Standing

I am continuing my preparations for the trip, which are also happening at night, in my dreams. This morning I woke up from a frustration dream in which I was delaying a trip because of my knitting. I kept losing it (the knitting, not my marbles) and constantly had to retrace my steps to find it. I was never going to leave it seemed.

Reality is the opposite; the departure is getting closer and closer. Much of my ‘get ready’ work is about finishing (big) reviews I promised to have done and the designs of the various interventions I am tasked with. Obviously, based on my dreams, I am not convinced of making much progress, even though I am checking things off my ‘to do’ list.

Yesterday, when internet access disappeared about half past 5, I took it as a sign that the workweek was over and it was time to play. I was reminded of words uttered by my brother in law, years ago: ‘pas trop de zèle. These words have stayed with me ever since, whenever this ‘’ trop de zèle’ exhausts me.

We had an impromptu evening with our friends from Essex who came with their inexhaustible supply of roasted vegetables, to which we added grilled salmon and potatoes from (the exhaustible supply of our garden).  We picked a movie, very old fashioned at a  movie theatre, and watched Bridge of Spies with a flawless Tom Hanks performance. It brought back memories of visits behind the Iron Curtain in 1973. The scenes of people trying to get across the Wall before it seals off the East from the West were haunting. Back home, over a warm (Irish Coffee) and/or cold late night snack (ice cream with chocolate sauce) we sat by the fire mulling over the film, the cold war, the suffering, the divided cities, streets and families, bullies in uniform, and the terror of living in constant fear. We searched inside ourselves for whether we could ever display the moral character and courage of Hank’s character and his spy, whether we could be this ‘standing man,’ a key phrase in the denouement . We expressed gratitude for being born and living where we did and do. We are living such a live of abundance and freedom that it puts my mild suffering on long airplane ride entirely in perspective.

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