Elevation

This picture fell out of a box a few days ago while looking for a photo of Dad’s red Chevy. I’ve been searching for it years.

I’m sitting in front of Nandi statue in Mysore, India. It’s November 2000 and I remember the the journey up the hills. My tut-tut driver, like a church lady with the hottest town gossip, announces that Al Gore just won the election . Having spent a good part of the Clinton-era working in DC, I’m feeling rather pleased about it. The news was like sweet incense to heighten an already glorious moment.

As we approach the statue, the chatty driver tells me women often visit Nandi hoping to improve their fertility, nodding at me knowingly. I’m angry that he presumes this is the purpose of my visit, so I refuse to touch Nandi as my silent protest. But I really want to. Not to get pregnant. I was a young, single jet-setter and motherhood was the furthest thing from my mind. I wanted to touch Nandi because it has this supernatural power to give women something that was missing in their lives. I wanted to feel that power ripple from my fingertip into my bones then see what manifested.

Instead, I sat down in front so my driver could snap this shot of me. Then he went back to his tuk-tuk while I explored the area wondering what was wrong with me. Why didn’t I want kids? Why was I scared to tell him this? Why do I perceive this as bad? Why didn’t I just touch the dang thing?

By time I made it back to the tuk-tuk, my driver had hot new gossip that Bush was actually President. “How does one state decide? How does that work?” he asked me. But I was too confused by everything he was talking about. The election. The magic. Babies. So I sat in silence as we drove back to Mysore.

That was 16 years ago. I see my younger self looking at me saying, “Are you finally ready let go of that fear? To let your power ripple through you to your bones?”

“Yes,” I say back to her. “Yes I am.”

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