I had been traveling so much I had somehow forgotten what the usual, non-traveling everyday life looked and felt like. But once I had settled again and unpacked my suitcase and was also back emotionally, I realised – with a rather unpleasant surprise – that everything was really same old, same old. And that all the things that had triggered my breakdown in April were still very much present and actual. None of these things had miraculously evaporated over the traveling weeks. So these past weeks I’ve done my best to balance between the light and the shadows, between joy and sorrow. Sometimes I’m doing well, sometimes not so well, the most important thing is that I’m balancing.
And so it was that I looked forward to Dr A. N.’s visit excitedly, almost impatiently. She’s one of those people who has always managed to speak light into my life, and I was hoping for it to happen again. So on Monday when I knew she’d arrive, I could barely sit still during the conference’s executive board marathon meeting. She did come, she sat me down in an Old Town restaurant, and she spoke a lot of life and light and sense into my existence. Again. But we didn’t just sit in restaurants for three days (although we did a fair amount of that too) but we also went to an art museum, looked around Tallinn, and then headed to Pärnu for about two days. I had so organised things that my dad would join us for a day and take us to the best bird watching locations on the Western coast. Both my dad and A. N. are fanatical bird watchers. So yesterday we drove around the coast from early morning until late afternoon and it was rather funny to see how both of them switched on the bird watching mode and ran around with binoculars and consulted the books and were totally excited about seeing this or that bird. I tagged along, kicked stones, and took pictures. I was clearly left out of their world haha! A. N. would joke that not all people are lucky enough to be born with the bird watching gene. I suppose she’s right. But it was a lot of fun still to hang out with them and have a little glimpse of this hobby of theirs. Great times. And then we would do some more restaurant visiting and would endlessly talk about life and academia and people and Newbold and GC and books.
A. N. just left an hour ago, heading back to Newbold. It all feels like a deep breath of fresh air.
And here’s the traditional blog news: music and books. I’ve been listening to Kirk Franklin a lot, especially on those days when I’m not doing very well. His music helps, My Life Is In Your Hands in particular (and it’s not only the song itself that I like but also the unfading memory that goes with it – how me and B. would blast this song on Thursday evenings in Newbold student centre when setting up for yet another Experience). Book wise – I’ve just finished Thomas Keneally’s Schindler’s Ark (book no 22 this year). I had seen the movie – Schindler's List – a long time ago but I wasn’t quite prepared for the book. The book is so much more detailed and intense and sickening than the movie (although I think Ralph Fiennes did an excellent job playing the Nazi lunatic Goeth) but it is also somehow more inspirational – the audacity and absurdity of the idea of saving lives and the elegance with which Herr Schindler pulled it off against all odds is just breathtaking. It’s equally terrible and terrific book.