The Art of Derek Dohren

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Happy New Half Year

Posted by Derek John Dohren on July 1, 2011 at 7:52 PM

The wheel of change has spun once more for me here in Granada and as usual I’m left trying to make some sense of passing events. It’s not so much that things change (and they do, whether we like it or not), but more the way these changes manifest themselves that has me holding up my hands in surrender at life’s vagaries.


My recent financial meltdown has meant I’ve been unable to make trips back to the UK for my nephew’s wedding and for my daughter’s graduation, two of the biggest waves in a turbulent sea of change. Though losing my apartment was also a difficult break I’m hoping I can soon view it as the lowest point in my current fortunes. The only way is up as they say.


Not that it’s all been so bad, not by a long way. In the past couple of weeks I’ve also gotten myself covered in fruit fly bites, acquired a rather natty new hat, lost 12 students but gained 14 new ones, given up my two cats for adoption though hopefully a better life, made a clutch of new friends, moved house twice and lived in three different pueblos. Through it all I’ve had confirmation of just how many true friends I have in the world. There’s nothing like a crisis to sort out the wheat from the chaff. Not all bad by a long way.


Many of these happenings seem to run par for the course in my life these days but the confluence and timing of all these tumultuous events staggers even me. I’ve always felt an odd fascination with June 30th, pivoting the year as it does and this year it’s come and gone in prefect synchronisation with my topsy-turvy life. Coincidence? Well, not totally. Of course, I wouldn’t make any claims for such an arbitrary date on a calendar having supernatural significance, but it’s a fact that summer time here in Granada is a time of decay and renewal, and perhaps marks the city’s real ‘new year’. Maybe there’s been way too much of it for me but this is a natural time for change.


Though, on balance I’ve much to be happy about my overriding emotion as I type all of this up is sadness, sadness because tonight I said goodbye to my favourite student. We’ll keep in touch for sure, but life rolls on relentlessly and our paths are set firmly in different directions. And as I look back over these past few weeks I can count three other friends who have moved to pastures new. It’s very much a case of out with the old and in with the new and on top of all the other shenanigans in my life it’s difficult not to get a little depressed.


It’s been a tough year and May and June in particular will not go down as two of the best months of my life. I do however rather like the idea of June 30th sitting astride the year as a kind of watermark, splitting the year into two. For me, I’d like to read this split as marking the not so good half of the year and the really good half that’s still to come and as the wheel of fate remorselessly turns I will continue to face the consequences. I’ve long since ceased however, to worry about trying to make any sense of it.


Happy New Half Year to you all.

Categories: Granada Revisited, thoughts