The quote right below the photo struck me and I stopped the player so that I could write it down exactly as he said it. I've said it (or something like it) for years. Like if I can't remember someone's name or what a vegetable is called in Dutch, I think about it and then I stop and try to forget about it. And nine times out of ten, the answer pops up in my mind. I think it's that resistance that keeps me from remembering it. Some people just push and think about it and they look like they're going to give themselves a hemorrhoid. Just relax and let it happen. Trust that you'll remember it.
Of course I didn't come up with the idea. I heard it years ago, but it's so woven into how I think that I just think of it as mine. I was reading something recently and they quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson: "In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty." The quote above doesn't exactly apply, but having quoted Emerson, it makes it look like I read Emerson, and I like that.
My other obsession lately is Facebook. The floodgates opened and people keep joining and friending. (I now have 133 friends.) This has made me think of two things: 1) Classmates.com and Reunion.com had better rethink their strategy. They have nothing on Facebook, and 2) I have to keep telling people that I moved to Amsterdam.
My reason for moving to Amsterdam is simple: it was Fred (and I was fascinated by the idea of living in Europe.) But it's difficult for me to express to people I haven't seen in ten or twenty years what it is I like about living here. Sure it's Europe, but I think on a daily basis my life here is sort of like living anywhere. I could be in Fort Worth, Cincinnati, New York City or Amsterdam, but I still have to eat, shop, work and sleep.
I like having a nice backdrop to my life. I like riding by canals on the way to church. I like having my bike be my main means of transportation. I like that so many things are new all the time. I see things here on a regular basis that I would have never seen if I would have stayed in the states. I like expats - generally.
I also like that some things are not available, or not readily available. For instance, I would love to make chocolate chip cookies, but you can't find all the ingredients easily (help me out of your local and know the secret). So I like that there's this little challenge if I want to do it, but I like that it's a challenge on a not-so-important thing and that it's surmountable. If my life were really easy, I'd...never mind, I'm not sure I can imagine that. My life is really wonderful and part of that is the challenges. So I have chosen a profession (teaching) that's loaded with challenges.
The other day, a student of mine said, "When you talk, you say a lot of things tussen haakjes." Tussen haakjes means 'in brackets' or 'in parentheses.' I smiled and I said, "That's funny. I write like that too."