How to be Human

As I leave the drug store I notice a young Japanese woman trying to leave from the wrong sliding doors. She looks overwhelmed and embarrassed.  I smile and point her to the right doors.  Outside she looks around bewildered.  Before I can cross the street she asks me in careful broken English where she can find the sky train.  I point across the street.  We smile.  She bows.  I bow.  I walk to my bus smiling - I know the feeling.

When you are in a strange city where you don't speak the language, everything is terrifying.  When I lived in Berlin every day tasks felt overwhelming and impossible.  Buying a ticket for the subway, sending a package, ordering a coffee.  I once dragged my feverish body to a dentist's office thinking it was a doctor.

I can't describe how comforting it is to be back in my own city.  For the past few weeks I've been house sitting on the North Shore, where I grew up.

As I walk the dog I turn back and look at the ocean, freighters stretched out in pools of sun; the landscape of my childhood.  My eyes tear up.  I feel human again.  I give a shit.  About myself, about other people, about my future.  I know the kind of memories I want to make and those I need to stop repeating.

This ebb and flow of life will never stop fascinating me.  I am grateful for having been lost, to understand what it feels like to be in the dark, and to climb out of it.  

I am human again. Heart beating, mind racing with new ideas, aware of the bright horizon ahead.


GeneralGillian Young3 Comments