going back in time

In the past two weeks, I've worked with teachers at Harding University, and I've hung out with the 7th-grade girls at Heritage School in Newnan, Georgia, talking about Countdown. I've had lunch with Ralph Abernathy III and my friend Jane, and I have photos from all these fabulous moments. 
 But I've not been able to concentrate on much else this past week but the trip to the Philippines that I'm about to begin. I'm checked in. I fly to Detroit in an hour. Then on to Japan. Then to Manila. It will take me the better part of 24 hours, and I've brought:

My novel. Enough said.

My knitting. Enough for three hats, two washcloths, and a few odds and ends.

Five audio books on my Zune:
 -- Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
--  Charles & Emma by Deborah Heiligman
--  The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
--  Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
-- The Secret Pleasures of Menopause by Christiane Northrup

(See how secure I am in my own self that I can even mention the last title?  I saw that book at my library's website and said out loud, "Please, God, let there be some." hahahahaha!)
  -- A movie rented from Netflix: Get Low with Robert Duvall and Bill Murray.

-- Tylenol PM and two Nyquil (a friend's recommendation, not to be taken together, of course).

-- A Bucky pillow -- neck pillow filled with buckwheat. A new purchase.

Do you think I'm ready?
 It's not just the international flight that's had me pre-occupied. It's the fact that, the last time I flew internationally away from this country, I flew to.... the Philippines.

I looked like this, that year.

I don't look like that anymore.

Forty years later, I'm returning to the Philippines. I will work in Manila and at Subic Bay for two weeks, at Brent American Schools. On the weekend, I'm going back to Clark Air Base. To Wagner High School. I'm going back in time.

Just like I did with Countdown, I'm revisiting my past with an eye toward a story. That's not the only reason, of course, but it's always one reason, for me. I'm going back into the eye of the story, to find out who I was in 1971, to discover what happened to that girl, that year, what happened after that, and to figure out what all of that means today.

What stories will I uncover? What will my heart whisper to me? Will it hurt? Will it be sweet? Will it be both those things and more? I will try my best to stay open, to listen, to record. To be faithful. And to tell.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you're ready. I can't wait to hear the story you discover along the way.
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