Surfing a New Tongue

My tongue is adjusting to new sounds again as I try the language of this land upon my lips. I approach a group of women in Burkas. “Assalamaleikum,” I say. How much I’ve become in these years. Hands of mine, my art is my body, my heart, my life. The opposite of creation is destruction. I remind myself to create. Demons of my heart resurface. I must look around to remember how small this self is.

Hello from Sri Lanka. I have been traveling for as long as I can remember it seems. Two years has flown by. Some how I still have a floor of cash under my feet, and somehow still have a home to return to, with a community that remembers my name. I don’t remember what it’s like not to play.

If you ask me what I love, I’d tell you language. The way people’s lips reflect their mother toungue. The bond a few words can bring. I love the bridges words can create or crush.

I’d tell you that I love the feeling of watching the Earth move under my feet. I’d describe to you the wind that crashes into your eardrums and drowns out your shouts. I’d tell you that the ground below the open door of a moving train looks too blury to make out, but as the foreground falls away, each layer of a landscape moves slower and slower. I’d describe watching the seasons stay the same, as I chase the spin of the world. I could even brag that I know how to control the weather. But it’s only through the power of these legs of mine. Yours could have that power too I suppose. Common, haven’t you ever wished for an endless summer?

A memory of sitting in the backyard of my childhood home. Summer time freedom thrilled me and taunted me the same. I spent the days with joy, yet eagerly awaited school to return. I missed being busy. I missed having something to do. I missed the friends I hadn’t seen.

Sometimes I wonder if we really ever change at all. How much of our human hearts are with us all our lives? This girl of my oldest memories is no stranger to me. My body has grown and my freedom with it, but my hopes and emotions are the same. What does this endless summer do to a mind?

If you asked me what I was afraid of, I’d tell you that I’m afraid of tomorrow. I’d describe to you the deep emptiness I avoid in myself. I’d look at the ground and maybe tell you the truth. Maybe I’d whisper the questions I’m afraid of. I’ve come so far, but the thing about circles are, there isn’t ever a stopping point.

I sit 50 meters from the beach. I’m volunteering at a hostel that feeds me, entertains me, and gives me shelter. I’ve spent the last days swirling in the crystal ocean, waves beating at my sides, in awe of it all. I’ve been alone and I wonder if I’ll always be alone.

I will apply to graduate school. I will apply to jobs. I have a resume. I am a desirable employee. I am worth something. I have value. I am alive. I will not die.