I am headed back to Burma, via a quick stop in Hong Kong, and after a few days in Bangkok meeting with book distributors and book store chains to try and get “Floating” on shelf there.
As I wait for the Cathay Pacific flight, I was thinking about Hong Kong, from the times I have spent here to when we brought my daughter here out of China, and then I remembered the postcard my father sent thirty four years ago.
I realized even in my jet lagged state, that I forgot the anniversary of my father’s death this year – November 12th or 13th, depending on how you count it – because for example, it’s Wednesday am here and Tuesday evening back in Boston – came and went as a normal day earlier this month when it used to be so much more to me.
I used to be able to se and feel that day coming, and then it would be there. My mother wouldn’t talk about it and I am not close enough to my half brother to really talk to him about it – and so I would essentially live through the day on my own and then the sun would set and I would head off on another year.
The trip that I took that turned into “Floating” was one I had to do – I really didn’t have a choice – despite the financial cost of it, the life cost as well, it was something I had to do. Sitting here, being free of the burden of that early November day made it more than worth it.
I so often run into friends, friends of friends, or people in general who all have something they are facing, or want to do and I feel as if I am the reckless one, always telling them to go. But a few nights ago, I had dinner with a friend of mine from Groton. I literally hadn’t seen Wu since we walked off the Circle, June 1983. Thirty three years went by in a blink of an eye and when he and his wife graciously bought me dinner, I promised myself that I wouldn’t let so many years go by – I can’t – one of us might not have that time.
So, whatever it is that you wish to do, or see, or go – go. The world, a job, family, they will be there when you get back. After I spent six months in Asia in 2012 and 2013 working on the book I walked back into my favorite yoga studio in Boston. A friend of mine greeted me and asked:
“When do you leave?”
I told him I had already gone and come back. That’s what will happen – I promise but you will gain so much more than you will ever possibly lose.