"Madam", Kreisler replied, "I have."
May all beings experience happiness and the causes of happiness, and be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
-- Buddhist prayer
It's a full moon tonight, corresponding with the holiday of Buddha Poornima, the celebration of Buddha's birthday.
I went back to Juhu; the Sea View for dinner, and a gola for dessert. I like it there. It overlooks the beach, and the teeming crowds. Families going to the beach, lovers holding hands, groups of young men or women out together, and the vendors, selling maps or toys or food or chai or henna stamps, or just bringing scales to the beach, and weighing people for 5 rupees each, the scale lighting up in vibrant colors before reporting its results. The moon rose behind us, and joined all of us as we overlooked the sea, the wind cooling us and lifting kites, the sand massaging between our toes.
I've been a little sad lately, a little lonely. I can hear the clock ticking on me, can feel my time here slipping away. I'm certainly ready to get out of this city, even ready to leave the country, come back to the States, see what's next, build a new life. But at the same time, as I feel the time passing, as I can measure my time left here in weeks, even days, I am fighting it, I am holding on.
Each person we lose, everything that comes and goes, all the things and people and interactions and experiences that honor the stage of our lives for a moment, or a day, or a decade, and then walk off the stage, never to reappear, each loss is like a little death. and while we try to let the stream of time flow by us with grace, with acceptance, every instinct we have tells us to hold on, tightly, forever, hold on and never let go.
I'm absorbing everything. Every time i go to one of the stores on my street that I frequent, to speak a little Hindi and buy milk, or chocolate, or breakfast, each conversation is treasured and i'm savoring it all. Each time Sachin shaves me; each time Prakash teaches me another word of Marathi as I buy drinking water from him; each trip to the beach; each bite of food; each visit with a neighbor- I am trying to draw it all in, absorb it deeply. I looked over Juhu beach at the Arabian sea tonight, and let it burn itself into my brain. Someday, very soon, that image will be a memory. One I will always be grateful for. I've loved this dream-come-true, loved it more when I wasn't alone here, but I've loved every precious moment, I just hope I haven't sacrificed too much for it. Because whatever poverty I face, whatever starting over I face, whatever hard work awaits me, still, I wouldn't have traded this for anything, but i hope i haven't lost too much in making this dream come true, and i hope i'm not losing too much in making the next dream come true. And I hope and trust that the people that are waiting for me know this, will forgive me my self-indulgence, and will greet me when I return with open arms and open hearts, and I will try to let go, to appreciate what I've had, and, as I've always done, to run towards what's next.
Juhu Beach, Mumbai
the people, the sea
my gola stand
mine was blue and yellow tonight