3.12.2013

Suitcase Diaries


Can six months of one’s life be sloppily packed into a suitcase, and carried across the Atlantic Ocean to re-start yet again?

Photo by Meet Bhatt
The contents, in question, of a silver-gray bag, overflow to the top, the tight zipper working hard to keep it all in. Once opened at its California destination, the bright oranges, pinks, and purples embroidered on silk and cotton make much less sense than at the time of acquisition. The hand-woven scarfs and block printed tops tell a story of a life lived at a gentler pace. Hung next to the simple machine-made blue jeans, solid tees, and a white summer skirt, they scream indulgence, or a daily celebration if you’re in India. Gifts tucked into the corners of the bag last-minute from friends bring a wide smile to the heart: A purse, a handmade paper diary, incense cones, organic teas, a red and black bhandani sari, a white glimmering statue of Radha and Krishna, where he serenely plays his flute. They speak of generosity, thoughtfulness, and bonds built that will outlast the six months it took to develop them; and of reverence for the Gods and prayer, and of small things that take time to create or brew, like chai or great friendships.

Like a traveler on a long flight, whose head whirls with thoughts of the place that she departed from and the place that she’s going to – gliding through space, not fully being a part of either yet. Not having fully left nor having fully arrived, a space of limbo where you hang between the brightly colored handmade kurtis and an old pair of jeans that knows every curve of your body. The identity starts to feel threatened, perplexed since its called into question once again. 

Every departure is a chance to say goodbye to a part of it. And every arrival an opportunity to sift through and select the pieces you want to hold onto; Each intersection, a chance to consolidate the two and make a conscious choice about who you are and who you are becoming. A choice that should never be taken lightly. I choose love. I choose the word that has pervaded through the entire trip. A word that makes strangers become family instantly because they’ve all come together to serve others. I choose the lessons of maitri (friendship) that a certain Jayeshbhai quietly expresses through his presence. I choose relentless passion for life that Anarben permeates into everything she does. I choose unconditional joy and a search for truth that Madhu tries to live his life by. I choose authenticity that Nimo expresses in his every action. I choose relentless service that Meghna fills her life with. I choose constant quest for a more authentic way of living that Siddharth aspires to. I choose a purity of heart that Sanskruti expresses in the joy of giving. I choose constant experiments with the truth that Neerad so open-heartedly explores. I choose art and beauty that Lahar so effortlessly spreads into each event. I choose the genuineness of Bhagiben, who taught me what giving can mean to someone receiving your gift. I chose the path of cultivation that is made effortless by Mukeshbhai.

I choose the courage and grace of so many others who came to me in the form of guests, but left in the form of friends and teachers. Above all, I choose love and forgiveness – over and over again, until I learn all that I came here to learn.

14 comments:

  1. I choose to smile.
    I choose to thank you.
    I choose to care.

    and maybe as Viral bhai would say it when he ends reading this
    "This is Poetry." :)

    Thank you Guri di! :):):)

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  2. Thank you Rushabh! I'm sure Viral would say that. :-) Hope you're doing well. Love, Guri

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  3. What a beautiful reflection Guri!! This is exactly what I needed to feel calm in the middle of my crazy day!! I can't wait to hear more stories!

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    1. :-) Thanks Pinky! And looking forward to the family get-together.

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  4. Loved the post and crafting of it. You can see everything in a beautiful way and hence it creates so much positivity, learning and goodness around.

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    1. Thanks Madhur! I have to say it's a pretty blessed life to have so many good people around like you. Love, Guri:-)

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  5. I thank you for your grace and authenticity. what gift it is to see the world through your hearts eye. beautiful reflection, thank you. <3 all my love, Anne-Marie

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  6. Anne-Marie, thank you! It's been a while. Hope you're doing well! Love, Guri

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  7. so inspiring to read this Guri...the move out west will take time to sink in and your reflections inspired me to use writing as a form of inner processing...thank you:)

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    1. Hely Bela, so great to great you'll be writing more. :-) P.S. Was really nice to have you with us this Wednesday.

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  8. Love the way you write, and I definitely say with siddhu style , Are wahhhh :)

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    1. Chirrragggggg so nice to hear from you. Hope all is going well at Craftroots. Give my love to everyone. :-)

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  9. So beautiful. Such a treat to read these reflections, thank you for writing and sharing them. :)

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  10. Ahh, just came across this beautiful post Guri - after sharing your profound "Dear Pilgrim" poem with a colleague. So much truth to what you write here, and I'll hold this notion in my heart as I traverse across seas from the US to India, and back again - "Every departure is a chance to say goodbye to a part of it. And every arrival an opportunity to sift through and select the pieces you want to hold onto." Thank you. <3

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