Linden left a few days ago. It feels like longer. I got up for her early taxi ride to the airport, acutely aware that despite her calmness this was a 1 hour journey through the desert at night alone with a taxi driver. It worried me and her though we tried not to talk about it. I got all the assurances I could, hugged her, waved her off and tried to sleep.
She is a brave girl, doing what she wants (or needs), moving between cultures and finding a home. Over this last few weeks, I have seen a more considerate side that I hadn’t noticed previously. It was always there no doubt but I hadn’t seen it summed up until she fully took care of it all. Her thoughtfulness is genuine when for some it’s convenient.
A girl who gets up on stage and sings when she knows she can or plays the guitar when she knows she can’t. Who gets up in the morning to take the morning sun, the quietness and the absence, filling each day until she removes her contacts, puts on the PJs and gets to bed. All in one seemingly fluid momentum.
I have seen her at her weakest, in a time which challenged her and left her isolated.
Almost overwhelmed. She is too stubborn to admit it but her eyes were wide with pain. I happened to be there then. She came through it with the same quiet willfulness that sometimes makes us argue but never threatens to boil over. I did my best for her but knew it would never be enough.
She works diligently, smokes her rollies, rides her simple bike around the grey streets of Berlin, cooks across cultures, drinks whiskey, plays her guitar without shame, reads Carver and Proust, writes her poetry, replies to emails occasionally, muses with artists, is chased by the same, men who want to take her and care for her. I am impressed. More and more so.
I watched her on stage in Berlin. She glanced over a few times but I rarely met her eye. She told a story about us from Brussels, a funny self-depreciating story which made me smile. I was proud of her up there, perched behind a large guitar, no doubt hungover but determined to do her best. I knew she wouldn’t fail herself. And everyone would be pleased. There was too much admiration in the room for her.
I saw plenty to like in Linden on this trip. With vivaciousness, creativity, sensitivity, open-mindedness, education and depth that need not be tamed, controlled or taken care of, she is some girl. And friend.