Mittwoch, 31. August 2011

Objects in the Rearview Mirror

When I ride backwards in busses and trains, I get ill. Despite this fact, if I'm riding up Nob Hill in the morning, I always want to ride facing backward. Sure, I'm nauseated after the fact, but I love seeing the foggy Bay Bridge framed in the window.
My friend Olivia has allergies and gets ill easily, but she doesn't mind sitting backwards. This summer she did a bit of looking backwards metaphorically as well. At the end of her trip through South America, she turned 30, before returning home, returning to work and the rhythym of life she has found.
I'm feeling a bit reflective myself, but it feels the thing to do when beginning a new decade.
These past 10 years seem an eternity, but really, they're just half my life. I really like where they're ending vs. where they began.
This morning I jumped into looking forward and that doesn't make me ill, but apparently makes me cry. Not in a bad way just in a "oh my!" kind of way. Our young, handsome, fecund architecht kept talking about how his young family have their apartment, in order to help us think about what we want for our apartment. Oh, sweet André, no worries, there have been conversations, interviews and things typed up about how we anticipate raising our family.
The beginning of the month often makes me sad. I think it might be similar to getting one's period for a woman who is trying to start her family naturally. Our time to be chosen is running out and the fantasies of the last month fade away. This month feels different, however. Not because we only have two months, but because we still believe. "We Believe" does not mean, we believe that we will be chosen in the next two months (though we hope and believe that that is true) but that we believe that we will have a family some way. We feel confident that we will be able to find a way to internationally adopt with as much openness and good conscience as is possible.
Until then, there are videos of bassett-hounds to look forward to and motion-sickness wristbands for looking backwards.

Donnerstag, 18. August 2011

Two Opinions Diverge in a House.

We've divvied-up writing assignments for our Rt 66 book and are now on State number 2. State number one was easy. I laid alot of groundwork with information on public transport and differentiation guidelines for hotels/motels. Here in Missouri, Ivo is waxing romantic about the Jesse James and other fun history he's discovered and fallen in love with and discribing the less flattering sides of American history. Meanwhile, I'm writing what feels like an obituary.
I had fun writing about the cicadas and telling the history of the comical Burma Shave sequence ads, but even the latter began to show the mournful nature my contributions to this book have taken.  Even while on the road, Ivo saw beauty where I saw a a grave-sight. He wanted to photograph the dillapidated towns, while I wanted to cover them in proverbial shrouds. Like some sort of confused  Ebinizer Scrooge, I was unsure if this was a vission of what was or what is still to come.
I'm currently writing an "info box" on food. As the writer who has searched, researched and contributed lists of every possible farmer's market and organic food store, I am also the person to write about why one may need to stock up at these points. Writing about food deserts and the evolution of the diet in these economically depressed areas that surround the old "mother road" is a bit gloomy. I'm unsure of how factual I need to be and how negative I should let myself go.
Here in the Mijnssen home, Ivo's singing "American the Beautiful" , while I'm moaning the tune to "American Pie".

Montag, 15. August 2011

Lame meditation on Love

Today at my UU church, the man in front of me turned to make sure that he was not in my way. (He stands 7 foot tall). The fella behind me complemented the lady behind me on her necklace. The woman in front of me smiled when she recognized me from the food pantry and then the interim minister preached about our covenant. He's new here and wanted to discuss the phrase: "Love is the spirit of this church and service is its prayer", which  is what we say at the beginning of every Sunday.
The minister is engaging enough, but my mind started to wander. I started to think about love. My mind quickly flitted over the first boy I ever said "I love you" to. He was of no real consequence. My siblings called him "hair-band" and I didn't really love him, as much as the new role that he gave me as someone's girlfriend. In my family, we tell one another we love each other each time that we speak and it never seems to dillute the strength of the phrase. But my sister warned me about saying it to just anyone, specifically to hair-band, as he might get the wrong idea.
My thoughts on love quickly turned to a man who sits on the corner of Clay and Battery streets. The first time I passed him on the way to get coffee, I thought that I'd misheard him when he said "I love you", but he'd said it so genuinely that I knew what I'd heard. Thereafter, I would see him and he would say "I love you" and I would mumble some sort of thing like "aaaww". He never asked for anything and I was always on my way somewhere and he would say "I love you" and I would smile.
One day, on a different street corner, I saw that man coming out of the pharmacy that I was headed to. He staggered a moment and I felt scared for him. After all, he loves me.
I began to think about that man, and the churches covenant and I began to think of "I love you" as another way of saying "I see you". Having love in one's heart and showing it to strangers and friends means that one truly sees them and hears them, I suppose. So, thanks to that mind-wander, I know now what I can say, to that man who offers me a heart-felt "I love you" many mornings. I needn't be embarasssed or think it insincere. I can answer "I see you too."

Montag, 1. August 2011

_____ weather for a _______ holiday

My mother is coming for a visit and I'm excited and nervous. We have all manner of things planned and we've had practise showing off our city. One things that we still seem unable to do is helping visitors know what or how to pack. I told Olivia to expect gray, fog and cold temperatures and then we had an unexpected warm, sunny week.
With Jonas and Oli, so went the gorgeous weather. It's been cold and foggy, with a few hours of afternoon sun in the afternoons, but here comes August. "July gloom" should soon ebb away. This does not mean that we will be any better at working out how to dress for the day. We've got to wear our light layers and inevitably wind up over- or under-dressed.
Tomorrow is first of August, the swiss national holiday. As will recurrently be the case in my life, I'll be in another country while family is joining together and celebrating some tradition or other....