First, I am hopping on a plane to Nepal. The flight is more like sailing smoothly over water rather than hurling through the clouds.
When I land, someone kind meets me at the airport. He knows what I look like.
We drive to a faraway but not at all scary village. Here, a few more kind hearts show me to my room.
A room that is no more than a bed, see-through linens, and half walls showing a landscape that breathes for you.
I am dazed but the kind hearts expect that.
They leave me with my bags to feel hungry.
With senses that are surfacing red hot, I am torn between sage and smoke. All of me is both cozy and afraid in these new surroundings. It's so quiet here, I am holding breaths to fit in. A land like this is harder than it appears.
I try again to feel hungry but nothing registers because too much is happening in my head and nothing feels separate yet. It's going to be work to sort things out, I remind myself.
Home is all systems go, full blast, add more coal to the belly of my own ashes.
Ah, but this is not home.
Here I sit contemplating western psychologies when my eyes find the softest, most delicious sheets before my hands can.
Holy sh*t, my hands! What has happened to my hands?!
The last time I looked, mine were young, playful, and ripe.
These hands here on the bed are so different. They are serious, intricate, more scarred than my own. Millions of tiny triangles occupy east to west and north to south only to ripple over knuckles that must be deep valleys where all the water goes.
I am here. In Nepal. With these wise old hands ready to hold a new fruit. Embrace a new friend. Speak a new language and help the rest of me catch up with the grace and purpose of a slow soak.
The Urban Sherpa
When do we #*!@ leave?