Tonight as I showered, I imagined I was bathing in the Ganges...
I closed my eyes and saw the banks, with its scattered patches of grass. Stones steps, worn smooth over millenia, lead down into the water. An old woman selling scraps of soap soaks her feet in the waters. Children splash while their mothers wash clothes. Old men wax philosophy next to the cool mists. Across the way, a mourning family, all in white, does the last rites for their departed loved one, spreading ashes into the river.
They say that the Ganges has spiritual and healing properties. I feel a need for this in my life right now.
My lover is in pain, and I feel I can do little to help. She is on an emotional journey, with an outcome I cannot predict. It has left me feeling fragile and helpless.
I am a very different sort of person than Zee. I am who I am with very few regrets, and even fewer apologies. It has gotten me in trouble a few times, but, for the most part, I have been fortunate.
That is not who Zee is. In fact, the Army suits her very well. Her life isn't just her own. It also belongs to her comrades, her community, her friends, her family.
With so many parts of you making such high demands, the strain of being pulled in a million different directions has to be exhausting, confusing, and very, very painful.
She doesn't live her life unapologetically. And I adore that in her. She is so aware, always. And she keeps it all hidden behind those brown eyes and shy smile.
I can only understand a fraction of what she's going through right now
but I'm doing my best.
I can only offer so many words of comfort
but I'm trying.
So I imagined bathing in the Ganges - hoping that my infatuation with India doesn't scare Zee away someday - and I prayed. The water that fell over my shoulders wasn't sterile and dead, but was a living, breathing entity that has made the journey of life a billion times over. I imagined all the lives the water had touched, held, and encouraged. I prayed that the same water would find its way to my love, even in the midst of a desert. That the drops that poured over my closed eyes and dripped off my fingertips would flow to her, carrying these prayers, hopes, and dreams.
Keep her safe, where I cannot protect her.
Keep her whole, where I cannot hold her together.
Keep her warm and loved, where I cannot reach.