Čiste namjere / Pure Intent

One day the misery will be defeated....and we will be the parents of many children of many races

03.03.2011.

Graso druze....thank you for your smile!

I keep googling Gradimir Krajisnik’s name. I’m not exactly sure why. Either way, our friend is gone. I have this compulsive obsession to find out more about the death of the fun-loving kid that went to high school with my wife. They studied together at II Gimnazija. She was always impressed by his intelligence but even more so by his jovial nature. We hung out together when he studied to be veterinarian. And it was always a happy occasion whenever we met in the years afterward.

My google searches keep leading me to exactly the same text, regardless of what portal I open. It seems like such an impersonal way to announce the passing of such a personal person. All my searches resulted in was being able to find out his name, date of birth, address and that he’s dead – that’s all the media had to say about this fabulous young man. So although I didn’t know him as well as some others…he still touched my life in a special and unique way. So please allow me to tell you a little bit of what I know about Grasak.

I guess in Bosnian terms many would call him otkacen – but in a positive way. He had a zest for life that few people I met here have. He had a tremendous sense of humour and a contagious smile. His humour was sharp. He was a sharp kid. He liked to laugh and made others do the same whether they wanted to or not. He always seemed ready to do something out of the ordinary. He loved life. And he wasn’t afraid to walk on the edge.

He too struggled with his hometown. We had a similar feeling about Sarajevo. A strange love/hate relationship with the place we both love to call home. He was simply a young man who wanted to love and be loved. He didn’t care what anybody’s name was or what holidays they celebrated. It bothered him tremendously when so many other people from his hometown did seem to care. After graduating he decided to try to live on the ‘other side.’ He moved to Novi Grad, or Bosanski Novi, in the RS to see what life would be like there and whether or not his name and surname would be treated any different.

He didn’t find it much different. He made some friends. Had a good time. But missed home.  So he came back…and from what I gather it felt he looked at Sarajevo with a set of different eyes this time. He was unsettled – not because of anything but the sometimes restless soul that he was. He never – ever – lost his sense of humor though. And he never lost the ability to make people around him smile. And then he found Vanja. She made him smile. From the look in his eyes…she was ‘the one.’

My heart aches to think of the bouncy, happy-go-lucky kid that was crushed by tonnes of fast flowing snow. He loved that mountain. He loved the freedom it gave him. And it was that mountain that set him free. My heart goes out to his mother and family, whom I never met. If it is of any comfort to his mom – she must know that he was a dearly, dearly loved young man. His smile…his walk….his goofiness….his intelligence….have carved a place in all of our hearts.

God speed to you sweet brother. You will not be forgotten. Peace  

Čiste namjere / Pure Intent
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What is cista namjera
Although i have become an honorary balkanite, one thing that truly bothers me is how distrustful we are of each other and how quick we are to criticize without necessarily knowing all the facts. I will certainly criticize...and rant & rave about the environment and other things that get ispod moj koze. But i promise to do it with the pure intent. No lies. No bull shit. And entirely open to criticism.

about me
I am a semi-nomadic global activist...bosnaphile, ecologist, hiker, writer, new yorker/sarajevan. Bosnia and Herzegovina has been my home after i hitchhiked from Germany to BiH on Christmas day 1992. People always ask me what was the hardest thing about coming to Bosnia during those times. My answer is always the same...'leaving!'

What about you?
This blog isn't about me. It's about us. I'd love to hear from you...your comments, complaints, suggestions, passions, fears, whatever. What I'd rather not have is a stupid nationalistic exchange on who did what, when. I'm not interested in finger pointing but constructive dialog. If you happen to be one of those negativci...leave your negative energy somewhere else please. Hvala.

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I have already received comments from some of you asking me to write or comment on certain issues. That, in fact, is what this is all about. I welcome requests to write about certain topics...and if i can, i surely will. Feel free to ask me to address specific topics.

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