Lost and Found

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Some things and people and places have become lost to me. My beloved, who became my ex- husband Paul, is lost to me. The place where I felt the greatest sense of belonging for the longest time was on the property I named “Wanders Reach”. Although I can still touch in to that place psychically, access to the physical location is lost to me. Perhaps because of that, I seem to have lost the sense of belonging anywhere in particular. I have no idea if that will be a long term experience or not.

More recently the things I’ve lost are less tangible. Although I still have a calendar on this I-pad, I find days and days going by without looking at it. So it seems that some sort of relationship to time schedule has been lost while I’ve been here. Partly that’s due to the fact that others are tending to the scheduling aspects so I don’t really have to. That’s quite a nice consequence of this sort of volunteering.

I’ve also lost some weight, just enough that waist-bands with a hook or snap don’t have to be left open and tucked under for comfort around my middle anymore.

I’ve lost my appetite for so much meat in my diet. I have a meal or two a week now of fish or chicken and the rest of the time it’s vegetarian.

I’ve lost the habit of drinking wine so often too. Indians typically don’t consume much alcohol (at least out in public, and very few women do at all). Only some restaurants serve it here, and most don’t, at least here in fort Kochi.

Last night I lost my coveted water bottle. It’s funny, as a traveler what you get attached to out of the little hoard of belongings you have with you. I also lost a very handy little plastic carabiner, that I wish I still had, yet, I’m getting along just fine without it.

I’ve lost all accuracy for Birthday greetings, and missed quite a few all together despite my genuine love and affection for friends and family. This is a direct consequence of my slippage with google calendar. Oh well…

I’ve lost the daily habit of wearing makeup. I’ll still wear it for special occasions, but in Goa it was because I was swimming several times a day. Now it’s because it’s so hot everything melts, and I’m sweating so fiercely that I’d look worse wearing it.

I’ve lost my very clear eyesight, and really rely on my reading glasses now for anything that’s 12 pt or smaller. Even doubling up two eyeglasses to try to read the fine print on products I buy often won’t do the trick.

But here’s some unexpected things I’ve found:

I find that comfort is over-rated. Don’t get me wrong…I love comfort in all it’s forms, yet I believe that building a life devoted to comfort is wasteful of what life is offering and asking of me. If life delivers some comfort, great! I gratefully accept. But, I am devoting much less of my time and energy trying to “achieve” it.

I found that today a street vendor, with his strident, chirping call stopped briefly on his traverse down the road in front of my hotel. I peeked out the window just in time to see him pull a piece of the food he was selling (perhaps it was fish) and toss it to a stray cat that had been following him, crying for a handout. I’ve seen this benevolent act of feeding animals that happen to be around a common occurrence here in India. It’s an unexpected form of beauty.

I find that when the young man behind the desk downstairs in the lobby sings, I am reminded of the unforgettable scene from the movie American Beauty when the young girl throws rose petals from the ceiling. It’s breath-taking!

I’ve found that I’m able to ride a bicycle in a long skirt, through the crazy traffic here, because it’s actually less crazy than where I’ve been for the past few months! I don’t go very far, but the neighbors on this street are recognising me now, and I really enjoy pedaling around.

I’ve found that having a daily yoga and meditation practice, even if wobbly, and imprecise in the routine, provides slowly resurgent strength and general well- being. And, that focusing on a loved one during my meditation is sweetening my very marrow.

I find that though I miss individuals at moments, my life feels good to me. I have enough engagement with others, and enough alone time in sufficient balance.

And finally, I’ve found that the Traveler Deck is a wonderful travel tool that is affording me quite a few very interesting and enlivening encounters with people from many different places. My day of doing readings as a benefit-event for SPRINGR, a local music,art and food venue was a total success! They’d love to have me back, if I want to do it again.

So…now for recent photos to share….
Mietta,Cassandra and Suzanna, thee lovely GVI volunteers.
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(Above)This is my co-tutor, Kendile, from Australia, with Aadish, one of our students.
(Below)where we ate dinner one night. Fort Kochi is across the water from the port and the main shipping docks.

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Here’s something else I found that I wasn’t expecting,

15 replies
  1. cynthia
    cynthia says:

    This is so inspiring and beautiful. Thank you for the reminder that it is when I am most lost that I am found. Sending you so much love and appreciation.

  2. Margie Mee
    Margie Mee says:

    LOved your new post Nancy! Life engulfed me over the holidays, and then Michael and I got the flu, so I am just catching up! Happily hearing about your travels, and experiencing them from your point of view, is so good for me! I love putting together the colors, your bicycle, and everything that you are “up to”!

    Happily painting this week, working on plans for the garden, wondering if you will be back in Ashland for our BBC Pig Roast in late July!!! Hope so!!!

    Much love to you Nancy, safe travels, and may the world keep opening up for you!!!

    XX Margie

  3. joy bannon silverman
    joy bannon silverman says:

    My dear friend,

    I hope I am not lost to you, as you remain in my heart no matter where your travels lead you. I miss you ever so much! A life well lived always suffers loss but also looks for the beauty in everyday life. You not only only look for the beauty but you create it by being who you are and sharing it with a hungry world.
    Our first day back home and I’m feeling the need to plan our next get away! I’m sending you much love.

    • templeofbliss@gmail.com
      templeofbliss@gmail.com says:

      Yes, my dear, swee, newly married friend…I’m missing you a lot! Congrats…and looking forward to swapping stories on your lovely patio!
      XO
      N

  4. Bridget
    Bridget says:

    I LOVE this post Nancy. It seems to things you have “lost” have in some ways opened up places in you where you can appreciate what you have found, least among them an deep appreciation for things of a richer and yet simpler nature.
    Much love to you,
    Bridget

  5. Jenny UK
    Jenny UK says:

    Great blog Nancy, as II understand your sentiments completely, it was like reading a blog of my own thoughts while there too. Know you found a good friend too while in Udaipur but we should never lose touch…. keep travelling ♡♡

  6. Maria
    Maria says:

    I so relate to everything you have lost and found! My journey feels very close to yours, with some marked differences, living now in a land where it is illegal for women to drive or go out uncovered, or go places unescorted by a male relative…however I do love the call to prayer five times a day, in this heart of Islam…
    I so appreciate you beautiful friend…and grateful for your blog…I will try to email some pics at some point- but you know that is not my strong suit…I love how the traveler deck has turned out to be such a great traveler’s tool and connector…and am reminded of scrumptious evenings in your spacious Wander’s Reach, exploring mysteries…and the reflections of your Traveller’s Deck. Love you.

    • templeofbliss@gmail.com
      templeofbliss@gmail.com says:

      It is a mystery how much love the Human heart can hold! Blessings to you in the heartland of Islam. I too have been awoken at 5:30 each morning while I was in fort Kochi by the call to prayer. It was mixed with loud and beautiful birdcalls there. I would get up and do yoga either in my room or up on the top deck.

      I’m now at the end of the Indian sub-continent, way at the southern tip. Wanted to see the confluence of the seas and the ocean. Will keep writing and sharing. It helps to know that beloved friends are with me in spirit!

      Love,
      N

  7. jerilyn
    jerilyn says:

    Nancy, how delightful to read and see your adventures! You look amazing, peaceful and beautiful, and the sights and sounds of India shine through your eyes! Wonderful to let go of what is past, and embrace the present wonders, stepping into the unknown bravely. I’m in awe of what you are doing. (an ‘eat,pray,love’ kind of journey, maybe a book!) wish I could walk with you for a day or two, but will do that in my mind’s eye. Thank you for letting me share vicariously. Miss you, be well!

    Jerilyn

  8. Joanne
    Joanne says:

    So happy to read your blog and have a feel for your ruminations and explorations, Nancy! What richness! What grace!

    I’ve used your brilliant Traveler Deck with a few friends for various occasions. All have been amazed by the cards they’ve picked and your lovely, brilliant commentaries. What wisdom! What generosity!

    I miss you and send you much love and peace on your heart and soul journey.

    By the way, the BBC Pig Out is scheduled for July 19, I believe. More as it takes on the shape it will have.

    Love, laughter and joy,
    Joanne

    • templeofbliss@gmail.com
      templeofbliss@gmail.com says:

      Hi Joanne,

      thanks so much for the feedback. It’s wonderful, as you can imagine, to know that the Traveler deck is being used and that it carries some value to others. I’m trying my hand, now that I’m at Land’s end here in the farthest southern tip, to arrange my own volunteer gig without an organization doing it all for me. Internet is slow here, so it may be awhile before I can adequately blog about it…but my first full day here, I met a critical ally and meet with a school principal tomorrow!

      Love to you,
      N

  9. Steve- UK
    Steve- UK says:

    Hi Nancy,
    It seems a long time since we met you in Udaipur near the start of your journey, indeed it feels like I have been back at my desk for a lifetime – not just 3 months.
    I find reading your blog transports me back to the sights sounds and most of all the people of India.
    Jenny and I daydream constantly of leaving this rat race and finding a way to return to help the children who have so touched our hearts. Indeed Jenny returns in March and is closer than ever to finding the answer.
    We would hope to meet you again, and until such time thanks for the memories and your continued inspirational travel blog.
    May you find peace and happiness wherever your adventures take you.

    Kind regards from UK

    Steve x

    • templeofbliss@gmail.com
      templeofbliss@gmail.com says:

      Thanks so much for your warm comment here. I wish you both all the best as you sort out how to do what you most want to do.

      A bow and a wave from the southern tip,
      N

  10. Patty
    Patty says:

    Nancy,
    A lovely, touching post. I had a dream with you in it last week in which you adopted a young boy. Was precious to see you and prompted me to come and find you and read your recent posts.
    Paul and I have been gone for 3 weeks to the Caribbean–just back this week. We went with my son, Matt, and his wife and kids, and then joined Susan and Noal for sailing. The Caribbean waters are shockingly beautiful, and the people in spite of their history of such brutal slavery are a people of “give-ishness”–kindness and sharing what you have with each other. An inspiring choice.
    I am impressed by your journey, your courage and your yes for helping. We miss you here in Ashland, and admire your traverse. Sending many hugs your way…
    love patty

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