Divina Graca, me and my shadow friend. Portugal, August 2007.
Things that make me smile on a day when the news is otherwise horrible in the western provinces of Afghanistan:
- a local journalist and civil society activist who came to my office today to ask me to write about peace in a book he is putting together for the people of Ghor. He already has a spontaneous poem about peace from my Afghan colleague and a message of peace from the Lithuanian Commander of the local ISAF base.
- this poem, found on the first page of a book by Anne Lamott that I found, of all places, in the recreation room of the American police mentors:
"I am not I.
I am this one
walking beside me whom I do not see,
whom at times I manage to visit,
and whom at other times I forget,
who remains calm and silent when I talk,
and forgives gently, when I hate,
who walks where I am not,
who will remain strong when I die."
Juan Ramon Jimenez
- the fact that I went for a run today. I ran around the inside of my compund ten times, it took me 15 minutes. For someone who used to go out for two hour runs without blinking it takes some effort to celebrate this. But the first rule of running (as in life) is to start where you are, not where you think you ought to be. And where I am is: out of running shape, living at altitude and with only a 1.5 minute circuit around my dusty compound as a running track. My goal is to double that over the next month so I can go for a gentle run with MJ and a serious walk with Swirly when I get Stateside next month.