poitu varam

THE CHRONICLES OF A FLEDGLING MISSIONARY CALLED JOLLYBEGGAR "i still gaze fondly at all of the pictures, drink ginger beer, bunch my food, listen to punjabi dj tunes, play my dholki, wear my sarong (around the house only because in canada it is still really uncommon for a man to wear a wraparound skirt in public) and speak way too much of the differences between east and west..."

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

leaving home ain't easy

august 10: day 1: wednesday
i went to bed at 12:30 a.m.- awoke at 1:30 a.m.... couldn't sleep (probably the malaria meds that i had taken for the first time earlier that evening)

*now that was smart- i watched unbreakable with mrs jollybeggar and the boys, then worried about 'mr glass-type' mishaps... had been thinking about death a lot lately anyway.

so i got up at about 1:45 and blogged (see previous post 'funny'), hoping that i'd grow tired- about 3:15 i tried bed again- noise outside the window made it impossible to sleep... i felt like 'bert' on that ancient sesame street vignette.

got up again- this time i went searching for discipleship materials for my talk at the pastors' retreat in kabool lanka... ate a couple bowls of cereal and finally got back to bed and to sleep around 3:45.

the alarm went off, as planned, at 5:15 a.m.

sTeve called while we were hanging at the airport. brett dropped by the night before. i carried with me a list of all of the people who had partnered up with me for this mission... i thought that it would be a good idea to buy them a little token or something to acknowledge their partnership in this ministry experience... i mean, schuller and the gang do it all the time: a donation of $20 will get you a polyester prayer handkerchief or whatever, right?

in any event, i was keenly aware of how many people's money and prayers were accompanying me as i checked in my bag. the one thing missing from my carryon baggage was a picture of my family... i wasn't taking a big wallet or anything and so i didn't have any photos. i pulled out the digital and snapped off an amazing shot of mrs jollybeggar, poet and warlord. little did i know that i would probably gaze upon this airport image over a hundred times on the trip, as well as sharing it with the new friends i would make in sri lanka who would inevitably ask about my family and all that.

what a suck! after saying goodbye and i love you and so on, mrs jollybeggar and the boys stood on the stairs waving at me as i checked my carryon and jacket... the sight of them messed me up, so i went to the washroom for a completely unexpected and unexplained cry. i realized that, in the last twenty years i haven't been away from any of them for this long- not even mrs jolly.

when you leave, the wait until you see your beloved again is the longest at the very beginning- that's why it hurts so much.

so we took off and i sat gazing out my left hand window at the shadow of the plane on the ground. as we rose, the swiftly moving, plane-shaped blotch on the ground shrank before my very eyes. i realized that it was not shrinking (in fact, it may have even bee minutely growing. we were, after all, moving ever slightly closer to the light source) but that i was just pulling further and further away from it.

the third year med-school student to my right was reading porn as she returned home to winnipeg, having been studying medicine in calgary. winnipeg... nice place to be from. i prayed blessing upon her life and relationships (couldn't hurt) after spending most of the flight judging her, keeping the copy of 'leadership journal' open on my lap with john ortberg expounding upon the importance of spiritual formations and small groups...

yep, so here i am, the big missionary man, incapable of sitting next to a westerner on the plane without presuming things about her education, background and virtue based on something as external as the choice of reading material. i wonder if the road goes both ways: did everyday people judge pharisees for being such self-righteous assholes?
i had a doughnut at the terminal tim's while watching disembarking passangers file by (all the while taking note of those with significant hairloss- geez strike two!)
winnipeg>toronto... about halfway there (having had a little sleep finally) i woke up with horrible gas pains. oh what i'd have done for a safe place to fart! this girl and her mother in my row were going to glasgow- mom had been in canada for fifty years... they were nice people and i didn't want to kill them so i just hoped it would all pass.

on our descent to toronto through some lumpy air and a lama-face cloud, i happened to look on the wing outside my window... reading the message: "do not walk outside this area" printed on the wing itself.

good advice for travellers seeking survival tips for the journey.


Post a Comment

<< Home