Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Nor•mal |nôrmel| adjective

February 08, 2011: Tuesday

The novelty of being away from those I thought I needed is wearing - save, I still, and will always need them. Being here is both making my heart grow fonder - but it is also making it more callused. I feel tugged, and I feel the need to push away - no, rather, let go of the rope that once held me down in a place where my roots took grounding. Letting go and letting my clipped wings repair the cuts they've been so accustomed to endure as a way of life - but now is my time. Now is the time for me to allow air to be rushed under and for sights to be engulfed by these cameras I call my eyes.

Though, it seems to difficult to capture what I now find so normal... my life here has it's moments of newness - but in actuality - not having my car, but rather a bike; dirt paths, not paved roadways; donkeys as a mode for shipping things, not trucks; and then children wandering, mothers carrying basins of water on their heads with a baby strapped to their back, men knocking down walls with a small device called a dabah (always barefoot), women pounding grains (all day), people of all ages taking a squat anywhere they please... it's an endless list of things that were so new to me, but now are just normal life. It is not new. It is not strange. It is my life and I don't know how to convey these things to my audience back home and "be excited" about it.

My flight here has plummeted to a steady plateau that may not interest me in recording the basics. I sleep in a tent. I eat rice or maccarroni or tô ALL the time. I drink "watered down" beers more than I should. I speak at least 3 languages daily. I read, cook, write by lantern or headlamp. I do not have a toilet. I bathe out of a bucket. I do not have a grocery store anywhere near where I live. I shop from men and women who sit on the ground under big trees. I do not have running water. I do not have electricity. My feet are callused. My knees and above must ALWAYS be covered when in public. My arms are darker than the rest of my body. I do not have internet in the vicinity of at least 50km from my house. I ride my bike to get vegetables 27km away every 3 to 6 days (one way). I love waking up to hear my neighbors working. I am confused the majority of the day. My conversations usually involve a lot of questions about family, work, house and then confused looks of "I don't understand." I have to bike to a manual pump to fetch my water.

Normal. What is normal when one's world is so diverse?
I want to experience every kind of normal that exists.
I want to experience the world as it is.
I want to soar & fly & dip & crash.
I want to recover.

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