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Posts Tagged ‘Perspective’

I know it sounds a bit bizarre, but we are home from the South of France by way of meeting an old high school friend in Heathrow Airport courtesy of Facebook. Edie and her husband Steve had been traveling around Great Britain and we’d been following each other’s exploits – she kissed the Blarney stone, I made a quiche. You know how these things go. Facebook envy, it attacks when we least expect it…it’s what started us out on this journey; my vicarious following of a Facebook friend and her buddies hunting for mushrooms in Italy!

After a grueling day of travel in three airports in three countries, covering about 4,500 miles and traveling through many time zones, I had to roll all over the floor with my deliriously happy dog…then I turned on the TV last night to watch Bill Murray receive the Mark Twain Prize for Humor on PBS. I figured it would be better than a jolt of CNN after such a long news-free sabbatical. I missed the run-up, but caught his surprisingly sentimental speech, which actually took place at the kennedy Center last October, before the election.¬†http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/watch-bill-murray-accept-mark-twain-prize-for-american-humor-w446373

Remember those happy Camelot days? Before Mr T (BT), when we thought anything was possible for our country, when we had a statesman, a gentleman for a President, and a First lady who actually lived with him and they seemed to love each other? Government may have been clunky at times, but it worked and was moving toward a brighter future for ALL Americans. After Macron’s victory in France, I was feeling pretty bleak about our state of affairs.

And on our last day in St Remy, I met a delightful, older (probably 80+) British woman who was traveling alone. I helped to translate a store clerk’s French for her – it seemed she had taken a bus to this town and the clerk thought that with the rain and the hills in the next town she should rest at the local cafe. It was too hilly and slippery the clerk said to this elegant, grey haired lady with a cane. Then my fellow traveler turned to me and asked, “Are you an American?”

“Unfortunately,” I replied, “I am.”

She looked me straight in the eye and wagged her finger at me and said in her proper British accent, “No, no, you must be proud to be an American! I am sure you are referring to Trump?” And I shook my head resolutely. In fact, I nearly cried. Some people you meet in passing bring out that Ann Tyler moment for each of us. Then she took my hand and told me that he will not last forever, that my people are smarter and stronger and there will be change. That everything changes.

So I sat with Bob at a cafe for an almond pastry and deux cappuccino and I told him her story. And we talked about how Europe takes the broad, balcony view; because of their history, maybe Brexit will be just a blip on the larger screen.

And as I was falling asleep in our own comfy bed, in that place between reality and dreams, I thought of meeting our friends at Heathrow, like the movie Love Actually. And I thought about Bill Murray’s speech, talking about the trampoline in his heart. That love is like that, it bounces out to touch others. People beyond continents and time.

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I had a very bad dream once in my first marriage. My ex was driving, it was night, and we were heading down this road that looked like Van Gogh’s painting of a Lane of Poplar Trees.

The headlights on the car were dimming, did I mention my ex was driving? The darkness was creeping closer and closer until I was engulfed in blank emptiness. Suffocating for air, I awoke thinking I had died. Something did die that night, or maybe it was slowly ebbing away for years. What made me think about it, was my lunch with friends yesterday. Fresh off a plane and back in Cville, we lingered and talked of our other lives.

After a vacation, people often experience a re-entry phenomenon. Returning to real life jobs, laundry, the day to day things that usually go unnoticed. For some, this can be a difficult transition. Everything is louder and faster in the real world. But right now, for me, I feel as if I’ve gained a new perspective. I slowed down yesterday driving home, rounding the corner of my country road I stopped and looked up at the coral colored clouds. There were about twenty hawks circling, swooping, gliding and generally having fun riding a thermal of mountain air that gently lifted them up into their current of winged wonder. I was so entranced I didn’t even think to haul out my camera; I sat in my car, opened the sunroof, transfixed.

Artists can demonstrate perspective with a lane of trees. But for us to feel it, now that’s something else again.

My friend Ann went to the theater last night after lunch to see Denise Stewart’s “Dirty Barbie.” She told me I’m going to LOVE it since I’ll be going Saturday night. Here is an interview with Denise about slowing down to pursue her passion. Congrats Denise and big thanks to Christine Hohlbaum my blogger-mentors. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-slow/201106/dirty-barbie-and-other-dreams
Slowness may be counter intuitive, but oh so true.

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