Monday, March 4, 2024

Darryl, The Asset

I watched a movie last night, set in Berlin and during the period just before the outbreak of the second world war. In one scene, two protagonists meet and happen upon a public book burning, and it gave me the chills. Schools are closing their libraries and banning books is happening everywhere. The banning of books recently in Surrey is for different reasons; they are concerned about racial issues in the book.

The burning of the books, plus the jingoism and bigotry, feel frighteningly familiar. America is providing a Hitler-like man in Trump. The two of them gain power by engaging an enormous population of people wanting more for themselves. Nations cannot get along because people cannot get along. We are the advanced life form because we have intelligence, but. We behave, individually and collectively, like the animals we once were. We’re primal beings. That’s why I have no hope for the future.

I always felt I was lucky to be born right after the war. It was a happy time and an easy time. And it feels to me like everything is going wrong. Now I feel lucky to be dying before a future comes such as the one that I envision.

That is why I am so glad to be here on this island. When I get on the ferry, I am leaving the world behind. The Salish Sea is the moat that surrounds my island home. I didn’t know how I was going to find living here when I came. I was focused on getting out of the city. It has certainly turned out well.

One of the women in my dog group is a lesbian. She asked me if I might be interested in meeting an island resident who is a gay man who wants to expand his social circle. I said I’d like that, and recently I heard from him on email. We arranged to meet yesterday, but I wrote to postpone to today because all day yesterday was miserable—sleet, snow and rain.  

So, we are meeting today. We arranged all this via email. He had mentioned being a mental health worker, so when he gave me his cell phone number to contact him, I decided to let him know how I communicate. I told him that having his cell number enabled me to Facetime with him, and that’s how we could chat, should he wish to.

And he wrote this to me: “I worked at the Neuropsychiatry Unit at UBC, and ran a Cognitive behavioural Therapy group, for what was then called Conversion Disorder (a pejorative term no longer used).” Conversion Disorder is now called FND—my condition.

I meet him this afternoon. I love him already. He will understand me. He may or may not like me, but he will understand me, and that moves me deeply. Very, very deeply. I am profoundly grateful for this blessing of an opportunity.

There’s not much to do around here during the dark and damp season, so all there is to write about is what’s in my head. Oh, for those days when my blog began with, “It’s another sunny day in Namibia.”

The sky is rather clear this morning. We’re getting a much nicer day today and so I feel better about meeting Darryl, the new guy, today. We’ll be going for a walk at Drumbeg. Otherwise, I will chill today because I have fitness this morning and it is going to kill me. I’m taking all my leftover eclairs and some lemon cake to share after class. People do that with this class.

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