A BRIEF GOODBYE


It’s that time of the year again: batten down the hatches, pack up, and leave for seven months for India. I will spend some time with my mother in the city of Chandigarh, meet the rest of my family, have the sort of social interaction I don’t have and miss in America, get warm in the Panjab climate, eat Indian food, dress Indian, meet friends, shop to stock up our isolated home in the mountains, find a driver, and make the long, loaded journey home by the stream I so adore, to our dogs, who I have missed, and to our staff, who I have also missed. I won’t have to cook or clean, though many chores still remain for me to do.

But each time before this journey from my US life to my Indian one, when all the packing and doing is done (which is a lot), I get nervous and restless. I am in transition, and my body and brain are uncertain about where they are, in the here and now, which feels very transitory, or where they are going. It is not easy to deal with this anxiety, and the only thing that calms it is doing something or the other. Today I spent at least half an hour cleaning out the earrings I have been wearing for so long that they had crud in the holes at the back, where the stones are set. Just doing this calmed me down, but the first thing that calmed me down was a forty minute walk in the neighborhood. There are very few things that a good walk won’t won’t cure. Like my friend Liz Cisco is fond of quoting (Diogenes), It is solved by walking. And then, it doesn’t matter what you do, doing helps.
 

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