Thursday, May 05, 2005


"Every man has a map in his heart of his own country, and the heart will never allow you to forget this map"
Alexander McCall Smith
When I was in my early twenties, I was floundering.
I didn't know what I wanted from life.
I had just come back from trying to live in NYC.

I was screwed up.
I was lost. I was between jobs when my mother offered me a trip with her to see family "back home". I jumped at the chance to leave again. To escape my own skin.

When we got to my Majkas (grandmother) house after the tears of reuniting, I asked where my Deda (grandfather) was. Majka said, "He's over at that no good Julishka's house", a place he went to drink and talk with old friends. She said, "Go get him and bring him back".
I stepped out onto the dusty Vojvodjanska road and stopped.
Where the hell was I going?
I hadn't been back since I was 14 years old.
I turned the corner, and suddenly I thought I might know my way.
As I walked, I felt an overwhelming feeling of belonging. I felt completed and peaceful somehow. Of all the places I'll ever go in my life, this was the place that I had started from.

When I turned the corner of Julishka's street I saw my Deda in the distance, sitting on a bench in front of Julishka's house. I recognized him immediately sitting between some of his old friends.

He stood up as I got closer, looked at me from the distance and then he spread his arms wide, and in that Vojvodjanska drawl he exclaimed, "Angel of mine....child of mine...."

These are the moments in a persons life that are never forgotten.
These are the moments that let you know that your soul belongs someplace.

That you are not lost.
You belong somewhere, to someone.