In absentia

So apparently I haven’t really written anything on here for like a month or two – what has been on here are just quotes, videos, random snippets of information… For that, I blame my focus on studying for the LSAT, and then my attempts to focus my writing skills on my applications and the infamous “personal statement” that all schools will require. It hasn’t worked out so well…

Last Wed. I packed up the car, stopped to get new tires for my great little Honda Civic (tentatively named “Herbert” after the impatient snail…), and drove west through Illinois and Iowa towards Nebraska. I had two days and nights of debriefing scheduled (whenever I hear the term “debrief,” it reminds me of the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip that I tried to find online and couldn’t. In the strip, Calvin is imagining he is Spaceman Spiff, captured by the hideous aliens. They are taking him to be debriefed. With a wicked grin, Calvin snickers “Little do they realize, but our hero doesn’t WEAR briefs…”)

But it was wonderful to step away from everyday life for a few days and take the time to remember and grieve the losses of relationships, to laugh again with joy over happy memories, to cry and get angry over sad and frustrating ones, to look over the experiences, decisions, and relationships over the past six years of my time in Brazil that have marked me and helped make me into the person I am today… Silas did a great job directing and providing feedback. And due to the time spent remembering, and also my friend Josh’s ongoing project, I am hoping to write something similar… delve into some of the life and stories that are floating around in my head, and to do so in a way that honors those friends and friendships in Rio.

Friday and Saturday alternated between rich times of connecting and a few moments of isolation, awkwardness, and self-consciousness as I tried to fit into my new role of “no-longer-WMF-staff, but I’m still a friend and love these people a ton.”  But it really was a refreshing change of pace – spending several afternoons with Matt and Julie and their sweet high-energy boys, soup and conversation with Hilary and Mandy, laughing and telling stories and reliving ridiculously beautiful traditions (Father Winter Freedom Day anyone?) with former servant team members, future staff, and current friends, sharing guarana, speaking Portuguese with Jara, humbling time of gratitude and thanks, sushi and wine after the board meeting (but barely any sips of wine, thanks to my tuberculosis medication that will destroy my liver and give me hepatitis if I am not super careful), discussing books in the living room while watching Chad show us how his middle schoolers can dance, breakfast with Brent at the Leavenworth Cafe, and phone conversations to fill the ride home…

I am blessed.  Thank you friends for your hospitality, generosity, graciousness and love…

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “In absentia

  1. sara brooks

    sad not to be able to spend more time with you friend. hope to see you somewhere between here and there on skype, facebook, wordpress and in person.
    xo.

  2. Ben

    me too. (but the sara brooks part did make me laugh a little bit.) hope your time in the sun with Kenley is refreshing, relaxing, and full of fun and joy. and who else will I practice my Portuguese with in the US if not you?…

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