Monday, September 15, 2014

Coming home

When Jerome, one of the Chinese participants in the workshop in Chicago, was leaving, he gave me half-a-pack of Chinese cigarettes. Though some people would think that was akin to giving a razor blade to a person in a warm bath, I was deeply touched.

Chinese cigarettes, by the way, taste the way I had imagined they would. But I smoked them anyway so I would honor the gift.

We had the widest cultural group I've ever seen in a workshop--4 Chinese, 4 Vietnamese, 2 Africans (Togo and Somalia), an American raised Korean who spoke Chinese as well as English and Korean and two Hispanics. Amazing. We had to keep checking if everyone understood 'Americanism'--like I said, "frozen in amber" and Ann explained resin and insects to the group!

Ann and I had dinner with Nancy and Jens, both of whom are involved in the Mastery Foundation. They live on the 28th and top floor of a high-rise in North Chicago. Their South facing wall is all glass and looks over downtown and the lake. To the west, floor the ceiling windows view the sunset. I have difficulty (as I've said before, I'm sure) with heights. I didn't get too near the windows, but the views were beyond belief. Four friends of theirs, all Bosnians, came as well and were delightful.

Ann took a cab to O'Hara and I took one to Midway. My cab driver was from Nairobi, and we listened to the end of the Bears game on his radio, turned up loud, us cheering all the way. Chicago Bears fans from Nairobi and West Virginia--ponder that.

I took the shuttle to the airport this morning and flew to Atlanta--Chicago to Hartford through Atlanta, imagine that.

My connection was in a different concourse and I had to take a train and didn't have time for a meal so I bought a Boar's Head wrap to eat on the plane. Atlanta still has smoking areas--which, to me, seems very civilized. I had a Chinese cigarette in a pub that had glass doors that kept the smoke inside. You could have had a smoke in there without lightening up. It was about 30 feet by 20 feet and sealed in and full of smoke and the friendly and marginalized folks who are smokers. When smokers are in the presence of only other smokers there is an almost tribal feeling to the gathering.

The flight to Bradley Airport was supposed to take an hour and 59 minutes. We were 27 minutes early so I got through Hartford traffic before 5 and got home much earlier than I had imagined.

The Puli almost had a stroke from the exuberance of this greeting and Bern was there, wondrous as always, and the cat came out and put his paws up on my leg for a scratch and the parakeet was singing up a storm.

How much I love home!

The day may come when I won't travel at all, as much as I enjoy it.

Coming home is always just the absolute, positively, best thing ever.....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.