Sunday, November 27, 2005

Goodbyes

The long slow mourning has begun
And the air resounds
with the gentle sounds
of someone weeping.


It's my last week in Australia.

All the nice people who have drifted (or stormed) into my life are now taking leave, with mournful eyes, bowing out into the blurry past. I watch them leave and a heaviness begins in my centre and spreads out to infinity. We go for one last lunch, one last tea, one last dinner and they hold me close and tell me, with tears in their eyes, keep in touch, keep in touch, I'm gonna miss you.

And I say, of course I'll keep in touch, don't worry, I'm very good at keeping in touch and I am gonna miss you terribly, so terribly and I am gonna miss this place and this peaceful feeling and the smell of flowers and the taste of the sunshine and the cafes in Fremantle and the vegetables in Subiaco, the quiet pavements, and walking around Hyde Park, listening to the music of running water.

And there they are, all these people I never knew before who have come to mean so much to me. Aged 21 to 83. Except that I tend to forget their ages when I'm with them. It's just like one big extended family. My people.

I have people I love back home. I do. And I will be happy to see them. It's just...

Friendly bus drivers, who say hello when you step on the bus and have a nice day, when you step off. Cheerful teenagers at the supermarket cash register who ask you: "And how are you today?" as if they really want to know. Strangers nodding and smiling at you on the street: "Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. Lovely day, isn't it?" Neighbours who stop to chat, invite me over for coffee or tea or dinner. Comfortable people, everywhere I turn.

Goodbyes are flavoured with coffee and Cabernet Merlot. Triple chocolate muffins. Vindaloo and rendang. Double fudge frosted brownies. And Corica's apple strudel, the best in the world.

I have been mourning Perth for a whole semester now. Feeling the goodbye tear through my body. I know love is always only a fleeting moment and we have to let these moments go. And I am trying. But, beginnings are my forte. I have never been good at endings.

So Susan, Charles, Christa, Katherine, David, Brendan, Chris, Sydney, George, Marguerite, Barry, Simon, Hui Hua, Corey, Marcella, Zaven, Cynthia, Shelly...goodbye. I love you. I will miss you. Thanks for everything. I will try to stay in touch.

You were never mine,
But I don't know
how to let you go.

8 comments:

m said...

aw, how long have you been here?

I've always been very good at endings - bad at beginnings. lol - put us together and perhaps we'd make an acceptable whole.

Jenn said...

I've been here for three years. I absolutely loved it.

I don't believe you. From what you write, you seem like a very sensitive, long haul type of girl.

Don't let them define your identity for you.

m said...

wow, three years is time enough to make a true home. This must be really hard :(

I don't know about being sensitive etc, but I do need to work on that defining identity thing. ahh well..

Andy said...

Been there, been there. Leaving Bath, England, was damn hard, and I was only there less than six months.

I stayed with a family while I was there, and even though we had our rocky moments (staying in a stranger's home is never easy), next February, they're coming to visit me and Jennifer.

So it does happen. Staying in touch is possible.

Sorry you're blue.

goldennib said...

Your entries are so intense, they take my breath away.

Jenn said...

Wow Andy, you sound like quite the traveller. And I know, we can stay in touch if we try. I have a friend in New York and one in France whom I see very occassionally but we're still very close. But it's not the same as this comfortable, picking up the phone and saying, hey can we meet for coffee?

Bath, Jane Austen territory (I definitely want to go there).

Goldenibs: Welcome to my blog and thanks for your kind words. You made me blush.

~Lil Nance ;> said...

I hate goodbye's!!! They make me cry... and well, lets face it... I do plenty of that. I'm not very good at beginings either... I guess I'm best at the middle part!

I have a friend who since 4th grade has moved all over the free world... we have managed to stay in touch. Then there are those I loose touch with and have to find!! Good luck and I'm glad you have enjoyed it!

Where will you be heading now??

Jenn said...

Back to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Traffic jams and doped up bus drivers...oooooh I can't wait.