I am an average man with less than an average ability. I admit that I am not sharp intellectually. But I don’t mind. There is a limit to the development of the intellect but none to that of the heart.
The book: Creative Minds: The Anatomy of Creativity by Howard Gardner
Vietnam 2013, Day 1: In Saigon, I arrive. A quick 30-minute taxi ride from the airport to my cousin’s home in District 10, $110,000 VND, and everything feels the same.
My dad holds my hand while he’s reading his newspaper as I’m reading my book for a brief 17 seconds, and life is how it should be. Just for those 17 seconds.
Less than 12 hours I’ve been here, and I’m on the back of a motorbike to meet an old friend, and we almost get into an accident with the chaotic traffic. Nothing’s changed.
I’ve been awake this morning for four hours, and I’ve already had 2 cups of café sua da. I’ll probably have another when I meet another old friend in 6 minutes.
Oh, this city. Oh, this life.
It’s been over a year since I’ve been in this country. Just how much of my heart still resides here, I cannot quantify. How can I measure it? The amount of time I’ve lived here? The amount of dollars I’ve spent flying back and forth? The number of friends I’ve made? I know, I’m an old sap.
Maybe I just fall in love with places too easily. I buried a piece of my heart in Texas. I locked up a piece in France, and I kept the key. I gave away a large portion to Vietnam, and never want it back. I’m slowly offering it to New York now, if she’ll have me.
I’ll only be here 9 days. That’s it. Such a short trip. But it’s been too long, so the choice was either to have you for 9 days, or not at all. I’ll take what I can get.
Have you missed me, Vietnam?
I have missed you, if you couldn’t already read it all over my face.
I’m counting every minute I have with you.
Vietnam 2013, Day 9:
He remembers those vanished years.
As though looking through a dusty window pane,
The past is something he could see but not touch
And everything he sees is blurred and indistinct.
On my way home, New York City.