If life were easy everybody could do it.
Photographing the World, Longing for Home is the title of an interview I just read about Ed Kashi, who is a very well-known and talented photojournalist. If the title of the article wasn’t enough to catch my attention, the first image was, because it reminded me of Pavel’s funeral which we will be commemorating this Saturday (a year has passed already. Wow).
- My home life weighs on me more than ever. After doing it for so many years, you might think I would become inured. But in fact, I am even more sensitive and troubled by it. My kids are 14 and 17, and they are at the age when I am just realizing I have missed half their lives. It’s not yet goodbye. But they are in their own lives, and they don’t need me as much.
- [Only being home part of the time] is all [my children] have known. I have literally missed half of their lives. In the last two years, I have been gone eight months each year. You can’t get these things back.
- I spent more than half my life in hotel rooms alone. There is a loneliness with that, but when I come home, I sometimes feel even more lonely. Even though I am in their physical midst, it becomes so clear how I feel neglected. They are not asking any questions, it’s just like: “Oh, Dad’s home. Bye, I gotta go. I got a date,” or “I am gonna hang with friends,” or “I have a soccer game or a baseball game.”
- It is very much a fear of ending up alone. And mortality.
- [My] regret won’t be that [I] didn’t take one extra trip. The regret is that [I] took one too many trips. Or that I missed something.
Days like today are perfect and I would love it if they happened more frequently!
Trains are a great way to travel from one city to another. Sometimes they may take longer than driving a car, but often they are much cheaper, there is plenty of leg room, the seats are comfortable, it’s possible to sleep or do other work, or there’s the option of looking out the window and enjoying the passing scenery. I’ve taken long train rides many times in Europe but I haven’t taken a train in the States since I was a kid. My mom, sister, and I went from Kansas City to St. Louis to visit one of her friends. The trip seemed to take forever (I think it’s around 6 hours) but I remember looking out the window most of the trip, watching the changing scenery.
If most days were like today, I could teacher forever (or at least for a very long time).
When I am the age of my host parents, I hope my husband and I are similar to them. Our dinner discussions can be SO funny, especially when my host dad is in a good mood. He can say the funniest things, and my strong-willed host mom has the best responses.
Moldova has turned my favorite season from summer to spring… and days like today are reasons why. My fingers are crossed we had our last snow of the year yesterday, as it was hovering above and below freezing which caused big, heavy snowflakes. My partner teacher told me there is a legend that goes like this: (taken from Wikipedia)
In Romanian mythology, Baba Dochia, or The Old Dokia, is a figure identified with the return of spring. She is sometimes imagined as “an old woman who insults the month of March when she goes out with a herd of sheep or goats.” Her name probably originates from the Byzantine calendar, which celebrates the 2nd century martyr-saint Eudokia of Heliopolis(Evdokia) on March 1. The Romanian Dokia personifies mankind’s impatience in waiting for the return of spring.
Baba Dochia has a son, called Dragomir or Dragobete, who is married. Dochia ill-treats her daughter-in-law by sending her to pick up berries in the forest at the end of February. God appears to the girl as an old man and helps her in her task. When Dochia sees the berries, she thinks that spring has come back and leaves for the mountains with her son and her goats. She is dressed with twelve lambskins, but it rains on the mountain and the skins get soaked and heavy. Dochia has to get rid of the skins and when frost comes she perishes from the cold with her goats. Her son freezes to death with a piece of ice in his mouth as he was playing the flute.
Another version of this story is that the son of Baba Dochia marries with a girl against her will. Angry with her son’s decision, she sends her daughter in law to wash some black wool in the river and tells her not to come back until the wool has turned white. The girls tries to wash it, but the wool would not change color. In despair and with her hands frozen from the cold water of the river, the girl starts crying, thinking that she would never be able to see her loved husband again. Then Jesus sees her from the sky and feels sorry for her, so he gives her a red flower telling her to wash the wool with that. As soon as she washes the wool as told by Jesus, it turns white so the girl happily returns home. When Baba Dochia hears about her story, she gets angry and thinks spring has come, since the man (who the girls had not recognized as being Jesus) was able to offer her a flower. She leaves for the mountains dressed in twelve coats. As the weather changes fast on the mountain, she starts throwing away her coats, one by one, until she is left with no coats. But as soon as she drops her last coat, the weather changes again and Baba Dochia is frozen on the mountain.
Something my host dad loves to ask me is “Cate, why don’t you eat more?” Then he follows it with, “You don’t like the food. You don’t want to get fat.” This is something I will never be able to escape no matter how hard I try. Yesterday, in fact, I told him I didn’t like this game because I can never win. Then this morning after eating more than I should have or wanted to, he asked me the same thing. My response? No host dad, I do not like the food. And I do not want to get fat. His response? Oh. Ok. Good.
If timing really were right, I’d be getting this dog (photography courtesy of Erin Drallos, who is a pet foster parent and also a photographer I have been following for years!)
With one of my best friend’s recent engagements and my recent set of transitions (I’ll get to that), she told me, “Timing really is everything, Cate. If I had met my fiancé three months before or three months after I did, it probably wouldn’t have worked out”. And she’s right because timing really is everything. Sometimes people come into your life a certain time because they were meant to in order to lead you in a different direction, and sometimes they come at what you think is a bad time but it’s always for a reason.