10 June 2011

Another perspective on my time in Canada

Matthijs summarized well what it was like for me to be gone in Canada: strange. There's certainly extra freedom involved when the other is gone, but after six months of marriage the most dominant feeling is one of absence. It is strange that what was once so normal is now everything but normal.

But Matthijs says it better, so I'll let you read it from him:
- for those of you who read dutch, I'll link you to the post: Lessons Learned: Alleen en weer samen.
- for those of you who don't read dutch, I'll give you a cleaned up version of the 'google translate' for the post:

"Alone and together again

Brenda is back!
The past two and half weeks, I was largely alone, i.e., no Brenda at home (only Jerry). A strange feeling. May 19th was our six-month wedding anniversary, and that was exactly the day when Brenda flew to Canada.
Now, I realize what a difference being married has made. Two years ago, Brenda was not even on the horizon, and so being alone was still standard. So this was what once was normal. Very strange! Especially the first weekend I felt quite out of balance.

Yet it was a full and interesting week. Some of the activities were:
- Arranging my study archive. You encounter everything: old papers, etc. It was strange to discover how little I understood until far into my study of systematic theology. For example, I was already in the fifth year before it became clear to me just how strongly Reformed certain assumptions of mine were. This related particularly to the idea that theological statements can come also from the tradition and not only from the Bible.
- Meeting of the VAK administration. The VAK is the alumni association of the KTU, my old theological college. I sit on the board, which is also an excuse to see two fellow students more regularly. Especially valuable was the drink in the café where we complained about the things that theologians always do. There was now more time - no pressure to go home. A recurring theme was how the church is full of wonderful ideals but when it comes down to it so few are made true. There ism, of course, still much more to say: the country is rife with unreliable institutions, but with the church it is always extra sad.
- Seeing Simon's new flat (again). It is a beautiful apartment, a huge improvement for him, and the move to it was a good family activity. Nice also to see our wedding picture hanging up there.
- Going on the road with Crystle, one of Brenda's best friends, who was just this week in the Netherlands for a sailboat race - good to have the opportunity to know each other better, because those opportunities are few.

All in all a rich, full week, despite some flaws.
But the most important lessons learned this week is yet how good it is to see Brenda again after 12 days."
and note from Brenda: I agree with him completely!!!! It was for me also a rich, full week for which I'm very thankful (it was also delightful to see our wedding picture hanging up at my brother's place!!). Yet, coming home again was probably the best part.

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