Friday, March 21, 2008

Loved by the Sun (too much)

Tangalle is a salve to the wounds of Bombay, too much so, perhaps. Four friends and I went down to the beach to swim, and then to stroll, and before we knew it we were all pulling in the nets for some fisherfolk.

The nets are 2 kilometers long, and it took two hours to reel it in. Two hours.

Let me spell that out for you: we were on the beach between 11am and 1pm, pulling up nets. And we are all so sunburned that we are a little bit incapacitated. I'd been hoping to get a touch of color on my fish-white legs. Done. Fuscia. Thanks, sun.

I'm trying to be calm about the pain, the tenderness, the fact that I have not been burned like this since childhood. It's excruciating, and shameful. And yeah. Enough complaints.


Meanwhile, I am sifting through the sands of this journey, mining it for truths small and large. The conflicts arising in my heart and mind are constant, and seemingly irreversible.

Nothing stays the same, not the shoreline, not our bodies, not the position of the heavenly bodies, not the employment of our friends at our guesthouse, nothing.

Every time I think I find a foothold in this world, a small shred of security, the foundation crumbles beneath me, and I am left flailing once more.

Sometimes the flailing is a joy, windswept like a kite on a thermal lift, other times the flailing leaves me bereft, without direction, without trust, without hope.

I'm somewhere in purgatory at the moment, suspended between meanings, straining my lean hope against all odds.


It has been eye opening, traveling with spoiled adult children dependent on Daddy's dime, shallowly making their way through the world as though traipsing through a large shopping mall...

I find myself faltering, questioning too deeply, letting the gravity of places and people sink into my psyche, while wondering why these other students are immune to it, responding to the darkness with either strident dismissal or ironic humor.

I'm afraid, my friends, that I enjoy the abyss too much, peering into it, shouting into its canyon and receiving the answer of my own voice filtered through its lightless horror, cleaving its cracks for meaning, extracting my own definitions from its crags and edges.

Sorry, I'm saying too much without saying anything.

Maybe I should leave you with a video:

Nevermind, that was taking forever and a day. Here is the totem animal of this entire trip: the ubiquitous question mark:


Kathy Hernandez said...

I'm sorry to hear about your sunburn. Been there, done that. Especially with our great genes, I suggest that you cover up from now on. Okay, I know that was uncalled for, its just that I'm always going to be your mother, and I will always care about you. I miss hearing your sweet voice, but your blog keeps us abreast of your whereabouts and such. Again, thanks for sharing.

Paul said...

Francesca, this is your brother on the board. I can't remember the last time you got a mean burn from our sun! I hope at least that you brought in many fish or some bit of good from the experience to balance out the bad. Thanks for the postcard, can't wait to see you(happy Easter)that is today!