First of the last days


In 21 days, I will leave Dubai. Maybe forever.

We’ve been here for more than two years, Tom and I, escaping to this modern, clean, ultra-safe city from two years in Kabul. And now we are moving to Dili, Timor-Leste, for something less than a year.

Our current plan is to return to Dubai by the end of 2007, but I have some doubts. The volatile situation in the region right now offers any number of possible scenarious for the start of World War III – even for non-apocalyptic thinkers. The rents in Dubai are so high that we were going to move anyhow, to another one of the UAE’s seven emirates, before Tom got this job in East Timor.

And you just never know. Timor will be completely different from Dubai, and it seems possible that something in that experience will change us in a way that we need to move somewhere else.

So for the past month I have been mulling the question: How do I leave Dubai?

My friend Carrie, who is a world-class tarot reader (as well as a fabulous artist and writing coach), pulled a card for me the other day to help me answer that question. It was the Chariot, reversed. The chariot is a card of movement, of course, but also of “victory, will, self-assertion, and hard control.”

Carrie said: ‘Pick something to do every day, from now until you leave, that you enjoy about Dubai. Every day, appreciate something about Dubai by doing it.’

So I’m doing that. It’s good advice for any situation, but especially so when you are feeling the loss of a place even before you’re gone. Instead of dwelling on the feeling of loss, immerse in the feelings of enjoyment and fun.

This blog will be my way of forcing myself to document what I love about Dubai – before those feelings are buried in the love of a new place.

3 thoughts on “First of the last days

  1. Lisa,

    I love this. I just wanted to add that whatever city or country I’ve lived in and then left, the ones for which I have no regret, no feelings of loss whatsoever, are the ones I turned toward when it was time to leave. I looked for what I truly loved about the place– not what I was supposed to love, but what truly moved me, and I immersed myself in that. It transformed the experience.

    You know how much I hated Seattle towards the end. I decided to spend the last six weeks out of doors. On boats, at the ocean in a tent, walking in the pouring rain down old alleyways I hadn’t visited in years. Now I look back at Seattle and instead of JUST seeing a cardboard cut out of a typical over-commercialized American city, I also see a landscape whose hills and valleys are like the lines on the face of an old friend; I see wrinkles, muddy boots, primitive ancestors who loved the land, who WERE the land; I see the sacred rock and earth at the ocean where I pitched my tent.

    It’s so easy to just live life on a practical level. How do I make money, what’s the best insurance , what mutual fund to buy into, etc etc. But what about the poetry? Isn’t every place we visit an entire volume of poetry, in different voices, with varying cadences? Life is too short….

    The Chariot card I picked for you has two winged horses. I think it says, we can choose to fly — wherever we are or wherever we’re going. It’s a choice.

  2. Pingback: First of the last days « Last Days, First Days « another girl, another planet

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