This is my Armenia
"Notes From Armenia", or, "An Artasahmantsi Abroad", are stories and pictures elaborated from my diaries and experiences in Armenia.... I have stuck around so long, some suggested it is time to change my passport, their proof (if proof they need)the story of my birth: my mother shared a room with another mother-to-be, an Armenian, and to this day Mom swears this explains it all: "Ah ha!" she says with an note of discovery, "They switched the babies at birth!"
The truth is, my journey began in 1992 when I first arrived and saw in the hazy summer dawn the mists of Ararat looming over my new world. I spent 8 years living here full-time during some of its most tumultuous times, though each time I return (I still spend about 50% of my time here, mostly incognito), it seems the tumult has simply reinvented itself to adapt to a changing world. And isn’t that what Armenians have done all through history? If they had been isolated into the docks of East London, they would be managing the HSBC tower, if they were exiled to South Chicago, there would be a few more skyscrapers vying for world records, if detailed in geometric patterns.
My life has been a constant love affair; no matter how degrading or cruel people can be here, they are also capable of true acts of heroic love, and this keeps me coming back for more. As my mother visits her waning years and my permanent return becomes all the more evident, her setting sun seems just a point on the horizon, rising in Armenia.
Notes from Armenia are a part of this journey, I write them when I feel compelled, they are my thoughts, my feelings, nothing more.