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Amanda: It’s been 60 days

June 22, 2011

Since I returned home 60 days ago from India, life’s looked a lot different for me.  I spent about a month at home checking my eyelids for leaks, spying on people’s literary interests at Barnes and Noble, and criticizing day-time TV (let’s not talk about Oprah leaving the air; I know some people had their qualms with O, but I, for one, found her to be funny, genuine, and encouraging).

Then, about two weeks ago, I moved to Clinton to begin summer research.  I spend my time pretending to be smart, playing board games (don’t worry–traveling to India didn’t stunt my Scrabble skills), and catching up with friends and professors I missed while I was abroad.  Lucky for me, the people at Senor Garcias still remember me even though I took a four month hiatus from their fine dining establishment.

Last weekend I got to travel to Durham, NC to visit one of my roommates in Udaipur, Lily.  From my brief trip I made several conclusions: North Carolina is a lot more travel-friendly than South Carolina, especially regarding public transportation; farmers markets are so cool; and, to affirm a truth that I’ve been thinking for a while, NPR is the perfect radio station…how else can one simultaneously become informed of what’s going on in the world and enjoy cheese-free (and by that I mean non- 80s, easy listening, contemporary Christian, or pop) radio tunes.

And now, I leave you with a piece of beauty from Rabindranath Tagore, the Indian writer/artist/musician I’m getting paid to enjoy this summer:

I know that happiness is the substance of every-day, but joy surpasses the day.  Happiness in fear that dust may soil its hands is hesitant.  Joy, throwing itself in the midst of dust, breaks down all barriers between itself and the whole world, so that for happiness dirt is a thing of contempt, for joy it is the emblem of a jewel.  Happiness is afraid lest it loses anything.  Joy feels fulfilled in giving away its last possession.  So that for happiness to be destitute is poverty, whereas for joy poverty is wealth.  Happiness within its binding measure guards carefully its intrinsic beauty, whereas joy manifests its beauty in unstinted glory, freeing itself through all disruptive elements.  For this reason happiness is bound by outside measures while joy breaks through all measures creating one that is of its own.  Happiness is only concerned in tasting sweet nectar; joy consumes the poison of sorrow accepting it in its very system.  So that happiness is only partial to what is congenial, whereas to joy good and evil both have equal value.

Food for thought!  Be well.

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