Monday, August 6

Normal Day


We begin normal life again today.  Laundry.  Shopping for food.  Taking J to Taekwon Do.  Pulling the weeds.  Our life is rarely glam and travel.  Actually, never glam.

Normal has a new nuance though.  Everything I do is post-India.  And in my head I am, indeed, thinking that as I go about.   When I do laundry, I can hang dry my clothes and know that they'll dry today.  When I shop, I don't have to shoo flies away from tomatoes.  When I drive my son to his class, I can stay inside the lane lines and trust others to do the same.  When I put my hands to the earth it won't be layered with defecation and trash.  I can put it to my nose and smell it.

I heard a horn this morning some distance down Broadway. And in that quiet moment, it took me back to the mornings in the flat on Shivalik.  On our quiet street, the occasional horn would alert me that others were stirring. The fruit vendor sounding out his call from his wooden cart.  The housekeeper letting herself in to wash yesterday's dishes. Metal cups and plates rattling.  Stale air reminding me that two showers would be on the day's agenda.

Most friends held the expectation that this would be a life-changing trip.  That when we arrived back we'd be different.  Perhaps startled into a new way of living or guilted into something more simplistic.  Perhaps that's true a little.  But for me it was life enhancing.  Everything that I do here, my friends in Delhi do there.  She can cook a fabulous Italian dinner or homemade chicken soup if she wants to.  She can get her clothes pressed for 80 rupees.  She can stop at the market for milk and eggs and bread.  She can sit in a coffee shop.  She can call home.  At the core, we live similar lives.

What I'm left with is the feeling that life is the same everywhere.  Mine may be easier, cooler, cleaner and for that I can be very grateful, but all of humanity wrestles with the same F's:  food, fuel, faucets, feces, fodder, financing.  And so we are tied together by our similarities rather than torn apart by our differences.

I move through my normal day feeling the rhythm of Delhi; sometimes I am chaos too.

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