After the death of my grandfather

September 8, 2009
Hi Jonathan!  how’s your day been?  Mine’s been good so far.  I woke up feeling tired but my morning has just been picking up as I’ve gone along.  We had a short day of Hebrew class today, which was pretty awesome!  Not a TON to cover, but plenty to memorize this evening for tomorrow.  It’s yet another beautiful autumn day in Chicago, which makes me happy, and I plan to celebrate the weather with a run to the point followed by a good little swim.  Grin.  Yay.
It was really good to talk with you yesterday morning and then catch up again in the evening albeit very late for you.  The timing was actually perfect for me as I had been up on the roof sitting (meditating) for the half hour before you called.  It’s beautiful up there – the city lights reflect orange off the clouds or haze in the sky, and here, at DDH, you can see spires in all directions and the eaves of buildings, some watched over by griffins, gargoyles and other mythical creatures.  There’s a sense of expansiveness on the roof that one certainly does not get on the ground, surrounded by houses and so forth.  I like it.  Smile.  It reminds me somewhat of the roof of your place in Kathmandu.
I am continuing to enjoy getting to know folks, meeting people, spending time.  And also realizing that there are times when I don’t just want to sit and talk but to get on with whatever’s next.  Wry smile.  It’s kind of a funny feeling sometimes, but I guess that’s alright too.  I’m glad you were able to get out and play chess with these older men last night.   I have yet to sit down and play a game of chess….  I think that I will be more willing to play poorly (which is not necessarily a good thing) when I’m not playing you.  Wry smile.  I think there’s part of me that still wants you to think I’m good at everything I set my hands to.  Which of course we both know is far from true.
The DDH kitchen is no longer flooded, and we can use the sinks again, which means that I can make up some kichuri (daal and rice stew) — perhaps I’ll get myself together to do this evening or at least wash and soak stuff in order to make it tomorrow.  There’s a little shop up a few blocks called Hyde Park Produce where I can get a fair variety of produce relatively inexpensively.  It’s not really local, though, which is unfortunate.
I connected with my dad again today and talked about how he’s doing after his dad’s death.  He sounds okay.  I think the hardest part for me in all of this is imagining what it will be like to lose my father.  As you know, this will be an incredible loss to me.  My dad is in many ways my hero, the person I want to strive to be like, the person whose approval and love are most important to me.  There are ways in which I also take his approval and love as given.  They feel unqualified.  Pretty wonderful.  I guess it’s interesting to imagine you and what it would be like to not really have my dad in the picture – to have him alive but so changed by a disease like dementia.  Wow.
Anyway, did you get my latest letter?  I will be/am very curious about your reactions/thoughts/etc to these ideas of privilege and responsibility.  I think these will be good things to talk about at some point.  Wry smile.  And I will try to be passionate without being didactic in any conversations we have about this.
Ah life and what we think about what it is we’re supposed to be doing.  I didn’t really talk to you much about church on Sunday.  Andrew and I (the two of us from DDH who went with Jay to hear him preach) were the only white folks at his church, and even though the church was super small, I found myself being outside of my own comfort zone at least a bit.  And it made me think of you and how we will both pull each other into spaces that challenge us and are not within that zone of comfort.  When you’re here in the spring, this is a church we will have to go to together sometime – super small and incredibly warm and welcoming.  Not necessarily theology I agree with entirely, but then it’s rare that I’m somewhere and do agree with all the theology.
Smile.  This is getting long.  Be well and have a wonderful day!
love,

t

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About Thandiwe

Hopeful cynic, creative, seriously silly, lover of people and places, hypocrite, third-culture kid, queer, life-long learner, white woman, Christ follower, outdoor enthusiast: I am a seeker of justice and truth who has re-found my spiritual home in progressive Christianity. I serve as the Associate Pastor at a small Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) congregation near the mountains of Colorado where I live with my beloved.
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