In the Japanese religion of Shinto, a great emphasis is made on cleanliness and purity, with various elements and events contributing to the purity not only of the individual, but of the individual's surroundings. One of the most major catastrophies in Shinto is death, said to be the most impure of all things. A house in which a death has occurred must be scrubbed from top to bottom to appease the spirits and prevent further spiritual damage.
My junior year is looking a lot closer this side of July, and it's becoming increasingly obvious that summer vacation is now on a time limit. In some ways, this is similar to my days playing in chess tournaments as a middle schooler--a friend and I will be playing a nice, slow-paced game, thinking hard about our next moves, when suddenly a tall, graying man in a suit slaps a clock on your right side, reminding you that you don't have all day and that you better make the most of what you have left.
The other day, I got a text from a school acquaintance asking after my fall schedule. I replied, and the inquirer made the discovery I think she wanted to find, namely that she and I would likely be in the same literature seminar. She was enthusiastic about the commonality because I think she had been worried about where to sit. Or more accurately, who to sit with.
Now I can finally go on the self-indulgent spree that I have been looking forward to. Basically, this is about me doing an all encompassing spiel on my thought space. To bring brevity into the entire thing, I am just going to copy and paste a paragraph I wrote and use it to provide structure. There, high school English lit, I learned something after all.
As I write this, I am waiting for my flight from Guwahati to New Delhi. Due to a slight goof up, I will be in New Delhi for a day, and then finally shall reach Srinagar, on the hills surrounding the Kashmir Valley, where I shall spend the remainder of my break.
Today, our plans were scuppered for a meeting with the local Operation Smile volunteers, because it was too hot. Now, you might laugh at me for being a pansy, but it was really hot. So hot that the government declared a school holiday for the rest of the week, fearing for the safety of the kids. So instead, today was a free day in our schedule, which is already something that we are improvising.
So we decided that we would get a first person view of the entire process, without being chaperoned.
Yesterday consisted of us running around Guwahati, in the sweltering heat of high noon, going through a maze of side streets, and side side streets, purchasing supplies for the current mission and the center.