Skip to main content

Featured

secret windows (don't look back)

I found myself in a conversation with an old friend, about the crossroads of writing, nostalgia and memory. "Distance and perspective are the upside." I said. "The slippery slope is romanticizing and being nostalgic. Well, that's the memory trap no matter who you are."
"It's funny... I spent most of my life thinking that I had a rather dull adolescence, and it's only recently that I've discovered that these stories are a lot more interesting than I gave them credit." My friend replied. I admitted that I gravitate towards stories that are based on a mistake, a lie - thinking you had some great childhood, when actually it was a shitshow, and you fantasized about being adopted but sort of blocked that out.  


The question wobbled around inside my head for a few days. Was I too fast to judge nostalgia, to quick to brush aside its sweetness, stepping over it towards something invariably darker and sadder?  On Sunday, I was walking on Kutuzovsky,…

a day in the life

More explosions. More dead, injured, lost in the smoke - just trying to get home. Looking for loved ones, and taxis to achieve some crude sense of safety as Moscow just keeps plodding along. No one here seems to be disturbed. It is not mentioned in conversation. Meetings go on. Fresh milk is delivered. Schools are open.

I am at a loss for words. I turn and turn in my sleep. I can't remember any of my dreams. I do not feel safe here.

I cannot shrug events off so easily. I see the baggage carousel in my mind's eye. After the journey, and passport control there is that fantastic sense of relief. That moment when you study everyone else that was on the flight just one more time, now with your foot up on a cart. Now pulling a fresh piece of gum from your pocket, the juice sliding around your mouth as you wait for the belt to lurch into motion.  You start to wonder if your bags made it, as each lump of luggage plops down, awkward as turtles on their backs. And in this lost stretch of time you are realizing the journey is over, that your girlfriend or your uncle is just past that glass wall waiting to squeeze your hand or kiss you twice on the lips, to look at your face with a sense of wonder as they try to see how your journey has changed you.

Instead, the explosion. Body parts around you, men and women missing legs and arms. Smoke everywhere, your eyes tearing, a deafening sound. And maybe lost in this moment you imagine what you would be seeing, smelling, feeling if you were not here right now. Those crude details of an ordinary day in your life that are transformed into something epic, majestic. The low rumble of the metro, the smell of vomit on the seats by this time of day, your child in school, dressed in her gym class uniform as she stands in line, a broom left outside in the cold air.










Comments

Omg, please tell me you were not actually there when it happened???
Annie said…
It is so hard to be oblivios to some news - news that is real to you. Never having been in Iraq, I can hear of explosions there and, while sad, can't really imagine it.... I try to feel what I should feel, and can't.

But this one really twisted up my insides. Because I've been there, and furthermore, at some of the most alive moments of my life. Alert, full of the most pregnant anticipation as we headed out into the country I've always loved, enlivened to bursting with the anticipation of meeting our new child, and stepping into a whole new way of living, another level of loving.

But, as you say, even the most mundane moments are precious and beautiful, and full. Especially if we are aware that we could lose it all in an instant.
willwilisovsky said…
The first time it happens it changes everything, the second time it changes less until, in the end it changes nothing. So in England when I was young, and so in the decade I've been watching it here. It's not indifference by any means, rather an echo of Beckett's line: "I must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on."
Mely said…
I read this yesterday and still trying to understand if we had become disconnected or just living in denial of bad things happening in the world.

Keep enjoy the small things and the beautiful company close to you.

Mely
shawn said…
catching up on your blog...the photos in this are really good, the very last photo of the tire tracks is especially nice, looks like smokestacks, or maybe I just see smokestacks in everything.

Popular Posts

best personal blogs
best personal blogs