Summer holiday

Today was my last day of work for the school year. In about a week, I’m going to Turkey to meet up with one of my friends and her husband for some catch ups and adventuring. After that, I’m coming back here to North Cyprus to pick up another pay check, finalize my packing, and then I’m flying back to my regularly-scheduled life in Abu Dhabi.

My husband flew back to Abu Dhabi earlier this week. Originally the plan was for him to do all the things with me, but… quite frankly, we’re not happy with each other at the moment. This past year has been a real trial. Living here was painful for both of us, individually. There were lots of negative emotions swirling around and around inside of us, growing to tornadoes that were unleashed on each other. That sounds more poetic than it was, actually. Basically we treated each other like shit. Which bred a lot of hatred and resentment, so now we need some serious space from each other to recover from all that. So, let’s put multiple countries between us for a few weeks!

I wish more people wrote candidly about this period of relationships. When you really, really, really hate that person you love. But I can’t do it either, really. I can’t give any identifying details, and it’s not as interesting if I write about it vaguely. If I mention a knife, but don’t give any details. If I try to describe the conflicting mess of feelings without explaining the specific events that triggered each layer of emotion. If I don’t bring in our religions or families or friends or habits or anything that might offend people, should they stumble upon the story that mentions them.

Public blogging is such a farce, isn’t it? Perhaps I should just write everything as allegories. I often make up stories for my husband about monkeys or elephants or boys with pet rocks. And they often end up being allegorical. Perhaps that is where I should devote my blog energies…

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I’ve never really been an avid poetry reader and I am petrified of the idea of writing my own, but every so often I stumble upon a poem that calls to me. In the one poetry class I forced myself to take as part of my English degree, I am still stuck with this one poem by Jane Hirshfield about how she’s many different woman, one when she showers, one when she brushes her hair, etc. It’s fantastic. Here’s another one by her that I stumbled upon today, which I enjoyed. Happy poem in your pocket day! (It’s not that day. That’s in April.)

Three Foxes by the Edge of the Field at Twilight

Jane Hirshfield, 1953

One ran,
her nose to the ground,
a rusty shadow
neither hunting nor playing.

One stood; sat; lay down; stood again.

One never moved,
except to turn her head a little as we walked.

Finally we drew too close,
and they vanished.
The woods took them back as if they had never been.

I wish I had thought to put my face to the grass.

But we kept walking,
speaking as strangers do when becoming friends.

There is more and more I tell no one,
strangers nor loves.
This slips into the heart
without hurry, as if it had never been.

And yet, among the trees, something has changed.

Something looks back from the trees,
and knows me for who I am.

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Breached contracts

My principal told me like a week ago that I need to write a formal letter of resignation. (Even though she is obviously aware I’m leaving. And my contract is only a year long contract.) I’m still procrastinating it. (Obvi.) It’s going to be hard not to ooze sarcasm. I just find it frustrating that the ridiculous organization I work for thinks they deserve professionalism from its employees when they lack it so completely. If one party in a contract breaks said contract, the contract become null, doesn’t it? They have repeatedly failed to uphold their end of the contract. Repeatedly. So why on earth am I expected to treat them respectfully?

So I was bitching to a coworker about having to write that damned letter of resignation. And she warned me that the organization has successfully sued people who failed to give enough notice. And I am just constantly amazed by what a mob racket this “country” is. How can an employer who fails to compensate its employees (and is in fact famous for it) be taken seriously in court? How can they be successful against the employees they spent so long shitting on?

A different coworker, who’s been at this school for way too long, announced she was leaving after this school year and I wanted to stand up and slow clap for her so badly.

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Pink Moon

Today is the Pink Moon. Which isn’t actually pink, but is supposed to be the beginning of new things and a symbol of change. I hope that’s true.

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How are wars still a thing?

I’ve spent far too long today reading articles about this whole Syria business. (I also fleetingly thought about how close I am to Syria in distance. When you drive to Karpaz, the edge of the island, you can pick up Syrian radio stations.) And most of the things we’re doing as part of our “wars” are technically illegal. So how are wars still a thing?

When I first started reading, I was genuinely confused about why exactly it was so terrible that it was chemical weapons. I mean, the death toll is still under a hundred. (Which sounds callous, but way more Syrians died trying to cross the Mediterranean last year, so why does the world care about this?) So Google told me that apparently the big fuss is because after WWI, everyone got really turned off by the horrible after-effects of gas warfare and considered them the most taboo. And then around the Cold War, people decided it was time for everyone to destroy the chemical weapons they were all secretly making. Which is of course an absurd idea; why would a country willingly give up all its weapons on faith that everyone else is doing it? Syria claimed to have destroyed all of their weapons, but gasp shock, that was a lie. (Nobody’s shocked by that.)

And then I started reading about how Trump did zero of the things necessary to make his retaliation legal in America. Although presidents do that all the time and people barely even register it. But the domestic legality is actually moot since the attack is internationally illegal. The UN did not approve it and it wasn’t self-defense, which seems to be necessary. And yet nobody seems to be talking about how insanely illegal it was. Instead, countries are praising him. Praise for an illegal attack.

Although we’re constantly bombing in other countries. So why is that legal? Well, apparently we justify those by saying we’re fighting ISIS or Al Queda or whatever. And this was clearly a Syrian airbase, not anything we can pretend was related to terrorism. But then if you shift your focus to the “War on Terror” it becomes clear that tons of civilians are being killed. Around 1,400 civilian deaths in March in Syria and Iraq. And it’s not entirely clear if we’re actually doing anything to reduce terrorism.

I just don’t understand war. And I tried really hard today to wrap my head around it, but I can’t. The numbers don’t make sense, the justifications are bullshit, everybody knows they’re bullshit and they don’t care, and in the end, a ton of people die. People who have nothing to do with what everyone else claims they’re fighting for. The distinction between civilian and soldier makes me feel so sad too. Because soldiers agree to fight someone else’s fight with their suddenly expendable lives. If I ever had a child who wanted to join an army, I would be so absolutely furious with them…

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