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vendredi 5 octobre 2012

“To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life.” ― Pablo Neruda

Friendships that spring fountains of love of shared thoughts, aspirations and love for others, love of each other, do clearly attach to our emotions with an everlasting brilliance.
I was a postgraduate doctor in Miami in the halcyon days of exuberance over the expectation of lifetime of service to others, when I met Dr R and Dr L, from Auckland, New Zealand.
Dancing Glasses in the hands of an Antipodean at a Berlin Resto
He is an antipodean to the core,enveloped in that sense of humour that defines our cultural identity. She has the additional sparkle of a Croatian born grandfather.
It was an afternoon, their Key Biscayne flat showed signs of the impending return to the Antipodes, a journey I too had hoped to make (but the winds carried me away to other islands). There were boxes, packages, gifts given and received.
I still can recall with the same intensity the sadness I feltat their departure but had a strong feeling that we would remain friends.
We met in Melbourne and Auckland a couple fo times. Dr R shares the same subspecialty in medicine as I, Endocrinology, so chance meetings at International Conferences were welcomed with great pleasure, the last one being at San Francisco over a glass of wine at a nouveau mex resto, a few years ago.
Before the big meetings of our International Societies (American or European), I would write and enquire whether they were coming or going, disappointed at the discrepancies in time and distance.. Florence, Rome, Boston etc etc..
This year's annual meeting of the European Association of the study of Diabetes was to be held in Berlin. Dr R will be in attendance. I suggested that it would be nice to meet. Dr L piped in to say that a dinner together is in order, she would drop by Berlin as she would be attending a meeting in Istanbul around that time.

Berlin is so different from other European cities. Always in the air, is its flavour of recent history and the gargantuan efforts at reunification, the excellent economic status, the rebuilding of the city after the allied bombings. A most modern city without gruesome skyscrapers with a multicultural population. The service people, the bus drivers, desk agents at the hotels, waitresses, shop keepers all tried their best to communicate in English and were most helpful..A gaggle of teenage girls gave me detailed instructions on how to get to Alexanderplatz in their halting English, a couple dressed in rainbow colours out for the night, were beaming when i commented that they looked lovely..just lovely.
Dr L had arrived that morning from AKL on SQ, a lenge schlepp indeed, the shadows of my melbourne years would say. I left home in Paris at 0630 and arrived in the afternoon after changing flights at ZRH. We were to meet at the lobby of Hilton Berlin. (other Hiltons and other rendezvous..Hanoi for a surprise visit on my brothers birthday , Salalah to recollect the voyages of Zheng He, Houston where I ran into Dr Ashim a couple of months ago)
The reunion exuded the expected warmth. We had so much to catch up, so the minutes clicked at a cantor, all three of us talking simultaneously at time on three different subjects, aided and abetted by the suave white drops of Bacchus..No amount of texting, skyping, emailing (all new formations in our language) can substitute for that human warmth of a face to face reunion. We mainly talked about emotions and the people we have shared those emotions with in the past and present, with new comers introduced with appropriate photographs,with Fiji forming a languorous backdrop..
Dr R had scouted the nearby Brasserie, a good german imitation of the French original, the meal was tasty, mine was lamb with pesto, in honour of my brothers and sisters in Aotearoa.. 

Dr R had chosen a soft white, much reminiscent of a Sauvignon Blanc from his native land and Marlborough Valley but what was good and tender was that we were together once again, with the promise of piano classes in la Habana, yet another south pacific adventure or more personal visits from other members of the NZ family.
Friendship is an investment, in Time and Emotions, the returns magnificent enough to fill the heart..
On a day like today, as my  UmonHon teacher from  the Buffalo Clan would say:
Be happy with what you have; dont be unhappy with things you dont have.
I am happy for this friendship, and as we say in San Cristobal de la Habana, Cuba.
tu no eres mi amigo, tu eres un tatuaje in mi corazon
You are not my friend, but you are a tatoo in my heart..
I flew back to Paris, ew hours after that get together, after a fitful sleep in a non descript hotel near Tegel Airport, Berlin. Tomorrow I fly to San Antonio, Texas to be with my Kikapu family.
On my Swiss flight home, it was the same crew that brought me to Tegel the day before, it was good to be greeted warmly by the maitre de cabine, who pushed a few chocolates on to my hand as I prepared to alight...