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Haj Nehaj

A few minutes drive from our house in Montenegro are the ruins of a fortress called Haj Nehaj.

It was built during the time of Turkish occupation, centuries ago by the enslaved/imprisoned local populace. Its name, Haj Nehaj, literally translated as Care Not Care came from an incident where the overseer was asked whether he feels sorry for the women having to lug stones uphill and he replied *Haj Nehaj* meaning he did care because they were women and he didn't care because they were not Turkish.

One of my earliest memories is of my father telling me this story while we are driving by it and me small in the back of the car, looking up at the hill and the ruins on its top dark against a violet sky. That was my initial impression of the fortress: sharp and jagged and mysterious, endlessly appealing in the evening light.

I think asked if we could climb it and he said it is dangerous, there are snakes.

all this as an intro really to the fact I had a dream last night that I was climbing the hill to Haj Nehaj. THere was no beaten path, only narrow ways between stones. I was dusted with a zillion scratches and bruises and little cuts. It was hard going the hill was steep and there were snakes emerging between the stones and as I climbed they would crawl across my feet.

And then when the fortress was in sight, I woke up.

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rainsinger
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