One flight down, one more flight away from Bangalore, then one car ride to Mysore. Really, I travelled all of yesterday, as well. I left San Francisco for Asia mid December. It feels like getting to Mysore has been particularly long this time around.
Tallying it up, I feel the craziness of it all, that it's kind of absurd that one of the most stabilizing factors in my life has also fed my mad compulsion for movement. Ultimately, the feeling of heading to Mysore now feels a lot like coming home.
After six years, five seasons, it is about returning to the familiar, it's about reconnecting with friends (it's a lottery, to be sure, but whoever makes it at the same time, whoever I meet year after year, it definitely feels like a reunion); it's about reconnecting with my teacher (and with its weird sort of dysfunctional parental-like issues, like wanting approval yet wanting to be beyond the wanting of approval or wanting to be noticed yet wanting to be confident and cool enough to be that ignored middle child); and, of course, it's about reconnecting with India, which is also a wise but wily teacher.
Coming home is also about meeting myself, it's where I get to stand with my back against the wall and mark my height over the years. Mysore is a measurement for change as much as an agent for it. It is where I get to feel how different I was from last year, or from my first trip in 2010, or the change between the me that arrives tomorrow and the me that leaves at the end of March--because I will no doubt be different.
It is the place where I often find THAT thing (you know the one!). The one that I think I'm so over, that old issue that hasn't presented itself in ages but inevitably resurfaces in a way that can't be overlooked or easily hidden--because that's also where some of my most persistent ghosts live; they live at "home."
Coming home to Mysore is as complex as returning to my family home or my home town(s). It is both a celebration and a reckoning. I have had amazing experiences and I have also cried through entire trips, the amazing and the difficult are often rolled into one. Sometimes there is more amazing than difficult, sometimes it is only amazing, sometimes only difficult.
Either way, I'm glad to be on my way. As transitory a place as it is, for that flash of a moment, it is home--with all of it's crazy, with all that I love about it and all that I find fault with, where I exist between this strange friction of belonging and being uncertain of my place in it all. In any case, like the times I return home to visit the places where I've grown up, each time is more beautiful than it is confronting.
It's hard to go home without any expectations, still, here I go. Mysore, coming...