Monday, October 18, 2010

Love this

I am a Hindu because of sculptured cones of red kumkum powder and baskets of yellow turmeric nuggets, because of garlands of flowers and pieces of broken coconut, because of the clanging of bells to announce one's arrival to God, because of the whine of the reedy nadaswaram and the beating of drums, because of the patter of bare feet against the stone floors down dark corridors pierced by shafts of sunlight, because of the fragrance of incense, because of the flames of arati lamps circling in the darkness, because of bhajans being sweetly sung, because of elephants standing around to bless, because of colourful murals telling colourful stories, because of foreheads carying, variously signified, the same word-- faith.

I became loyal to these sense impressions before I knew what they meant or what they were for. It is my heart that commands me so. I feel at home in a Hindu temple. ... Truly I am in a sacred cosmic womb, a place where everything is born, and it is my sweet luck to behold its living core.

-Life of Pi, p47-8

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A year

Every year the sun tucks in behind a cloud; every year the wet winter draws curtains closed and night time closer; every year I am surprised: Is it really already August... Septe-- October? This time last year I was parading Erin around the streets of Seattle, carving pumpkins and making pie. I lived on the crowded, rowdy streets of the U-district, said hello to the folks selling Real Change at the Safeway, made my way to banks and coffee shops and the Post Office, all mercifully within walking distance, all tucked in the space between Greenlake and Lake Union, north of the bridge, south of the suburbs, right off campus where the parties never end and the stores don't bother to open their doors until 10 AM. Last year I worried about walking the Ave passed 10pm and ran the four blocks to work at 5AM half because I was late, and half to avoid trouble. I tip toed by the door way where a homeless man snored. I pounded my way through the neighborhood, around the university and ran in their community races. And this year.

I can't get over all the changes taking place. My neighborhood is quiet and woody, sweet with neighbors who know my name and stop by with offers of produce. The closest grocery store is a twenty minute walk away, and though they care about local produce and ethical companies, charge five bucks for a box of cereal. Patrick makes an... altogether different roommate. I work a day job. I spend long Saturdays doing chores, and planning for Sunday school. At night I write grocery lists and if its a good one, we walk to 7-11 to buy beer before we watch Lost on Pat's computer. Or read John Irving under the lamp Christy left us when she moved to England.

Christy moved to England one week ago yesterday. This is perhaps the biggest change of all. The little pieces of her that are missing surface all the time. Sometimes I want to send her a text. I see a movie, a book, or smell the coffee in the U-district, as I did last night, there again for the first time in a while-- I touched the lamp post on 11th, one I used to run by every day, that I have clung to at the end of a 20-mile run just to feel something solid and cool. Oh, Christy. This is our Seattle. The skyline at night from Capitol Hill. The morning kayak-ers under University bridge. It all meant that we were together and on our own. Now just on our own-- but I am excited for her too- I picture her drinking wine and reading a novel in a cozy, crowded pub, or walking in the rain.

So, it is October again- this is the month where the preschool looks normal to me. Where the days consist of rainy boots and 30 pairs of rain pants and hot tea and buns baking shaped by children with miniature rolling pins and aprons. Where the outdoors require long johns and wild imaginations. And this time last year I was beginning to form the plans that would end in a freezing cold night on Fremont bridge (over while I commute daily this year) and a ring on my finger.

Speaking of that.