Discover more from Chronicles from afar
How to distinguish right from good?
Being honest with myself (and you)
The bay of Turunç at the sunrise
Hello, dear reader,
It took me a while to come up with the new letter. I started a few drafts and then life kept happening. And I could not keep up with my writing. It was particularly difficult to find right words for very intense emotion that was boiling inside me. Some revelations were very unexpected, I would even say they changed me. Here comes the quote from Virginia Wolfe right to the point.
“Beyond the difficulty of communicating oneself, there is the supreme difficulty of being oneself. This soul, or life within us, by no means agrees with the life outside us. If one has the courage to ask her what she thinks, she is always saying the very opposite to what other people say”
I suppose I can quite easily make a conclusion that there are no simple solutions to any fundamental topic. And we can part our ways here and you can stop reading. Otherwise we would live in a perfect world. And it is very far from truth, if one just looks around or reads news . The most complex idea for me at the moment is that everything happens simultaneously. It might sound too simplistic and not very smart. But, oh well, who said I was smart, right?
We left Turunç and are right in the midst of the move to Spain. I wrote most of this text through the pouring tears while airplane lifted off from Dalaman airport to bring us to Istanbul and then further on to Barcelone. What a plot twist. I never expected that leaving would be that hard and piercingly painful. A lot of steps were done to make it real. But nothing is settled yet, so many things can go wrong. Nevertheless I find it imperative to try to put everything to words in the moment. As I learnt on my therapy sessions that I am pretty good at rationalization. I can roll out a list of 15 reasons why this is a right thing. But sometimes good differs from right. Learning to hear the soul at the same time as those rational voices is very hard. If I try to describe what I feel it will be as I swallowed a huge brick of ice. And my immediate desire is to get to the first plane back and run on the main road of the village like a complete mad woman.
The highest value of life for me is people. I know now that I perceive the world through connections with human beings and being in sync with nature elements. I feel like these threads are tearing apart now inevitably - partially at least. And it brings pain. Local spirits don’t live far from their place of origin. One cannot globalize it.
Somehow leaving Moscow was not that hard. I was wondering why. I was born and spend all my life there. I have a theory that maybe it is because with most people that I had to leave in Russia I have very strong pattern of online communication. As in Turunç I mostly hugged and talked with people face to face on a daily basis. There is no established online habits with those people who became dear to me. Why write a text when you can take a 10 minute walk? I hope to build those routines, but I always second guess myself that I may be bothering.
Evening sketching with Maria at the Fidan bar
Also as an attempt to ease the longing and make inevitable a bit easier for me, I came up with the idea. During the last 2 weeks in Turunç I was approaching people who were kind to us during this year and touched our life one way or another. But no means I pretend that all these people are my friends, but all of them were a part of safety net of care. I asked if I can make a photo of them for a memory album which I would love to make for me and my family. I plan to make a real printed book, but also a gallery on my site. I am in the midst of the process. Most probably I will be able to share the results with you in the next dispatch.
I will also tell you more about our new chapter here in Spain. And about my plans for my art and work.
Sending you all my gratitude for being here and reading my dispatches,
Stuff that I loved lately:
Reading this beast of an anthropological work about history of Russia in 20th century.
Night of Stone: Death and Memory in Twentieth-Century Russia by Catherine Merridale
This one is a tough read, but for the first time I read someone who is not Russian and who is really getting what actually is happening (and happened here). The book was written after Catherine’s work in field, she spent some time here in the late 90th and conducted over 100 interviews with people. Reading introduction was chilly, because she was thanking people and NGOs that now in 2023 are denounced as foreign agents, dismissed or not in favor. It would be impossible to write this book today, I suppose.
Mood tracking app backed by science
I use this mood tracking app (free!) for some time now. We have a ton of emotions that we have a tendency to suppress or just simply not recognize. If something doesn’t really have a name, it stays hidden and unattended. My favourite one of course is “meh” which by the app means “feeling uninspired or blah”, perfect! In case you found a name for a particularly complicated emotion, the app suggest techniques to deal with it and explains how it works.
Love thoughts in this video from Bitsii, a woman who moved from NYC to the rural area of Japan. She talks about society (and our own) expectations from ourselves and how things turn up.
Amazing video on how addiction can be re-imagined into coping mechanism. Which makes a huge difference - from self-diminishing to self-care.
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