Friday, December 07, 2012

day five

 Here's a sad truth: I am clueless as to how one watches a DVD on our complicated system of computer/TV screen/remotes.

When I first moved to the farmhouse, Ed took time to introduce me to the mechanics of life on the cheap. Telling me how, instead of calling a repair person when the shower stops issuing warm water, you figure out yourself why the heater malfunction. You do this, check this, consider that. Again and again. How to shut off systems, restart systems -- step by step, I followed along. Then.

But the buck stopped with the TV. He wanted a cheap one, I wanted a cheap one, he wanted to catch TV shows on it, I wanted to catch TV shows on it and so he rigged up a system that basically makes me feel like the anti-geek that I am. Only he can run it. The ultimate punishment would be if he took off in pursuit of adventure and left me without operating instructions so that I'd have to spend my end years staring at a dark screen.

I write all this now because I am free. A night of work, then breakfast...

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... more campus chores and then it's all done.

Tonight, I have no work to do -- for the first time since August, my slate is (temporarily but assuredly) clean. Ed and I don't dance jigs when this happens. We settle into our favorite routines, side by side and life moves on peacefully and comfortably. But today, after a trip to Paul's, after a supper of roasted veggies and eggs…

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…Ed wanted to continue work on a design project and so I was left to put on a favorite seasonal DVD and I failed. Couldn't do it. So I called him back from the sheep shed and he flipped through movies we had, just this afternoon, picked up from the library across from Paul's. He put on one. Inside Hana's Suitcase. It's a (true) story about a brother and sister. The brother survived the Holocaust, she did not.

So the first night of my break I spent sobbing (with good reason) over the fate of Hana. Maybe this is something that needs to happen. Maybe this is a way for me to transition. Back to a different story, different set of pages.

As perhaps I indicated, I'm leaving on Sunday. It's back to Poland for me -- not for long and not just Poland, but certainly the focal point for me is that.

Had I never left Poland, I would easily have moved from her past to her future. I would not be locked into childhood memories of what it was like to live in that country in the decades after the war. But I did leave and for me, a visit there is always a step back. My Warsaw friends (who, almost all, to the last one, do not read Ocean) would probably not get why this must be so. But it is so.

I have a Saturday to clean the farmhouse, pay the bills, get the ship in order and then I'll be off. Without Ed. He and I will take a vacation trip after the holidays. For now it'll be Poland and just me. And my memories.