Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Coming Back

I've never surfed a flash flood with a bee hive humming in my skull, but I would imagine it feels something like this. I rolled onto campus on Sunday as tentative as a school girl with her braces just off, and was immediately struck by how, well, full this campus now feels. There are thirty-two students, thirteen of whom now shuffle restively under my scrawny but determined wing. I don't know who they were when they showed up here, but after ten days of integrity boot camp, they are riding high on low-grade anxiety and their own latent potential. They seem set on no less than utter transformation (though transcendence would not be taken amiss), and I have no doubt that India is up to the task, but are they? Am I?

The reality of my return to India descended into the gut realm yesterday as we went through the itinerary with the group and traced our journey on a map with pushpins and yellow yarn. Oh, yes, the heat. The vertiginous taxi rides. The daunting chasms of miscommunication and the feeling on some days that the entirety of India's inexorable weight is balanced on top of my of my chest like a circus elephant on a golf ball. It's all coming back to me.

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