Eternal love

I want to tell you a love story. I can tell it pathetically and pragmatically, romantically and psychoanalytically, tragically and comically. However, no storytelling style can convey all the nuances of that couple’s ups and downs… 


Probably, after all our fortunes and misfortunes comes the time of rest, which, after transformation, becomes our fortunes and misfortunes again. You can see all successes and failures between just two dates on the cross. But there is something that goes beyond personal lives and deaths, something that slowly becomes the eternity.

They were reconciled and quarrelled quite often. They couldn’t live together – and they couldn’t live without each other. When reconciliation came after the quarrel, it seemed, especially to her, that in the clear sky, angels and archangels trumpeted the praise and glory to their love. She wanted to fly to those celestial troubadours together with him, feeling such tides of happiness that simply can’t exist! Sun and Moon, stars and clouds! I’m united with you, I’m your part, rejoice, Maria!

When they quarrelled, she did not want to live. Thoughts about rope or poison began to appear in her mind. One thought overlapped the other, each darker and more exuberant than the previous one. She cursed the day she first saw him. He had been seducing her all his life. He destroyed her strength. And it was him who added to her strength by his mere presence. His smile, which she hated so much when they were fighting, and which she loved so much when everything seemed all right. The smile of her executioner. The smile of the main man of her life, her beloved destroyer.

Roly-poly, a stuffed puppet that messes inside her beloved destroyer, maybe he doesn’t have that heart anymore? Someone whispers to his brain, baking his soul,

“Live, for then they will bury you in the ground… both a priest and a criminal get buried, they will bury, they will dig deep, grass will sprout on the poor hill, and, man,  why do you care about her, why does she about you? There will be two skeletons, gnawed by worms, so why do you need all that asceticism and oaths?

When she hadn’t seen him for a long time, it seemed that she had strengths neither to go to a stage nor shift from a body to her role.

When he betrayed her, she preferred not to know, to hide somewhere in a corner, like a mouse, let him just be, so that this painful and sweet intoxication would last further because she could not live without him… But it was impossible not to know it. So she felt devastating hatred waves towards her young rivals, which, after all, were slowly intensifying. She saw that these young girls love not solely him but his influence on the distribution of roles.

Even more! One of them, when she had become pregnant, left the baby to him. So she had to raise that boy. After all, she had no children, because the stage became her child and mother. After divorcing her husband-officer, who also loved her, she had no right to marry. When they finally parted with her beloved in 1909, the boy was swimming in the river. And he chilled his lungs so much that he died. She doesn’t remember how she survived back then…

In the theatre, she often heard an evil envious whispering behind her back, because a hack or mediocrity (often trickier one) will never forgive a talented person’s talent.

Almost all of your heroines (you didn’t like to play comedy roles, with their down to the earth verities, with their superficial truth, like the fact that Wednesday is coming after Tuesday) couldn’t live like most women. Your stage women yearned for the perfect one, gone mad from dislike, inhabited in human souls. They wanted something very much and were waiting in vain.

Perhaps they were waiting for eternal love without acknowledging the fragile bypassing. Maybe they were hoping for a meeting with that One, and his face slowly blurred into different male faces, slowly taking away the hope of happiness.

That way your Oksanas and Olenas were dying, without waiting or loving till the very end. They were dying with inhuman pain on the distorted with suffering faces. Or they dived into fictional worlds, however, it was already patients of asylum, not them.


When, in the dreadful 1933, the diva of the Ukrainian stage found out that he had died, it seemed that she felt nothing, wandering around the country of old memories. But after two days there was a funeral. His coffin was carried along one of the central streets of Kyiv. It was another, Soviet time, which she didn’t understand. She just felt that this time was inhuman.

She couldn’t get up anymore. But when the maid said that he was being carried, she suddenly got up !!! – and she came to the window, and realized that he would be no more; no one to quarrel with, to be jealous of, wishing death to rivals, and even to him in a fit of furious woman’s rage, but he didn’t die inside her, he grew like a monument, as a truth, as a foundation.

She was told that he had moaned before his death that he was “very guilty” before her.

She was ready to die. He isn’t here, so she should not be here too. She had to go to him, for they are inseparable and eternal, as eternal love. At the Baikove cemetery, their graves are standing nearby.


The heroes of the story were two famous Ukrainian actors – Maria and Mykola.

Their real surnames are Adasovska and Tobilevych. We all know them as Maria Zankovetska and Mykola Sadovsky.

In July, Mykola Sadovsky turned 163. In August, Maria Zankovetska turned 165. In the earthly world, she lived a year and a half more than him.

Immediately, forty days after her death, their souls met so that, after a few decades, young Maria and young Mykola would reunite again (no matter what their new names were and in which country they were reborn).

This time they will be inseparable.

Stepan Protsiuk

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