Posting this, quite belatedly, from September:
Life changes; moist green leaves flush into a shocking red overnight. You take a deep breath, somewhere on a freeway in Wisconsin, and then realize that your current life is unrecognizable from 3 months ago. What am I doing on a freeway in Wisconsin? In the forest flying past me, there's bright peeks of fire red leaves, that flash at me every few seconds, sending out SOS to me as a fellow shape-shifter: change, change, change... And, mid-breath, I'm suddenly breathless, because I'm finally accounting for all that is suddenly different.
Lao. This word is soft and expands inside of me. The meandering Mekong, the sunsets, the people. It is this persistent, glowing warmth. I rolled away from it, just as gently as I had once come to it. It's farewell a gentle thing, that still ripples gently, not a black and white goodbye. Maybe that's why it's hard to accommodate for the black and white changes that have happened since then. "Just home" became 3 months, and now suddenly there's occasion for me to be sitting in the passenger seat of a car that is returning from a small town in Wisconsin.
If there's anything I can black and white believe in, it is that everything is fluid and always changing. Including me. I respect this and resonate with so deeply. I've always felt like a very grey and protean individual. Sometimes when asked a question, I can find myself changing my mind midway through an answer. My body itself seems to undergo a myriad of changes throughout a week, or even a day. I wake sometimes, a strong, glowing creature with wings. Other days, I am heavy and fatigued. We swell and recede with breaths. We grow beautiful in our confidence and shrink when feeling weak. Yet, I'm still blown away by the speed at which I adapt to a totally different context. It makes me feel far away from who I was just a few months ago.