> friday love note
It’s Friday again. I’ve only posted on Fridays these past few weeks. Things should pick up again soon enough and I’ll bother you more often. I have about a week and a half before departure now, so much of my writing is an ever-growing to-do list. (Don’t worry, I will not ask you to read that.)
This week was a gorgeous week in the Midwest–I’ve never seen fall colors so brilliant. Is it because of the drought? The whole world looks like one of those full-wall nature scenes they had at the dentist office when I was a kid.
This week was also a sad one. I got terrible news that a good friend died unexpectedly, as well as the twin boys she carried. Tragic, tragic, awful and unbelievable. E is half of a couple we met while living in Tianjin in 2000. They were the only two Belgians in our community of foreign students, and they fell in love at this very same time of year, over the Chinese national holiday, twelve years ago. They have been together ever since. H and E were the first people I got to know in China, as we went on a long trip through Yunnan with them shortly after I arrived.
They are both kind and thoughtful people, so aligned by what I perceived as their Belgian-ness. They possess a shared practicality and steadfastness that I assumed came from living in a grey and rainy place. I am so sad to imagine them apart.
E was (oh I hate that was) very creative and often made me small gifts–when we were in Tianjin, or for our wedding, or sent with a letter in the mail. I needed to do something after hearing the news. I took the large heart paintings I made this year down to the lake where I am staying this week, to take some photographs and think of her. The series of hearts started after I made one for another friend who lost his wife this year. They are reflections on. . . what is here, what is not here, what is physical, what is not, what stays, what leaves. . . etc. I wanted to interact with E somehow, to remember her, to, I don’t know, have a conversation with her, to acknowledge that she is going, though I do not want to let her go, and I do not want my friend H and their older son to be without her.
A sad note for a love note, but sadness and loss are a big part of this deal called love, aren’t they.
Please send lots of love towards the tiny place called Belgium, to my friends, their family, all the hearts surrounding them, that were made bigger by knowing this wonderful woman. Thank you.