Sunday, April 26, 2009

conversations with Sheldon

So this is my whole problem with blogging - I don't notice buildings, or remember much of what I read, or have much to say about cities - most of what I notice and think about in the world is people, and it's tricky to write things about human beings in a semi-public forum (there may be only ten of you reading this, on a generous day, but there are probably thirty of you I've sent the link to - and that's even with basically either not mentioning it to most people in Berlin to begin with or even saying no to some when they asked for the link - because I thought, then I won't be able to write about anyone/anything anymore!). (And hi, Anja, you're the exception - Susanne is another but she's told me she doesn't read blogs so she's not reading.)

Sheldon was here last week, he's changed his name since college but we still get to call him Sheldon, hubby and I met him in the fall of 1978 when I was 17 off the boat from Kinshasa, Sheldon was 18 off the boat from Toronto, and hubby was 19 off the boat from Teheran. I ask you.

Long story short, last time we saw Sheldon was 1985 in Hamburg I think we reconstructed, and now here he was, thanks to the magic of Facebook, refound and reconnected. He lives and works in Beijing where he watches Chinese movies and writes and thinks and consults about them. (Sorry, Sheldon, was that an OK summary?) And is hired by film festivals to say which they should get, which is why we got to see him on his way to Italy. 

And there it was, an old friendship with an old friend, and we talked about interesting things and how do I make (semi-)public the content of such conversations? But we talked about old times, and new times, and our own selves, who are different now from 1978, and 1982, and 1985, but still weirdly recognizable. And we walked through Berlin and I noticed that Sheldon notices architecture and it was very interesting to me to see that this is a whole realm of knowledge and noticing where I haven't been. He has things to compare it to. We got to show him the leafy part of Berlin where we live and he got to breathe which is much more difficult in Beijing (which, I know now, is pronounced Beidjing and not Beizhing) -and we talked about words and sillinesses. Other people probably have old friends - I don't have so many. I have wonderful new friends, and medium friends, but not so many old ones. (Dear old friends out there, you know who you are - thanks for being there!)

I feel like I'm not being particular and specific because in fact Sheldon is a real person and a real friend and not just fodder for my blog but I just want to say it was great to have conversations. (btw I've now turned off the music and sat down on the red couch with the laptop because it was distracting). And now I'll stop this post, and maybe some of the actual conversations will come back in other ones.

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