In the autumn of 2001, I was in Daugavpils, and at the invitation of my publishers, I took part in various official events in the frame of the Days of Poetry, in a hopeless attempt to promote my new novel of that time, "First prize: a trip for two" - about a science fiction writer, a Japanese gay, the insane editor of Rīgas Dzīve ("Riga Life") magazine and ultra-orthodox pagan partisans - to a bunch of secondary school pupils herded into the museum and music school. This was followed by an evening social event at the theatre, with readings of classic Latvian poetry and songs performed by popular Riga actors. I couldn't fathom why the actors on stage were actually crying while reading poems by Čaks [Latvian poet]. That was September 11, and, strolling through an unfamiliar town, of course, I hadn't yet heard the news.
The company from Riga went back to the writers' accommodation at Berķenele, switched on the TV and watched the latest reports from New York in a state of heightened emotion, calling up friends and relatives in Riga and abroad. The next morning, across my breakfast plate of pancakes, I noticed artist Ojārs Feldbergs busy in the ground floor hall next to the kitchen, arranging his stones for exhibition, and along with him a young girl with long, curly hair, who was hanging small prints. Evidently either his daughter or a pupil, I thought to myself. Outside it was raining, while inside the artists were engaged in their gentle and pleasant activities, and all this made such a soothing contrast with the pathos of last night's talk, cheap whiskey, the hysteric singing of a visiting French poetess and the general bewilderment. I soon forgot this episode, just as I forgot the novel of mine that never became a bestseller.
Now, in 2005, I know it was Ojārs Feldbergs' daughter Laura - an artist with an independent and surprising personal style. Laura Feldberga was born in 1975. In 2002, she obtained her master's degree at the Latvian Academy of Art, and since 1995 she has been participating in exhibitions of graphic art, painting and environmental objects, and in creative symposia and workshops in Latvia and abroad, and she works as curator and project manager at Pedvāle Open-Air Art Museum. A Roman Catholic. Together with her fellows at the publishing house Kala raksti, she puts together the monthly Catholic publication Mieram tuvu ("Close to Peace").