Sunday, 5 September 2010

home and away

I have been reading Colm Toibin’s book Brooklyn during my summer in London. He describes a young woman’s almost accidental moves backwards and forwards between Ireland to America. Throughout the story much is left unsaid; and a central motif is how each location fades away into a kind of silence when this woman is living in the other. Although I have really appreciated having over two months in England, I am experiencing exactly that sensation; that I can’t quite remember what it is I did in Moscow.

And now, arriving back a few days ago I carry this dislocation as an unsettling combination of pleasurable recognition and peculiar, eerie distance. So, as an example, the car journey from the airport. A typically turbulent river of vehicles - gaily and surprisingly good-naturedly – fighting for space. Swerving around the stray dog killed as it hit a car in front of us. Sitting immobile for some time in major jams caused both by the requirement that cars in minor accidents stay where they are (I have seen two already) and just by the fact that there are far too many cars in Moscow. And, of course, that parking everywhere including all-over-the-pavement business. So pleased to be back, but feel like I am looking at all of this through glass.

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