the toughest thing about going back home for a few days is that the moment you get there you start missing everyone and everything. it’s like traveling back to the womb, encountering on your way all these mythical creatures that used to govern your childhood. except that now they’re old and ragged and somehow blurry, time seems to be dissolving them particle by particle, they’re slowly being erased from a world they don’t belong to anymore. and then somehow you get the feeling that, unknowingly, time is gnawing at you too and secretly hope there is still plenty of you for him to chew on…
every time I go there I struggle hard not to forget.
that portion of the city that I call mine no longer looks like it used to. it’s transformed, it’s completely different. the old walnut tree is no longer there in front of my window, the wall surrounding the church is now gone, there’s a statue in front of my old school and people I don’t know are sitting on benches in the park.
my ritual remains unchanged though. I step out on the balcony and rest my elbows on the narrow side of the cement railing and just watch. then, like a spider extruding its web, I slowly resurrect images from the past, their light, texture, smell, even their taste. with painstaking efforts, I extract my earliest and most beautiful memories and glue this old film onto the new one, making sure its corners overlap. and, after a while… there it is. a bit shaky and overexposed but all there, the past resurrected. it only lasts for a moment, then my eyelids close and open again and it is no more. yet for a moment… it lived.