This morning was slow going as it was only yesterday I landed in London. Jet lag. My poor body just doesn’t like traveling, even I do. After a day or two all should be righted, but it was only just a bit ago that I managed to haul myself out of the delicious king sized bed I fell into last night to take a shower, and walk up to Highgate High Street for a mocha and berry brioche. I drank and ate whilst looking out the window, walkers walking by with the occasional dog. Two twin boys in a stroller asleep beside me. A woman working on a laptop behind me. Another trio discussing the merits of Uber a bit further over. Me writing in my journal for the first time while out and about in this wonderful city. I’ve talked about it but this is the first time in the six years I’ve been coming here that I’ve finally done it. I’m in reflection mode.
This past Sunday I finally graduated from Dartmouth, a girlhood dream to attend the Ivy League school completed. No matter that it came as a graduate student versus undergrad. I was able to enjoy so many wonderful opportunities because of it, and fulfilled another dream of having been able to attend Oxford two summers ago. 10 weeks of work crammed into three. Incredible writing environment. So many like minds.
And I finally received an email that my MA thesis has been published on ProQuest.
More to come on this in another entry. The future is calling, and I have lots of thoughts. My writing continues. I’ve been eager to dive into poetry again. For now, I’m still holding tight to graduation. After my mother and I left the festivities the other day, and once we were home and enjoying champagne…she pointed out that I look like my grandfather in this photo she took (down below). Seeing the photos side by side: WOW. I’ve felt him with me all week, and especially when that hood was placed over my head and on my shoulders. My grandfather was never able to attend university. As a Sinti during WWII, the focus was on staying alive in a very real sense. Along with the other Roma persecuted by Hitler’s forces, he and my great grandfather disappeared into the woods and took to hiding until the war’s end. It’s ridiculous to say that he and my great grandfather were lucky, but that’s exactly what they were, because they SURVIVED–despite losing everything else. I’ve no doubt I inherited my resiliency from them, my love for life in spite of the difficulties. He might have missed out on this one big thing I’ve been able to do, but my grandfather was a smart man and from what I’ve heard, he was also a beautiful writer. My degree from Dartmouth is for him. How I wish we had gotten a chance to know him. More on this later, too…..