Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Thank goodness for new days

So, My American Chap (Mac - that's his suitably American blogname for the moment, until I think of something cleverer, suggestions welcome) arrived yesterday. In retrospect I did the planning all wrong, instead of baking a cake, shopping for his pantry supplies at the Italian PRT and preparing myself to cook a big pot of risotto for him and his boss, I should have spent my time meditating on this little gem of a quote from the new movie "The Last Kiss" -
"How you fell only matters to you.
It's what you do to the person you love that counts."
In the end all the "doing" I did wasn't quite the right doing. I busied myself with food preparation because it is an emotionally comforting (and comfortable) realm of activity for me. Then when Mac arrived, all excited about his new job, his new life in Herat with me, with his travel weariness and his nerves about first day in the office, I suddenly found myself overwhelmed with his expectations.
He wants me to move into the wee house he has at his compound, which would be great - and much more homely than the big old guesthouse where I am living. But I didn't realise until I was faced with the reality of this change how badly I have needed the little bit of routine and familiarity that I have finally found in my life here. Moving again, and starting over from the beginning to carve out a little sphere of beauty in this world of ugliness suddenly seemed an overwhelming task.
But feeling that, in itself, would have been okay. It's normal or at least understandable for me to have those feelings. But how I felt didn't need to overtake what Mac needed at that moment. I could have put those feelings aside for another day - a day that wasn't Mac's first day in his new house, job, city and life. I could have joined in with him for one night in some unadulterated joy that he was here in Herat and starting all these news things in his life.
Of course, I didn't manage that as well as I wish I had - which is why I'm writing this now. I did my best but in the end what I did to the person I love was that I took some of the fun out of his arrival by starting to worry about the implications of all these changes for my life. I took some of the joy out of his daydreaming about making a new life here, and instead worried about security (his compound doesn't meet the security requirements of my organisation).
Well - thank goodness that new days keep coming and today I get to have another go at my life.
My gorgeous friend Ms Parker this morning reminded me that wishing I was a different kind of person wouldn't make me anything other than who I am. Oh to be an easy-going gypsy type, picking up my rucksack and settling wherever I land, it would certainly make this line of work easier. But I'm not - and setting up my wee sphere of beauty is part of what keeps me sane.
In the meantime, tonight I get another chance to focus on how Mac's first full day in his new job went, and I'll still prepare something scrumptious for dinner.

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