This is me. I'm someone who was born and grew up in Latvia but spent the last decade in the UK. So i have two homes and none at the same time. I'm someone who strives for perfection but never seems to achieve it. I'm someone who is always looking but doesn't seem to find. My life and story are always accompanied by drama - drama for which you'd pay to watch or give any money to stop its transmission.
Recently, I went back home. Each of these visits brings back a lot of memories and overwhelms me with all sorts of emotions… every time... without fail. So i thought I'll share them, whether you want to know about them or not.
This entry is about my grandparents’ house. The house that was and is, more than just the pile of wood that it was made from. The house that stood strong for over 100 years and will stand for 100 more. The house that welcomed people into this life, celebrated and grieved with them, protected and witnessed things. The house that is the last bond between a fading away family.
Every acre, every stone tells a story and i would need a life-time to tell all of them (which i will do one day).
Following the death of my grandparents, my uncle and auntie moved in to look after the house and land; which they did with love and care for many years till their health started getting worse and they were forced to go back to the city life. There was no one else to look after the house and it was destined to be looted or destroyed by misfortunate families living in surrounding areas. Eventually, the house was sold. For 8 long years i felt an urge to go back and see it again. Jump back in time.
When you move to a different country time seems to freeze in the place that you leave behind. In your mind everything and everyone stays the same. Things only change when you face them in real life. I felt like the house would have preserved all the memories created there and that feeling of happiness that you can only experience as a child.
The visit has proved me wrong. The house belongs to an amazing and kind family who looks after it, nevertheless, it felt ‘dead' - the part of the house that hasn’t been restored slowly turning into ruins; uncut grass on the fields; missing apple trees and plantations; closed and abandoned banya; falling apart old swings. The photos that i took on the day reflect my vision of the current state of the place.
However, the feeling of absence was caused by something bigger than aesthetics of the house and land. Without the family it turned from home into a house. I felt that my link with childhood and opportunity to feel that i’m home has faded away. The strong desire to belong and be at piece has been haunting me for years and, i guess, will remain my unattainable goal for the years to come.