One of the cool things about working at a medical university is that when they do an art gallery, it looks like it was part of an anatomy class. I don’t know what the contest really was, but the art was really cool. The pictures were hung on a line outside the teaching building, waving in the cold breeze. Some were simple, as if I had done them. My favorites were all way beyond my ability.
Time is still passing quickly here. Christmas decorations are up in some places, and there is a big purple tree near where we practice kung fu. They even welded steel plates over the fountain grates to make space for it. There are a few shops with lights and tinsel, and some pictures of Santa, but I’m not surprised it’s not a big holiday here.
I had forgotten about the holiday, and about presents. I want to send presents to family, but we really don’t make the money to ship things home. There is always amazon though. I can do some basics, nephews and nieces, but the rest are harder. The distance never really bothers me until I realize what I’m forgetting. What I missed.
It would have been nice to be back for Christmas. I remember promising that once, but the reality is so much more complicated. To do what I want requires that I be away. This is the life I chose, and I’m glad I am here. This is what I want to do, and where I want to be. It’s just easy to forget the cost.
I know the other volunteers have to teach holidays, or get to. I don’t really know if I want to or not. It’s hard to pass on the understanding of holidays I never really focused on. Dia de los Muertos is easier, Fourth of July in the park with Mexican food and baseball. The holidays I care about seem to be mixed with Mexican culture, Filipino family, an endless variety of cultures. I guess that’s about as American as it gets.
I miss the mixture, the endless kinds of food, celebrations, potential. Here, there is all new stuff, but it always follows the culture. There are dashes of culture from around China, but it’s hard to find the ingredients I am looking for, much less the variety. I love it here, but I do miss home sometimes.
I think part of it is the cold. It’s hard to go out for long, hard to really explore. I forgot what the winters were like in New York. We had snow, which turns to sludge the second day. I remember driving in it, chipping a layer of ice off my car so I could go work in a house with no walls. It’s easier to remember the food, the summers, swimming, and the storms.
Here, winter is a time of Yin, and we just passed the Day of Heavy Snow. I don’t really know the proper translation, but we only have a couple more weeks until Winter Solstice. It may still get colder here. It just means it’s a time to rest, practice indoors, and wait for the world to turn.