Jan´s accident Part III: Orienting in Terceira
The next morning. Starting to orient. Meeting Arthur, who is keeping everything in order in the guesthouse. He has lived in the States for most of his life and you can hear and feel it. He shows me much empathy for my situation and gives me valuable input to set up my base here. Quick orientation through the house, kitchen, where is the next supermarket, WiFi.
I don´t need much, we will be back home in our bubble soon again, right? So relieved when I reach Jan for the first time. He owns no smartphone, but fortunately I thought of bringing him his iPad yesterday and so we can talk over video. The first surgery in the middle of the night went well, but he will soon get a second one, he tells me. Also the news which are super hard for me to digest that I cannot see him for a few days because they put him in a single isolation quarantine room to wait for the results of his Covidtest, which they now didn´t let him any other option than to perform it. So also the surgery will be delayed a bit.
I´m feeling very down, worried and lonely and everything in me is just screaming to be reunited with Jan and take him home. This doesn´t feel good… To see him like this, like a prisoner. My strong proud free man. Feeling treated so cold and mechanically also isn´t evoking any feelings of that I can rely on them caring for his wellbeing. I´m used to take things into my own hands, being involved in everything to the detail what concerns my health and in this situation I don´t feel well to have it in the hands of complete strangers who took over. Who don´t let us get the much needed physical contact after such a shock. It has something super unnatural und inhumane to me.
I try to organize some basics. Ok, I for sure cannot expect to be back in two to three days, but I find out that Graciosa has our back. Our young friend Giulio will feed our animals in our absence. I also have an online event, a 10 days long online health summit launching in a few days. I inform my team that I don´t know if I can do it. I´m feeling too paralyzed and unfocused and the internet connection here is not too stable. I cancel my clients, write some emails.
I´m walking to the hospital, trying to get more information, saying that I want to see my husband. But they are blocking me off. There is nothing I can do here.
Heading out to the city, just to go grocery shopping. It feels good to be here, I feel that I enjoy it. To see something else after spending on Graciosa since my emigration exactly one year ago, with just a two weeks break in Germany to see my family. I didn´t know that it was the last time, like a final goodbye, after the world lost flow and freedom and shut down, my life being thrown into chaotic events.
In the evening, when I want to start making dinner in the kitchen, I see already very nicely prepared food there. Meat and veggies, just my taste. I wonder who is the chef but I also feel that I don´t want to meet anybody, just to curl up in my little shell and lick my wounds and wait for spring to come again. I start to roast some chestnuts. Then he enters, I feel an unusual intense surge of resistance and try to raise my energetic walls. He just softly and gently greets me and then focuses on his food preparations. This gives me a chance to observe him from a safe distance. A short, elderly man, average looking, who moves with lots of grace and body awareness, like a dancer or athlete. Naturally a conversation begins and I feel something in his charismatic voice, that makes something in me relax and gives me a feeling of safety. He invites me to his amazing dinner, how could I say no? And I share my chestnuts. I slowly start to share some things why I am here and he is truly touched by it, told me he heard already about the girl who came in the middle of the night because of some accident, and he had wondered if it was me. He introduces himself to me as „David“. He is a biologist, just like me, and I feel he can easily follow me into my worldview.
In this moment I get a call from José. „I have bad news“, he starts. I feel like a thousand ice fists are clenching my body all over. He tells me that a patient in Jan´s facility was tested positively for Covid and that there is a sudden rise in numbers all over the Azores now. That we must be prepared to stay for weeks. Maybe they will cancel all planes again.
I just feel like falling into a bottomless pit. It triggered the deep shock and pain of the sudden separation from everybody I knew in spring. My family, friends, my husband who could not come back after he had stayed in Germany for two weeks longer than me. Which had triggered a hidden landmine in my psyche that had slumbered there unknowingly since my childhood. My worst abandonment trauma. Which had triggered a deep waking up, reshaping of my psyche and complete reevaluation of my life from a way more healed standpoint. And a domino effect of events…
My brain starts making stories that things are repeating now. There had always been this voice, that this was too good to be true and now I just see all taken away from me again, victim to the Coronacraziness again, my love, my home, my friends, like it happened at the beginning of this year. I had experienced it, how merciless the system will just follow the guidelines. Was I being punished? Oh for sure I had done so many wrong things this year.
It was so good that David was there in that moment. He showed immense empathy and listened to me.
The next morning I stepped out on the kitchen balcony to stretch a bit, being greeted by a beautiful rainbow. They are my sign of God. A promise, that everything is going to be ok. I felt a light softening of my heart. More tears.
I met David again in the kitchen. A loud voice was screaming inside my bodymind to just be alone in my dark room and sitting things out. But I just couldn´t say no, when David invited me to explore the city together.
I must say that I very enjoy David´s company. He has fantastic ideas for places to visit. An old market, Mercado Duque de Bragança, oh how I missed markets! We even find a tiny Polish bakery where the owner, Tomasz, is making traditional sourdough bread! And what a delicious one! We visit the old theater, David needs some pictures for he is writing a novel that will also take place here in Terceira, he shares with me. I can buy some crutches for Jan and then we go down to the ocean.
David makes the surprising suggestion to have a nap at the beach. I have never ever in my life met anybody, who, like me, just makes spontaneous naps outside, no matter the place and weather! But we are both obviously really in need for a recharge. I feel that David himself carries a deep exhaustion in himself. I completely crash to the sound of the rolling waves. A moment of complete arrival and surrender, defeat. It feels so good to just let go, stop struggling against the circumstances. Die a little death. Then start from scratch from there.
The next evening David takes me into a traditional Fado music bar, a real insider, a super nice evening with touching music. He buys us CDs from the artists. I like his taste in cultural things and we notice how lucky we are that everything is open at the moment in Terceira! I so feel how I missed to just have some culture and fun. David is never intrusive, just inviting me in an inspiring and life affirming way.
He shares his story with me. He is from the States, but lives in Paris for decades now. This is the first time for a while that he is travelling again, the first time ever alone. He used to travel the whole world with his beloved wife, who was already his high school sweetheart, Becky. They traveled a lot on bikes, and now he also had brought a folding bike, exploring Terceira. Becky died in a tragic and horrible accident when biking through Greece over a year ago. Run over by an overtired truck driver, in front of David´s eyes. With no limitations I can feel the deep deep pain David is carrying with him. The mourning over our beloved partners is uniting us, the forceful separation by shocking events, the loneliness and disorientation in the world. Trying not to numb out, but to keep going, somehow. Feeling disconnected from love, trying to keep the heart open. Keep hoping for more good chapters to come.
I´m also reading a book a German woman living on the Canaries sent me over for reading, where she is describing her journey through her grief after the loss of the love of her life from a stroke. They were running a Finca together, just like Jan and me, with lots of animals and working in the health field. How she found back to life and love and the coldness of the (medical and financial) system that almost also got her killed in the end, just when she had found love again.
This book had been lying around in my place for months. Something in me was very resistant to touch it and the topics it brings, but now I have to face it.
Waiting for news from Jan and from my father every day. My father got a bleeding from the brain surgery, stroke like. This highly intelligent, super organized man (his ways to also deal with deep childhood trauma. I have suffered tremendous things as a girl from the moments, when his unfelt and unprocessed emotions slipped out of his strict control and run amok on their own) struck down, not even able to properly speak on the phone anymore or drink a glass of water on his own. What is this creepy enmeshment that I still have with my mother.
I am confronted over and over again with my deepest fear off loss, abandonment, death, change. Lots and lots of childhood stuff coming up, all at once. I´m processing some of the ugliest and darkest feelings in these days. Many tears. When Jan and I speak on videocall, we cry a lot together in the first days. How could we let it come so far that we ended up in this twisted situation? Why could we not trust love and happiness? Why this deep drive to work hard, like you could earn love and happiness. No. Love is a gift. Many unprocessed emotions from this year, from our lives before we met, are catching up with us. And we just miss it to fall asleep, wake up, eat together. We both had never met anybody before, with whom we could be so close. How could love be so easy. How to trust true love? Life had decided that we had to pause and look at the things that were still in the way, it seemed.