On my last morning walk to work in Dhaka a mist started to roll in across the lake, hiding the slum and cocooning me and the bridge over in a shroud of thick white fluff.
It was something I had never seen in Bangladesh before and it seemed somehow apt that the city was fading from sight as I strode through it’s broken streets towards my own ending, my own disappearance.
Now I am re-made a world away. I’ve slept in a bed that smelled good, showered in hot water that didn’t run out, got silly excited over fluffy towels and ate from a breakfast buffet that had me wide-eyed like a little kid. I feel fat with gratitude for these simple welcomes, these gifts that have arrived and been unwrapped even before I get home.
Amsterdam is sparkling with Christmas glint and glitz. An elf on rollerblades sped past as a I struggled with my bags in the airport. Inexplicable pandas in Santa hats stood like centurians guarding the abundant booty of candied almonds and ginger cakes piled high on the supermarket shelves.
Part of me is suspended in the in-between. At 3am I found myself staring perplexed at the taps in the hotel bathroom, sleepy-suspicious of my brain’s assurances that it was okay to drink.
I have habits I need to unlearn. I keep swatting at imaginary mosquitos. I feel a little naked in my own clothes. I find myself wanting to hoard toilet paper when I see a whole roll… I laugh at myself a lot.
I am muddled, befuddled and yet in this not-quite-anywhere-yet place, in this crisp clear mid air, I see very clearly. I can look both ways, hold both directions in my heart.
I’m saying a thank you for all that has been, for this moment and for the future that I’m on my way to. I’m waiting and hoping for the next now to take shape and roll on out of the thick cloud mist…