Here is Where I Start

July 1, 2014 (Finished and Posted July 3)
Seattle, Washington
Columbia City Library

As I write my fingers are a flurry and my heart a flutter. Today is my last day in Seattle, with everything familiar and dear. This being my first blog post ever, I wince to have to write please excuse any typos or errors in my language. My nerves are twitching, and time is literally running short. My hope is that you will follow my adventures through this blog, share it with others, and keep in touch, whether long time sidekick or new found friend. Enjoy!

The past few days have been sunny and hot, blistering for the northwestern city of Seattle. Most folks flocked to the libraries, coffee shops, and movie theatres in search of shade and air conditioning that doesn’t break the bank, while others opted for diving into the cool waters of Lake Washington. The United States just lost their place in the World Cup, outed by Belgium in the overtime from the final sixteen. As the number of teams competing in this international competition dwindles, so too does my time in this city. Everything is changing.

I haven’t written in a long time, be it with pen and paper or tiny plastic buttons, though my mind has been racing and wandering, in need of an outlet without the patience or time to let the words find their place outside of my head. I consider this practice – a warm up. Colorfully painted finger nails tiptoe over lettered boxes, clicking out words and phrases at a frenetic and halting pace. The backspace squeals like worn down brakes every time I make a mistake or change a word. It feels good to write, to watch the page fill with ink. Everything is changing.

It’s been over two months since I quit my job at Puget Sound Community School, a decision I do not regret, three months since I fully committed to moving to India to once again take on the title of “teacher.” This will be my fourth year teaching. Four years. I am surprised, bored, and exuberant. In many ways I never thought I would make it this far, two years often being the breaking point for new teachers. Still, here I am here, having found my way forward, if often in my hurtling, sensationalist manner. New schools, new cities, never staying in place too long. Rough patches and self-righteous words have been thrown down along the path, usually by me, usually for no reason other than a desire to be bigger than I am. I am learning, slowly, surely, a student in my own right, how to create my own path without scorching the earth I walk on. You see, everything is changing.

This is my thirty-first trip around the sun, and with the exit from my twenties, I have been gathering the momentum of wonder, purpose, and courage around me. The big three-oh came on in late February, and though winter outside, the day was purposefully marked with heat enough to make believe summer. Blazing furnaces and molten glass took shape with only breath, muscle, and subtle movement, and we rightfully celebrated my own life-fire with fire. Red and orange fragments fused and twisted together, and the gentlest of touches morphed plain symmetry into elegant forms. Our teacher let us know that mistakes were acceptable and destruction inevitable. It was afterall glass we were working, and the finished product both enduring and fragile.

And life is the same, and it will go on, unyielding to your needs and wishes for pauses and time-outs, it will go on whether you change or not, whether you move forward or look back, it will go on because everything changes and must.

And so my life changes today, in a big way. I will board a plane bound for Mumbai, India, where the heat will be greater than any sweltering Seattle summer. I leave with few expectations and great excitement, with sadness and love for the family and friends I leave behind, and perhaps most important of all I leave with a wild sense of adventure and a heart full of courage, and the joy of being able to share this adventure with you all.

May you be happy and healthy,

11 thoughts on “Here is Where I Start

  1. Great start Emily. Write something every day as best as you can. Keep us in your heart. You are in ours. Consume this journey in your heart, soul and mind. Love dad.

  2. So good to read your words from your heart. What a great adventure. My heart travels with you, as always. Love Mom

  3. Hi Emily,
    You are a natural writer–I am just amazed at your writing–your honesty of emotions on your journey, etc.. Never stop. Keep in touch on your amazing adventure. Love and Hugs, Aunt Judy

  4. Emily Bemily…love your post. Love you. Can’t wait to hear from you again.
    I signed in on What’sApp and invited you to do the same so we can text each other.
    I got your email re. your arrival in Mumbai. I can’t wait to hear about your tour or Mumbai.
    Love you,
    love, me

  5. Great dialogue from your balcony window. A room with a view! Just fantastic! And thanks Em ! dad

  6. Hi Emily,
    I was so excited to get your second blog. You answered my question with the juxtaposition of your beautifully written descriptions of abject poverty and contrasting living conditions in India in the 21st Century–you confirmed that nothing has changed since Catherine Boo’s writing–amazing and so sad at the same time. (Of course, we do have that in the States, too, but we just hide it better and pretend it’s not there–i.e., inner cities or Appalachia vs. suburbs, etc.) Wish I could be there and share this exciting experience with you.

    Also, I love how some of their roads are named after professors–it shows how education is revered in India (and due to their respect of education, why they can produce so many highly intelligent professionals who occupy our hospitals and engineering firms, etc.). (Here we name our roads after Green Bay Packer football players and coaches, i.e., Lombardi drive, etc.

    Also, Uncle Ted wants to know if you have seen the state-of-the-art new train station and trains?

    Follow the sacred mother cow and be safe, happy, cared for, and loved during your travels.
    Aunt Judy

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