Wednesday, January 6, 2010

On this year past and border crossing

We build relationships with the people in our lives – friends, family, lovers – sort of in the same way we play a game of Jenga, only often backwards. If each block were to represent an individual we are in some way acquainted with, the people we are closer to are closer to the base. Closer to the heart, and more fundamental to our stability. Our foundation, really.

As we become closer to someone, understand them better, create a space for them closer to our hearts, their block is moved closer to the bottom. We become stronger, more whole.

Similarly, when you lose a friend or loved one, it’s like a block is pulled from it’s respective position, with the corresponding effects on our personal structure depending on the logical factors – their previous position, whether the shift was slow and careful or abrupt and aggressive, how stable the network was beforehand.

Last night I sat waiting, somewhere vaguely after midnight and before daylight, achieving minimal success in my personal battle to fight back tears. My boyfriend’s block – the block belonging to the lovely, and non-Canadian passport holding young man who had just taken me on a trip to a surprise destination (Portland!) – had been quit aggressively shaken by a man with a numbered badge and big words. Words that made me quite anxious indeed.

Luckily, they were words that, after much unpleasant waiting, the filing of intimidating reports, turned out to be unfounded. I guess some people are just fond of big words.

We were sent on our way. And I realized how close to my foundation this man who was two years ago not even part of my structure had become. I realized the instability – potential collapse – that would come were his block to be abruptly and tactlessly pulled from the position it had acquired. I thought about the people I love, and how hard it would be to lose any of them.

As we drove through my sleeping hometown I decided that in 2010 I would take more time to really love everyone, and everything, that I love. The people, the food, the places, the things like swimming and biking, baking, reading, gallery going... and so on. I want to make sure to take the time to appreciate and enjoy.

And so, from our trip a few hours south I learned that when life hands you lemons … you best quickly hurry to the Pearl Bakery and kindly ask – beg, if necessary, this is no time for dignity – for them to bake you a batch of their beautiful lemon tarts. They are peace-makingly delicious; flavored with the ability to at least soften (if not erase) any blow. If only I had brought with me a small bag of them for comfort in the waiting room

Here are some of my favorite moments from this year past.

1. Fly fishing at the Jaolin River, Queen Charlotte Islands
2. Admiring the Zebras at the fantastically East German Tierpark Zoo, with one of my favorite people ever.
3. Canoeing at a friends place in Friedrichshagen
4. Grabbing three pairs of Mr. Torgerson's incredibly retro
skis explore Mount Washington cross country
5. Becoming my boyfriend's regular hairdresser (he doesn't even cover his face anymore!)
6.Thanksgiving at a friend's farm on Vancouver Island
7. My favorite holiday!
8. Mauerpark flea market, a place I wish I could be much more often
9. Going to the lake (with this book, which I could not put down, and from which I made the chocolate cake within hours of reading of, and have made at least a half dozen times since)

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