Welcome to GIBBIN HOUSE!

When I first started this blog about the misadventures of a nascent author, I had only a small novel under my belt, titled Gibbin House. The building that bears the name is a fictitious postwar era safe-house, as many might have existed, and the London home of my motley crew of exiles. I could not anticipate then the degree to which I would join its ranks of writers and artists, but since publishing my book in 2011, I have had the greatest privilege of opening my own art gallery and of exploring my love of the written word through visual poetry and paper sculptures. Yet much like the girl who first started blogging two years ago, I suspect I don't know what I'm doing half the time. As such, Gibbin House remains a refuge for ramblings...and on occasion a haven for little triumphs.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Visual Inspirations: Romanian Banat Summer Fields

"Dude"; Flowers; Farm cart - photos by Ellie Perla
Summer Views of the Banat 

I want to begin this entry by apologizing for my extended absence on this blog.  I blame the effects of a Floridian summer - the lazy, hazy, let's face it, infernal days one invariably stumbles through every year here in Miami.  They seem to spark a sort of mental hibernation, a Lotus Eater syndrome, and try as you might to pull yourself together, only a cold front (ie 85 degrees) or the mad rush of an impending hurricane possesses the force to snap a person back to reality.  Well, there is a third tonic, but it must be administered in small doses, or else risk falling off the other end.  I refer of course to the crassly overeager August-month Christmas displays at the craft store.  What else can jolt you with the sense of life hurling past your ears as effectively as that?  But I digress...

Whichever the reason for my arousal, I am here to announce that I am once again determined to resume living above the steamy stupor of my tropical paradise (or postapocalyptic wasteland ... tomaito tomahto) and return to what I love more than anything...the sound of my own internal voice...That said, I debated which subject I might want to use to celebrate the end of my hiatus.  I suppose nothing could serve as a better antidote to my beachy mindset than the very serious topic of Vienna's Postwar Displaced Persons Camps, to which I refer in Part II of GIBBIN HOUSE: Traveling Without Moving.  But I think I will save this for my next entry, when I have sobered up enough to do the history justice. 

Country Woods - photo by Ellie Perla

Instead, let me share a little of what inspired this book in the very, very beginning - the images that floated in my mind back when I was sitting with my mother in a coffeeshop in late 2001, just like Anka and her mother in the first scene: I had finished Grad School some months earlier and broken off a five year relationship, I had no income, few friends, and not the slightest clue what to do with my life.  All I had were buried away hopes and girlhood memories. 

Banat Farmers - photo by Ellie Perla

But as I sat listlessly with the chaos of techno music licking my face, these memories began to form themselves into an idea , into a story of someone like me traveling across a continent, like Perrine over the Pyrennes, and I thought of where it might all begin, her home...my own birthplace, the Banat.  I will write more about this place another time.  For now, a few glimpses of its landscape, a few last injections of summer before the real work begins:

Summer Wheat Fields - photo by Ellie Perla

Banat Country Scene - photo by Ellie Perla

Harvest Girls - Courtesy of Andershausen Banat

Country Home - photo by Ellie Perla

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