Achieving a Personal "Vertical"

Our Asian adventure is officially launched with S’s departure this morning for Bangkok.  Right now she is in the Detroit to Tokyo leg of the trip–an excruciatingly long flight of more than 13 hours.  Almost two years ago when I flew that route, I remember landing in Tokyo (Narita) with unusually swollen feet from so many hours in the air–feet down, unable to move comfortably around the cabin.  However, all told, the trip to Bangkok takes around 27 hours, from wheels up in Lexington to wheels down in Thailand.  S. will arrive there early Tuesday morning–just after midnight–and will spend 2 days in Bangkok at her NGO’s Asia/Pacific headquarters, before leaving Thursday for Vietnam–a couple of days in Hanoi and then down to Ho Chi Minh City (the former Saigon).  She will remain in Vietnam until late in the month, when she goes to Jordan for a UN leadership conference on disaster response.

It all sounds exciting, but frankly at the moment I feel miserable and lost, knowing that this chapter in our lives is ending.  However, I’m trying to focus on the positive–the fact that another is beginning–trying to be optimistic.  At the moment though, I feel like I’m in limbo–lost between two worlds–living out this semester until I can join S. is Asia around the first of May.  But basically I’m experiencing an overwhelming sense of dread–two months is a long time apart.  We did six weeks during the tsunami–that’s been our longest separation.

However, I have a wonderful family and friends and students who will occupy me.  My mother returns to the US from Brussels at the end of this month.  I look forward to that.  I only wish she were going to be back in time for my birthday.  Gosh, that sounds childish, but frankly I’m feeling fairly toddler-ish at the moment, trying to get my feet under me and regain my balance.  This whole learning to walk on two legs thing is not all it’s cracked up to be.  I’m like my nephew Reeves, who we feared for a while might crawl down the aisle to his own wedding.  But he has recently learned to get around all too well on two legs–toddling toward two–vertical all the way.

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