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Long live all maidens

easy and beautiful !

Long live mature women also,

Tender and loveable and full of good labor. 

Gaudeamus Igitur

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Saturday
Oct032009

The Great Themes

Hi Adria, 

I know I’ll be seeing you in just a few hours, but since a few others are joining us, it’s best if I respond to your last email now.

Your first week sounds exhilarating! Fascinating! Inspiring! No wonder you love it. You are privileged to be in the presence of these little prodigies and geniuses.  What a world to inhabit.  I can’t wait to visit. I hope it doesn’t depress me with its splendour. I have always, secretly wanted to be Miss Brodie (before her downfall) and part of that whole wonderful romantic world of the private girls’ school: devoted students, tweed suits, and of course, illicit love affairs.  A more modern version is Mona Lisa with Julia Roberts, no match for Maggie Smith, but same idea: beautiful talented girls, handsome men, female teachers who are idolized.  Of course, we know these perfect worlds have a darker side, but still.  Teaching in Hong Kong was a short foray into that world.  And I loved every minute of it. 

The past week was filled with, to put a literary slant on it, the intermingling of the Great Themes: Birth and Death.  The week began with a call from a friend in Hong Kong who informed me of the death of a man (James Dickson) we had both worked with. In fact, he had been my son’s principal at the Canada School when we lived in Hong Kong in the 90’s and he was principal (beloved) of the Canadian School for the Arts for the past 15 years.  A most charming man: a bon vivant, a very proud Canadian, handsome, wealthy, well travelled, lover of opera and well known (at least among the women) for his sartorial splendour.  Above all though, he was an Educator, a decent, fair man who loved children.   The tributes to him on Face Book and on the School Web Page and in The South China Morning Post as well as papers here, take a few hours to read.  The school was in total mourning for the week.   He died within a few days of entering the hospital with pneumonia and H1N1, although I did hear that he had other health issues.  He was 55.

 So this made me think – it begs the question, I wrote to my son – do we live every moment to its fullest because we never know or do we say fuck it because we never know.  I fluctuate between the two theories. 

But then on Thursday, I celebrated my friend’s 50th birthday (we debated the word celebrate). I think you met her once, at one of your concerts, Maggie Ester. She is an artist and a teacher/librarian for our Board and in the past few years has fulfilled her dream of learning to ride, and has bought a horse and is now taking on-line Equine courses (this doesn’t sound right). We talked about the conflicting societal trend that, 50 is the new 40 etc. and yet so many writers (fiction and media in general) refer to anyone over 50 as old and over 60 as elderly. We both agreed that no matter how much we love the writer or the book that if we came across that description, we’d put the book down forever. As for me, I probably would never read the writer again.
 
And the cycle continued ... a late night phone call from my brother-in- law. My niece had just given birth to an 81/2 lb baby girl! Congratulations Grandpa! But I knew we were both thinking of my sister-in-law, his wife, who died a few years ago of cancer at 51.   She would have loved being a grandmother.  Congratulations, Grandma!!

It’s just been such a week and I never even got to mention school.  Maybe later.  Right now, I’d better go and do a few housewifely chores.

 Oh! And my dear hibiscus popped another huge red flower this week. I’m sure it was in honour of women of all ages and beautiful baby girls!
 

A bientot, 

Feminine Sarah 


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References (5)

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