Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Waiting for my soul to catch up

Last week I spoke with Lisa Martens who was a part of CPT Iraq at the beginning of the Iraq War when the CPT house and office were still  in Baghdad. I told her about the time it has taken me to re-adjust to being in Winnipeg, of staying cocooned in my house for the first two weeks. I spoke of my discomfort at the opulence of our huge grocery stores and large shopping malls. As I walked through them I felt my heart being squeezed and I desperately wanted to be back in Rizgari Taza again buying vegetables and fruit from the outdoor stands just around the corner. I wanted to be recognized by the salespersons and maybe helped with my Kurdish.

Lisa knew the feeling of being lost in her own home town. I felt she remembered exactly what I was speaking about. Then she told me a story that someone had told her. She said that it takes as long as the time it would take to ride a horse from where you were (Iraq) to where you are going (Winnipeg) for your soul to catch up with your head and body. I don't really know how long it would take to ride a horse even if the ocean was not there. But this was very comforting to me. I was not weak or crazy with the sad, lost feelings I had been having. This was something others had experienced.

Since then I had a facebook dialogue with a couple of other CPTers. They too say that coming home is far, far harder then going out to our CPT work. Maybe it is because we expect to feel comfortable with a place where we have lived for many years and that we think we know how things work there. But we don't anymore and there are a lot of things that we don't like anymore.

So, 3 weeks into being back in Canada I feel mostly OK. I am so happy being here with my husband, Vic and I get to see my youngest daughter occasionally. I have planted my vegetable garden and I think that I have fenced it enough that the rabbits that live under my shed won't feast on the lettuce. But I also relish hearing news from my team and from English news sites in Iraqi Kurdistan. And I am glad to have received the news of my tickets for my next time in Sulaimani.

Two pictures of Vic and I. In a couple of months we will have been married for 33 years.


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