It turned out to be a great class!
Jeff is an engaging instructor, and German has so many cool words. The title of this post is one of the best. The root 'zwei' is the two word, and a literal translation might be entwoed. It means something like having doubt, being between two things. Since meeting this word, I've felt that it is an amazing label for my life, because I so often have the sense of standing at a place where two roads diverge.
The standard advice for the bereaved is to refrain from making any big decisions for at least a year, but this was slated to be a year of big decisions anyway. So, as I work on my dissertation and prepare for the academic job market, I've been thinking about the sort of place I would perhaps like to live. I have been happy in large cities, in small towns, and in the countryside, but I have also found each of these wanting.
My travel and return this past week have brought these thoughts to the fore again. Last Wednesday, I walked eight-tenths of a mile to the metro, took the train from Alexandria to the heart of the District and then walked eight blocks to a café to meet a friend. It was wonderful to be a pedestrian again. Using your own two feet as a means of transportation is empowering, and this is much more viable in Washington than in Jones. Over our not-coffee, Mark and I had a conversation that touched on my work and his, our mutual friends, the state of the universe, and the finer points of public transportation. The hour in the air-conditioned café was just enough to cool me off from the walk to get there, and I left the café ready for my next adventure.
That day, my feet, in coordination with the DC transit system, took me to meet three different friends, to shops and restaurants, and to one of my favorite places on earth.
By Friday, I was back at Rambling Farmhouse, where distances are too great for walking, and public transportation is non-existent. Having dropped Sofia off at school, I stopped at the abbey for terce and then drove to Bluebird Farm, where I spent the morning slinging shit with Rachel. Ass deep in the barnyard manure pile, I looked at my dirty hands, encrusted jeans, and borrowed rubber boots and saw the chasm between them and Wednesday's linen slacks and leather loafers.
Yet, at the same time, Friday morning had a lot in common with Wednesday morning: the company was excellent, the conversation was delightful, and I was having fun. Just as being a pedestrian is empowering (even when it is exhausting) through the freedom of movement it offers, I find farm and garden work to be empowering (even when it is disgusting) because it offers an intimate connection to the food that sustains me.
And Friday's scenic drive from Bluebird Farm to White Yarrow took me past another of my happy sights: a soybean field in fall color.
|I love the combination of green, brown, and gold against the blue and white of the sky. |
This year has not been stellar for fall soybean color, but you get the idea here. :-)