I don’t know how a storm at sea looks like. I don’t even know how a sea looks like, I was born blind. But I know everything about the sea.

When I was 5, I made a friend. I didn’t see her coming into my life; she just came and stayed in it for ever. 

One day my mother brought me to the sea, as she did every day. The sound of waves crashing on the rocks calmed me and revived my spirit; the breeze rustling my hear whispered to me: “One day I’ll take you with me and SHOW you this beautiful world!”

I was a child and believed in everything I could imagine. That’s why my mother understood that the sea makes me happy, makes me forget about my blindness, about my loneliness…

That day I was sitting on the shore and listening to the sea telling me a story about underwater world – about beautiful coral reefs, colourful fishes about that how delightful it is to swim, swim and swim.

Believe me, a blind man can see more than sighted, because we can imagine everything just the way we like. I was sitting and listening and suddenly someone’s hand touched mine. I was not afraid, no one ever hurt me and it’s hard to be afraid when you can’t see evil. A childish voice said: “It’s so free, I’ll tell you everything about the sea!” I just nodded. So Marie appeared in my life. There was no need for words between us, there were no promises of friendship and stupid questions. But we had warmth and understanding.

Thanks to Marie, I could see, she became my eyes and I became her legs, because, as my mom told me later, the girl couldn’t walk, she used a wheelchair.

That day our parents brought us both to the sea to make us happy and lift a terrible weight from our childish hearts.

Marie told me: “Come to the water. Closer. One more step. And another. Stop. Dip your fingers into the water and feel it. Tell me what it is like.” I described her my sensations – warm, soft; and my friend told me what the sea looked like – endless, free, swinging…She could tell me about the sea in such a manner that I saw it. You might think that we both grew up, fall in love and married. But no. Unfortunately no. Marie died when I was 10, she was killed by a truck. When my mother told me about that I thought it was good I couldn’t see that…

But my friend haven’t left or disappeared. I’ll remember her words about the sea, freedom and beauty. Her voice is speaking inside me, making me a part of this world, making me complete and alive…

And even after operation when I saw this world with my own eyes for the first time, my first thought was about her. I was sorry I couldn’t see her smile. And even now, when I’m sitting in a trench after I had gone to war as a volunteer, I think about the sea. I want to protect that sea and save it for present and future generations. War is senseless, cruel and we can stand it only if we have anything that makes life worth living. I was thinking about the sea and about my friend. Friendship is inside, it is something that cannot be taken away: there is someone in this world who is a part of yourself. For no apparent reason. And that is how it should be…

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