I See You

Someone posted this on Facebook today, and it touched me so deeply I want to share.  It is so easy to connect with people by any means that say “I see you.”  A compliment.  Remembering a name  Eye contact. Remembering a detail from the last conversation we had. Noticing a change in hair, a color that flatters, an extra sparkle in the eye or wrinkle in the brow.

Right now I am working on eliciting a smile from a particular person who works on the ship. A smile may be out of the question culturally, and I can see he is very intent on his job, so it is a challenge. Yesterday  I got a little wave from across the room.  Success!  On his terms, if not mine.  I say “I see you” by smiling and calling him by name.  His wave says “I see you back.”And as this poet says, these fleeting moments are what we have of if not the holy, at least a kind of grace. Thank you for seeing me by reading this.


Let Me Explain

I am in Saint Petersburg for the third time of six projected total visits this summer. I really had no idea how i would feel about going around and around the Baltic for two months, most of the time back and forth from Copenhagen to Stockholm.

Maybe I would be bored.  I mean, how many times can I visit Tallinn, Estonia, and still feel invigorated about it?

All I can say is, I still pinch myself and say, “lucky, lucky me!”

Today, visit three to Saint Petersburg (this year), second day:  I had for breakfast some perfect fruit someone else had cut up and cleaned up after.  Then i went and did a little upper body at the gym.  Reviewed and added a few of my own photos to my lecture on Stockholm.  Had a light lunch of salads and my big splurge dessert, bread pudding.  YUM!

Then, the day took on steam.  I used my visa to get off the ship and take a six-mile walk through St. Petersburg, along the Neva, then across the river and on to the Hermitage and up the big shopping street, Nevsky Prospekt.  Then I wandered back, past St. Isaac’s Cathedral and along a green strip,  across the river and to the ship.

Walking back through the main bar (sort of the Grand Central for the ship), I ran across a family i had met briefly before and sat down and chatted with them.  Of course i was immediately approached by a waiter who brought me some champagne which i had totally earned by then on my walk.

I went back then, took a shower, called Dan, and then went out to dinner with some lovely people in a beautiful restaurant, where I could eat and drink whatever I wanted, no charge. What i want at this point is very little, but it doesn’t matter.  I have what works for me, no more.

On my way back to my room, I stopped in the bar and listened to a Ukrainian pianist play the slow movement of The Moonlight Sonata.  Now, back in my room, i found myself wondering why anyone would ever ask if i am tired of this.

Let me explain in one word, if this description of my day doesn’t do it:  No.

Sure, there are many things I am missing in this nomadic, cruising  life: the powerful silence of nature, the humbling experience of great mountain peaks, the lovely affirmation of being truly alone.  But really, what i have is so wonderful I simply cannot express how warm and wooly I feel to have found this life.  Thank you, powers of the universe! I hope this photo of me and my visa, as i leave the ship,  says how much i know I am truly blessed.