Friday, June 27, 2014


Lately I have felt like the skin on top of warm milk, thin, easily torn and drowned under the surface.

With only five weeks left in Houston I've found myself cowering under the pressure of the to-do lists, the weights tightening up the muscles in my shoulders, craning my neck in awkward positions that require chiropractic adjustments and massages I can't afford.

My body responds to anxiety before my brain. My sinuses fail, my head aches, my muscles tighten. Suddenly all I want to do is sleep, wrap myself on the couch in the quilt my grandma made for me. Goodnight, world.

I have been doing case work for my elderly neighbor: cleaning her house full of horded antiques and plastic spoons; helping her acquire a State ID and birth certificate so she can get her electricity and water turned back on; holding on to all her important documents like the hospital and doctor bills she can't afford to pay; working with Adult Protective Services to get her into safer housing accommodations; bringing her water and food on a nearly daily basis; spending hours sitting on her porch talking about the car she wants to buy, why she shouldn't invite strangers into her house, what a mail scam looks like.
She's still living on her own in a house that is falling apart. She still doesn't have running water because there's a leak somewhere in her pipes. She's still trying to send in money to the mail scams. She still leaves the hot plate on when she leaves the house. Her dog is still infested with fleas no matter how many baths I give him or how much medication I put on him. She still doesn't have a phone or a way of contacting the police if anything happened to her.

For how much we've been able to do, I know I won't be able to get done everything I want to get done for her before I leave. No matter how many people/organizations I get involved with her, they don't seem to have the time to sit on her porch with her and listen.

I cry to my city directors. I cry to my team. I cry into the blanket my grandmother made out of pieces of sari I wore in India.

I leave a piece of my heart everywhere I go. There's pieces of me scattered across the globe: Kenya, Kolkata, Houston, Phoenix. I fall in love so easily.

I will be glad to be in Phoenix, to root in one place, to know I can fall in love over and over again and I will be there to see it through, to walk in that relationship for my whole life.

For now I have to figure out how to get through the next five weeks, loving the way I love, caring the way I care, but without burning out so completely that I'm an empty useless skeleton.

How to stay fully present when I'm wrapped up in worry.
How to stay fully present when I'm searching for a house in Phoenix.
How to love my housemates fully when I feel so exhausted and sad.
How to do my job at the CRC when I feel so anxious.
How to love Celeste and be present for her when I know I'm leaving.

Somewhere deep I feel the Spirit of Light sitting with me, hidden somewhere in my worry, being a point of peace. I wish I could peel away the layers to get to that Light. 

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