Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Leaving Faroe - five months later

On our last night in Faroe, there was a party at the school - food, føroya bjór, friends. All the girls were dressed to the nines. We danced and sang and it was lovely and very sad too. By the end of the night we were all sitting, dejected, in the hallway, not wanting to say goodbye. Our professor patted me on the shoulder and said, "Goða Matthew, this life of ours is a series of meetings and partings." A simple truth, but one well said and at the right time.

We stood on the rainswept edge of Tinganes that night, putting off saying goodbye until we were soaked through and shivering. Then bus rides, airports, metro trains, hotels, and goodbyes.

Photo by Monika Bryk
This morning I taught Emily Dickinson's "Parting." I had quoted the last lines - "parting is all we know of heaven / and all we need of hell" - to a friend while saying goodbye. I miss my Fróðskaparsetur Føroya friends again reading it today.


My life closed twice before its close;
        It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
        A third event to me,

So huge, so hopeless to conceive,
       As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
       And all we need of hell.

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