Saturday, March 26, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

more beer exploration at Smokeless Joe

La Granja Espresso Stout, with maple syrup, by Nørrebro Bryghus, Denmark. Think what you want about the use of maple syrup, but this beer is pretty fine.



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sun Sun SUN!

Sooo much better than yesterday's snowstorm! Especially if you get to work the whole day by the window and get ALL the sunshine without the -7°C windchill.



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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

on death and walking, with short runs

Three years ago I got the phonecall from my sister.  Me and my now husband had sat for dinner at a new place we had been wanting to try for quite a while.  And then, the call.  A short "Ya" (Spanish for "already", "now" and, like in this case "it's happened") was all I needed to know my mom was gone.  After a three month-long battle with lung cancer, she had left us in her sleep.   At that moment, I was at the other side of the world, literally.  I had been at her side a month before.  And my dad and sister were incredibly supportive: even while facing their own pain, they found the love to comfort me, to support me, and to say there was no need to rush to a funeral we all knew I could not arrive in time for.  And so, in a most un-romantic and un-dramatic fashion, I remained in Beijing.   

We finished dinner.  Yes, we actually did.   I needed time to absorb the news and, strangely, eating provided for a way to busy my body while my mind reminesced, rationalised, and saddened.  Back home, I sat in my study room, and I don't know how I actually managed to write a post about my mother (a post a bit too intimate to share publicly, I'm afraid).  And that's when the tears flowed, and the sobs choked me, and I wailed, and I said my second and final good-bye.    

And while I slept, they held her funeral.  And when I woke up, I told my habib I needed to walk.   That's how I manage anger, or sadness, or how I mourn:  through movement.  When I walk, my mind frees itself from my body, whithout actually forgetting about it, and finds the quiet it needs.  Zazen Buddhism has something called "walking meditation"; whirling Sufis meditate through movement.  I don't do anything as fancy, but I certainly achieve another state through walking.   And so we went to 798, an abandoned factory zone cum art zone.  And I walked, with my habib trailing nearby; I felt the cold air; I walked, and looked without seeing, and walked, and mourned.   

Today was a strange day.  I re-read the post I wrote about my mother, and I found it so hard to contain my tears.  I didn't expect to get sentimental again.   And luck would have it I forgot something at work, and had to go back for it tonight.   And fate would have it that I live close enough to actually walk to work.  And so I walked.  And I got what I needed.  And I walked back, with the cold air hitting my face, and I started running, and it felt good, and my mind remembered and reminesced once more while my body ran, and tears came.

Some pray, some drink, some sleep.  I walk.  I run.  

Three years ago, in another land, in a moment far away yet not that far, I took only two pictures during my mourning walk.  For what they may be worth, here they are:




We still miss you.