Wednesday, September 11

My Work Here Is Done.

What do you do on the last day of your year in India?
Trying to accomplish too much in the last 12 hours will make you feel helpless.
Mostly what you can do is remember.
Since last September, i have consciously formed quite a few memories. I'm naturally forgetful. I'm not a person who simply remembers most things - i have to decide to remember them. I carefully encrypted the scene and the feeling of leaving American soil on September 1, 2012. I intentionally stored the sound of the uncle in our nearby shop saying, "Don't keep ya money like this!" as he pointed to my 500 rupee note that i'd laid on the counter as i searched for change. I cherish the feeling of all of the planning and putting on of my Indian engagement party - the day i was surrounded by almost everyone i currently love. I remember my housemate Gloria telling me that i looked fresh on countless Sunday mornings. I filed away the lumbering motion of the elephants i rode through the Nepali jungle on, and the unbelievably vast himalayan mountain range surrounding Mount Everest. I stockpiled the conversations with Linda Fleming and the best teaching methods I learned during my time as an English teacher. I carefully preserved the proper way to put on a sari and a fannek or a mekhla. I treasured up the feeling in my heart when a dear brother told me, "You understand how we live here. You really should come back." I willed myself to record the shadow of my hands on the pavement rushing under them as i held them outside my speeding rickshaw in the sun, waiting for my bridal henna to dry last week.

So today i'm taking lots of photos, printing lots of photos, handing out hand-written notes and gilded wedding invitations, drinking one last mango shake, finalizing my packing setup and just smiling softly as i remember.
I'm happy to hear from almost everyone that they feel good about the way i adjusted here, and that they don't think of me as an American - that i've come to fit in. I'm happy to have a new memory to keep - as just yesterday a foreigner friend of mine smiled at me knowingly and said to me, "I feel like you'll be back."
I guess i feel like i will, too.

There is nothing else to say; my words have all run dry.
There is nothing else to do; my work here -for now- is done.

Love from Delhi,
Julie: done.

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