I have exactly four days left in
However, there are things that I will miss. Things that were formative and changed my perspective on living and my outlook. Auden said: “Somewhere there are places where we have really been, dear spaces, of our deeds and faces. Scenes we remember as unchanging – because there we changed.” I think particularly of moments, even if they were few and far between, that struck me because of their blinding beauty and grace. Moments that stand out simply in contrast to the stark ugliness around them. They are not necessarily happy moments – as we have become accustomed to counting happiness - but they are beautiful:
The old blind man, led around town by a small boy with a begging bowl;
the time at dinner when a street child approached our table and the people around us tried to shoo him away and a friend turned and said, in Arabic, ‘No, it’s fine. He’s a friend of mine. We’re talking.’;
Jasmine the stray dog who lives outside a friend's compound who has adopted and guards all the expats who stop by;
the silly conversations that people carry on with when there is no pop culture to relate to - like what our super-human power would be if we had one.
Of course, there is a much longer list of what I will not miss. But I hope that, in retrospect, I will find that just one of these moments is enough to cover over a multitude of ugliness..
This is November Zulu Yankee 1 out.