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Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

One of the side effects of growing up mixed race and adopted is the (often in-your-face) realization that a lot of how we divide ourselves into “us” and “them” is a matter of choice.

Like so many of you, I’m watching the war in Ukraine and hoping the news will improve.

I don’t know any Ukrainians (or many Russians). They aren’t Americans or Canadians or African Americans or Swedish Americans or Italians or Germans or French or Irish or any of the other categories that I might reasonably be expected to claim as “my” people. But they are people.

And that’s what matters. 

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Background & Links

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“I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, Author and Veteran

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In general, I like being home but these days I’ll admit, at times my thoughts stray to travel. As in, “Oh yes, once upon a time we used to go places and see things” and “There was a whole world out there, remember?”

And then I ran across scans of an old travel journal and had the fun of paging through the journey. Visiting the Swedish royal palace, discovering my brother’s previously hidden talent as a navigator, outrunning a swarm of mosquitoes, champagne in Stockholm, eating fish cheeks, taking tea in a converted windmill.

It was all lovely, even the insecty bits. And I’m pretty sure I’m not just saying that because travel has become one of those mythical ideas, like unicorns and shaking hands with strangers.

At the very back of the journal I rediscovered my father’s bird list. I think it was made after the trip, and there’s something precious about our layered handwriting, anchoring our shared memories to the page.

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Female European Marsh Harrier
Female European Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus), Paco Gómez, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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