Roses are red, violets are blue…

“We ourselves and our cultures are all left with a scar or a limp that shows we have mangled or managed our way through a great something. And, we are still here. Crookedy here and there. But in some greater self, whole, and with Love.” ~Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés

You can find the whole text of “A Valentine For The World: The Lost Story” here

How I spent my Valentine's Day. What? You didn't really think I'd let the quote up top go without a snarky answer, did you?

What has been going on around here? Well, life goes on. After two months in the US which included:

-5 trips up and down the east coast between DC and NY (I swear to god I-95 was trying to kill me),

-4 times that I had to redo  experiment creation and data analysis for my project because of software upgrades,

-3 bouts of illness (two colds and the stomach flu),

-2 very large checks made out to my contractor, and

-1 poster presentation at a work conference

I had a minor nervous breakdown about all the running around I was doing and was cursing my decision to set up my schedule such that all my US-based life is crammed into two months. Remembering “this too shall pass” helped to take one hour at a time, put one foot in front of the other, and somehow end up at the airport at the appointed time with the appropriate luggage. Except without my guitar. Sad panda.  Unfortunately my third arm hasn’t grown in yet and I can only deal with so many bags at once.

Each time I leave DC to return to Basel it gets harder and harder to bring myself to go, but I think that this reaction serves as a reminder of what I want and what I’m working towards. Namely, being able to keep one foot on each continent for now but eventually ending up in DC full time. Do you remember the scene at the end of “When Harry Met Sally” when Harry says “when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible”? Well that’s how I feel about DC. I realize where I want to be and I want it to start NOW! <petulantly crosses arms and stamps foot>.

No one has ever accused me of being a patient person, tee hee. In general it is far too easy for me to focus on the next step instead of fully living in the now, but very rarely do I get such a strong, decisive feeling about what I want in the future. I don’t make five-year plans, or even three-year plans for that matter. Usually an opportunity presents itself and I wing it to some extent, jumping in with both feet. To be in a situation where I know exactly what I want and have it be two years away (which feels like forever but I know will pass by quickly) is a new sensation and quite frustrating.

New Years resolutions are not something I actively participate in, but maybe for this year a Valentine’s Day resolution is in order:

“…despite whichever challenges you may have, you were born with Unending Courage and Limitless Love to use as brightly as you wish – as deeply as you dare – during your one precious and wild lifetime on this earth.” ~Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Unending Courage! Limitless Love! A good motto to live by. As a dear friend said to me a couple weeks ago, “Girl, no walls. You shouldn’t have them. You’re too young and vibrant and fabulous. You, my darling girl, are too young to be so jaded.” She’s right. It’s no good to focus on what isn’t there, we need to bask in the brilliance of what is. This goes for everything in life, not just the topic of that conversation (men. ahem.). Some people are all sunshine and rainbows from morn ’til night. That isn’t me – I’ve always tended to be more introspective – and to be honest I always assume people that are constantly overly happy-go-lucky have to be hiding something or are in denial of some serious personal issues. But I don’t actually want to be that cynical and maybe it’s jealously that is talking here. There is nothing wrong with wanting a little piece of that happiness and joy and making an effort to incorporate it into every day life.

But never fear, all is not doom and gloom, I have plenty of pretty mountains to visit and papers to write to occupy myself here in Basel.

This is what the coldest winter in 27 years does to a fountain. Maybe they should consider shutting it off?

The "Snow Bar" - carved out of a bank of snow in Parpan. Maybe we can strive to be good enough for The Epic's "fuzzy photos of great bars series!"

I wish these pictures could convey just how brilliant and sparkling the snow was. Incredible.

Advertisements

About Petunia

She wore rings on her fingers and bells on her shoes And I knew without asking she was into the blues She wore scarlet begonias tucked into her curls I knew right away she was not like other girls ~The Grateful Dead
This entry was posted in Random musings, Switzerland. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Roses are red, violets are blue…

  1. dr.cpe says:

    your first sentence is ace accurate. It will happen, and you are right, the evidence is all there for you in your body, in your heart and mind.
    best regards,
    dr.cpe

    “I think that this reaction serves as a reminder of what I want and what I’m working towards. Namely, being able to keep one foot on each continent for now but eventually ending up in DC full time. Do you remember the scene at the end of “When Harry Met Sally” when Harry says “when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible”? Well that’s how I feel about DC. I realize where I want to be and I want it to start NOW! .”

    • Petunia says:

      Dr. E, thanks for your kind words, and for writing such a beautiful essay. I loved it. It’s a nice reminder that, yes, all these good things will happen when the time is right.

  2. M.Lane says:

    What a great post! Those quotes are just perfect and your thoughts about them [and yourself] should inspire all of us. That bar is wild! A great Fuzzy Photo!

    Reading this, I think it means that you have been lucky enough to find your passion at an early time in life. So…….no being worried about being PASSIONATE. Its that time.

    I can’t wait for the next installment.

    ML
    mlanesepic.blogspot.com

  3. RW says:

    I seriously need to bone up on my Sherlockian skilz, because trying to piece together everything from experiment creations to contractors leaves me in a total white-out about wtf you are doing. But then you’ve always had a talent for the non-reveal reveal. It should be needless to say that whatever the heck it is there are people you’ve never met who are cheering you on. Like for instance me. And sometimes stress can be a good thing. You know?

    • Petunia says:

      Ha! The non-reveal reveal. I like it. I forget how vague I can be on here sometimes. The contractor is for my kitchen – I bought a condo in the summer and re-did the kitchen including knocking down a wall and making him install an extra electrical outlet so I can plug in Christmas lights. Priorities, I tell ya. Experiment creations is for my PhD project. Which requires a way-longer explanation but basically I create computer simulations of malaria in different countries and run experiments to simulate the impact of different combinations of control interventions so less people get sick. Yay for data analysis. I get to live in DC for 4 months a year and work from home, but the rest of the year I’m in Basel. Hope that helps! And yes, stress is good, but after being under severe stress in Sudan I sometimes forget how to recognize stress in more “normal” situations until it’s too late. But thanks for the cheering section! Are there pom-poms involved?

  4. KMinNYC says:

    i love this post and you. and that fountain picture? hilarious. and living in the now? yea, sounds like a great idea, wish i could do that too. and the part about you living in dc sounds good to me…it’s just a hop, skip and afternoon drive (or morning) to get there from nyc – so YAY! and, let me also point out, this is a MAJOR milestone in your life as I think this is the first time, since i’ve known you at least, that you’ve actually wanted to stay put somewhere — like semi-permanently (i’m too wise to say permanently) —so that’s, like, kind of a big deal, o no? xo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s