Felicia Simion

Felicia Simion

Romanian, Bucharest

Edition 2019 - Finalist

Through a land of deserts and pits
Atacama Desert, Chile, and Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia (July-August 2018)

…through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt… (Jeremiah 2:6, King James Bible)


You used to be my home. You used to nurture me and keep me alive. I used to inhabit you and keep you alive.
We coexisted until we suffocated each other. Life on you was no longer sustainable. You gradually became a threat to my own purposes and endeavours. So I had to abandon you. To alienate from you. To find another place to call home.
I left you empty. Barren. Inert. I gave you up.

But now I returned to your lands. I travelled a long distance to meet you again. I came from afar just to feel farther than I ever felt before. I was fearful and almost ashamed to disturb the utter silence I found you in. I wondered what you thought of me, after all these ages. Did you forgive me? Or did you forsake me, too? Do you still welcome me? Or do you reject my face?

I miss your motherliness. The way you would comfort my skin, my bones, my spirit. You used to protect me. Now I have to protect from you. You can burn me. Freeze me. Fossilize me. Break me into pieces and send me back to the black void where I came from. I am no longer your child. I am an alien. An oddity. An outlander. Rootless, breathless, homeless of you.

Earth. I quit your love. I deserted you. Will you forgive my trespasses? Or will I forever remain a stranger to you?

For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. (Jeremiah 17:6, King James Bible)