Monday, March 31, 2008

a psychologist who tries to write

Gwen/Gomah/Garmai’s Departure…

Goodbyes make me feel old. Yet, as expected, whenever I feel something in Africa something else happens to directly contradict what I’m feeling. This time it was the rain. When I say rain I don’t mean light rain fall on a cloudy day afternoon. I mean serious fence breaking, window shaking rain. The good thing about rain is that I know I am not older than rain. It’s been falling for years and after I go it will keep on falling.

I will depart Liberia on April 4, 2008.
I’ll leave a different person than who I was when I arrived.
Even the way I sign my named has changed.
I’ll leave with a suitcase full of country cloth, calabashes and a pair of worn out jeans.
Mercy and Morris and Dama will stay.
The change is fluid yet vague.
I am confident I will miss my hammock.
I will carry with me my found soothing stones and know they will work when called upon.

I will arrive back home feeling known and unknown by the people I left.
They knew me before; they know me well.
There is one individual here who knows me better than I know myself.
Sometimes I’m not sure I know myself at all.
I will ache for this place and I won’t be able to explain it, so I will be quiet.

Really, there isn’t much to say.

Gwen is a psychologist who tries to write.
Gwen fell in love with a place and its people.
It was her life for 12 months and 11 days.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gwen, I can feel the pain in your words as you prepare to leave Liberia. You are an International Psychologist who can write wonderfully. I and many of your friends/family have missed you. We look forward to seeing you. Love, Dad

Anonymous said...

I know you leave Liberia with a full heart but we will be so glad to have you back, Gwen!
Love,
Leigh

Anonymous said...

Gwen a/k/a Stitch #2,

I can just feel the sadness as you entered one of your final blogs! I hope you know how proud all of us are of you and what you have accomplished, the people you have helped, the lives you have changed! You are an amazing amazing woman and don't you forget it! Your family and friends will be there to help you acclamate back and understand if you need some space to adjust!

Love, Stitchy

Andre Heuer said...

As someone who has traveled with you the muddy, dusty, and lush roads of Liberia I can identify with your sadness at leaving behind an amazing people. As a person who saw you at work I can affirm the importance of what you did and the lives you changed. I can even testify that you are a kick-butt basketball player who knows how to handle the boys on the court. Lastly, I want you to know what a amazing person you are.

Thanks again for the support you gave me in my time in Liberia and I wish you well as you adjust to being back.

take care,
andre

Anonymous said...

Gomah, I thank you for so profoundly sharing your world with us who have been trying to see it through your eyes. We've met some amazing souls along your journey. We know there are so many more unspoken ones, and can only try to fathom how you reached them. You are a woman who will always be somewhere else, secure in another's heart. Your eyes will always be gazing afar.

Welcome back to the circle of life and love that knew you first. Your friends are anxious to have you in their company. Your Dad and Drew may have calm exteriors, but we know better. Don't forget to bring extra kleenex for your Mom, and know that some of her engulfing hugs will be from me,too! Love always, Sista Auntie.

Anonymous said...

Gwen-
I have so enjoyed your blog over the past year and am, as always, inspired by your love of lands and people so far away. Welcome home for now- because I know the day will come again when you return to that other home across the sea. Be well.

Karen K- in KS

Joseph Tamba Dah said...

Hope to see you pretty soon again in the mountainer city of Voinjama and all the CVT family missed and welcome you back.

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