India is on my mind this morning. Forgive me for dreaming a little of the faraway, but I am at the end of nearly two solid months of extreme writing. I’ve barely been to the grocery store, much less anywhere interesting.
For a couple of days, I considered writing about how I organized the writing marathon, but India has presented itself, alluring and exotic and beautiful, the place I’ve had on my travel bucket list for longer than any other, and it does have relevance to the marathon, to writing, to our writing lives.
I’ve been saying I wanted to visit India for a long, long time. Decades. The reasons I have not committed to a trip are myriad—it’s a long way, and no one in my circle is at all interested in going, and it will be expensive and it will not be like going to England or Spain. It will be way beyond my comfort zone sometimes. It frightens and calls to me in equal measure. Beauty, sacred sites, ancientness, elephants, color, history. Crowds, heat, poverty. What if I go and hate it? What if I don’t and keep this dream of India forever, pristine and lovely, like the woman in Staten Island who collected all things Tibetan and never went. I loved the museum, but felt such sadness for the woman herself. Why didn’t she go?
I am not that woman. If I get to the last day of my life and have not visited India, I will be deeply disappointed in myself. I must make it a priority, begin to plan, figure out how to actually go, rather than just thinking about it.
It will mean, finally, saying no to some things so I can say yes to India. Just as many of us must do with our writing. [Read more…]