roamingmemoirs

Archive for the ‘Krakow’ Category

Last days in Poland

In Europe, Krakow, Poland on July 21, 2011 at 12:07 am

Until my parents divorced – that is over the initial two years in Canada – I split time and commitments more or less evenly between the two opposite sides of the ocean. There was a sense of stability in the constant back and forth, at least until the moment circumstances forced me to deliberately skip my return flight home and  stop visiting for what turned out to be two years. I spent the first of many Christmas Eves in a strange, solitary way. When I finally got around to booking a return flight home it was as exhilarating as it was terrifying. This wasn’t just a regular trip because everything I had known as my Polish home wasn’t there anymore. I also wasn’t the same person after many months of PTSD. Unfortunately  have this tendency to give in to other people’s expectations and my visits to Poland usually turn into a tight and hurried schedule of family events, doctor appointments, last-minute shopping and catching-up with a dozen of friends. It is something to enjoy when you are bursting with energy, but now I sought a a simple experience of home. Life spins faster when you have more weight over your shoulders. Homesickness became less about clinging on to a romanticized memory of life at home with both of my parents, and so much more about keeping alive a sense of home in whatever shape or form it remained. My home – no longer a physical place, but a space in heart that needed to be filled with a special kind of energy. Taking part in the most ordinary of your family’s everyday routine, acting as if there were no changes, no barriers drawn between us, and no rush. This I had to pretend because what used to be our family home was now an abandoned apartment and many bitter-sweet memoirs. I had to accept there will be no coming back, only the possibility of building something new and the long process of adjustment. As to friends, there is an upsetting sensation that life has put us on opposite tracks and there is little we can understand about one another expect for the past we share. Nevertheless, my last days in Poland were filled with great joy as we hosted a friend from Ethiopia. Same time last year we were driving around Addis Ababa when she told us she was admitted to Stockholm University and there is a chance we will see each other in EU.

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