The Art of Saying Goodbye

Wednesday 22 August, 2001

Rode the bus into town with Calvin. He got off before me and his goodbye was brilliant. The was no warning, no preamble, no hastily-made arrangements to phone or meet up. He simply stood up, shook my hand and said, ‘See you later’. That’s how to say goodbye. Thanks Calvin.

This evening Karaj and I drove over to Sunil’s flat to deliver the flight tickets to George, Robert, Leon and Ishwar. Earl was also there and they were all very busy sanding and painting. Both Robert and George commented on the good job Calvin and I had done of the sanding.

We didn’t stop long and for the second time today I received a lesson in goodbyes. Karaj looked at me and said ‘Let’s go, quietly’. We just walked out the front door and as I looked back George was working on the stairs with his back to me. It occurred to me to say something but I didn’t because it would have interrupted his work. As we walked to the car I felt slightly uncomfortable with the newness of the situation – walking away from people without a word – but also energised at discovering an effective way to move away from a situation without causing any disturbance.


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