Golden Brown

Part I: We’re in Europe, but not home yet. We took the ferry from Tangier to Barcelona and now we’re taking trains to get home so I’m still in suspended reality. I’ll still be on sabbatical when my partner goes back to work next week, but I’m guessing that will feel more like I did during COVID times, when I squatted at his house for nearly two months and did maybe two hours on line teaching per day, max.

I start my German lessons with his daughter in a week, and need to prepare for my yoga teacher training in March, but my time is still mostly my own for a while.

It’s colder here of course, and we couldn’t have had more sun than we did in southern Morocco, where it hasn’t really rained since 2014, but I’m happy to be out of there. It was exhausting and sad.

I had a song in my head before starting the sabbatical, Golden Brown by the Stranglers. The video has the group in Egypt visiting the pyramids, and there’s images of a dromedary race. The video hinted at the sort of mystery and beauty I was hoping to find in Morocco. I’ve read The Sheltering Sky and Hideous Kinky and a few other stories of Europeans in Morocco, and I was expecting to get lost there, or to imagine the possibility of getting lost.

Instead I was confronted with myself and my contradictions, but not in a way that was helpful or productive. I mostly felt like we humans have messed up the planet. Where I live, we clean up after ourselves, but we still make a lot of mess.

My partner was right; at home, we have all the means (money-wise) to “fix” everything and we don’t. In Morocco, they don’t have the means and are just trying to catch up to whatever they’ve seen on YouTube or TV that seems better. The only “blame” I can give them is the majority of folks don’t even see it as a problem (I saw plastic bottles being thrown out the windows of cars onto the side of the road and into waterways). That’s just education. I haven’t seen that in Europe as much, and most people know that it’s wrong to do that. It just takes a change of consciousness.

In any case, in preparation for home, Foro now has his sweater on, knitted by my friend at :

Foro ready for the cold and damp of home with his awesome sweater!

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