tidal feeling of the powers that created humankind. ….”