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talking to the trees

Most experiences cannot be discussed. No one wants to hear the ugly truth, and chances are you will be attacked for sharing it. To be able to speak freely means that you need a willing listener, otherwise you are just talking to the trees. Time and again I have come to understand that there is no difference between New York and Moscow, no difference between East and West. They are just cults of personality, built on violence and money and moral quicksand.

The life of an expat evolves from those early, awkward victories to one of assimilation or in cases like mine - eventually understanding that you have no country you can (or want to) call home. I am left with just these four walls and my family. This apartment is the only place I actually belong. This is the only place I do not need to soft-pedal my thoughts, where I do not need to apologize for what I have unearthed. The river of betrayal runs deep whether I look outside, or across the ocean. Willful ignorance, willful indifference…

Danny Boy - an Irish Song

She picks it, out of thin air. A laugh jumps out of my mouth and I am looking for chord charts. It is in a number of keys. The little guitar is in my lap, my elbows twisting around. She is next to me, leaning against my shoulder.
"There is a second verse." She says.
We try it in C but it is too high.
I go for the Johnny Cash version next.
It fits.
Then, mid-word she grows quiet. I point at the place, thinking she just got lost.
She is crying, her face folding in on herself the way it does.
I hold her, we talk quietly. She whispers to me, says the song is too sad. I make jokes, change the words to "Oh Beasty Boy" then put it all in Brooklyn where lots of words change to "mustard" and "bridge".
We let it go.

The next day she says she can do it, over a bowl of cereal.


liv said…
Start the parade, indeed!

Bravo, Brava!

These little videos are enchanting. Next, Eva's rendition of Pharrell Williams "Happy"....with dancing!!

Thank you so much for such joy on a Monday morning.
Uncle Al said…
a Heart felt treasure of Father & Daughter sharing this song of sadness. Open & honest as only home video can be!
Rubye Jack said…
Oh my gosh, this is so touching and beautiful.

Not sure how I found your site but am glad I did.
Leilani Warden said…
Very sweet. I once lived in Russia (Moscow) and feel many same thoughts as you. Made wonderful friends there but am glad and fortunate to be back home. Thank you for sharing your writing and photographs.
Mrs. Munchkin said…
I really enjoyed see your interaction and love is priceless!

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