Living in a foreign country can enable one, if they’re not careful, to become very solitary. It’s easy to withdraw into oneself when the primary language spoken is not one’s own, is incomprehensible, and sounds like nothing more than Charlie Brown’s teacher– “Wah wah wah wah wah.”

Dear Friend and Friend and Friend and…,

Living in a foreign country has been wonderful, but there are times, when silence can overwhelm. I no longer have you within reach, even by telephone; you, who I could rely on at any time. Truthfully, needs are ever-evolving, and what I needed then, I don’t now; however, a true friend fills a space that one’s not aware is empty until there are hollow reverberations. When stitches start to unravel, a shirt can still be saved. Yet, it’s not the same.

Living in a foreign country allows one time to think undisturbed. Time to process and understand, out of necessity, oneself. Time to think questions like, “What is home? Where is home?” (Question two can’t be answered without an answer for question one.) Living in silence forces one’s spirit to grow.

Living in a foreign country proves to me that as much as there is, there is so much more, and in this life it’s impossible to touch it all. The universe can’t be grasped, only reveled in. There are more bottomless seas, more blue mountains than we knew, more loving words, more waves slowly coming in, more sunrises, more moons, more orchids and roses and hibiscuses, more stars crumbling, more of us turning to dust, more boat rides, more starts, and full stops.

Dear Friend and Friend and Friend….,

Our wells never run dry; there’s more ink, more tears, more fountains of hope. When we see each other again, will it be with the memory of who we were? Will we see each other as the girls we were or the teens we were or the young women we were or who we are now?

Every year, there are more people who join this voyage, but none have had more of an impact on my soul than you and you and you.

2008-01-01 21.30.01

Much love,

Val