The Kindness of Strange Friends: December, 2008

December, 2008
Dear Nicki,
Grin.  You’re not really all that strange.  Thank you so much for your card and the book!  It was wonderful to talk with you today!  So wonderful.  I am sitting in the living room of my home in San Francisco.  It’s getting to be bedtime for me pretty soon at least.  Perhaps when I finish writing to you.  There’s a bicycle leaning up against the television and Rika is sitting on the floor working on her computer.  I love her company so very much!  We’re both talking about things that we want to do this semester that we didn’t necessarily do last semester.  It’s strange, I’ve been feeling not so grounded of late as I felt when I first got here.  The wonder and awe and joy.  I don’t know what it is and where it comes from.  I think sleep helps, and I have not been getting so much of that as I had been previously.  I don’t know.  I feel like I go through these waves or ebbs and flows of confidence and deep peace.  Now’s not one of them.  And I guess that’s okay.  It’s part of the ebbing and flowing of my life.  The ups and downs.
I’m thinking again about the summer and now the possibility of maybe going to Central/South America to get an immersion Spanish experience.  I don’t know.  There are so many possibilities and options in life.  So many.  Smile.  How was iceskating?  Listening to you talk about your friends has gotten me thinking of my high school friends.  I didn’t see a lot of them other than two times after high school graduation and it made it hard to stay close.  So I think it’s wonderful that you are making the deliberate effort to see folks and let them know how important they are.  It sounds like being at home has been really good for you, you sounded a little cautious in your letter.  I was perhaps not as cautious as I should have been at home.  I forget the dynamics.  And really, it was wonderful.  But I definitely hit a point where I had had enough of everyone.
Tomorrow is church.  I didn’t go very much in the month of December.  Or November, either, I guess.  I miss it when I don’t go.  And the last few times, I feel like I’ve been rushing, fitting it in between other things instead of being VERY present.
Oh, Nicki.  Sometimes it hurts when I think of Nepal and not being there and the almost-possibility I had of going – when Prakash-ji called out of the blue asking if I wanted to come back.  And then having that fall through.  I was so ready.  I mean, life is what we have and what we make of what we have.  And I’m here, and it’s good and I have the wonderful opportunity of continuing to be here.  I get to continue building these relationships and working to be balanced and present.  But, God, I really would go back to Nepal in a heartbeat.  And then there’s the part of me that misses it so much that I don’t want to think about going back.  I want to move on.  Almost like a lover whose absence is eased only by the complete removal of that person from my life.  But not really.  Did I tell you that I took Lucas (Green Peace Guy) out to Nepali food the night I said goodbye to him?  Yeah.  And I loved the food and the people and the opportunity to speak Nepali.  Really, all these things would be solved by having longer days.  Rika votes for 36 hours, what do you think?
I value your friendship ever so much.  I feel grounded in it.  It is as though I am reminded always of my best self when I speak to you and can strive to be that.  You are such a gift.  Your ability to listen.  To reflect.  To share of yourself.  I appreciate your acceptance of others.  The world is beautiful.  It is us who so often fail to see its beauty.  The beauty is there.  Always.  Have you ever read “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues?”  It’s a very bizarre and wonderful book that I highly recommend.  I think that you would appreciate the beauty in its strangeness.  It’s not the best book I ever read, but it made me feel things and think.  I dunno.  And laugh.  It’s pretty funny.  It’s by Tom Robbins.
Anyway, it’s my bedtime now.  I’m sending love and hugs and peace.  For right now it is still.  inside and outside of me.  Smile.  Not a motionless stillness but the stillness of a breeze whispering in bamboo leaves, the stillness of a skipping stream, the stillness of birdsong and crickets, the stillness of breath and heartbeat.  That is the stillness that is.
Be well.  Good night.
T
p.s. I shall miss San Francisco when I leave.  What is it about attachment?  I cannot decide if it is a good thing or not.  There is something very humbling and human about it.  And on the other hand, it is so very problematic.  Ah well.  more thoughts and questions.  As is always the case.
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About Thandiwe

Hopeful cynic, creative, seriously silly, lover of people and places, hypocrite, third-culture kid, queer, life-long learner, white woman, Christ follower, outdoor enthusiast: I am a seeker of justice and truth who has re-found my spiritual home in progressive Christianity. I serve as the Associate Pastor at a small Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) congregation near the mountains of Colorado where I live with my beloved.
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