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  • Writer's pictureOlga Lehmann, PhD

(Almost) SHORT STORY (Yeeei, they are finally back)

It’s the last day of the year and I’m flying home to Norway from home-Colombia after a fast and incredibly touching visit, to be with my family. I’m both blessed and cursed for having many homes, cos I get a daily taste of the sense of incompleteness of human existence, while simultaneously getting a dose of freedom and fulfillment. Oh God if it was hard to say goodbye to my Grandma at the airport, who has been sick lately. I tried my best to do mindful walking, mindful smiling, mindful whatever, but I have been feeling how the threads of my heart are knotted and shrunken. I had with me a hammock (that in itself deserves another story) and it is huge. The police called my name at the boarding gate. Was it because I’m a young Colombian woman traveling along holding her tears back at customs? Was it because of the hammock packed inside of a boxing bag? The policemen were sweet and funny though. They asked me if Norwegian population is so small compared to ours, because the cold might affect stamina. I answered with a laughter I had struggled to embrace during last days. They proceeded with their interview and tests with this warmth, particularly Colombian, which is something I’m grateful for when I speak with my people. In addition, for the first time in years, they gave me the right to open my own luggage and presence their tests to my belongings.

Again sitting in the airplane, I felt this nostalgia that inhabits me strongly lately, and even if often allowing myself to feel what I feel, I didn’t feel at ease crying in a crowd. I started meditating again, and soon after I gave an overview to the movies. Romantic-comedy, my usual first choice, was tremendously out of my realms today... so I found “Invictus” (Click on the link!). I had watched it years ago, but I had almost no memory of it. What a beautiful and timely choice I did. What an inspiring life Mandela (click on the link!) had. He reminds me of the importance of patience in serving. This movie gave me questions and clarity about my life, my purpose. Of course, when he spoke of the moving power of poetry, I felt home, home in poetry again. He read this beautiful poem (click on the link!), the same that my first and very masculine student assistant read to me four years ago. That day, my student assistant confessed: Olga, I had no trust in you, you didn’t speak a word of Norwegian, you just look so young and naive to be a university teacher, plus you said you wanted all your master’s students to read and write poems at a “silent time”.  This appeared utterly odd to me. Yet, here I am, telling you proved me wrong and I want to share the poem that gas inspired me very much. He indeed, wrote his very first poem at class as well.  After such a flashback I felt capable of holding my doctoral defence in two weeks, even if I’m half the way in preparations. I felt also committed to my poetry nights, and had visions of how to bring them into further community service. I felt so close to myself! Oh God! How long had I postponed this encounter with my self in the last weeks... so lost in hurries, stresses, pains, other’s suffering. At that moment, watching the last scenes of the movie my mind was blowing into creative and grateful ideas...So many thoughts to be caught at once (specially not having a pen and during turbulence at the air). Once the movie ended, the texture of my breath changed, I felt alive, how many days have I been living yet not feeling fully alive? How many days have we been living yet not feeling fully alive? How can we be the captain of our souls? I felt supported by the whole humanity in my journey. I felt responsible for the whole humanity through my journey, and never again I will feel alone. Plus, Matt Damon looks amazingly sexy in this movie, which gives it brownie points. Oh, and last but not least, I really want to go to Africa anytime soon! Will start working on it.

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