Detente, maybe…

A wise man has reminded me that without the darkness we would know no light.  This may sound like a glib and cliche statement, but like most cliches it exists for a reason–it holds water.

More of the Aegean Center students left yesterday, one left this morning and the bulk leave tonight on the evening ferry to the mainland.  That leaves only 5 of us to stay on for a few days. Those that have left are going back to the US and some are traveling through Europe for a short time until they, too, depart for the States.  There are tears and more tears, typical for the shared experiences of young women while the men give each other manly hugs and handshakes, ‘good lucks’ and ‘safe travels’ instead.  Yes, we have shared this too, but on a different level than the women.  Neither is better or worse than the other, just different.

The conflict that has smoldered since the end of April seems to have reached a period of detente, or perhaps less.  The two of us sat at the same dinner table yesterday and, while we did not converse, there was little chilliness.  Afterwards at a local cafe, the chill was back in the cold war and the true fluctuating nature of detente was revealed.  At least it is not a shooting war.   The fear of any cold war, however, is that conflict will erupt and the barbs will let fly.   I’ll watch for that and dodge them if I can.  Avoidance of actual contact is crucial to this dynamic so the concept of staying away from each other is preferable to actually being in the same room or indeed the same town.  This too shall end.

My work here has been intense, lovely and defined by elegance, craft and artistry.  I have been told this by others, so I am not just patting myself on the back.  I attribute some of this to the pain and angst I was feeling (am still feeling) during this time.  I can point to my work and say, “This was good.  This I accomplished. This is beautiful.  I have excelled in this medium.”  Regardless of what others may think of me–whether I am the butt of their jokes, whether they call me names behind my back–I have kept up my end of the commitment and proved myself the more honorable man.

More to come…


Comments are closed.