Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Going places: an exercise in self-ironization

He left three hours ago, in a cab that took him to Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. It was not yet seven-thirty in the morning. I brushed my daughter's long and thick hair and braided it. She was ready and we left for school. It's a ten minute round trip* to and from school. When I got back and sat at my computer, the time was 8:15 and I got an e-mail informing me that he had boarded.

I started my travels around the world, blithely jumping from Montreal to Manchester, England, to Glasgow, Scotland, to Livingston, New Jersey, to Tel-Aviv, Israel. By the time I was finished with my travels, another email arrived; he landed in Toronto. Now he is driving to his office, where he will spend the next twelve hours working to make the world a little safer from drunk drivers while I'll be working here to make the world a little safer from bullies and antisemites...

And as I write this I can't help but remember Anne Eliot's response to Captain Harville, here:

"It would not be the nature of any woman who truly loved."

Captain Harville smiled, as much as to say, "Do you claim that for your sex?" and she answered the question, smiling also, "Yes. We certainly do not forget you so soon as you forget us. It is, perhaps, our fate rather than our merit. We cannot help ourselves. We live at home, quiet, confined, and our feelings prey upon us. You are forced on exertion. You have always a profession, pursuits, business of some sort or other, to take you back into the world immediately, and continual occupation and change soon weaken impressions."

"..and our feelings prey on us"

* Aside: Do you remember the beginning of Stanley Kubrick's "2001 Space Odyssey"? A very empty landscape and the sound of the wind shrieking in a very special, eerie, way? Well, that's what it felt like, walking to school this morning. An icy, white blanketed, unwelcoming environment, with this spookish, heightened howl of the cold cold wind.


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