Sunday, August 27, 2006

On the dock in the morning before breakfast, the sun was directly across the lake above the trees that grow out of the rock, and the shouts of children drifted across the water. I laid on my tummy at the edge of the dock with my face close to the water feeling the wood beneath my body swaying up and down with the water and it was all white squiggily points of light on the surface of the green-black. Always moving. Dancing, squiggiling. Oblong lilly pads carrying drops of water - little round perfect bubbles on the green of the lilly pads.

Laying on my back on the dock for a long time in the darkness of the chilly night, and it was all tiny white points of light in the big black sky through the haze of the milky way. I had forgotten how many stars can be seen away from the city, in the absence of light. My body against my best friend for warmth, hugging her arm, trying not to shiver from the cold. Watching especially for shooting stars - some bright and quick, some not so bright. One dropping slowly out of the sky and into the boat tied nearby.

Ten of us sleeping up in the loft above the two bedrooms, and more downstairs. It was all piles of mattresses and sleeping bags and pillows and people under the sloping planks of the cabin roof, the sound of loons on the lake.

Cooking our meals on the fire and washing our hands in a basin of lake water.

Fires at night out on the rock that slopes down into the water. Roasting marshmallows and stuffing them with caramel chocolate kisses.

Swimming under a gray sky in the morning through a light drizzle. I like the way the water shines golden over me as I look out to my toes while I lie on my back when I tire of treading, just under the surface, my arms outstretched, my hair floating around my shoulders, only my face feels the air, and I feel beautiful like that lying in the golden water.

And there was dirt under my fingernails.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Church for me on Sunday was really weird. It was my second time being back at KWCF since returning home. I kept being confronted by all kinds of conflicting thoughts and emotions. It seemed really strange to me that we put a rock band up there on the stage to play for us, and we clap and sing along and call it 'praise and worship'. And I don't know why I felt this way - rather cynical about it all. This was one thing I missed so from my church back home while I was at church in Ukraine - the music. But now when I'm back I have trouble appreciating it. And I found myself being more critical and analysing of everything that was said, in the sermon, in the announcements, everything. Maybe it's because I can understand every word, so I thought more about everything I heard. And those thoughts were sometimes of the 'what a strange thing to say - why would they say that?' variety. It was weird. On the one hand, I feel so glad to be back and it's refreshing to have a familiar service, the way I've done it always. But on the other hand, I was missing church the way I've done it for the past year. I missed the simple songs sung with piano only. I missed the kneeling to pray - prayers in which everyone gets involved. Though while I was there I often felt so restricted by the 'baptistness' and 'conservativeness', and longed for my home church.
It seems like everything, in returning home, is so much less than I expected it would be. I thought I would experience rather large 'reverse culture shock', but I seem to be having less than I expected. Like I said in an earlier post, most everything just seems so normal, like I was never gone. And I thought I would miss Ukraine more. And I do some, but not usually to the extent I thought I would. Sometimes I miss having a Yulia or an Alina to hold, or a Tania to chat with. I miss walking and talking with Larisa as we wait for the bus. I miss Tyotye Anya's hugs, and her urging me to take more food. I miss posting letters, strolling through the market, taking the marshrutka. I miss Russian - hearing it spoken all the time, and speaking it myself. While it's nice to be able to communicate effectively and easily on any level, I miss the Russian language. But I don't miss it all as much as I imagined I would. Everyone talks about readjusting, and I wonder what I'm missing. I wonder why it feels like, in most ways, I haven't even needed to readjust.

p.s. I have adjusted the settings so that anyone can post comments if they want, and you no longer have to be a registered blogspot user. So comment away if you like.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

When I started this blog I had in mind that it would be just for my time in Ukraine. A place where, while I was away, I could write a few thoughts and others could read them if they were interested. But now that I'm at it, I may just keep it going even though I'm back. My posting will likely be rather sporatic, as they have been all along. And even though I have easier computer access again, I probably don't have a whole lot exciting to write about. But we'll see what happens I guess, and if you feel like it, you can still check my blog as I just may still post occasionally.