Kathleen retired at around 40 from a high-level executive position with a major hi-tech company. She told me that she was a real hard-ass, didn’t have much compassion for employees who wanted to stay home with a sick family member. That’s hard to believe.
I met Kathleen eight years ago at DansKinetics (yoga + free-from movement) training at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Lenox, Mass. She was trying out what she would do next, as was I.
Yesterday Kathleen called me through Skype from Geris, the Turkish village where she’s lived for the past three years. Coming from Rhode Island, she’s a capable sailor and has also spent time sailing around the Greek Isles.
Kathleen has cooked at organic restaurants, became an esthetician, learned Reiki, created pottery, spent six months in India and headed a school in Pakistan for a few years.
She’s a different person than her formerly uptight corporate self, she tells me. Her face often seems illuminated by kindness. Kathleen is spiritual but not religious, and the most open-minded person I know. She doesn’t take any crap but can get along with anybody.
In my last post I mentioned that my world seems smaller, not in a bad way. Today I’ve changed my mind. Looking at the photos Kathleen e-mailed of the view across from the small house she rents, there was the blue blue Mediterranean.
The southwest coast of Turkey, she says, is very European. It’s easier to live there than in Pakistan, where she purchased rice at the market, had to pick the rocks out and thoroughly wash it before she could cook it. In Turkey she goes to the outdoor market, buys rice, takes it home and prepares it.
I’ve never experienced any of this.
Just the other day, I heard about the remote possibility of participating in a trip bringing together Israelis and Arabs. Yesterday I read that Nicholas Kristoff, the New York Times columnist, is looking for someone over 60 to travel to a developing country with him and a recent college graduate.
It wouldn’t be an easy trip but it would be eye-opening. I think I might apply.