Chapter 76 – The Day After

This blog is a book. Maybe better to read from the beginning? 🙂

 

Monday, 22 February 2016.

 

A Little Dark Cloud?

 

Anna and Christian’s first date and night together turned out to be surprisingly special. So much so that she spent the morning smiling – and writing about it in her diary. Now, he is back at his hotel for work and Anna is taking a nap.

 

13:52   I’m wondering if there are any games that you have that I know… and to which you can’t make up arbitrary rules!! 😊

14:28   Hi Chris.

Hey. Sorry I gave you a late night.

It was fun!

For me, too.

14:32   Yes, let’s go play more games and watch a movie? I’ll beat you!

In the games…

Haha. Only because you don’t tell me the rules. Where is James Bond? Cute dog. Cute owner.

Lots of good things happening. Have made my business calls.

Getting a tattoo later.

Funny guy!

 

Anna approves of Christian and feels that there is some potential in this man…

She is on holiday – the sun is shining so bright! And ahhh to be free for the first time in my life! Ready for some loving and some action. Some TLC.

Nonetheless… why has life gotta have lows too, huh?  Do you know when a little dark cloud comes out all of a sudden and overshadows your perfect sunshine?

After writing in her diary, she is feeling a little intrigued by something she read about Christian, as she googled him a little earlier. Hmmm. Anna, be smart!

Well, at least I’m going to have a good week.

Minimum. 

His part is his job. To prove himself worthy of my trust and interest. But, what’s the hurry?  Sometimes frogs become princes… We shall see.

Ops! What if a prince can turn out to be a frog, too??

His choice entirely!

 

At 4:30, Anna visits her sister and then goes to meet Christian at his hotel reception, as planned. This time the feverish Englishman is there. Sweet.

A nice kiss on the cheek and he says, “Hi pretty one! How was your day? How are you doing? I would have found your home this time. Believe me!”

“Well, I did not want to take the risk of you being two hours late. Again. Haha.”

“Oh, those things never happen twice with me. Don’t worry…

“Anna, I want to take you on a proper date tonight. My turn to treat you. Where do you want to go? Choose your venue!”

“Oh! That’s nice, Christian. Hey… why don’t we make it practical tonight? We are planning on watching a movie and playing a game later, aren’t we? So, instead of going to the city center, let’s have a pizza near my home? Then you can come and give the nurse here a proper visit, Mr. Englishman With A Bad Cold!”

“Sounds like a plan to me. Let’s do that.” he smiles with warm eyes.

 

They walk down towards Ruoholahti without holding hands. He is looking nice, smartly dressed, and she is showing him places and sharing little stories about the neighborhood as they walk to Pizzeria Daka by the canal. The place is not fancy at all, but the pizza there is delicious, in Anna’s opinion.

They sit opposite each other. She doesn’t really like the style of his blazer – hmm, it makes him look older – but she does like him…

“Anna, how has your day been? Tell me all about it.”

“Oh, good. Saw my sister, took a nap, wrote a little…”

“Wrote? To your other Tinder matches, huh?”

“No. This week is all yours. Haha. Maybe! Hmmm… Just in my diary.”

 

Anna is a little serious, more quiet than usual. She’s thinking. A lot.

 

“I had a great time yesterday, Anna. Thank you for a wonderful dinner.”

“Oh, me too. Thanks for the champagne, Christian! Nice to finally meet you.” she smiles.

“You are so thoughtful. I hadn’t realized you had that serious side. It looks like you’re plotting!”

“No! everything is OK. I’m just thinking.”

“About what? Would you tell me?”

“Ah, not yet. Someday. Just some things… Never mind. I’ll tell you later.”

“Phew. Good. You are giving me The Look!”

“Yes, I am. But for now, you’ll just have to wonder what it means.” she laughs, feeling more relaxed.

And he is nodding really quickly. Awww.

 

“Chris, I love your nodding! Has anyone told you how cute you are when you nod fast?”

“My nodding!?”

“Yes. Have none of your girlfriends told you that?”

“No. That’s hilarious! Must be a Finnish thing.”

“Yeah. It’s adorable! Crazy ladies didn’t tell you.”

“You are the first… Anna, when I like someone, I nod.” he looks at her affectionately.

 

During dinner yesterday, Anna had asked him how many serious relationships he had had. He’d gotten married around the age of forty, after all, and then separated three years later, so she wanted to check – lightly – about him possibly being an eternal bachelor.

“Btw, I counted today. I have had 14 girlfriends.”

“14?? That’s a lot!!”

“Well, I had about twenty years for that… Working in the Karoo desert for fourteen… It wasn’t easy to find a wife there. Guess I was just waiting for the right person… Until I grew tired of the whole place. Tired of waiting. I missed Germany! All my friends had families and kids. I went on many dates, met a nice person and proposed after six weeks. Crazy! Everything happened so fast.” He comments on the story he’s told her before.  “The rest is history. But I’ve never had a shy girlfriend. All crazy!”

“What about me? Am I shy? Am I crazy?” Anna wants to know.

“You are not shy at all! Crazy…? Hmmm. I am leaning. You do have a wild side.”

“Yes, but I am shy at first. Reserved. But not about being honest. I love honesty… Honesty with love…! Still, it’s good to be the more quiet one for a change. I get to be thoughtful!” She teases him.  “I get to plot!”

“Hope you’re not plotting your escape!?”

“No……” She’s laughing now.

“Do guys normally dominate the conversation, Anna? I like to listen. Then be silly. Then serious later.”

“Most guys I know are more quiet than me.”

“Am I quiet? I’m a bit sick. Scared to talk with my girlie voice!!”

“Haha. Don’t worry. It’s funny. Besides, I like playing nurse.”

“And I like to hear you talk.”

Score!

Anna believes a guy should always listen to the woman a little more than talk himself. I want them to see my heart!

“I’m glad that you like to listen, Chris. And happy you make me laugh.”

“Well… I haven’t really made you laugh yet! Laugh until you cry. Best medicine!”

“But you are the one in need of some of that, don’t you see?”

“Yes, Ms. Nurse.”

 

It wasn’t easy to lose a husband after twenty years. I like this guy so much already. What if I lose him, too? I don’t deserve that. Can I take more heartbreak already??

She gets more talkative now. They keep chatting and laughing as they have the pizza. Her mood is finally on the rise again.

“Did you like the drawing I made of you, Anna? Are you going to keep it on the wall?”

“Yes, of course! It’s so cool. Can we draw some more tonight, Chris? Please?”

“OK.”

“I think I’m gonna draw on your back. More fun! You’re being a good distraction, Christian. I need that! And lots of hugs. Lots more.”

“Yes, you need more. I agree. Are you going to tattoo my back? You can draw the Brazilian flag there – with your nails!”

“We shall see what I come up with. Shall we go? Lots to do. The games are waiting, the movie, the tattoo.”

“Definitely. Let’s go, Anna.” As he waits for the payment to go through, he puts his arm around her shoulders and kisses her head.

 

Now they are walking like that, his arm around her shoulders. Awww.

My God! This feels so nice! I’ve missed this! A lot. Just wanted to meet a warm, confident man. She thinks with her heart melting a little. Healing a little. Can this be? Can life be this sweet?? Really? I’m feeling very glad again right now.

 

“Anna, I liked the pizza, but tomorrow I’m going to take you on a proper date. This place was way too simple. Where do you want to go?”

They stop and kiss affectionately, while good expectations for the night float in the cold wintry air around the canal.

© 2017 rf

 

 

 

Obs. Any red flags? Maybe not. Besides, I’m not perfect either. And healing feels soooo good!! Oh, let me heal fully. Let me just dive all the way in!

 

 

Chapter 36 – But Sunday’s On the Way

tiainen – kopio (2)

Sunday, 7 February 2016.

 

Day 49

 

The brass band plays during the morning service. It’s powerful!

Oh, so very touching!

Anna doesn’t attend too often anymore – for obvious reasons – but she wanted to sit here this Sunday and just scrutinize her own soul.

 

She walks home in the chilly sunshine, listening to a Ted ed video called “Who am I?”

https://ed.ted.com/lessons/who-am-i-a-philosophical-inquiry-amy-adkins

 

“Who am I?

Throughout the history of mankind,

three little words have sent poets to the blank page,

philosophers to the Agora,

and seekers to the oracles:

‘Who am I?’

From the ancient Greek aphorism inscribed on the Temple of Apollo,

‘Know thyself,’

to The Who’s rock anthem, ‘Who Are You?’

philosophers, psychologists, academics,

scientists, artists, theologians and politicians

have all tackled the subject of identity.

Their hypotheses are widely varied and lack significant consensus.

These are smart, creative people,

so what’s so hard about coming up with the right answer?

 The challenge certainly lies

with the complex concept of the persistence of identity.

Which you is who?

The person you are today?

Five years ago?

Who you’ll be in 50 years?

And when is ‘am’?

This week?

Today?

This hour?

This second?

And which aspect of you is ‘I’?

Are you your physical body?

Your thoughts and feelings?

Your actions?

 These murky waters of abstract logic are tricky to navigate,

and so it’s probably fitting that to demonstrate the complexity,

the Greek historian Plutarch used the story of a ship.

How are you ‘I’?

As the tale goes, Theseus, the mythical founder King of Athens,

single-handedly slayed the evil Minotaur at Crete,

then returned home on a ship.

To honor this heroic feat,

for 1000 years Athenians painstakingly maintained his ship in the harbor,

and annually reenacted his voyage.

Whenever a part of the ship was worn or damaged,

it was replaced with an identical piece of the same material

until, at some point, no original parts remained.

Plutarch noted the Ship of Theseus

was an example of the philosophical paradox

revolving around the persistence of identity.

How can every single part of something be replaced,

yet it still remains the same thing?

 Let’s imagine there are two ships:

the ship that Theseus docked in Athens, Ship A,

and the ship sailed by the Athenians 1000 years later, Ship B.

Very simply, our question is this: does A equal B?

Some would say that for 1000 years there has been only one Ship of Theseus,

and because the changes made to it happened gradually,

it never at any point in time stopped being the legendary ship.

Though they have absolutely no parts in common,

the two ships are numerically identical, meaning one and the same,

so A equals B.

However, others could argue that Theseus never set foot on Ship B,

and his presence on the ship is an essential qualitative property

of the Ship of Theseus.

It cannot survive without him.

So, though the two ships are numerically identical,

they are not qualitatively identical.

Thus, A does not equal B.

But what happens when we consider this twist?

What if, as each piece of the original ship was cast off,

somebody collected them all, and rebuilt the entire original ship?

When it was finished, undeniably two physical ships would exist:

the one that’s docked in Athens,

and the one in some guy’s backyard.

Each could lay claim to the title, ‘The Ship of Theseus,’

but only one could actually be the real thing.

So which one is it,

and more importantly, what does this have to do with you?

Like the Ship of Theseus,

you are a collection of constantly changing parts:

your physical body, mind, emotions, circumstances, and even your quirks,

always changing, but still in an amazing and sometimes illogical way,

you stay the same, too.

This is one of the reasons that the question, ‘Who am I?’ is so complex.

And in order to answer it,

like so many great minds before you,

you must be willing to dive into the bottomless ocean of philosophical paradox.

Or maybe you could just answer,

‘I am a legendary hero sailing a powerful ship on an epic journey.’

That could work, too.”

 

She smiles.

Now, the second part of her Sunday Soul Service has been completed.

 

Who is Anna?

I am the compelling heroine of my own adventurous soar.

Yes, indeed!

 

Dear, dear.

Dearest me…

…your who has been shredded into bits in the last years, hasn’t it? 

You must piece it all together again!

Do rediscover yourself, darling.

Deconstruct.

Reconstruct.

Become a stronger version of who you are and aspire to be.

 

Just… don’t lose yourself in the process. OK, little one?

XO

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 49 for the Mighty Little One.

 

 

Chapter 28 – In the Forest

 

Tuesday, 10 October 2017.

 

Her work trip is long – an hour and twenty minutes from home to the second school where she teaches twice a week. Anna’s driving there now and wonderful English choir music is playing in her Kia Ceed.

These drives are often special. When she doesn’t use the time for listening to Ted Talks or chatting with friends and relatives over the phone, she gets to meditate.

Reflect. Revisit her inner world and check how she really feels about things. Not just logically speaking, but more importantly, in her gut.

Heart. Soul.

A couple of deer have just crossed the road before her. Dangerous. But oh, so beautiful!

Her mind is empty, for a change, and she’s just sucking in the majesty of the Finnish countryside nature.

 

Beauty – ah! What is beauty?

These wheat fields. Oh. Such colors! Now I understand Van Gogh.

 

Rain is falling gently from the grey clouds onto the slippery, curvy, hilly roads ahead, as the Chelmsford Citadel Songsters harmonize with each other. The trees all around her are shedding what they’ll have no use for in the coming seasons.

Gracefully, nonetheless.

Their yellow leafs dance their way down, blowing in the wind as they fall to the ground. To match the scenery, thankful tears of deep emotion escape Anna’s eyes.

Shamelessly.

Lots of people I love are going through so much. Both the good and the bad. And all those dates I had last year. Real human encounters some of them. And then love. I’m going through rain in my soul, too. 

But behind those clouds, the sun is shining strong and it will conquer again.

She inhales deeply.

 

And what about people? What makes a person beautiful? What makes a guy handsome in my eyes?

I know.

Very well.

She arrives at the school parking lot, stays in her car and quickly scribbles some thoughts on a leaflet. She’ll keep on working on the poem during her lunch break.

🍂 🌾

 

I’ve been wondering. What is beauty? Hmm, who is handsome??

 

I think beauty’s a sad countenance

With a hurt heart that’s healing.

A brave heart – succumbed –

That keeps resilient,

Like a little bird must in a cold, cold storm.

 

Beauty is…

…both generosity and self-confidence.

…self-esteem, a good posture.

And your smile.

Yes, yours. Who else’s, precious one?

 

Your weight, your height.

Being you. Your wrinkles.

Trying to become a better version of yourself (with help),

While being comfortable in…

Your own skin.

 

A fearless soul

Marching to battle,

Though so fearful in sacrifice, maturity.

A scarred soldier who conquers:

Beautiful is he.

 

Beauty’s…

Intelligence.

Producing and loving. Youthful vigor.

Experience. Old age.

A life. YOLO. R.I.P.

 

Acceptance is graceful – weaknesses and all.

Loving yourself in a healthy way

To then really, really love others:

Your neighbor, your soul mate,

Your father? Your friends.

 

Oh, beauty is a trusting spirit

– Like that of an innocent child.

Gentleness, uncorrupted sweetness, and kindness, delight.

 

It’s to be proud of your achievements, talents.

Yet humble at heart.

 

It’s certainty, uncertainty.

Genuine you are.

 

In service. Purity.

Determination, vulnerability,

Respect, authenticity.

Do shine your light!

 

Forgiveness.

Wholeness.

Your brokenness, too.

Gratitude. A joyful being!

Deciding to live in truth.

 

Your amazing body and that sparkle in your eyes –

Beauty is the whole package, you see? Cutie pie.

 

When you can be bothered

You’re so handsome, making lots of little efforts

Both in action and in words,

You hardworking, fun,

Affectionate Guy.

 

Beauty’s…

A person walking in the forest

In solitude.

If accompanied – oh!

They’ll soar, they’ll fly.

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It is!

Tudo é belo ao que ama…

 

It’s solving your problems and

Finding your purpose.

That, beauty is…

Most definitely.

Indeed.

🍂

 

She’ll read her poem aloud to some. She’ll send it to ten-fifteen loved ones she finds beautiful. Who inspire her. Including him.

© 2017 rf

Vincent_van_Gogh_-_Wheatfield_with_crows_-_Google_Art_Project – kopio

Wheatfield with Crows, 1890. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

 

 

Obs. About a year and eleven months since moving out.