04 October 2005

(Red Journal Excerpt 5 - "Gratitude")

I have to interrupt that entry and write for a short time about right now. I don't know if it's from being a little hungover and tired, but I feel overly emotional, nostalgic, melancholy, and grateful. I feel like crying, but I don't know what for. I was thinking yesterday how walking into my room at home will be like walking into a spaceship, and how I'm a little scared to deal with all the emotions that will arise from coming back to Chicago and, specifically, from being with my family- without my mom. I sat at the gate today prior to boarding and imagined coming off the plane at Midway, walking through the narrow gray passageway to the arrivals terminal and seeing my mom and dad standing together with broad smiles, waiting for me. I kept seeing this image this afternoon, and I became aware that my eyes were only scanning pages of "Norwegian Wood" (this Haruki Murakami novel I've been reading); I had no idea what was just written since I was so wrapped up in that thought. I got teary-eyed, then simply returned to eating vegetable lo-mein and chicken as three Chinese tourists to my side loudly chatted in Mandarin.

And before lift-off, I thought of how much I love Olia, remembering my move back to NY: the smell of fall, South 4th & Driggs, our steps and stoop, Monsieur Papillon's little yelps and the sound of his jangling little bell as he scampered gayly about on our hardwood floors; then last night at Rosh Hashana dinner, bringing in the new year with wine, prayer, and friends, holding the phone to Olia's ear as she spoke with my dad, smiling ear to ear.

Then I thought of [omitted] and the way it felt to go to the beach and drum that night with her. How shy she had been, and how beautiful. I thought of seeing her last time I was in Chicago, and that I really wished she'd be in town this time around. I thought of the fact that I will truly love her forever.

I just had this flood-like rush of images, each so detailed that they became more than only memories and feelings: it was as if I was brought to that time-space and my whole being was led through it, a passive observer to my life- only feeling...

I am flying over clouds, tired but excited, and happy.