Sunday, September 7, 2014

Dear Portland, I Miss You, Love Meleah

I love being homesick. I love sitting at the computer crying over pictures of heirloom tomatoes in my old school garden and reading through things I wrote years ago, and thinking about my family's particular mannerisms. I love tracing the corners of my home and porch in my mind, thinking about the grapes that must be drooping heavy now in the late summer, remembering and not just appreciating, really missing, really wishing that I could be there to see it and smell it. Even if a thought is wrapped in a sadness, to feel anything deeply is a blessing. Wishing for something is a powerful emotion, one that cuts through a lot of bullshit. Nostalgia is the feeling of all of the love in a memory (whether or not you actually felt it at the time is irrelevant). The dangerous kind of nostalgia is when you start comparing a memory to the present moment, wishing to be in another place or time instead of where you are now. Missing something is not the same as wanting it right now. Longing and loving are intertwined in a way that I sometimes think our culture doesn't appreciate. Homesickness reminds me of what I love deeply, and in doing so it reminds me to love. When I look up from the screens and notebooks, everything is more important. My sisters are more endearing, every mustard seed in the idli sambhar and coconut chutney is lovely, I smile more at all of the oddities of India, which are easy to get exhausted by sometimes. Between all of the confused and boring moments, India keeps sneaking up on me very slowly and reminding me how to love.

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