Thursday, May 24, 2012


My brain has become a Bishkek drain, clogged and silted with seasonal debris.

I supervised an IGCSE Geography exam this afternoon, and took Wendell Berry's Selected Poems with me to pass the time. The poems shamed me. They were beautiful - stripped to the bone. Simple poems about trees and birdsongs and earth and marriage and light. I should be writing. Why don't I write?

Last week, I went to a farewell for a family who have worked in Kyrgyzstan for years. The testimonies flowed, particularly about the mother. The testimonies made me ask the same question of myself as the poetry. They illuminated the figure of a strong, servant-hearted, loving, welcoming, patient woman. A woman without judgement, who loves indiscriminately, who feeds the hungry and welcomes strangers. A Southern, sun-kissed, Proverbs 31 kind of gal. I don't know her well - but I want to be like her.

So I hitch up again and keep my eyes on the goal. I learn by going where I have to go.

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