Kolkata Journal. Imagining India

It’s finally becoming real.  The idea of my trip to India, which began months ago was more of an abstract idea to me than something that would really happen.

Now it’s a little over a month away, and I wake up at night thinking of practical things like having a bag big enough to hold a bottle of water, but not so big it’s cumbersome.  I think of ways of having my iphone/camera always handy without having to always be holding it in my hand.  The last time I traveled out of the United States I went to the bank and got Travelers Checks.  Remember those?  I’m finding out how money works now.  And soon I’ll be able to get my Visa.  It can only be applied for a month before travel.

Yesterday I took the calendar off the fridge and wrote India in the box for February 12th. On the 26th I wrote Home.  Those words bracketed fourteen squares on the calendar.  Two whole weeks. Half the month.

The last time I left Jon and the farm was to go to Gee’s Bend, Alabama, three years ago.  And that was for four days.

If I can’t imagine something, see it in my mind, feel it in my body, it’s not real to me.  Because I’ve never been there, India is not real to me.

So I’ve started trying to imagine myself on the plane, reading a book on my iphone.  In the hotel blogging on my computer.  Taking pictures in the markets, the ones I’ve seen pictures of online.  And teaching the girls and women at the Women’s Interlink Foundation how to make potholders.

It’s still hard for me to believe  it’s because of my potholders that I’m going to India.

I’m busy preparing, but I don’t want this time to be just about getting ready to go.  I want to feel the excitement too.  The joy of the adventure.

This morning I stood in front of the mirror and looking into my own eyes, I said out loud,  You’re going to India.  You’re going to India!  Imagine that.  Did you ever think that would happen?  You just never know. 

In the mirror, I watched the smile spread across my face.  I felt my heart start to pound with excitement.   The warm oranges, maroons and yellows of India, that I’ve only seen in movies and in photos, flooded my vision.

“Holy Shit” I said to my reflection, “You’re going to India”


5 thoughts on “Kolkata Journal. Imagining India

  1. Dear Maria, I LOVE this! I imagine that way, and I talk to myself in the mirror, also. SOME OF IT I LEARNED FROM YOU AND JON!! REALLY WORKS! Your trip to India IS SO EXCITING! Annie

  2. Hi Maria, Thought you might like to hear how an 11 year old girl is visiting India. My great-niece who lives in New Hampshire has a girl friend at school and at tap dance class, whose parents are from India and they invited my niece to go along with them for a 10 day visit. She is in India right now, and will return home on Sunday. I was SO shocked when I first heard that she was going so far away and for so long without her parents, my nephew and his wife. I even had a hard time sleeping the first night she was gone! But, then I saw photos of her with her girl friend on Facebook, and she looks like she’s having a wonderful time, experiencing a different culture! I look forward to reading your blog and wish you a joyful and fulfilling experience as you help others in their creative endeavors and careers! Enjoy the Journey!

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