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2004-01-13 - 12:00 a.m.

abschied again

It is three days before the cats and I fly to New York - the time and the good-bye parties are ever-so rapidly evaporating. And yet through it all I still am unable to imagine that next week I will not have the safe and secure feeling of the same ol' around me.

I wonder how many times I will say "Entschuldigung" to strangers on the streets of NYC. I wonder how many times I will reach for the phone to call Barbara, K, or A, and feel a pang of loneliness when I realize that they cannot just drop by for a tea in the library, or that they will be sound asleep when I try to call. How will I react to such loneliness. I wonder about the new noises, the new foods, new smells. New York is a new old country - and once again in my life I will have to figure out where everything is and where everything fits, including myself.

People keep asking me repeatedly how I feel about going back. "You must be sad to leave." "It must be exciting to go 'home.'"

or then there are the interesting perception statements - ones that I think come from people who have never left their home city: "Of course it's better for you to be back home."

What it comes down to is that I should be feeling *something* about right now, and each time someone tries to put words to my own experience, I reject it. I think I am feeling, more than anything, just numbed. Overwhelmed, perhaps. I just have no perception of what I am feeling or what I should feel, or what I will feel in a week. The concept of "feeling" has left the picture and been replaced with autopilot. The thing is, to explain this requires words, and somehow they are lost. But this is something you just can't really explain to someone who doesn't already understand what I'm trying to say....which, if you are used to being a communicator, is rather frustrating.


I had the mother-of-all going-away parties on Saturday. With the help of Julia, I rented the top floor of the Jena tower, catered some simple food and drink. Friends and colleagues baked cakes. Sepp and Margit brought the wine from Austria...and I, and 100 of my dearest friends drank and were merry on the top of Jena. Truly a wonderful way to say goodbye to the city.

But alas - I am tired at the moment - will hopefully write more soon about life.

bis dann,


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