Thursday Doors, 18/4/19 & Day 18: By the Soča river

Today I write an elegy for a shoe and show you a river, a bridge, a chapel, some windows and indeed some doors. But most of all it’s about the experience.

Challenge 18: “Write an elegy of your own, one in which the abstraction of sadness is communicated not through abstract words, but physical detail.”

I still somehow refuse to be sad on prompt, but I did lose a shoe once.

To the other classic cream low top All Star  

The day I discovered the planet was getting rid of us,
I was standing in the Soča river
trying not to die.

The river does not care for our survival instinct.
The river will be here after we are long gone
and will not be particularly sorry.

We had been teasing her all day.
Four of us in a military rubber boat with a thin floor,
brazing the rapids.

I was kneeling in the middle of the boat,
mindful of the rocks under my knees,
announcing swirls and waterfalls.

It was exactly what tourists are advised against.
But we were locals, sort of, from the capital,
and the river was our playground.

This sounds like we were ten.
Actually it was more like

When the rapids were done with,
I, adrenalin-crazed but unharmed,
jumped into the gloriously fresh, crystal-clear Soča.

I filled a big bottle with it to take home
and drink it in the capital.
It felt so decadent.

Then I swam to where she ran faster.
And faster.
I saw a rock that looked stable.

I stepped on it -
and the river swept me along.
Just how we'll all be in time.

I felt my shoe slide off, tied and all.
I got angry underwater.
Oh no you won’t.

I gathered my strength,
pulled myself to the side where the flow was weaker
and breathed.

You didn’t get me
this time.
But you got my shoe.

I took the bottle home
and wrote SOČA on it with big letters
and drank from it for a week.

I hung the other shoe in my living-room
for all to see,
but mostly for me.

“Enjoy life,”
the shoe was saying.
“It’s slipping away one shoe at a time.

Just don’t be a bitch about it.
Don’t grab and take
and think the world is here for your amusement

when obviously it’s the other way around.”

And now to the photos. The locations are at and above this very river Soča (Isonzo in Italian) in the western Slovenia near Italy – just much lower down than the rapids from the poem – and the time is last August when my parents and I were showing amore some as yet unseen beauties of Slovenia, especially the chapel in the featured photo.

The memorial church of the Holy Spirit on Javorca plateau in the Julian Alps was built by the soldiers of the 3rd Austro-Hungarian Mountain Brigade from March 1st until November 1st 1916 in memory of their dead comrades who died on the Isonzo Front.

The soldiers burnt the names of 2565 comrades killed in the surrounding mountains into the “book of the dead”, the oak boards, made of ammunition cases, which open like the pages of a book along the walls of the church. One name looked vaguely familiar.

For Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors challenge.

and for Day 18 of NaPoWriMo



    1. Oh Dan, I thought of you when I was choosing that bridge to post, I swear. The light was not the best at that hour but I’m glad I got it. You’re right about the surname. In Slovenia it changes into Maksimovič. It is not so common so it was quite a surprise. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love the green gardens, the bridge, doors, windows, the interior of the chapel, and that one cream Converse shoe!

    I just gave my daughter 3 pairs of my rarely worn Converse. Two low-tops and one pair of High Tops. I just can’t wear them anymore they hurt my arches. 😭

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Deborah. I’m glad you found so much to love. 🙂 I know what you mean. I got my last pair for my birthday, some four years ago, my favourite dark green, but can only wear them for a short time with not much walking. Your daughter must be happy though!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, by all means, I’m very glad too. Thank you, Claudia. I guess I hung it there as a warning too. The church is pretty and in the most beautiful location. I’m glad that we went all together. It was a great day altogether.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The shoe contains loss but also happiness in your memories and your life. A fitting reminder of many things!
    I like especially the doorway under the bridge and the aqua doors. Perhaps the river sometimes contains that color! And if not, a good complement to it. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, K. It does indeed! If you catch the river on a good day (and higher upstream), it’s an amazing shade of blue-green. I like the colour of those doors, was just teasing a bit, because every time I go there to show the colour to amore, it’s not to be. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So it seems you were a bit of a dare-devil in your younger days eh? Ahh, that age when we think we’re invincible. Glad you survived it 😀
    The shot of the chapel in the distance with the mountains in the background is my favourite. It’s such peaceful, magical looking scenery and you captured it perfectly.
    Excellent post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Norm. Well, there were certain moments but on the whole I wasn’t too bad. After all, I’m still around. I have posted some exteriors of the chapel and photos of out trek up there already. Those stairs at the end were a good test of character. 😀 I’m glad that you didn’t feel that door were pushed in the background too much.


  4. A great eulogy, Manja. There were a few lines I really liked but ““Enjoy life … it’s slipping away one shoe at a time” is the winner today.

    The hardware on the black door with the “guardian of the chapel” is amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post, Manja! Loved all of the photos and the scenery you shared with us. Here in America we have a phenomena which I’m not sure is universal but with your lost shoe I’m thinking it might be; in America, every time we do laundry and dry the clothes in the dryer we “always” lose a sock so we have drawers full one-sox. So we should take your advice and not lament the loss of the sox and live life! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That elegy was quite profound. I wanted to pause and ponder over it a bit longer, but my curiosity for doors was stronger 😉
    As I scrolled through the photos, though, I kept wondering, how do you have time to write poems and compile so many photos with witty captions into blog posts? And post so frequently too?? Incredible as always!

    Liked by 1 person

I will not ask you questions at the end of posts to trick you into commenting. So when you do it on your own, it's that more appreciated. Thank you!

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