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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner

Ray Rasmussen, General Editor
Volume 11, Number 1, March 2017
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Kala Ramesh
Pune, India


Baggage

"Fasten your seat belts," comes the announcement in a highly accented voice. I have always insisted on a window seat, just to look out, to see my thoughts jump from one cloud to another. What fun that has been for such a long time. Habits die hard.

I start remembering how I used to doodle . . . circles and curves all over the notepad, mindlessly, as I talked to my friend on the telephone. My husband would pull the pad away, saying that what I was doing was a waste of paper. I would hang up, telling my friend I would call back later. Recently I attended a talk by a psychoanalyst who advocates scribbling aimlessly to keep the mind healthy and creative. According to research, participants who doodled while listening to phone calls were able to recall 29 percent more information afterwards than those who simply listened or took notes. But I had stopped doing that decades back. Habits die, after all.

Suddenly, I hear the voice on the plane again, asking if I would like anything to eat. Looking up, I answer, "Just water, please," gratefully accepting the cup she hands me. In the same way water finds its level and its path, I want to be a river with the luxury of being myself minus feelings of regret.

A mild thud as tires touch the ground. Jostled out of my thoughts, I collect my baggage and get into a cab headed for home, where I live with myself.

a touch
of rain
mixed with sunshine
the sky today
so liquidly blue

Rose is a rose
is a rose is a . . .

my inner chi
awakens to the air I breathe,
making it all my own


Author's Note: "Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose" is from the poem "Sacred Emily" by Gertrude Stein (written in 1913).

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