an apology

Sorry to my 5 readers. Being back in Australia is taking some getting used to, and I am not at my creative and productive best. Partly this is due to lingering illness – I have come back to Australia with an ear infection I picked up in Kabul, which is rendering me partially deaf and extremely uncomfortable most days. The way hearing loss mutes interaction and dulls relationships is interesting academically, but just plain upsetting and distressing at a personal level. I was giving some lectures at the university last week, and I had to keep stopping to ask if I was yelling. And I could barely hear the questions asked. Still, a friend of mine working in in India came back with TB. I shouldn’t expect that long term work in a conflict zone is cost free.

Partly I am at a low because of the way I have parted company with the agency I have been working with. I am feeling somewhat abandoned. And I am just missing the hard edge of Afghanistan.

I’m not asking for sympathy. But I guess this is also a way of saying that I probably don’t have quite as much to say about life, from this position smack in the middle of Western affluence and apathy. Or rather, I have lots to say, but it is bilious, critical and needs a bit of moderation. I may tone down in a few weeks, hopefully by which time I will be able to hear again.


12 thoughts on “an apology

  1. Hearing loss turns a person inward, the noise in us tending to drown out external stimuli. Couple that with the disassociation, culture shock, of being back in an affluent society, and the deck is really stacked against you.

    I salute your strength in resisting the desire to go off on a tear, and look forward to acquainting myself with your blog. We have a few things in common, it would appear.

    I wish you a speedy return to good health.



  2. hehe – can I be number 6?

    I hope your ear infection clears up. It sounds painful and annoying. Be nice if the affluence and apathy cleared up too but… I’m affluent and apathetic myslef 😉 I like reading your blog precisely because you write critically, and… I’m glad you and your family are safe.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all as you deal with your agency, and having lost the hard edge. Good luck.

  3. Make that 7 readers.

    Take your time …. just don’t wait until you too are apathetic and affluent. I’d rather hear the edge, even if it is now only within.

  4. I’ll join as 10 (having found you through Harry Rud). Sorry to read of the ear infection, and hope you recover soon.

  5. well we thought you were rather loud and negative when we last caught upp… not! it was truely great to see you both and you are dealing with some major adjustment coupled with crappy job closure issues. i just hope you hear ok when Julie says ‘honey i think it’s time we get to the hospital’. thinking of you guys
    PS – though there is usually some fairly clear body language to help you when Julie makes this call!

  6. Man, your reader numbers have reached double digits! Too bad about the ear. On the other hand, maybe with a baby in the house there could be some redeeming features of hearing loss…

    Myself, I have reluctantly returned to finish the year in Taklif-istan and end up with hearline fractures in footbones and crutches. (details available on request, not for public airing)

    Appreciate your writings on being happy or not but still going ahead with what seems right. Honest writing, so true, thanks!

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