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  • Writer's pictureShana Ritter

Last Days

Waking to a beautiful clear day,the coming autumn on the wind from the sea, here in Montevideo, Uruguay. It is our last night, we’ll go to a local Tango salon after spending much of the day in the sprawling weekly “Féria” market.

A last day where north is the direction of warmth and south takes you to the ice. Another day of suspended chores and unconstructured time. And beginning to imagine how to carrry the journey into the daily, and returning home to the loss of a friend. I have lost three close friends in the past six years, each loss making me more conscious of the precious precosciouness of time. How close pain resides to love, how kindness is the balm for both.

Travel strengthens my awareness, focuses me on the present. It grants me a heightened awareness of both precariousness and faith. We are all immigrants moving from place to place, curiosity to idea, sureness to possibility.

I think of travel having three stages; first imagining and planning, the actual experience and after, the longest of the three, reflecting. Thoughts begin to simultaneously

turn toward home and remembering places we’ve passed through, conversations with people, landscapes. I hope to carry the wonder with me as I dwell in the comfort of the ordinary.

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