Mar. 4th, 2009

myblackeyedfire: (We wear the mask that grins and lies)
At the moment I am scattered about, forgetting essential things and remembering but putting aside a lot of what needs to be done. Impatience, mixed too freely with wariness has me stopping up all potential cracks where vulnerability shows, yet increasing the chance of a spill.

I keep returning to chewed up childhood memories to not think much about the future and return to the wisps of Russia two years ago: walking barefoot in a countryside garden bulging with vegetables; squatting to piss in a squalid pay toilet; living for days at a time in a passenger car with my grandfather and silence; sleeping in a freezing hotel on two chairs put together so we could go by boat to a monastery in the morning where sour old monks chanted and glared; peering into Pushkin's library; walking through foreign gilt hallways of palaces and wondering why anyone could think the Amber Room more beautiful than the birch trees and dusty sparrows outside.

Memories to extricate myself from prove difficult to leave for the return to reality. Why think of grad school applications and laundry to fold, when I can remember walking through hills where hundreds died and a shower of crocus flowers sprang up, my great-grandfather supposedly shot on one of those hillsides in war - or decide how to present myself, when I can remember walking on the Nevsky Prospect for hours each day, filing past a city's worth of strangers who would always remain strangers.

Nostalgia hasn't made me a stodgy nationalist. Nostalgia has nothing to do with it. I'm too quick to look for escapes, and these are too beautiful and gritty to give up. But it is time to give it up, some, and focus on what needs to be done.

Perhaps some beauty will remain after those memories have been put aside.

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myblackeyedfire

January 2016

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