_ Kati and Giyora : Ronit Mirsky

Near the house where I grew up is a war monument. It commemorates two soldiers from my neighbourhood who died during their military service: Kati and Giyora. The monument is made from a single boulder cut in two, to create two very large grey stones. The surface of each one of them is covered with a polished metal plate, giving them a cold, smooth shiny texture on one side, in contrast to the rough texture of the stone. Growing up, all the neighbourhood children used to play around the stones, climbing on top of them and hiding behind them. I remember a photo from one of my childhood albums, of my mother holding me as a baby on one of the stones. When I was too old to climb the stones, ‘Kati and Giyora’ became a meeting point. “Let’s meet at Kati and Giyora’s” was an arrangement often made between my friends.
When I was a little girl, I remember being afraid of those stones: the fact that they were cut and covered in metal, made me think that the two soldiers, Kati and Giyora, were buried inside them. The stones looked enormous to me and I imagined they could hold a body (or two) easily.
I didn’t really know who Kati and Giyora were, and maybe I didn’t care. I think they were two friends who grew up together: neighbours, best friends, both killed during their military service, maybe in the same war - I never bothered to check. There might have been a metal plaque near the stones, telling the story of these young boys, but I cannot remember seeing one.
My parents left the neighbourhood years ago. Even though I was no longer a child when we left, in my mind the stones remained enormous. Recently I revisited this childhood place: I was surprised to discover the stones were not big at all. Apparently scale changes when you grow up.