I thought, for a special treat, I’ll dive into some of my old photography and show you all a bit more of my world today…
It’s easy for me to get caught up in the beauty of life here. Which, oddly enough, sometimes has downfalls (I get sensory-stressed in crowded places, like malls and cities, sometimes). And that’s not to say that everything here is pristine either.
My grandparents, as children, lost everything (including loved ones) after WWII. They came to America as displaced persons as young adults, meeting one another in Denver at a European Dance Hall and starting their 62 year long marriage just 4 months later. They are without a doubt both my heroes, but I’ve always had a special connection with my grandmother.
As a child, I remember telling her that I would come take care of her when she got old. Now, here I am. Dreams do come true.
I’ve been here for over 3 years now and 2 of my sisters have been here before me. My grandfather passed away in 2016 and now it’s just me and Amu on the mountain. It means the world to me to be here with her.
Things aren’t perfect and I’m learning a lot about gradual progress, long-term commitment and effort, as well as how to be a better caregiver, administrative assistant for the family businesses as well as householder for this incredible estate my grandfather left behind for his family. That’s really what this is about for me: family.
And it drives me crazy sometimes! Of course. We don’t all get along or agree on everything.
But I’m glad to be trying.
Moving in here in 2015, I had single-minded focus on restoring the home itself to fully functional livability and utility. There are still pockets of old clothes and pictures, rooms I’ve failed to figure out how to intuitively organize yet and maintenance projects to complete, but the hording within the home has been significantly cleared out. I know even live in the basement that I had never been able to do more than walk through for my entire childhood. I found a door and a stove down here that I’d never seen in my whole life.
I completely understand my grandparents desire to accumulate things, having lost everything so young, but my feelings about the clutter within the house were of concern. Density like that is not healthy. Even though they were able to keep most of the unlivable conditions to parts of the house no longer used, I was sleeping in the large family room, surrounded by piles of stuff. A huge family estate with no room for family. Nope, I couldn’t handle it.
In part, it’s been fun and rewarding to watch the home transform. It’s also been difficult, sweaty, frustrating and painful. I met resistance all along the way from some of the very family members I can now invite over to eat with us in the family room I was once sleeping on an air mattress in. I have felt invisible, ostracized and unappreciated at times. Oddly, I want to keep going anyway…
For now, I’m learning to flow. To not put pressure on myself or others, but to set intentions to not forget about the blessings of beauty, solitude and creativity this incredible home has given me – to give back, slowly and over time, however I can. To keep making the mundane, magickal: meditating while washing dishes, singing while raking pine needles and dancing wile organizing.
All photographs original, 2016-2019 © Mayryanna.