8.1.09

Ruminations

I have been chewing the proverbial cud over the last few weeks, aimlessly and without conclusion. I may have even managed to imitate a perfect cow face – complete with vacant and peaceful cow eyes, while slowly munching on Christmas cookies, watching the world go by, thinking. Sometimes it’s nice to be more passive and let the tide carry you where it will. In all my running from point A to B, I sometimes forget why I even started running to begin with.

So here are some of my undigested thoughts…

…chickens and eggs. Which really did come first? And cause and effect - I don’t always know which is which in my life. Am I a byproduct of what is happening to me or do I make things in my life happen because of who I am? I think about these things in relation to a number of specific situations but the same theme is always there, always unanswered. This leads to the inevitable, ‘how did I get here’ question. Another favorite to ponder. Am I really 35, living nowhere and everywhere and not sure which direction to go next? What if I had turned right at a few of the forks in the road of life instead of left (since I always say, when in doubt, go left – remarkably it works around 50% of the time)? Can you or should you ever go back? Are you ever ‘there’ or do you only reach the end? Just in case, I try to make the most of each moment, however good or bad, and whatever took me there...

…cold and flu cures from around the world. I spent 2 days in a small apartment with 1 bathroom and 5 people originally from India, Poland, France, Norway and the US who all had various combinations of cold or stomach flu. The recommended treatments were all we could manage to discuss, at best contradictory and at worst just flat out disgusting: hot whiskey and honey, warm milk cooked with garlic and honey, alcohol allowed, avoid alcohol, only drink warm water, open the window, close the window, hot tea, cool tea, exercise, sleep, aspirin, warm beer, jello, ginger ale, coke, chicken soup, pretzels, among other suggestions. In the end I think none of these ‘cures’ do anything except provide a comforting feeling of familiarity and a reminder of being nurtured by our parents. And that’s good enough for me. Well, that and my blanket and teddy bear…

…international experience. On the first leg of my return trip to Zurich, I was surrounded by a bunch of young men on their way to Marine Corps boot camp. Most had never been out of New England, let alone on a plane before. Normally I hate talking to people on the plane but the one sitting next to me turned to me when he boarded, introduced himself with a smile and handshake and started fidgeting nervously in his seat. The flight attendant announced the special passengers and pointed out their lack of flight experience. My neighbor seemed quite nervous, so we chatted to take his mind off things. I had two thoughts the whole time. How young he was and how different his first international experience would be from mine. Some maternal instinct in me wanted to protect him and I can’t even imagine how his real mother must have been feeling as he left 4 days after Christmas…

…a very strange dream where I had ceased to exist. I hesitate to use the word die because I was still there. I was walking around and had the sense that I was wearing a mask but could not see how I looked. My observations of life were very much like watching scenes shot from a hand held camera, jittery, after the fact and I had no ability to influence anything as it was all in the past anyway. In the moment before waking, the footage showed the camera approaching a mirror and I realized with excitement and nervousness that I was finally going to see myself. With a glance in the mirror, I was astonished to find I no longer looked like me even if I felt the same on the inside. I had a completely different face…

Now after all that verbal diarrhea, we go back to our regularly schedule programming. Some posts to come of what I have been up to, what’s next and of course, pictures!

Oh yes...and today is my 3 year life as a European Anniversary! Woohoo!
Posted from Köln

7 comments:

vailian said...

Well it sounds like you are getting pretty philosophical!
If you want to meet up sometime in Köln, let me know. (I have been here for a while)

G in Berlin said...

Hey- I hope you are feeling ok.

I felt like that a lot as I approached my mid-30's. I often felt that if I had only married those guys I had dated (5 years here, 5 there) and had kids, even if I had divorced them, I would be in a better place. Then I met the guy, got married, had kids, stopped working (never thought I would...), moved to Europe...there are always directios to move into. Sometimes you need to actively seek change, particularly when working hard if you are interested in a relationship. Sometimes it's just hard to have the energy to meet people, I think. Easier to just stay home.
As for the cold thing, studies have shown that hot chicken soup with a lot of pepper is the thing. So are all hot beverages, with a plus to pepper, garlic and capsicum additions, but the chicken soup is better. I don't know why. Perhaps the ease of digestion and hydration?

Feel better!

Hey- I am off alone to London next weekend- if you want to meet up and bookstore/eat sushi/buy bento boxes at the Japan store- drop me a line:)

Expat Traveler said...

3 years, that's hard to imagine...

I just passed a milestone and can't even remember how long it's been, 5 years "officially" in Canada - Well actually over 1700 days back from Switzerland....

I actually had to recount that twice to make sure... lol

can't wait for the pics!

Mandi said...

Happy anniversary!

Anonymous said...

You are asking all the right questions and doing all of the right things. When you ponder these reflections you are closer to the truth than ever before.

-Anon

lobstah said...

Maybe your dream is part of the plot of an upcoming Charlie Kaufman movie? ;-b

J said...

wow! 3 years. I didn't realize that that much time had gone by. Congrats.