It all started when I first arrived in Moscow, some years ago, with two enormous suitcases, and no idea at all what living in Russia would be like. I could not imagine how my life would change and what surprises, … Continue reading →
My favourite place in Moscow is one particular flagstone, just outside Red Square, with the Bolshoi Theatre distantly and invisibly at my back and to my right, Jukov upon his horse, incessantly cantering into battle. The most magical feature of … Continue reading →
On the corner of Priorova with Akademishskaya there is a dead body; I practically have to step over it. One small, bent, plastic red triangle is laid out a meter or so before it, a tarpaulin has been pulled up … Continue reading →
I arrived in this city a stranger to myself, and I perceive that I am also not visible to others in this new place. In these streets I am unseen, in this language I am unheard, in this landscape I emerge, formless, like a shadow or shade.
My first encounters with this city are dry and strange, full of colour and dust and a brittle sense of adventure. This, I say to myself, feels more like the me I know. I think I like it here, but living here will take some work. Suddenly I am back in touch with my own instincts again: now all I need is the courage to follow them. I can’t quite believe I’m in Russia.
The last time I had a shape, it was already shifting. Today this is where I need to be, right here. Dreaming, remembering, storing, learning and preparing. All will be different from this point, and I know it in my bones. All over again begins the process of finding my voice. This time the search is so much more conscious. Time to finish what is finished and begin again with what is real. I miss my family so much. I want to be with them, love them, be close to them, and yet… Regrets: now I realise how many I embrace. Now I can see the habit I have had of clutching them close, like a kind of holding of the breath.
I have become invisible. It is not uncomfortable, it doesn’t exactly hurt, it’s just a little strange to feel that the particles of my being have somehow dissolved and that I am no longer matter – I do not matter. I am a transparent haze of unformulated desire. Is this freedom, or is this exile? How will I know the difference?