“It is not impermanence that makes us suffer. What makes us suffer is wanting things to be permanent when they are not.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
As soon as I got here, I remember telling a few people that I was almost overwhelmed by how wonderful my experiences already were. The countryside, the work environment, the kind of challenges and work I was doing. Overwhelmed in the sense that I was already dreading my eventual departure…even on the second day, I knew I would miss this place. It didn’t make sense to anyone I talked to and I didn’t have a better way of explaining it. But this morning I came across this quote, and now it seems very easy to understand.
So far even the challenges and negatives to this experience (which are few) have been things that make me smile and shake my head, and most of the time my smile is so wide “your face hurts the next day”, as the fantastic Bob Log III puts it.
What could beat biking underneath bridges in the dark, singing Bohemian Rhapsody with Matt while my friend Amber sings/translates each lyric into Japanese?
(Okay, well, we haven’t had hot water for our showers since we arrived.)
But what about the street dancers in Antwerp? Or drinking in the park by a giant fountain in Brussels with Romanian friends new and old? What about getting to go on stage and sit on Bob Log’s knee for one of his final songs in the show in Haarlem? Strolling Zandvoort beach with Dora and Matt; getting a dress at the IJ-Hallen Flea Market for 1 euro; biking past a dozen sheep every day in rolling green hills…. I will miss this place and this time in my life. Photos are a start, but I wish I could freeze a whole moment and put it in glass, á la Mr. Nobody.
Back to work!