Week 229 August 18, 2018

Dear Family and Friends, Loren and I really appreciate you checking in with us by email, comments on the blog or by phone. Thank you for keeping in touch with us!

At the start of our week Loren and I saw the movie, BlacKkKlansman. Have you seen it? I was unprepared for the extent of discomfort that I would feel at times. I was therefore grateful that the theater where we saw it has big, cushy lounge chairs, as I noticed myself pulling my legs up and in close to my body during the tougher scenes. There were humorous moments too, and sad moments… especially given how it is largely based on a memoir by the real Ron Stallworth of the 1970’s Colorado Springs Police.

I read a couple of interviews of John David Washington, the lead actor, about the movie and his role. I agree with his ideas:

It shows us an example of people coming together, setting aside their differences to overcome this greater giant, this greater beast, and that is hate — this organized institution of hate that is generational because they’re so organized. I mean, that’s a huge takeaway. It wasn’t just one black man with one mission. …

I’m hearing positive things. This story should have been told. [Stallworth] tried to tell it. … We’re seeing an evolution of resistance, too. In the forms of hashtags and taking a knee. People seem to be ready to peacefully discuss differences. That’s what I hope this film can inspire — to start a dialogue and not be afraid. I think Ron talks about we can’t be afraid of racism. We have to be able to talk about it openly. But find the correct dialogue to negotiate such things amicably. …

We’re not pointing the bad guys. We’re not pointing to good guys. We’re pointing to Americans. We’re talking a history lesson — an entertaining one. I mean, it’s a period piece, but it has this very contemporary feel to it. …

And, on his own career learnings from the role, I believe his idea applies to not just him:

I see that change is a process, it’s not an event.

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Loren and I had a dinner date that evening at 6pm with a couple of his colleagues. I had misunderstood the movie listing of 1.30 that the movie would be one and a half hours. Perfect, I thought – the cinema was near the restaurant, so we would have no concerns about traffic and would still have plenty of time to drive there after the show. I must say that the freeways in this area have taken on a more Los-Angeles-like feel – instead of what we remember from when we lived in the South Bay area and which is still the case there that commute lanes are restricted from 5am-9pm and 3pm-7pm, the newer commute lanes in the East Bay restrict traffic all day – from 5am-8pm. 

But I was shocked to find my watch read 6:25 as we exited the theater! I have now learned that 1.30 means 100 and 30 minutes! I am thankful that our friends enjoyed catching up with each other before we arrived. Yet again, I forgot my camera to record the experience… We had much fun talking of experiences and travels and dreams. One of them informed us that traveling around North America by van – not by RV, means that we are called “Vandwellers.” Despite my spellchecker, it is a word, I looked it up! Now we have another, new, fun way to refer to ourselves.

This week too, Loren treated on pizza at his mother’s. I noticed that both she and I were wearing pink tops and blue pants for the evening. I did think to take a photo of us in our nearly matching outfits. Since I just read this week in a Japanese-American’s memoir that this would be called a “pair look,” I can also say I have a another, new, fun way to refer to twin or matching outfits. On another evening I noticed for the first time that Loren’s sister’s rescue cat sometimes joins their Mom on her large comfy chair while she is watching TV, so I also snapped a photo of  them together.

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On another day, Loren and I enjoyed a brunch/lunch with friends from our UU Fellowship. After they had left, I thought of my camera. So I did the next best thing to a photo of the 4 of us, I took a photo of the restaurant’s name…

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One evening, Loren and I went for a hike at the nearby regional park. It was neat to see a doe and fawn, who were aware of us but not scared away, allowing me to capture a couple of decent photos. It was interesting to note how the deer here have a black tail, while I recall from our travels how deer elsewhere often have had a white tail.

 

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This week too I had another email from a young man named Sohan who worked at the laundry in Kathmandu where I took a bag of clothes to be washed. He had asked for my email address, and every so often he will send a simple note. I respond each time, but have never heard further from him to my queries. This week his message was longer:

         Namaste dear friend how are you i miss you so much

adding for the first time the sentiment, “i miss you so much.” I hope he might one day send a followup email to my reply to him… Receiving that email reminded me of another young man who I had met when Loren and I were in Rwanda. His name is Stiven. He too asked for my email address and sends messages a little more regularly. The most recent one I received was this:

     How are over there? I would like to ask you what about you? I hope you
     are okay? Please mum are still travelling  or you are in USA right
     now? I miss you so much.

     Here is to much sunshine and hot.

     I look forward to hear from you soon. Have blessed  time and work

Stiven and I have had some meaningful email conversations. For example he has shared that his parents are both gone, therefore likes to refer to me as mum. He lives with his grandmother and younger sister, and, while the grandmother has had some health issues, she has been well again for some time now. Stiven is keen to improve his English and sometimes asks for my advice, so I try to help what little I can by email. And then there is the young minister who Loren befriended when I attended Father Michael Lapsley’s Healing of Memories course in South Africa. His name is Francky, but lately he has not responded to Loren’s recent emails. 

I taught another Bikram Yoga class this week. For the next month I am included on the schedule to teach a couple of classes each week. This will still allow me time to take classes myself, and to fill in if they need a sub once in a while. 

Loren and I had a date night at a sushi restaurant this week too. While there we were also able to watch a San Francisco Giants baseball game. We could not hear the announcers who we appreciate, but we could follow along from the notations on the screen what was happening. As the Giants lost, again, Loren is not enjoying the games as much. 

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This weekend is the Annual Greek Festival here in Castro Valley. I remember how the year after our Honeymoon in Greece, Loren and I attended it for the first time. Now we will go this weekend for the first time since then, and, this time it follows our Honeyversary visit to Greece a couple of years ago for our 25th wedding anniversary. We are looking forward to it!

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