One day I sat down, opened my moleskine notebook, took out a box of old russian watercolors and began putting down on paper in random order memories of growing up in St.Petersburg back when it was still called Leningrad. I never thought of myself as someone who had feelings of nostalgia for Russia, but I guess I was wrong. Although I think it’s the sort of nostalgia one feels for days way back when we are kids. The project resulted in a loosely organized book, that is still to be published, or not.
I remember picking nameless berries from a tall tree with my two friends – a boy and a girl with whom I shared many great adventures that summer. This was the last summer before I entered school. Incidentally it was the only summer that I remember during which I did not end up in the hospital or at least caused myself some great injury.
But summer. I think the summer that loved best was one when my mother was pregnant with my sister. My parents did not come along, and I spent it in the company of my grandmother – who let me do what I liked. I remember riding through the forest to the lake and back on the back of a bicycle of a kind older boy.
Once after a painting trip to the botanical gardens during our summer practice Anja and I stayed behind to watch a midnight cactus open..Losing patience we left early, and were caught in ferocious rain. As we made our way knee deep through the puddles, we sang songs from old films walking soaked arm in arm. I wonder why simple events like this stand out in memory, and feel like a friendly fire on a cold night.