Remembering a new beginning as I move towards the end
As I grow close to returning the Canada, I’m thinking about how I felt when I left four years ago. In that time I’ve reached my arms further, opened my heart wider than I ever had. I’ve learned a couple of things, lost and forgotten many, gained more. I am ironically in the some of the same feelings, as lost as I was when I first arrived; as found as I’ve ever been.
During my last days here, I’m seeing Bombay as though she was new to me, in the same way that I looked at all of India before all of this time.
January 12 2008
In the car ride over icy road to the airport, I watched frozen tree skeletons from my dream bubble and cried from cried-out eyes. We are flying and it hasn’t hit me yet. I dream birds onto the blue and white canvas outside the plane window. Inside, parents wave toys in the faces of irritated, stressed babies. The little ones are like tiny businessmen, controlling everything that everyone close to them does.
Hours later, I feel out of my mind. When this plane comes to rest, we’ll be in Delhi. In a day, everything ahead of me will be different and new, and I’m afraid. I’m thinking of everyone at home in a safe place while I tiptoe, smiling and crying, across the tightwire that is the world unknown to me. I am so mixed up, alone in God’s hand, trying to trust, getting lost.
It’s cold but feverish and in my loneliness I mourn leaving things and people behind. In the nest of my plane seat, I beg for someone to open my heart cages and let each tiny white dove fly safely back to earth, carrying my love letters. The overwhelming horizon swells outside, making its infinite emptiness known. All of these stunning vistas become light and dark, performing their whole play regardless of my action or inaction.
My smallness overwhelms me and I sink lower into the seat. Flying over dividing oceans, in this space and time without space and time, I am seeing into the empty parts of my life. And waiting to break those parts and make new, different ones are shining dark eyes, footsteps and shadows. I’ll say some words into a warm wind that will knock me over with such inconceivable unseen force that my heart will be pulled from my chest and dared to perform on its own. With this thought, and with the sun beginning to set, nights and days passing by the window, I will burrow down into my own insignificance and God will swallow me, bones and all.
January 13 2008
In every moment where I doubt my faith and my own strength, I’ll write.
An enormous bull chews vegetable remnants at the side of the road. Everything is covered in a layer of dry grime. Sunlight mists through a thick haze of tangled storybook tree branches, shining its way down to where underneath overpasses, people hide. The gnarled branches like monster arms reach out over smaller streets. Car horns declare comings and goings. Thick smoke has choked the breath of a million man made things, old rubber and metal lying in the gutter. Cows graze on it, preferring fast food over grass. People teeter by on rickety bicycles with all of their wordly goods strapped on anywhere they will attach, like hermit crabs on a downtown city beach. It’s the crack of dawn. I pass birds sitting on defunct wires and elephants walking sedately (lofty, cloth-swathed passengers swaying deeply from side to side) as the city wakes.
I think it’s about eight degrees this morning in Delhi. I first noticed the day’s arrival as I waited to pay my driver: the sky through the pale, greying smog-thickened dawn like a worn hotel bedsheet; the fiery, angry sun like a helium balloon, making its way upwards.