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Grad u kojem spavaju anđeli

Nekoc davno dok su ljudi još doista umjeli nositi svog andela na ramenu, beskrajno mu vjerovali i nježno se s njim ophodili, ta je vojska Božja bila predana, odana i ustrajna. Bili su to takvi andeli – oduvijek, uvijek i zauvijek, poput prave ljubavi. Nije ih trebalo zazivati, nije ih trebalo zamišljati… Zato ljudi nisu morali spavati, san i java bili su u jedno stopljeni. Andeli su, trepnuvši samo, odagnali svaku bol, umor, nemire duše, a lepetom krila želje bi se ozbiljile. Ili tako nekako, nitko više ne pamti. I kako to biva, u prici i životu, nešto se dogodi, lijepo se premetne u ružno, dobro u zlo i prije nego razbor stigne išta uciniti, svijeta kakav je bio više nema. Otada, ili tako nekako, nekim ljudima ne trebaju njihovi andeli pa oni odbaceni ocajavaju… Neki ljudi moraju dozivati andele da ih cuvaju… Drugima pak u san dolaze, te stoga ljudi i moraju spavati. Medutim, buduci da su time andeli djelomice postali besposleni (a to uopce nije bezazleno – zna to Gospodar njihov) odluciše se i oni odmarati. «Pa zašto i mi ne bismo katkad sanjali, kad vec snovi postoje i kad se može tako krasno i spokojno u snovima lebdjeti.» Eto, zato andeli spavaju. Eh, a onda su morali pronaci i gdje ce svoja krila sklopiti i svojim snovima se razmahati. Birali, tražili, lutali i baš u ovaj grad stigli. Tu su se nastanili i do danas ostali, što god vam netko o tome rekao!

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Jeste li zamijetili kako se andeli najviše i najcešce pojavljuju u prosincu? U gotovo svakoj božicnoj prici (ili barem onoj koja drži do sebe) glavnu ulogu odigra neki andeo ili nekoliko njih. Toliko smo ih puta vidjelu u snježnome krajoliku da bismo lako mogli izvesti zakljucak kako padaju zajedno sa snježnim pahuljama i da se love na mamac ozracja raspoloženja oko Božica. Ili ih možda donose oni daleki vjetrovi kojima doplove vunasti blistavi oblaci? I što mi uopce možemo spoznati o njima? Buduci da su po definiciji nevidljivi i bestjelesni, kako možemo znati da nas je, na primjer, pohodio baš naš osobni cuvar? Možemo li ga prepoznati po necujnom šaptu u uhu ili blagom lepetu krila koja nacine neznatan dašak vjetra? I što nam daje za pravo da mislimo kako postoje u ljudskom oblicju?
I štogod znali o andelima, nece nam baš mnogo pomoci da udemo u andeoski svijet na slikama Željka Prsteca i da proniknemo nagoviještaju li one možda nadolazece doba andela. Problem je u tome da treba pronaci neki nov kut gledanja Željkovih slika, a to može biti samo vrlo neobican kut, kao npr. da lebdite na oko metar i pol visine i promatrate slike ili da lebdite na dva metra naopacke? Ali cak i da dubite na trepavicama ništa necete spoznati ako vam u duši vec ne stanuje neki andeo, pa makar i star i umoran, pospan i nevoljk, koji sa skepsom gleda na svijet ljudskih bedastoca. Koji god kut gledanja našli, nece biti zadugo – jer Željko ce nas iznova iznenadivati svježinom nekog novog, njemu možda milijuntog andela. Da, eto prijedloga za besposlene (andele): a da netko izbroji sve Željkove andele? Dobro bi bilo da prizovemo vojsku andela, koju ni najumniji andeolozi nisu izbrojili, da razvrsta Željkove andele? Zamislite samo koliko je on andela u svijet odaslao – neizbrojivo mnogo! A koliko je to u nekoj mjernoj jedinici ljubavi? Kao da ljubav možemo mjeriti, pa cak i andelima!
Svi su ti andeli glasnici (i vjesnici) ljubavi, po definiciji ciste i iskrene – andeoske. Oni su nad gradom, nad krajolikom u svako godišnje doba, crkvicom, ljudima, djecicom (premda se cesto gubi razlika izmedu djecice i andela – što mislite, slucajno ili namjerno?), nad našim bicem koje “ulazi” u sliku s takvom lakocom, kao da ga vodi ruka andela. I ta milina koja se razlijeva, ta nostalgicna sentimentalnost za andeoskim dobom (onim nedužnim dobom djetinjstva: covjeka, grada, svijeta), ta dražesna živost koja obecava lakocu postojanja – to su forme ljubavi koja plijeni na Željkovim slikama. Bit ce da su zato tako “prozracne”, “pahuljaste” – jer andeli su cesto sacinjeni od oblaka, a ljubav je vrtlog uzduha (dan odabranima da ga vide). I andeli Željka Prsteca nose poruke (a kakve, to svak za se zna, kao i od koga!) i vijestice, pratnja su i s ove i s one strane duge.

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A znate li zašto svirale imaju? Dakle, onomad se vjerovalo kako andelima ne trebaju rijeci – jer su iznad te razine sporazumijevanja. Rijeci trebaju nama, nesavršenim bicima ovisnima o “tvrdom nacinu” sporazumijevanja. Zato eto Željkovi andeli imaju svirale i šute. Šute. No onima koji za to uho imaju, sve ce reci. O ljubavi. I još ponešto. (Onako usput: još uvijek mislite da ne znate gdje andeli spavaju?)

Jadranka Pintaric

Where Angels Sleep  

Once upon a time, when people could still truly carry their angel on their shoulder, trust him   the kind of angels they were – always and forever, like true love. There was no need to call out to them, no need to imagine them… And people did not need to sleep – sleep and awakens were melted into one. Simply by blinking, angels cast away all pain, weariness, restlessness of the soul, and by flapping their wings, they made wishes come true. Or something like that… no one really remembers anymore. As usual, in stories as well as in life, something happens, what was once beautiful becomes ugly, what was good becomes evil, and before reason has a chance to do anything, the world that once was, is no more. Since then, or thereabouts, some people no longer need their angels and thus rejected, they despair… Some people have to call out to their angels to be watched over… To others yet, they come in dreams, which is why people need sleep. Since this made angels partly idle (which is not harmless, as their Lord well knows), they decided to rest also. «Why shouldn’t we dream sometimes too, when dreams do exist and when one can beautifully and peacefully hover in them.» That is why angels sleep. Then they had to find a place to fold their wings and succumb to their dreams. They looked around, searched and wandered, finally arriving to this city. That’s where they found their home and remain to this day, no matter what anyone says!

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Have you noticed how angels show up most frequently in December? In almost every Christmas story (or any self-respecting one anyway), an angel or several of them play the leading roles. We have seen them in snow-covered landscapes so many times that we might easily conclude they fall together with snowflakes and are caught by the Christmas atmosphere. Or perhaps they are brought by the distant winds that are the vehicles of woolly, shiny clouds? What can we possibly know about them? Since by definition they are invisible and incorporeal, how are we to know that, for example, our own guardian has visited us? Can we recognize him by his soft whisper or the gentle flapping of wings that bring but the lightest breeze? And what gives us the right to think they exist in human form?

Whatever we know about angels1, it won’t help us much in entering the angelic world in Željko Prstec’s paintings or in figuring out whether they are indicating an arrival of the time of angels. We must find a new angle of looking at Željko’s paintings, and it can only be a very unusual angle, such as hovering five feet above the ground while looking at the paintings, or hovering at six feet, upside down? But, do what you might, you will understand nothing unless an angel is already residing in your soul, even if it is an old and tired angel, sleepy and grouchy, sceptical about the world of human folly. Whichever angle you choose, it won’t last you for long, because Željko continues to surprise us with a fresh angel, maybe the millionth to him. Here’s a proposition for idle angels: how about counting all of Željko’s? It would be good to call upon an army of angels, which even the cleverest angelologists have failed to count, so they can classify Željko’s. Just imagine how many angels he’s sent into the world – they are countless. And how much is that in imaginary units of measure of love? As if we could quantify love, even using angels!

All those angels are heralds of love, by definition pure and sincere – angelic. They are above the city, above the landscape in any season, above chapels and people, above children (although the difference between children and angels is often lost – by accident or by design, do you suppose?), above our being which «enters» thepainting so easily, as if led by the hand of an angel. And the sweetness that spills over us, the sentimental nostalgia for the time of angels (the innocent time of childhood – of humans, the city, the world), that charming vivaciousness which promises a lightness of being – those are forms of love which captures us in Željko’s paintings. That must be the reason they are so «ethereal» and «fluffy» – because angels are often made of clouds, and love is a vortex of sighs (given to the chosen to see). Željko Prstec’s angels carry messages (the contents and authors of which each of us knows for him/herself) and news, they are companions both under and over the rainbow.

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Do you know why they have flutes? It was once believed that angels do not need words that they are above that level of communication. We, the imperfect, need words, we who are dependent on that «rough» way of communicating. That is why Željko’s angels have flutes and are silent. They do not speak. But to those with an open ear, they will tell everything. About love. And some other things. (By the way, do you still think you don’t know where angels sleep?)

1 For instance that Pseudo-Dionysius classified them as late as in the 6th century into three orders (in addition to personal guardians, we are usually most fond of the cherubim and seraphim). In early Christianity, they were depicted as young men wearing white robes who didn’t yet have wings. The wings, white and feathery, arrived in the 4th century. However, the Italian Renaissance brought us the angels as we know them. Although some say that the time of angels is yet to arrive – because they are the sign of God’s unconditional love for people, because they are the embodiment of love per se.

Jadranka Pintaric