In the summer of 2018, I read the book A Gentleman in Moscow. The story starts in 1922 in Moscow at the Metropol Hotel where Count Alexander Rostov is confined indefinitely due to a crime against the government. With the current state of our lives, it is no wonder that this book came to mind.
Imprisonment, freedom and purpose are the main themes of the book (Litcharts.com).
“Exploring the hotel’s physical limits and finding new experiences makes him feel useful and gain a measure of liberty even in confines.”
As I am always searching for the myth in literature, or a map of how to live one’s life, I found some direction in the Count’s behavior. I began to take a closer look at the detritus around my house that I ignore due to lack of time.
My basement is full of hobby materials. Old train sets passed down to my husband from his father. Cabinets full of quilting fabric passed down to me from my mother. Yarn, cross stitch items, acrylic paints, colored pencils, ancestry research work, children’s books, buttons. All left for another day.
My daughter is an artist and came to me for vine charcoal. Here was an opportunity for an adventure in my confines much like the Count! I managed to locate the charcoal and an old baby announcement for my youngest son. This caused a ruckus when I announced the time of his birth. The time he was born was much more convenient than the other two. Did this make him the favorite?
Unearthed were old VHS videos my Dad unloaded when he was down sizing. The one of most interest was the video my parents made of the old 8 millimeter films they had of my sister as a baby. It wasn’t just my sister, but as you know the next child doesn’t get as much film time. Probably the reason I went into theater.
Amazingly, we had a VCR player sitting out and plugged the video in.
“Look, look. There’s my sister.” She was in a tutu type dress with chunky one-year-old legs.
And then there were my Mom and Dad. They were twenty-two years old. God bless them. I bit the inside of my cheek so I wouldn’t just crumple to my knees and cry at how beautiful they were.
I pulled it together and continued to watch. For some reason my Mom played the music from the movie The Sting over and over in the background. I could also hear the cat I grew up with meowing in the background. I had left the confines of my house on a time travel adventure. I wonder what other new adventures await me.