I'm in a gushing hurry to finish many things before leaving to board with a dog and leave for Prague on Sunday, but I couldn't let your responses to my last post dangle as though I were too numb to absorb them. Indeed, your sympathy -- and in many cases, your shared experience -- had a profound impact on me. Possibly even more impacting was the effort and tears I put into writing that post and waking up on Monday to a calmer disposition.
It was weird, though. On Monday I felt like the previous couple of days had been a lost weekend, with grief instead of food or booze or something. I ran into a good friend who I see nearly every day and it was like I'd been far away to someplace bleak, like Chernobyl. But the air had cleared. The humidity dropped, the air was cleaner and cooler. I'd cried most of my available tears and had tried to articulate this process and its peculiar grief as best I could. I understand my reaction a little better and I definitely feel a community of people going through the same feelings.
But the price of having a little light back in my scope of vision has been not being able to get to sleep at night and waking to a churning stomach with all the things I have to do before I leave on Sunday. There comes a point in the afternoon when I wilt. I've been unable to get my body on to a subway to exchange dollars for crowns -- Herald Square feels amazingly too daunting for me. When I took a look at the Czech Airlines website, however, I saw that I could make the exchange at JFK.
And today I plum fell over and badly bloodied my knee, either not paying attention to Daisy or to the uneven sidewalk. Gawwww...
Sometimes I wonder what hallucinogens I was taking when I booked this trip. I'm an agoraphobe! Is someone who can't face the bustle of Midtown fit to travel to a place where there are words with no vowels???
I've done the best I can. I booked a lunch cruise of Vlatava River for five hours after arrival. I should just about make it, with time for dropping my bags, having coffee and finding the meeting place. From then until 2 I don't have to think. I can just take pictures of the bridges and castles and drink Czech beer.
It's been hard to go from that blotted grieving place to semi-productivity, but I wanted you to know there are breaks in this hideous process. I have a coaching project on hand and I really do love not only cleaning up prose but finding the story that is often missing from the pages. I've run errands when I can steel myself to get out and done odds and ends toward being out of hear in reasonable order on Sunday. I feel much better that I won't be a loose ends with jet lag when I arrive. I also booked excursions to Nizbor to see the Bohemian glassworks, to Kutna Hora, an amazing cathedral town, and to Terezin, because I believe that if one can visit a death camp, it's a moral obligation to do so. All of it leaves another six hours a day to see Prague in my own slow fashion.
And I think I will buy Christmas ornaments for my parents while I'm there. I think I will try to focus on what is beautiful and possible in their futures.
With a lot of help from my cyber-friends.
Shahid (in Arabic, "witness") means "martyr" in Islam (shahida is the feminine) and Islam tells its followers that they'll get a much better life in paradise...