Trip Start Jan 22, 2010
27Trip End Feb 14, 2010
Most people would assume these tasks are related to my trip. Foolish people. Sure, I did hunt for my vaccination record and antibiotic prescription until midnight last night (Final location? The folder named "medical records" in the filing cabinet), but the things that really stand out on this list, any one of which could take me well into next week to complete, are all peripheral -- at least to the trip.
My Year in Review letter is still in the conceptual stages. I haven't finished the presentation I'm giving to 100 people on Friday. Thursday's deadline for an application project (which I'm working on, oddly enough, with a developer sitting in Bangalore) has moved minutes closer as I write this. The loose ends from my government contract are supposed to be unloosened or perhaps knit into a sweater by the end of the week. My meeting action items are in stasis, my packing is a distant ambition, the cat is digging its claws in my leg because there is no food...
Yet it seemed like a good idea today, when a lull happened as I arrived home from school with the children, to ignore all the pressing matters to fix the kids' bikes and do some gardening.
See, the small things count too. Jonathan always wakes up enthused to ride his 'new' bike to school, and every day the slow leak has drained his back tire. I couldn't leave knowing I'd condemned Julie to carrying around a bike pump for the next three weeks on top of everything else. And the tarp full of bark mulch was right over the place where the purple crocuses push their fragile way out of the ground. They've been fighting their way up every January in a neglected corner of the garden, first blossoms of Victoria's freakishly long spring. They've probably been blooming there sinced my parents lived here 50 years ago. Probably longer than that.
It's easy to forget those cycles and layers of history in the rush of this week. I suspect India will have a lot to teach me along these lines. Everything I read suggests a counry that embraces both modern chaos and ancient cycles "older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend," as Mark Twain said.
And that's maybe why I also started my journal in the midst of this madness. Even now, even from half a globe away, India is tugging at me. Reminding me to breath and look beyond my self and preoccupations. A place I've never been awaits.