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.
(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.