yerevan letters #2: floating

i have started keeping a planner since moving here. it is small and grey and filled it with old photos and i have five lines worth of space to write something each day. going through the weeks i’ve kept so far, i noticed how often i write about the light here, and the awe it makes me feel - though i rarely am able to truly explain it. 

sometime in february, i wrote: “the gold here.” and then later, sometime in march, i wrote: “the silver here.” then: “the rose here.” “the green here.” even, one day, “the grey here.” 

yerevan has moods. i no longer live at the foot of kaskad; i now live in one of the wrinkles in the city in a colourful apartment facing the hrazdan gorge. the first thing i see in the morning is the sky: i’ve learned to tell the temperature from the colour of it. 

the weather app on my phone is one of the things that makes the country feel mystical. it usually predicts rain well enough, but the temperature gauge never works: i’ve worn my winter coat on fifteen-degree days and t-shirts when it was five out. 

instead, you have to read the sky. today, it is a bright white, and as i walked to work it shone the whole city gold. days like today are balmy. on some days, it’s silvery; bright but with some clouds. those times, trees and plants look extra green. those days, the air is fresh and cool, like the city has had reprieve from the harsh sun and the earth itself is breathing again. days like that are melancholy, but melancholy in the same small way nostalgia can be both sweet and melancholy; people are still quiet but i sometimes catch them daydreaming. 

on some days, though they are few, the sky is a dark, somber greyish-blue, and it looks like it feels like it is rumbling. this usually precedes a storm; they are warm and heavy here. though sometimes, after a few hours of rumbling, it’ll rain a rain so fine it’s almost fog; and then just like that it will let up and turn back to silver like it thought better of the whole ordeal. 

this is a city without a golden hour: on silver days there is no gold at all, and on gold days it is gold from dusk to dawn. the day yesterday could have been the first day of summer and it seemed like the city itself was giggling: the streets were so full with children it was hard to walk. then when the sun starts to set, it becomes pink instead. walking downhill towards the centre of the city when the light is like that, you can see clearly how it sits nested between the hills that surround it. when the light hits right it feels like it is sitting in the centre of a rose. 

i apologize for this letter; it should’ve been a postcard. the things i describe here, the colours, the sky, the nest-ness, would all be better expressed by a photographer. i had never found anything i needed more than words for, & i had never wished i were a visual artist. 

but then, that’s the thing about this city: it pulls at yearnings you didn’t know were there.