Lucky # 13

“Where are you?”
“At home. You?”
“I’m at the house too.”

House. I wanted to say “home”, but couldn’t bring myself to do it.

As a little girl, I sacrificed oodles upon oodles of paper in search of the perfect home. (I never drew much else, mostly because my talent was limited to straight lines and ordered forms. Those stick dogs were way too risky.) So you could say I’ve always had a preoccupation with what a home should be; as I’ve gotten older that interest has morphed into a fixation with the word’s connotations. This preoccupation has led to a lot of angst. Out of the 12 places I’ve laid my head down for the night in the past 21 years, not a single one ever earned the right to be called “home”. I was always living in borrowed space.

Now I’m renting #13, a three-room house within 5 minutes walking distance of my school. It doesn’t look like any of the pictures I drew. The concrete walls are crumbling in places. Beneath these crumbling walls exists an entire ecosystem of insects (luckily Wikipedia research tells me that the food chain should keep itself in check).

But I love the house because it isn’t borrowed space. What is within and beyond its walls is a reflection of my inner self – no clutter or pointless materialistic things to throw off the zen. Inside I’m rediscovering the pleasure of simplicity. People who have a tin roof know what I’m talking about when I say you can make an entire afternoon just lying in bed listening to the rain.

Then there’s the new prospect of having guests. Maybe I did watch a little too much I Love Lucy while growing up, but for whatever reason, I’m a firm believer in some traditional roles. As a woman there’s some part of me that always wants to be experimenting over the stove, my hair and apron covered in God knows what, flour all over the floor. Eastern Europe has taught me to go without a lot of things before going without coffee and pastries to serve.

On the outside, there’s freedom and a very cozy porch. Not answering to a conservative host family who requires you to be home at 9 o’clock is life-changing. The gardens and views around the porch are fantastic. The trees are a different green from what we know in America. My neighbors and I share a yard, in which they grow the most varied assortment I’ve ever seen: roses, cacti, herbs, apples, plums, peaches, pears, grapes, lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, berries … We do have a cow. Two actually. And several chickens. I get all the eggs, cheese and milk I can stomach. Pasteurization is for amateurs.

Of course, not everything is rose-colored. I still hand wash my clothes. And the rooster’s internal clock is f*ed up beyond belief. Someone needs to tell him 3 a.m. is a long way from dawn.

Now on to topic B.

A truly good person – one you want to love and have in your life forever – is timeless, much like a work of great art. As I was connecting this analogy I thought of the last time I stood before something in awe. Its beauty moved me because it was a self-contained constant that existed in and of itself; it managed to resist the world’s ugly influences while inspiring and uplifting everyone around it. Age will erode its presence little by little until there’s nothing left to see, but the thing will continue to live on in the minds of those who have had the fortune to encounter it.

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6 responses to “Lucky # 13

  1. Your new blogs always make me smile. I wish that I had the time (and money) to come and visit you at number 13. Perhaps, upon your return to the States, the couch in number 2 could be your temporary place for a day or two. I love you incites into the other “L” world and hope that one day some one or some scruffy cat can be your new love. No. Seriously. I feel like a cat would be perfect.

  2. So you moved?
    Good to see things are looking up, no more 2 hour sessions with the host mom lol. I want to live in a house with all those trees and such *jealous*
    Curious about the man

    • Yep, finally moved. I really wanted to make it work but it was for the best in the end. Hopefully you’ll get placed in the village like me! I love Tbilisi, but I’d much rather live in the village. You can always visit the cities.

  3. Yay! I finished reading your blog! I enjoyed every minute of it!
    I’ll be in Georgia by the 15th of June. And am sooo looking forward to it. Someone just sent me an email and advised me not to have any expectations in order for me not to be disappointed. That seems to be the theme

    • Great 🙂 Thank you so much! They’re right. Don’t have any expectations. What you read in my blog or in someone else’s could be entirely different from the situation you’ll find yourself in. Plans here change ALL the time. So as long as you can adapt and go with the flow you’ll be fine.

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