Last times

Last times

My friend Pamela shared this (written by Iain S. Thomas) earlier today and there I was at work, trying to keep tears (happy or sad? I don't know) from rolling down my cheeks. It spoke to me so directly, so powerfully:

I hope that in the future they invent a small golden light that follows you everywhere and when something is about to end, it shines brightly so you know it’s about to end.

And if you’re never going to see someone again, it’ll shine brightly and both of you can be polite and say, “It was nice to have you in my life while I did, good luck with everything that happens after now.”

And maybe if you’re never going to eat at the same restaurant again, it’ll shine and you can order everything off the menu you’ve never tried. Maybe, if someone’s about to buy your car, the light will shine and you can take it for one last spin. Maybe, if you’re with a group of friends who’ll never be together again, all your lights will shine at the same time and you’ll know, and then you can hold each other and whisper, “This was so good. Oh my God, this was so good.”
— http://www.iwrotethisforyou.me/2014/03/the-light-that-shines-when-things-end.html

I have had so many goodbyes in my life - some certain and some uncertain and I'm not sure which is worse. We spend years in a place, move, and then never go back, and it's hard. Or we spend a short time in a place, move, and then go back for a visit and it's hard. Which is better for the soul? Being able to preserve a former home in your mind's eye as it always was when you were there? Or going back and seeing the reality of friends and neighborhoods that have carried on without you?

So a small golden light would work really well for me. To KNOW that well, this is it. Instead, my coping mechanism is avoiding the act itself of saying goodbye, as if to hedge my bets. I pine for Days Befores and I miss the homes we've lived in as if they were animate beings rather than spaces that belong to other people now.

During the school vacation in Week 8 (mid-February), the girls and I are going to the UAE for a visit. I have longed for this trip almost since the day we left. It's true that it's sometimes harder to go back to a beloved home rather than just stay away, but I am looking forward to this trip so much (even if I'm not entirely sure I won't burst into tears immediately upon arrival). I remember taking a taxi to the Dubai airport in the middle of the night in August 2015 and amid all the jumble of thoughts and worries and emotions, my mind kept asking, in an endless loop, Will I Ever Come Back Here?

Looks like yes! No golden light yet, not for me and the UAE.

Bicycle commute dealbreakers

Bicycle commute dealbreakers

The American shelf, updated

The American shelf, updated