Like many people, I have a job that I never would have imagined for myself. Since 2014, I have worked as a field producer for the crime show “48 Hours” on CBS News. While I… Read More »Lessons of Life and Death at “48 Hours”
I feel I should preface this post with the fact that I do indeed, like dogs. All my life, I’ve enjoyed having a furry friend scampering about the house. Even though my first dog, Blanche, bit everyone who came over—family members included, I still have fond memories of her, tolerating our presence as she did.
It’s that time of year again: quarantine in Ukraine. Of course, this is no ordinary closure of schools. Generally, there are isolated outbreaks of the seasonal flu in January or February, causing individual regions and towns to shut down for a week or two. In addition to arriving in fall, this round of quarantine is nationwide for three weeks and affects all schools, universities, and public gatherings.
Epiphanies occur in a host of places. In America, mine often came about in the shower. This is probably due to a habit I purposefully instilled from grade school. I know its cheesy but I’ve sort of always wanted to become a writer. When I was in elementary school, I remember reading an interview of a famous author who said she did her best thinking in the bathtub. I thought this was a great idea and started to sit in an empty bathtub, fully clothed to do my serious, grown-up 8-year-old-thinking. This matured into pensive showers, and I can trace many good ideas, stories or not, to soapy-lathers and pumice boards. I don’t think my pondering pattern would’ve changed had I not moved to Ukraine. I’ve been forced to find new sanctuaries in the past year, as a bucket bath is not nearly as conducive to contemplation as its cousin the shower. Lately my startling realizations have come in two far less sexy places: on the phone and in front of my laptop.
So much happens in life that is worth writing down that it’s impossible to record it all. Something always slips through the cracks. Stories I’ve never told come to me in the moments before I fall asleep, as I sit in hour-long meetings that I barely understand, and when I’m trapped anywhere with no escape, (over-packed vehicles of public transportation or birthday parties that last a minimum of twelve hours, to name a few). But lately, I have had a plethora of time in which to think and write. Theoretically, I’ve had two full days with no classes, no social events, and no athletic activities. The problem is I’ve also scarcely been able to move.
This is my moment of zen. I hesitated to share it with you. In a culture as public and communal as Ukraine, I get territorial about my precious private moments. I took this photo on the coast of the Black Sea, after the rest of my party departed for a nap. It was pretty bold of me to stay behind.
Sitting in a house-church in Burshtyn, Ukraine, I heard a familiar song. It was the only one my new friends knew in three languages. First they sang it in Ukrainian, then in Russian, and finally in English.