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Pandora's Box

This past weekend I went home. Considering my still shocking, society proclaimed, adulthood, I most recently refer to the drifty collage of lead paint and shifting wallpaper as, “my parents home”. Those three words are never spoken without some sense of deplore. Saying them feels similar to the unreasonably embarrassing feeling I get - after practicing to find perfect casualty and cadence - in ordering a plate of “arepas de choclo”. “My parents home” brings me to envision an even draftier architecture occupied by a geriatric couple meandering about and admitting to imperfect love. As an old soul, I am prematurely protective of my parents' youthfulness and offended by this image.

An image of a white porch interrupted by greenery.
Anastasia's childhood home.

I spent the weekend sorting through photos from my childhood to use as references for an upcoming print. A storage bin packed past the brim and lacking any hope of fitting a lid on it, is labeled inappropriately as “photos of all four of us”. It should be labeled something akin to, “Pandora's box”. Younger, shinier versions of my parents, blurry blonde figures interrupting open fields, our first family dog, and repetitive representations of dimpled knuckles resulted in an inconvenient intervention of emotion. Frustrated by the intangibility of these moments, I feel heartbreakingly-disheartened by my own eagerness to move forward, and admit to my adulthood.

The beauty in place, simply put, is nature. The backdrop in all the photos of my family’s entangled clumsiness is a vista of rivers running strongly, deep rooted trees, and worms working overtime to bring new fungi for small winged creatures to rest upon. I will always feel magnetized to Maine because of its natural majesty. Summers hold a sensation similar to that of a weighted blanket; warm and heavy. Made heavy by the uncertainty of when I will crush the last crustation of the season. Maine winters stiffen the tip of our noses and depress dactyl parts of us. Yet, beneath its harshness: a malleable mantle. Secluded by a sheath of snow, creatures must find patience before finding warmth again.

I know that even in my darkest, most unsure moments, Maine winters have taught me to trust that there is a small piece of summer inside of all of us, and that there is merit in the slowness of uncertainty.

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