A List of Sorts

1. I spent two glorious sessions in the studio and have not been back since. I forget why. Guests, or something. Oh yes, dear visiting friends and frolics and gallops and wriggles. But those days were so life-giving to me that they must become part of my daily routine, by hook or by crook. It's funny how much I can get done in an hour and a half with no interruptions or unfolded laundry staring at me.

I WILL write this book.

2. You know we are under terrorist threat over here, don't you? The two big bazaars have been shut down, here in Goa. There is a Saturday Night Bazaar and the Anjuna Flea Market, and both are on hold until after New Year's. Bummer. That always feels like they're winning. A lot of people count on those markets for their income.

I'm horrified to imagine Goan people (some of the kindest, sweetest people in the world) or other Indian people or Westerners getting hurt. But I'm not afraid. This is because of the lessons I received last year.

Tomorrow I will write about the lessons. They bear repeating.

3. Though I can't claim a super amount of empathy for the masterminds behind terrorism, my heart always bleeds for the gunmen/suicide bombers/whateverwhatevers. These poor young guys with no jobs who are picked up and brainwashed and sent out with weapons. And then boom and flash and it's over.

4. I am bringing Kid A to see a plastic surgeon on Tuesday. He may need another operation to get the use of his thumb back. Where? When? These are the great mysteries. I don't know how to communicate how I feel about the way my son's little hand was worked on in that terrible hospital, but angry and sad and guilty are some words that I could use. However, life goes on and so do we and he is brilliant and blossoming, so all is well. We'll fix this. Pray for us.

5. Yesterday Matty helped us take a family photo. Har har har. You have: six-year-olds and their funny face tics, four-year-olds and their lack of understanding about what "smile" means, two-year-olds and unnatural seriousness, a baby whose head wobbles every which way, and a Mama and Daddy who are opposite in coloring.  I'll show the results soon.

6. Matty leaves today. Oh the pain. It has been the best visit we have ever had, which is a special gift that I did not expect of moving to India. Lara, you done a good and unselfish thing by giving him up for a month.

7. Sometimes, in the midst of the dust and heat and work here, there are moments so crystalline, so lovely, so breathtaking, that I almost sit down and cry. I love it here. Sometimes missing my friends and family gets to be unbearable, but that is the moment when the breeze brings me the fragrance of jasmine, or the moment when I walk out into the waves holding my daughter and she turns her wet salty face up to me and tells me she loves me.

8. My other studio is my kitchen, and I've been cooking up a storm. Yesterday I walked down to the beach first thing in the morning and bought prawns from one of the fishermen who was folding his nets. The gentleness of the early sun on his face was exquisite. My husband brought me a coconut, and I spent the morning making a prawn curry with rice and chapattis and we had people over to eat it with us.