My dear cousin Oleg. Moved to America and changed his mind in one week. All his things on our living room floor, and postal tape wrapping loudly while the cat, little baby Bella, snuck around sniffing the looming change. Rather, un-change. A return. A good decision I think. California is paradise, and yet.
Last night I set my intention to go to Odessa this year. The Ukraine. Oleg being back in Kiev and Katya my father's granddaughter (not to mention his daughter, my half-sister, Sveta) being in Odessa. And me, being here in California. Now. But wanting so deeply to be there, at some point quite soon. Within this year. It's what I will be working towards. I do not want to lose sight of this goal. Don't want to let myself down on this one, as I have so many times before in my life.
Oleg showed us some photos he took in Odessa.... our old street... Dad said it looked the same. I want to go there. Just to stand on that ground. Walk the Potemkin steps and breathe the Black Sea air. There is something there for me, even though I know that we cannot escape anywhere or find anything anywhere other than within the heart.... but oh I've so deeply probed my heart, and oh how I know that a lot of what I find in it is... Odessa. My personal epic odyssey.
I don't have many regrets, but the major one is never visiting my grandparents when they were still alive. I really wish I had.
It's like I didn't understand how valuable and sacred it is to share space with family members, especially older ones who have so much to teach us.
Oh my deep deep painful sigh.
I owe it to them now to at least go visit their grave sites. And for my sake, to breathe the air over in that land. True it's not the same place we left. But no place stays the same. Neither do we individuals. It's the emotion of the place, the emotion of the human being. My heart. My soul and eyes want to see. Home.
And I know here in California is home... and I can't just turn on it. I never would, even if I left more permanently, it would always live in my heart too. Probably haunting as much as Odessa now haunts me. Or so I choose it to be. I choose the haunting, I welcome it, want it. It gives me depth. And a shape to the mystery.
Again, I keep thinking that I'd lived on that land a long time... my ancestors, my self in previous incarnations, however you word it. I feel it pulling me like the moon pulls the tide. Strong but far. Having more influence than one can be aware of. Sweetly tormenting.
New affirmation: I will go to Odessa this year.
The amazing Opera Theater in Odessa, The Ukraine.
"Our world is in crisis because of the absence of consciousness. And so to whatever degree any one of us, can bring back a small piece of the picture and contribute it to the building of the new paradigm, then we participate in the redemption of the human spirit, and that after all is what it's really all about."
Last.fm Music Profile
Alex Chemer Photography (my father)
Vera Rey Fine Art