Friday, November 28, 2008

My Favorite Dutchie

Airports are strange places. A cauldron of emotions. Departures, arrivals, a melting pot of hopes and fears. I accompanied Soraya to catch her flight in Bogota and in noticing the farewells around us, I felt those exact same things. Before we left Medellin for Bogota, Soraya found it "strange to start missing a place while you're still there," an eerie premonition of how I predict to feel in a few days. But I've learned to enjoy the moments as they happen, to cherish the days she came back to Medellin. She had returned to visit me and another good friend, Luis.

A spiritual healer through the art of cuisine, Luis is probably the most passionate human being I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. He calls me "Samurai", not necessarily because of my Asian descent, but because he tells me I live by a code of discipline to accomplish what is needed, and oddly enough, he has been the only other person to hear of the book "Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai". Before I left he said he wasn't sad. He just said to both of us, "Go do what you're supposed to do".

Soraya and I had this thing where every time we saw each other or went our separate ways for just the day, we'd hug like it was the first or the last time we'd see each other. Our last hug at the airport lasted several seconds, with me lifting her in the air, giving a kiss on the cheek and whispering well-wishes into her ear.

It reminded me of my farewell to Gloria in Nicaragua. I wanted to grasp onto the final moments, maybe have just a few more seconds to share something between us, a casual comment, a deep aphorism. It didn't matter, just as long as it was something. Only this time I didn't want to take her essence. I only wanted her to find what "she's supposed to do" and maybe one day I'll have the foolish luck of seeing her again.

I guess you could say I've learned to cope with separation, letting go of the precious people, places and things you come to love. Sometimes it's simply a "see you later." Other times its a goodbye for good. Either way, I suppose what's important is that it is what it's meant to be.

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