The arke is an old bridal chest. Albanian brides are special.

“Gold, white light and beauty were all present in the room. The gold circled the girl’s thin wrists. The weight of gold tugged at her ear lobes and hung as a medallion around her neck. She stood before the window and the sun lit her veil, caught the satin formed around her figure and drew sharp contrasts in the appliquéd flowers, leaves and ribs that made their shape around her; the girl become woman. Her hair was timelessly curled, fixed, her eyes etched, her lips reddened, straight. The broad fan of her skirt filled space. But, beyond all this was her presence, her being; the statue with the power to move, the servant dominating, the submissive spectacle conquering the inquisitors. She did move. The princess stepped forward. Her still hands took the hands of a guest, lifted them slowly to her forehead, the body bowed, the guest hands blessed in the service were returned. The bride passed on to the next guest, hands touched, raised, blessed, returned. The ‘nusa’, for that is the name of a bride, glided to the next, hands brought to the forehead, the frame obsequious but controlled, disciplined, generous, afraid, servant, actor, ordered, in the dilemma of choice, obedient. Silence.”

One Response to “Arkë”

  1. geoffreybaines Says:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: