Friday, March 6, 2009

Heading Home

In transit to Saskatoon. I left Albuquerque this afternoon. I was sad to leave because the second conference was beginning, bringing a few more colleagues that I didn't have near enough time to catch up with. I am happy, however to be heading home to Skender. Of course I have several presents, a reminder I received during each of my long distance conversations with him.  I think he is going to be quite surprised!

I ran 3.7 miles yesterday with Dr. Don Wilson (picture above) who is First Nations and the Head of Obstetrics at St. Joseph's General Hospital in Comox, B.C.  This is the first time that I've run with someone else this year. We had a great run but running at a higher altitude is a bit more difficult. Afterward we went with another colleague to a little winery for dinner (pictures above). It was a VERY FUN evening, good food, good wine and CRAZY conversations! However this is all I can divulge about the evening since I have been sworn to secrecy about the sorted details. After all "what happens in Albuquerque stays in Albuquerque!" The other photos are of the city and of my gigantic hotel bed. It was huge, I had eight (count them), eight pillows!!!! 

This morning the second conference opened with a talk by N. Scott Momaday, a Native American (Kiowa) author and a retired English professor. He is a wonderful writer and as I learnt this morning a beautiful orator. He had us all mesmerized with his soft and gentle prose, reminding us of the power of oral storytelling to feed our hungry souls. As he talked I thought our how much we rush through life, going here, going there, getting to this, getting to very important we all are! His talk reminded me of the wonderful book I am currently reading (about 20 pages left that I am holding on to dearly, to read, maybe even twice, in the late night sky as I make my way home). The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is written as a series of letters between a young author Juliet Ashton, her best friend Sophie, her editor, Sidney and a group of people living on the island of Guernsey after WWII. While all I will say is that it is a very special literary piece, as I listened to Dr. Momaday I thought about the art of letter writing and the great care people use to take in crafting their thoughts to one another. Unlike today, where in our rush to get things done, we shoot off an e-mail or text, often without out as much as a greeting or a simple question, "how are you?". "Words are powerful" and today Dr. Momaday reminded us of the words, "I AM" and our responsibility to one another, to our collective and individual identities, in our understanding of those two very special and powerful words.  They define our being, they claim our individual and collective existence, and they place us in relation to one another. 

 "Who am I?" "I AM....

My brother Kevin's comment about a lost hat and a stuffed squirrel brought back more memories about our family van breaking down in Albuquerque 32 years ago. It was a very long time ago, a time if I remember, when dogs could talk. Was there really a stuffed squirrel? I have vague memories about a few odd things we gathered as we made our way across the southwestern U.S.  All I can say is, "Those were the days!"

1 comment:

  1. Gwen Neudorf said:
    Hi guys!

    You have to get your facts right. First the year was 1980, I know, because I was extremely nauseous, the heat and the spicy food was killing me. I later found out I was pregnant with Amanda. Grant and Kevin kept fighting over the football game and the HAT and I was ready to kill them. What really happened to the hat was Dad and Wes gave it to the taxi driver for a tip after they went and brought the parts back to fix the van. Some 80 year old taxi driver is wearing it around as we speak. So Caroline you might see it if you look really hard. See you soon.