Almost a year has gone by since the end of my 365-day blog, and I'm sometimes tempted to start another similar one, although I know I wouldn't be able to keep up with it every day. Perhaps that's ok? I do miss having an excuse to go out and experiment with the camera, people, and places...perhaps, perhaps =)
As I sit against this fabric seat, head tilting to look out the window, I see the place I've called home for so long once again. The wide expanse of lit-up Los Angeles spreads out into the night, shimmering rivers of twinkling lights. I blink and imagine that all that darkness below is the deep deep ocean, and all those lights are each ships out at sea; and how many people are on each ship, I wonder? Where are they heading, these ants of industry and sleeplessness?
I blink again and the ships are gone, and once again return those planned grids that make up all of L.A. As I sit here I think of many things, not the least of which is the fact that exactly one year ago, I embarked on this silly blog-of-a-journey, and how annoyingly fitting it is that on the last day, I literally arrive home again, so that even the last day mocks me and says, "It is laughable, this silly irony you call life."
And this irony indeed seems to be following me everywhere these days, run from it though I may. Yet even as I run, I smile, too, because it is life, and that is all we have. I come home today because a dear friend weds her best friend this week, and I come home too because this same week my uncle lies in a hospital bed, hanging in that misty space between breath and the clouds.
We cannot know our fate, strive as we might. Would you care to know yours? I would not. I'd rather live each day as it comes, tackle it as need be, celebrate it as fitting and desirable. Making meaning out of every slot of this year has been no easy task - I hated it many, many times, especially toward the end, when it became impossible, in fact. Impelled to find meaning in something each day, I must admit, led me to seek adventures I would not have otherwise sought, speak to people I would otherwise have ignored in timidity, captured moments I would otherwise have forgotten amongst countless others.
And so I wonder, perhaps, if what I am supposed to learn from all this, is simply that in order for us to see the meaning in anything, we must make it for ourselves?
The last day of this blog nears, and I'm completely behind! I wonder if I've been passively sabotaging (new phrase learned at work) my blog progress. Picking up my camera last weekend while in the city with my brother was such a good feeling, and one that I miss already. While layers of papers to be graded sit stacked in front of me, I think of the sensation of just having the camera in my hands, seeing light and shapes and situations, and going through the physical process of trying to capture what I see the way that I'd like. I don't think I appreciated the act of taking a photograph until now.
While I sit and reflect on how Friday's lessons could be improved, family and Pakistan and general worries about the future are always on my mind. I worry for my sick uncle, and worry also for my father and their other siblings. I think of how short life is, and how sad it is that in this short existence so many lives are filled with little but constant striving to find happiness and emotional satisfaction, and for so many others the strive is simply to find food or water. Perhaps completely unrelated, I am reminded of how important my culture is to me, how I miss just hearing Urdu, seeing my mother in shalwar kameez, seeing Geo News and "Utho Jago Pakistan" as I walk to the kitchen. I miss that smell of dust and burning tires and fabric and ithar that hits you when you step off the plane in Karachi, the hauntingly beautiful sound of the azaan when the whole city of Lahore is awash in that ocean-blue before dawn, cool flat rooftops and intricate iron latices spreading out for miles and miles.
I look down and there is my tall coffee, the blue pen for responding to student work, the stack of papers, the screen on which I see these letters and words appear. Too layered. Time to get back to work.
A great feeling it was to show my brother around the school, to see him smile and look around, proud, I hope. Having family come and see where I am now has been a special treat, as it has been so easy to get caught up in the day to day that it's only during these visits when I realize what a change has come from where I was a few months back.
I realized how much I had been wanting to share with family about my life here the moment my sister got into the car after being picked up from the airport: I couldn't stop talking and telling her (tiring her, really), with all the minutia of my life these past few weeks. She was kind enough to tolerate me =)
Lots of chocolate consumed today. It's ok because my sister is here...
I miss posting and I miss my camera and photography, and I'm super behind on the blog and I miss it. =/ Enmeshed in work (which is going wonderfully, but it leaves me with no time). I hope to catch up soon!
Day 340 (Mon., 9/4); Day 341 (Tues); 342 (Wed); 343 (Thurs); 345(Sat.); 346 (Sun., 9/11)