Stars

“I’m awake; I am in the world-

I expect

no further assurance.

No protection, no promise.

Solace of the night sky,

the hardly moving

face of the clock.

I’m alone- all

my riches surround me.

I have a bed, a room.

I have a bed, a vase

of flowers beside it.

And a nightlight, a book.

I’m awake; I am safe.

The darkness like a shield, the dreams

put off, maybe

vanished forever.

And the day-

the unsatisfying morning that says

I am your future,

here is your cargo of sorrow:

Do you reject me? Do you mean

To send me away because I am not

full, in your word,

because you see

the black shape already implicit?

I will never be banished. I am the light,

your personal anguish and humiliation.

Do you dare

send me away as though

you were waiting for something better?

There is no better.

Only (for a short space)

the night sky like

a quarantine that sets you

apart from your task.

Only (softly, fiercely)

the stars shining. Here,

in the room, the bedroom.

Saying I was brave, I resisted,

I set myself on fire.

– Louise Glück, Stars

Advertisements

Yangon days

IMG_2362Back in Yangon after three beautiful days in Bagan. Our days in Bagan were unbelievably good, peaceful, and happy.

I’ve smiled and laughed more than I have in ages this past week and I don’t want to go.

It feels good to be back in the beautiful city I’ve called home for the past month, but also somewhat sad to realize this is the last day I’ll have in the country (for a while). I don’t know when life will take me here again, but I’m hoping it will be someday soon.

Tomorrow, early a.m. I’ll be on my way to back to Thailand.

Burma thank you for being wonderful, challenging, and rewarding! Thank you for all the smiles, the generosity, and for sharing yourself with me. Beauty is everywhere here and I feel incredibly blessed to have had the chance to live, work, and play here for the past month.

“Any life, no matter how long and complex it may be, is made up of a single moment — the moment in which a man finds out, once and for all, who he is.” – Jorge Luis Borges

At night

IMG_1158 IMG_1163 IMG_1175At night, two colors pervade this city – gold and blue.

These days have been wet, very wet and filled with walking long distances (just to save $2 and see more of the city), funny conversations with strangers, and my attempt to explore food (all food here). Walking around with a heavy camera is nothing new for me, but I find that I often want to ditch it and everything I have and dance in the rain. Something about the place makes me want to abandon everything and spend my days wandering like a monk.

So far, and as I’ve been told numerous times, internet is slow (very slow) and hard to come by and the food is oily. Other than that (and maybe the constant wet and the early mildew of all my possessions), I have absolutely no complaints. I find that I am perfectly content and enjoying my solitude. I’m staying at a tiny budget inn not too far from the water and I feel that these days have been important for me.

I find that when I travel I often opt for the “slow and sweaty” route and in doing this, I challenge myself to be patient. In Yangon, I also have been practicing patience and practicing the art of living quietly and living alone. While I’ve had great encounters with strangers so far, I feel that this is only the start of nearly a month of living here. I’m enjoying both the conversations and the times of silence.

For now, I am (patiently) waiting to check my email and doing yoga in my tiny, concrete room. I’ve got rain-soaked and mango-covered leggings on now and I’ve only been in the city for a few days and I already smell like it (and I don’t mind it one bit).

Travel notes –> the in-between places

IMG_9969 IMG_9973 IMG_9968 IMG_9971I often find when I travel between two places, I’m more distracted by all the in-between places I’m passing through than my final destination. I’m often not too upset when something goes wrong in my original travel plan because I know that in the end, either an adventure will come of it or I will get the chance to discover a new place.

For example, the other night while I was traveling –> Bangkok –> Chumphon station –> bus –> ferry –> Koh Tao, I wanted to stay in Chumphon longer, wanted to stop at every train station and see what that town was like, etc.

I guess, I’m just easily distracted, but I feel this way most everywhere I go.

Traveling by train in Thailand is such a pleasant experience. Up to this point, most of my train experiences have been in Europe or India (*the two extremes of train travel), and so far, I think I choose Thailand. My India train experiences have certainly prepared me for a good deal in life and even though I have oddly grown to love traveling by train in India, I’ve found  in Thailand, I can relax, breathe deeply, and sleep for more than an hour without being interrupted!

Back

night

Brother Sam and I drove back to CH//Carrboro  yesterday. I got back and immediately tore apart my room, and made a bigger mess of everything than before. Hours later, a new room emerged and I collapsed in bed.

I fell asleep early and woke up feeling like a lot of things were possible this morning. Today has already been filled entirely with being BACK. Back to the mess, the fun, the long walks in the rain, the printing, the physical therapy and doctors appointments, the long chats with advisers, and the trying to get organized.

I took this photo of the taco truck beside my house last semester. I like this place and like taking photos with my film camera(s).

It feels good to be back. Even in the rain, the mud, and the quiet.

I have no idea what this season will bring. I feel that half of me has never been more ready and the other half is protesting . . .  everything.

“Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later do you really start absorbing what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in a book, and remembering – because you can’t take it in all at once.” – Audrey Hepburn

Happy Monday. Stay warm everyone!