The Songs of Escape, Part II

(it all started here)

3. Accelerando, Moderato

She woke up. Alarm clock shown 06:32. It was the usual time for her to wake up, but normally she always set an alarm to half-past six. This time she probably forgot. Everything went smoothly this morning though, according to the established schedule: yoga, shower, breakfast.

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The Songs of Escape, Part I

I think they call it preface.

During last months I was writing mostly, as it is said in Russia, into the table. Some of it, handwritten in my notepads, some – in drafts here, in this blog. But none of it had seen “the light of day”. As you (if you follow this blog) probably know, I am not a very shy person when it comes to sharing, but then – something made me lock it all in a drawer. I think the reason was (well, probably still is) – my writing is never good enough. And now I am asking this question – good enough for exactly what? What is that standard that told that Mr. X has to write the bestseller every time he sits in front of the keyboard, and otherwise never show the results to anyone? Right – there is no such standard. And thus, I think I have to spit it all out. Brace yourself 😉

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One wonderful trait of winter is related to the time when it all gets cold and snowy (or rainy, like here in Berlin), and one sits mostly inside, wherever that be – home or other comfortable place, sipping a warm drink, contemplating, remembering the stories that happened before, stories one had promised to remember for ever, but seldom had time to get back to. These times, the diary or a journal proves to be invaluable. Otherwise, how would one remember all the details that are so important to conjure an accurate picture? Human memory is, sadly, finite and very, very selective. Regardless of their impact on the bigger picture, most details are never associated with our emotional response, and lack this little tag that one uses to fetch the memory from its shelf far beyond the surface that is a present moment.

Do I keep a journal? I don’t. Sadly. This blog can be called one, but then the gaps between posts are too large. I also am rather secretive of the inner thoughts and these details that compose my life, so I keep them mostly out of here. Sad as it is, most stories thus are gone, most details forgotten. Except those few, captured in pictures and words, in a notepad or here, online.

Yet, sometimes they pop up in the most unexpected fashion. One association leads to another, one tag after another and here we go: a bunch of files marked “archive, never to forget” are found in those wrinkles of a brain, producing a fountain of memories when opened.

I am twenty eight which is considered pretty young (although my parents don’t think so, at least with regards family-and-children-business, heh), yet the experiences I had in those short twenty-eight years are so valuable, conclusions and implications I had drawn are so worth remembering. Mistakes that I had done, lessons I have learnt (or didn’t) – all that is of extreme importance to me. What are we back to? I guess, taking time. Taking time to remember, to allow the mind wonder in the past and fetch those files, open them, and scan through, remind yourself of what had happened and enjoy the fact that this past is your past. And winter, snowy, rainy or just cold enough to keep one indoors is the perfect time.

Treasure your memories, don’t let them go.


An important date. A big milestone. Five years ago I arrived at TXL with a suitcase with a “heavy” sticker, a backpack full of photographic equipment and enthusiasm. After five years, I still live here, still work at the same company, own few more things, apart from that same suitcase, and still (hopefully) have same level of enthusiasm.

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A few days ago. I open the “new post” screen and I feel blocked, I just cannot produce anything that would be of any value. No inspiration – no post. Except this time. Just this time. Just because I got a year wiser. And you know, this autumn, it is beautiful.

A Sunday Post

The autumn is slowly getting its grip on Berlin, and with it – usual things – rains, clouds, colds. Even though today is a wonderfully sunny day, the stage has changed – it does not feel like summer any more – the wind is just a bit stronger and just a bit cooler, people’s clothes are just a bit heavier and more and more people prefer to stay in the coffee shop rather than sit outside. Autumn though is probably my favourite time of year here. In a few weeks all the greens will start turning into gold, and if we get lucky with a warm weather with timely rains, it would look incredible.

This blog might seem neglected for a while, but believe me it is neither forgotten nor given up upon. I try to write nowadays more than I ever did, but mostly – on paper. And sometimes you will see the results over here, good or bad.

Some people say that life consists of big events, but I disagree. I think life is a chain of details, little pleasant (or not so much) details: habits, chores and joys, like sitting next to the window, watching people in the street while sipping warm fruit tea. Do you agree?

On that note, I have to say good bye to you, close the laptop and get back to my practice. Wish you all a pleasant Sunday.

Beyond The Clouds

This will be, now an unusual, post with an actual picture. Or, better to say, for an actual picture. I have been to only that many beautiful places in my life (although I could argue, subjectively, I live in the most beautiful place in the world 🙂 I am actually serious, I find Berlin beautiful. Freak? 😉 Anyway, that time it was something really special. Sadly, I had to stick to the bus tour so I haven’t got too many opportunities to shoot, but fortunately I brought a few pictures back. One of them – here.

Now, Pain of Salvation, and a warm cup of tea.

An Afternoon Post

After playing scales for 5 minutes I realised the doctor was right: it’s not much fun. Just a day back I got a tetanus shot and scales, evidently, are enough to aggravate the hand. Well then, I will do something I didn’t, for some time. So, at this hour, it is 29 degrees outside, it is sunny and my entire place is shining, every corner lit. Speakers play Das Wohltemperierte Klavier performed on piano by Vladimir Ashkenazy. My desk features a laptop, a Harvard Dictionary of Music, stationery, an IKEA advertisement booklet and some sheet music. My mind, however disappointed by inability to practice, is calm and active. Active mainly due to five cups of green tea consumed earlier.

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Post of Gratitude

What is the most wonderful thing after playing piano? Right, listening and watching someone playing piano. Especially if that someone plays really well. Accompanied by a right drink and nice people, that can turn into a one good memory. And so it did. Playing until dark and beyond, sipping high-ball, talking – all that together made one great night. Bach, Chopin, Mozart, Satie, Hisaishi and others, so many of my favourites..

Yesterday night, sitting there and listening, I started to wonder: would that have been possible, if I didn’t move to Berlin? Technically, getting a bunch of people together to play piano – why not? There are plenty good musicians in Russia and Voronezh is not an exception. But then – when you consider where those people are from – it might become much harder.. Try getting Taiwanese and Japanese in the same room in Voronezh and most likely you’ll fail miserably. Try adding to that Dutch and German – chances will be close to zero, unless, you know, all those people will come there for you.

And it’s not really about Voronezh or Russia, it’s just that Berlin is so special. Living here, I got used to this feeling – being always in the middle of something, surrounded by those hundreds of interesting events and thousands of wonderful people. And I shouldn’t take it for granted. I guess it’s always like that – I never see what’s right under my nose. Well now, I am happy that such a charming night made me realise how wonderful the life is, and how rare and unique certain events are.

So to all and everybody I know, from Berlin or not. You are great. You make it click. And thank you for being in my life.

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