With only one session remaining before Sunday Writers’ Club goes on Christmas break, we thought it high time to post some more of our work. Thank you Connie Phlipot and Padraig O’ Gorman for sharing your writing with us all.
By Connie Phlipot
A peripatetic life means a lot of leavings and the need to develop a practice of steeling yourself emotionally to avoid unbearable internal strain. First you tell yourself some months before the move that it is time to move on, you have seen all you need to see, and you look forward to the next place, enumerating all the ways it will be better than where you are now. You make lists: what you should see one more time before you leave, people to call on professionally or personally, souvenirs to buy, farewell parties to organize and the packing, of course, but that becomes fairly routinized over the years. Then it’s the final week. You note the last Sunday you can walk or run though your favorite park, the last coffee in the off-beat cafe, the last time to pass the newspaper stand or the man walking his tiny schnauzer outside your apartment building. The last morning waking up to the vibrations of the first tram of the day or church bells, monks’ call for alms or however the dominant religion heralds the new day. For me the leavings blur except for one. Riga 1997. A place where I had invested more energy, passion and time than in the others. Per local tradition, well wishers at our farewell party had bestowed flowers on us. Beautiful, expensive bouquets of roses, lilies, daisies…What to do with these flowers when we were flying the next day? “Lay them at the Freedom Monument” someone suggested. In the late twilight of the northern summer night, the small parade of my husband, our Latvian colleagues and me walked across the Old Town to the monument and placed our floral tribute, solemnly. Thankful we were doing this in an independent Latvia; that we were leaving a happier, more democratic and wealthier Latvia than we had entered three years earlier. And unlike my other leavings, I cried.
By Padraig O’Gorman
The door opens wide,
and he is thrillingly there
All bright words and smiles
like the sun, rising,
he casts his warm glow over
the coast of my day
Author’s note: Describing the moment when my Grandson (aged 4) opens the door.
These works were written at the Sunday Writers’ Club session at Cafe Jelinek (Vienna) on 26th November 2018
Read about Padraig O’Gorman on Goodreads