letters

Trust the Process: Day #25

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Golden Temple Amritsar
letters

I was wrong

The below letter was first published online for Kismuth’s VIP e-community, on October 24, 2013.

This one’s for G.

Dear [DELETED]—

SOMETHING HAPPENED THIS WEEK that changed my whole idea about what it is that “writing” is for, anyways. But let me start at the beginning.

So, I was wrong.

It’s hard to admit.

But yup. I was so totally misinformed when I set out on this quest to “see how other people in Asia raise their children, because, man, it takes a village, doesn’t it?, and we’re so wrapped up in ourselves and our own lives in America.”

Turns out, Asia is wrapped in itself, too. Gadgets, status, timecrunch.

So that changed everything. About what it means to be a person with a kid and have “the village” helping out… We did our best. We cried and tried. Writing about the hard moments, that’s what I wanted to try to do in the series. Yet I haven’t been able to come at it in a really meaningful way. It’s such a personal journey, and all that hard stuff that happened, well, could I really put it into words and share that, out loud? Really, could I?

Then something happened.

Someone else showed me her courage, when she shared with me something that happened to her. Not about anything I could have in a million years have imagined coming, but it is her story, a true one, and something that made me sit up very straight. You can read it, too. [Editor’s note: The Kismuth.wordpress.com has since been made private.] Today’s e-letter is dedicated to G. My new understanding of the purpose of Kismuth became clear when you hit “publish.”

Kismuth started to become something just last week, when you showed me how it helped you talk about your own very real, very haunting story. Coming back to the village, I now see that the work isn’t about the manual labor of holding a baby or the copywriting that comes with making blogs. It’s about the emotional labor. The love that goes into the bonding with your child, or the courage that it takes to say what hurt or changed you with others you don’t even know yet, out loud. The village isn’t about stuff or time. It’s about people. Sharing. Our real stories. All of us. It’s about finding the space and time to open our hearts to one another. Thank you, G.

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New memoir by Dipika Kohli releases Tuesday June 23. Click to order now.

New memoir by Dipika Kohli releases Tuesday June 23. Order now here.

 

THIRTY YEARS AGO ON JUNE 23.

That’s when it happened.

The things that I want to tell you more about. The event that I alluded to when NPR host Frank Stasio asked me about it in this interview. The event I shared about at TEDx Raleigh, too.

The airplane.

The friend who ‘didn’t come back.’

What happened, why did it happen, what if it hadn’t happened?

These questions led to 30 years of running around the world “in search of meaning.”

Get it here now:
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books, writing

June 23, this.

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