Project Bosnia: Kristi Roybal

Uploaded by uofdenver on 21.09.2011

Bosnian time. Days flowed effortlessly, not into nothingness but into a thoughtful space
that was all too often uncomfortable. It made me acutely aware of how good I’ve become
at distracting myself from a raw evaluation of my experience with life…how I haven’t
led an examined life.
The clouds rolled in in perfect sunset formation, and since I'm a sucker for sunsets I took
a solo stroll down the Miljacka River. My ambitions were thwarted. I found myself curbside
in a public square watching a group of men strategize a life-sized game of chess. At
times, they cursed and yelled as if their pride and dignity depended upon it. A row
of strategists lined the stone wall turned bench, called upon in times of distress but
otherwise anxiously monitoring their comrade's next move. They were lost in the game, in
themselves…and I was lost in them.
We hiked a Bosnian mountainside to Lukomir, the last traditional, semi-nomadic mountain
village. The greenery, wildflowers, deep valleys... The people we met, their homes, their labor,
their faces…together, the land and the people spoke a story of tradition, of wisdom, the
depths of life.
It's like standing in an art gallery, finding yourself lost in a beautiful painting. Savoring
every stroke of nature, the intricacy of a lizard’s scales and the perfection of a
woman’s wrinkled face, you realize that your mind and soul were thrown into something
mesmerizing, but that your feet were still grounded on the gallery’s cold concrete
floor and the drone of other people getting lost in other paintings was still your reality.
But, you got lost in time, in the depths of life, in the nooks and crannies, in the beautiful
and important things in life.
I got lost because I needed to find a different way to see, to think, to be.