Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spring Cleaning and Sadness

If early spring can be defined as chaotic weather patterns of misery and bliss, then winter ended weeks ago! I took the following back in March- one minute it was like this:
The next minute, like this:
I've tried to do a little spring cleaning lately. Just like the debris of winter has melted off the sidewalks, I want to clear our apartment of the clutter of winter. One of the biggest piles of clutter to go was our water tower. This had been a source of pride all winter (how high can it go? uh yes, we really are that childish!) but at last we finally reached the point where it could go no higher.

All winter long we'd been buying water from the grocery store. Friends kept advising us to instead buy water from the water trucks, as it's about half the price, and we finally switched over to this method. The water trucks come a couple of times every week. I think there's some kind of schedule or- if your building faces the street- you can just listen for the honk and then go downstairs with a couple of empty bottles. We've been getting rid of the excess empty bottles in small batches. Fortunately there is a small plastics recycling area near our building. Usually, though, after we put the empty containers in the cage they get salvaged by a babushka. We first figured this out because we could hear it happen as we walked away. Now people don't even wait. If I walk towards the recycling bin with empty bottles, I'll hear "Девушка, чистые они у вас, баклашки?" Miss, are those bottles clean? and people will immediately confiscate them. What do they do with all these bottles?

Part of the cleaning effort was to clear and calm my mind. Recently I've felt really stressed out by one thing or another. I've realized that as soon as one problem passes, another one comes, which is life of course. You hardly ever have a clear path in life. Or as Euripides said "Happiness is brief. It will not stay. God batters at its sails." Most of this semester was pretty unpleasant for me. So unpleasant, actually, that I seriously considered quitting. Now things have settled, but someone else quit and the rest of us teachers will have to cover those extra classes until the semester ends. Even though I've been having some nice weekends with friends lately, emotionally I'm still in the heart of winter, hibernating... and don't know why.


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  2. APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
    Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
    Memory and desire, stirring
    Dull roots with spring rain.
    Winter kept us warm, covering
    Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
    A little life with dried tubers.

    T.S. Eliot
    The Waste Land (1922)