And while the plane lands, I can’t help but wonder if it’s going to blow up because the engines are going to set on fire. Not that it’s rational but because it was just one of the many experiences in India, and thinking about it takes me back to what seems like a lifetime ago, but could only be a couple of months. The anxiety is fleeting and unwarranted, but it’s enough that it makes me look out the window for a couple of seconds until I make myself relax and exhale with a sigh. It’s funny how I could repeat the process so many times in a matter of days, and I can’t recall if I’m on my way home from Costa Rica or dozing up in business on the longest flight of my life. It’s only when I get there and collapse into a new bed that it hits me and the haze clears. But the bed isn’t that new; it’s hard and short like India. Nothing like mine back home. I can almost remember mine back home if I think hard enough. Distantly I remember spending a night or two there, laying on the mattress that was too large and too foreign, luxuriating in its comfort as I sink into it and pull the sheets over me. Yet I don’t sprawl across it like I used to, taking up as much bed as possible because my arms and legs are so far apart they seem to be trying to reach around the whole bed and pick it up. It was different then, and I can’t decide which is more familiar--the one I knew for eighteen years or the one I knew for three months.
It’s like Cassie said, I thought, you really do become transitory. Or maybe not as much as you’d like to think, because as I walk through the streets of Beijing, everything I see is compared and contrasted before I can stop myself. It’s funny though, to what I compare it. Not to Inverness, Peru, or Costa Rica, but to India, like somewhere along the line some part of my heart stayed there, willingly and consciously or not. Something about the country maybe, or because it’s the longest I’ve stayed in one spot all year and the longest I’ve stayed with friends all year. Then I wonder if China will be the same, but I know as soon as I ask the question that it won’t and it can’t. I don’t need a rational reason for it this time, I just know and don’t need to pursue it further, although it is a bit depressing. Somehow I managed to forget how long three months is.
It’s just that I can’t help but wonder why I’ve been all over the place this last year. Is it some defect of character that drives me to these foreign places? Something wrong that makes it so easy for me to tear the bonds that tied me to my home for so long and now they are so frail and stretched they have no pull on me. It seems each time saying good-bye became easier, and I can’t decide if that is good or not. Before I left I thought maybe I would find something in China that I wanted to latch onto and pursue, but during the first day of kung fu lessons, I watched my master and a student of his practice and couldn’t help but be in awe at how perfect it was. Not that they were perfect in their practice, although the master seemed so to me, but that it just fit so well and everything flowed because their hearts were there. I noticed that it was them. That was them. It was not me, and as much as I may have wanted it to be, it could not be and I realized and understood that then. So I guess I’m still looking—for something to latch onto or for something that fits. When they practiced their kung fu I saw their passions, but I couldn’t help but wonder where mine was hiding.
I had to name is ashes for you guys. First week is hardest, so I guess that’s why I feel so…I don’t even know right now. Beijing is cool though. It’s kinda like a U.S. city because it’s so modern. Hope Team Jordan is enjoying themselves wherever they happen to be in the world. Good luck with the next Brahma to Buddha. Hope you guys have fun at Lifebridge.