At the moment I am laying in bed surrounded by dogs. Louis is curled up on a mountain of clean clothes that have been in a pile on the floor all week. I can't imagine they're even all that clean anymore, but he just looks so content there. I don't have the heart to ask him to move.
It's been a long day--one that started at the crack of dawn. Today was the day of the Animal Humane Society's Walk for Animals. A fundraising event that brought in over 8,000 people and is, if I'm not mistaken, the largest walk in the United States. Last year at this time I had just defended my thesis (after the 2 long and agonizing years it took to write it) and the very next day I jumped with both feet into my first event (last year's walk) in celebration of the public launch of Stray Dog Arts. It's amazing how much can happen in one year.
The sound of sleeping dogs makes me feel tired. I have a cup of Darjeeling tea sitting next to me and it reminds me of my time spent traveling in India and Nepal. Mostly, Darjeeling tea reminds me of Kathmandu where I stayed for over a month in a rented apartment overlooking the city. God, I miss it there. I miss it terribly.
While in Kathmandu I bought a little heating element from a cubbyhole of a shop that I used to boil water for tea. It clipped on to the side of the glass and would boil the water in a moment. I drank a lot of tea in Kathmandu. I drank tea and wrote and walked and wrote and drank tea. I woke up early every morning and sat on the roof looking out into a great expanse of more roof tops and the mountains beyond. My friend, Isabelle, rented a room across the alley. The alley was narrow enough that we were able to pass the bowl of sugar between our windows when the other ran out. I met Isabelle in Jaipur, a Belgium girl sharing the same birthday as myself. Our initial meeting came in the form a 10 day silent meditation at a Vipassana Center. When we emerged from Vipassana we ended up sharing a room in a guest house together and did not stop talking for 3 days straight. Several months later, somehow by accident, we ended up in Kathmandu at the same time. Isabel, my sister. We were so much the same.
For many years our connection never waned and we kept a steady flow of letters between us--filled with our most heart-felt thoughts. And then our lives got busy. My life got swallowed by school. Isabel now has 2 growing babes. I know her restless spirit hungers to return to Katmandu as much as my own. Some days I feel it almost like a physical ache. Darjeeling tea sparks my desire to return and fills the space of my overworked days with a certain sweetness.
I have to admit that I'm at a cross roads. I don't even know what that means right now. I have just launched a new project and am excited to see it through. I have a second project in the wings and a half dozen inspirations sitting along side that as well. But this crossroads exists on another level--one that I cannot quite makes sense of just yet.
All I know is that I'm ready for a new beginning--on a cellular level. I feel the urge to get back to my roots. And by roots I mean that something that exists way down deep in my soul.
Here's to drinking good tea.
Here's to drinking good tea.