In addition to all the meaningful moments in temples, shrines, mosques, and tombs, the particular timing of the trip produced meaningful reflections, and I further actively pondered life.
The trip had a very "bookend"ing feel for me.
Three years ago, November 2007, I journeyed to Ireland as a symbolic way to purge a lot of negative feelings and bad memories out of my system. They were fading on their own, to be sure, but the escape and placing myself in new surrounds was very cathartic.
On that trip, I began reading Vanity Fair. The novel had nothing to do with anything I was going through, it was simply a novel I wanted to read. While I made good progress during the Irish Escapade, I put the book down when I returned home. I picked it up here and there, amidst working on Love is the Reason and Trust/Truth, etc.
Nearly 3 years to the day, I finished reading the novel during my Indian Escapade. As Fish-philes know, I've been on an emotional journey the past months. This journey inevitably was leading me to improvement to the point that I knew going in, the trip to India would be as cathartic for me now, as the Ireland trip was in 2007. As circumstances begin to be accepted and hearts reclaimed, the symbolism of this trip and the conclusion of the book mirrors the Irish experience in a meaningful (to me) way as a bookend.
Further, the India trip followed—by days—New York Comic Con. My recent association of the heart essentially began at NYCC 2009 and ended NYCC 2010, adding to the bookend feeling of my time in India.
That night (or morning) I dreamed of Matthew. In reality, he was working at an out-of-town event toward the end of my own trip. In my dream, he was in Boston on my return, though would not own it was due to me. In the dream, his hair was shorter than when we first met but shaggier than when I last saw him; and he wore the outfit depicted in my sketch. He offered to pay for our cab, but only had fake money with faces of drag queens on the bills. I asked, "what is this money?" and he replied, "oh—it's the event I am running." Confused, I inquired as to what sort of event was it?—but then woke up.
The drawing of Miss Becky Sharp is a Tim Fish-ified rendition of the paperback edition's cover. I'd never be able to draw a mirror shot like that on my own...