Door to the Garden of Eden in the gray city

I met books in my life that I often re-read as a teenager and about which then I remembered all my life with a warm feeling, amazed at my own emotions while reading. In fairness, I will note that the available choice for reading was by no means as rich as it is today, but still we saw on the bookshelves the spines with titles that had passed, in the opinion of competent persons, all kinds of censorship, both in terms of quality and for ideological reasons. For example, the “door in the wall” from the story of the same name by H.G. Wells became a completely archetypal concept for me for the rest of my life – I must say that in childhood and adolescence, the bright image of a door entwined with wild grapes and capable of hiding in the space of an ordinary-looking gray city, invariably excited my imagination.
Just now I re-read this short story, and my expectations were not disappointed, and this time – I was touched again – however, this time it was more from my own memories, not allowing the ice of stinging criticism to penetrate my soul.
This time, the described Garden of Eden unexpectedly reminded me of a visit to Rodini Park in the city of Rhodes … In general, this entire subconscious memory mechanism is truly amazing, because, to be honest, I cannot say that I remember visiting this park so frequently or that it was the most interesting park in my life … Apparently, a certain majesty and serenity, which gives this place its venerable age – really, the park erased at the end of the 5th century BC, and thete are pointers to the mausoleum of Ptolemy, – has affected. Indeed, centuries pass ater centuries, and the park still stands in the same place, indifferent to the passage of time and even more so to people with their vain concerns.

I have found that this story, with its thought of the amazing places lost in rather familiar space so close to us, has influenced my entire life.
The Wallace’s school games with an attempt first to get lost and then find the right path reminded me of our childhood fun with space, which my girl friends and Iused to play in the vicinity of our house, about which I write in my book “I Am Becoming a Woman”

“We had such fun with Tanya: being impressed by the intricacies of the streets, we used to hit the road with the intention of getting lost. We were satisfied when, after having strayed among the streets and having time to be seriously scared, we suddenly found our house on the wrong side from where we left.”

The way his household greeted unkindly Wallace after his returning home echoes this fragment of “I am becoming a woman”.

“Then it turned out that they were looking for us at this time – we had gone as far away from home as never before … But this was a necessary feature of any more or less interesting activity: a reckoning in the form of censure from parents was to come inevitably.”

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Moscow International Film Festival

So  that’s what often happens – you grab some first book you come across to put it under a sheet of paper you are giong to write on, and on closer examination this book turns out to be last year’s catalog of the MIFF, and then the thought comes: what is there with the current MIFF – the very same festival that they were going to postpone to the fall?And by coincidence, which are only in films or books, it turns out that the festival has not yet passed and that it begins as early as tomorrow, October 1st.I like everything about my going to the festival, including a walk along Novinsky Boulevard, and a touching attempt to catch the last warmth of the fall sun.This time I didn’t try to get into the festival atmosphere and enter into conversations with someone – as they say, the situation is inappropriate today  to communicate too much  – it’s good that the festival is  held at least in some form.I went to two films in a row at once – “Run, Uwe, Run” (Sweden) and “Salvation” (South Africa)….And here I am hanging in a certain timeless space, alone with the darkness, my trusty tablet and a wide screen.Which movie did I like more?The second film – “Salvation” – looks like a kind of real festival movie, the actors have impressive facial expressions, you want to peer into their faces endlessly, no matter what they say, some frames are so beautiful that it makes you want to take a screenshot on the sly, you want to shazam the music, and in the end you have to secretly wipe away your tears.The first film was made according to more familiar rules and, despite a certain degree of Swedish flavor (architecture, inscriptions), it is extremely understandable to the Russian viewer both in its picture (small rooms with grandmother’s carpets and a swiveling stool near the piano), and in its cinematic language, and even according to their logical text patterns in the conversations of the heroes (laughter was often heard in the cinema hall). It evokes a pleasant feeling of belonging to the pan-European global world.

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Reading Vivian Gornick: concerts and harbors

From time to time I start reading The Odd Woman and the City by Vivian Gornick.
I particularly resonate with the descriptions of how she was discovering New York over time.

Gornik writes:

In summer we went to the concerts at Lewisohn Stadium, the great amphitheater on the City College campus. … sitting on those stone bleacher seats July after July, August after August, I knew, I just knew, that the men and women all around me lived on West End Avenue. As the orchestra tuned up and the lights dimmed in the soft, starry night, I could feel the whole intelligent audience moving forward as one, yearning toward the music, toward themselves in the music.

Reading about these concerts in New York, I involuntarily remembered a completely different city.
A warm evening of the Italian Indian summer came to my mind – saying “the land of eternal spring” always spun on my tongue – and our study of the topography of the resort town with long-standing traditions. One of our evening routes was crowned with an intricate and graceful building in the style of the beginning of the last century called “theater”, erected to entertain “those who have come for the waters”, in which a restrained excitement was felt and from whose premises an inviting soft light streamed into the street darkness of early October. A wonderful atmosphere of anticipation hovered in the small hall, filled with respectable audience, who were going to have some cultural fun the coming evening.

Further in the text Vivian Gornik writes about how much more comprehensive presentation of her friend Leonard about New York was.

And it wasn’t just the streets Leonard knew. He knew the piers, the railroad yards, the subway lines … He knew the footbridges on the East River; the ferries, the tunnels, the beltways. He knew Snug Harbor and City Island and Jamaica Bay.

And the pictures of another city, stored in my memory, opened up to me when I read the mention of the harbors.
Our small, almost toy balcony provided a view not only of the remote island of If, but also of a part of the line by which the port city wrapped the sea with its land; and in our schedule, filled with trips so densely, all these beaches and coastal cafes with corporate parties, over and over again inevitable getting into the field of our view, they won the right to exist not only as points on the spatial panorama, but also as possible interiors for “spending the evenings” in time periods of our future.

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