It's not like there was a pasture at the top of the stairs


The other day was a writing day for me.  Chinua has been giving me all of Friday to write and get some work done on the book and another project I've been working on, and I LOVE it.  I feel like for the first time in seven years I can really focus.  Or, focus as well as one can when one's children keep opening the door and asking if you are done with the computer yet because they'd like to watch a movie, or as focused as one can be when one's baby crawls to the door of the room that he KNOWS you're in, and when it doesn't open, bangs on it, yelling, with two open palms.

I take what I can get.

This Friday, however, I needed to try to get a truck up to our house to pick up the boxes that we are sending to Goa by mail. (Since we travel by train, the post is the easiest way to get things like our books, toys, and anything else we don't want to carry on our backs to our house down south.) I really didn't want to do it on a Friday.  It's my special day, see?  But I also saw the wisdom in not putting it off.

Chinua said, "I don't want you to do anything that's going to make you angry later, because I don't want you to be angry."  Fair enough.  I needed to do what was necessary and deal with it in my own cantankerous soul, rather than letting everyone know how put out I was by doing this work for them, and they'd better appreciate it, because my whole DAY was ruined, practically my whole LIFE. Also, it was raining.

I made myself a list:

Tips for Making a Lame Day Better

(by me)

1. Draw stuff

2. Take photos

3. Talk to people

4. Notice things


Well, I couldn't take the camera because it was raining and I was walking, and my little camera is broken, so we only have the big one. And I didn't draw anything.  But I did talk to people.  And I did notice stuff.

I noticed a cow walking down a steep flight of stairs, onto the street below.  I've never seen anything like it before!  I peered up the stairs, to see what the attraction was.  Nothing up there. When I asked her what she was doing, she totally ignored me.

I also noticed, when I took my mobile phone to the shop to have it looked at (it's not working), that the man checked to see if my battery was full by ducking his head down and putting it in his mouth. The battery, not the phone.  I thought this was odd.

I bought scarves.  And I talked to the man in the shop where I bought scarves.  (I can't find the link to the post, but me buying scarves is a big deal! I have a hard time buying anything for myself.) He showed me some nice wall hangings, but I didn't buy any.

I talked to my pregnant friend when I bumped into her on the street. I noticed that her eyes are a very brilliant blue.

I talked to the jeep men about bringing the jeep to my house.  I asked them how far they could bring it, and they said, only to the upper road. I asked them to bring it down the steep sort of road and along the non road and up the stairs and over the definitely not a road, but they stared at the ground and muttered.  So I asked if they could just bring it down the steep sort of road, and they stared off into the air and muttered.  My problem in India, you see, is that I am far too polite.

I loitered all day, waiting for the rain to stop because we can't move our stuff in the rain. The rain never did stop, but I talked to a few more people, including a couple of begging kids, a Tibetan tailor, and a man from Mumbai whose wife teaches a cooking class.

Finally (when the rain let me know it was not a day for me to move boxes) I went home and found my family.

So I didn't get anything done, but I noticed some things and I talked to some people.  All in all, not a bad day.  And at the end of it, I wasn't angry.


This morning the sky was a big bowl of glazed blue pottery, and our neighbor, who is moving his stuff as well, persuaded a taxi driver to come all the way to the definitely not a road.  Chinua and Cate loaded the boxes up, had them stitched in white cotton in the Indian way, and had them sent off at the post office by noon. I spent the morning drinking two tiny cups of coffee and cleaning, and that was that.