Death and life

Sita hired Axel for a four day job at Google in Cambridge this week. It’s nice when that happens. Google put them up in a hotel next to their office complex. My office isn’t that far. My commute that evening was easy though not inexpensive: a 15 minute trip and a 40 dollar parking bill. We had dinner together, the three of us, amidst the skyscrapers of biotech and computer sciences. The place has a good energy; the energy of inquisitive minds and youth and the smell of money.  Later Axel and I walked to Central Square which is an entirely different biome in the people’s republic of Cambridge with its frantic rhythm of African drumming and dancing coming out of the windows of the dance school, the cheap stores, the crazy people, and a less glamorous view on life.

On Wednesday morning we had breakfast in one of the countless coffee and small meal places. The whole neighborhood appears to be fueled by coffee. From there I headed up to Medford and then home in the early afternoon for my PT session. I am progressing at the right speed, according to my physical therapist. I can nearly stretch my arms over my head and touch the ground when lying down on the ground – a few more inches and I can start what is called ‘the lawn chair’ progression, working more and more against gravity as I increase the incline from the ground. It’s the other (good) shoulder that is now giving me problems, probably due to over use. It is also the shoulder that never quite recovered from the crash and a slip on the ice, respectively 8 and 6 years ago. That rotator cuff is held in place by only three tendons, not four.

From the PT I rushed to DC for the second time in 2 weeks. No hotels were available, it is Graduation time everywhere in the US, and so I stayed with my Dutch friend O. in the suburbs. We caught up on years of not seeing each other. Part of that was an account of his recent visit to my ex-husband, one of his very good friends, who has been diagnosed with cancer and given a prognosis that is frightful. I plan to see him on my next visit to Holland, a month from now. Will I make it in time, I wonder.

After an energy filled day at our DC office with colleagues from various part of the organizations, doing some deep thinking and strategizing, I returned home to an empty house, full of thoughts about cancer and dying when I heard the news that another Taliban attack had happened at a Kabul guesthouse that I knew so well and where many people I knew lodged when in Kabul. And this time I knew the one American that was killed. Axel found me in a deep funk and edgy – there had been no one all day with whom to talk, other than a post on FB which doesn’t quite do the trick. It wasn’t a great homecoming but luckily I caught myself. We wandered out into the yard to admire the new life that is always there when death distracts us: beans, potatoes, spinach. And there’s more: my brother and his wife welcomed their fifth grandchild into this world.

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