Tuesday, October 2, 2012


So whats it like to be back?

That's the real question.  Not the "how was Africa?" I was expecting, but, how does it feel to be back?

how DOES it feel to be back? 

that's a valid question that I have no answer to.  My answer varies every time. 

The fact is I just don't know. 

Maybe "it" will hit me later. 

What that it will entail I have no idea.

Or maybe I made out like an emotional bandit - maybe it really IS this easy.....

After my initial evening of wow look at all the paved streets, it has been surprisingly nice to be back. 

That's the word: nice. 

Raspberries with thick creamy Greek yogurt have been nice. 
Hot tea in the morning as rain bruises the window pane has been nice.
Catching up with as many friends as possible, although exhausting, has been nice.
Markets stuffed with fresh baked bread, organic chocolates, and rainbows of vegetables has been nice. 
Hot water and bathtubs and bath salts and sugar scrubs and tea tree face wash has been nice.
Getting my nails done has been nice. 
Being able to sleep in without a pressing engagement has been nice. 

Its all been nice.  But its vanilla. 

I miss the depth, the richness, the spice, the color, the mud, and the heat rising from the trampled earth.

But its not like its always in my mind - just a vague wistfulness.

My main problem right now is limbo.  Not having anywhere to call home, packing and re packing and sorting and sorting and now with 130 pounds of belongings I am going to start a new life.  Its silly, but it breaks my heart to leave my books behind.  I don't have much in this life to call my own other than clothes and books and mementos from all my travels.  I so wanted to haul everything up to Alaska with me and have a fresh start, a clean move. 

But the absurdities of shipping 7 boxes of books when one is broke and living off a credit card are self-evident, and so I'm once again split - half my things at Grandma's and half my things with me.  Its not like I have a lot - to most people's standards I don't.  I just hate feeling scattered, feeling split. 

And I love my family and friends and those that have been so gracious to me, but a month of living on other people's couches takes a strange toll of its own.  There is no sanctuary, no space to spread out and decompress.  No room to arrange things to your liking and then sit in it thinking. 

Of course, its people, not things, that constitute the stuff a vibrant life is made out of, but there is something to be said for having your own space. 

So, now, a new, emphatic, adamant dream has been born - I want to make as much money as possible and then buy property some place beautiful at my first available opportunity.  I don't want to get sucked in, I don't want to sink a lot of money into it, just some small quaint self - sufficient place that is mine, that is a home base, a sacred space, a little oasis I can come back to every time I get back from the madness.  Because I want more madness.  I want more insanity.  I want more travel.  I want more experience.  I loved Tchad.  I want to work internationally and MSF is still my big wide driving dream - but I never want to feel like this.  never. ever. again. 

So, how is being back? 

Its a curious mix of gratitude, limbo, longing, and grey.  Its sort of like a lucid dream while at the same time feeling both brutally awake while unable to shake off the curtains of sleep. 

and also, it is, it really is nice. 

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