Saturday, July 16, 2011

"The More Things Change...

Ultimo, once a 'loaner cat,' is now a permanent installation,
here he hangs out on the grape vine supports.
... the more they stay the same." Or in the French version which I learned a long time ago from my grandmother, "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose." (This French proverb is credited to the French novelist Alphonse Karr (1808-90). Or do they? In this last week I have said my goodbyes, on my spirit level, to a dear friend / director / musical talent. I'm also saying TTFN (Ta Ta For Now) to a local special friend / artist / doctor who heads to England for several months and I am about to say "So Long" to my son who has been visiting here.

A view of the northern portion of the Andes, looking to
the south toward Bogota along the canyon of the Rio Suarez.
Each of these individuals has brought something special to my life and while Dr. Levy's departure is rather permanent, we don't know when people head off and out of our lives whether or not our paths will cross again - or where. So while I can accept the changes, I don't really see how what remains will be the same.

The connection with Dr. Isabel has been rich through music, ceramics and painting, cats and proper English teas with conversations in two languages about a wide variety of subjects. Through her I have met some fascinating people, acquired a cat (Pasqual), lost that dear cat, acquired another cat (Sombra) as well as the companion cat. Ultimo, and had wonderful emotional support while dealing with some nearly catastrophic news. It won't be quite the same with her being so far away. I shall miss very much those get-togethers and for now will have to intend her journey is safe, fulfilling, and brings her all that she is seeking through her travels.

My son celebrated his 30th birthday here in Barichara.
It is not always easy for adult children to spend any time with their parents, and the generation gap often creates strife and discord. Having a chance to watch my son in a totally new environmental experience and see his progress in learning to live in a new culture, with a new language, pretty much on his own has been gratifying with minimal intrusion on either of our lives. While visiting here, he was hired by the Colombian equivalent of a retiree's educational program to teach English to adult Baricharians and although the group was small and he wasn't offered very much to do the class, he sat down and worked out a short, but systematically effective, class program for non-readers to learn a few key phrases in English and to develop some conversational skills with tourists. I am proud of his contribution to the local community's objective to prepare for increased tourism of English-speakers and it appears this visit has given him a boost in self-esteem and new directions for his life.

As my own path will keep me in Colombia for awhile longer, I shall adapt to the changes and down the road, perhaps I can better ascertain whether the author of that saying is really correct about things being the same.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not certain who is better looking.... your handsome son or Ultimo! ;)