My body clock jogs me awake.

The calendar turns to another day.

Fall sets in in the Western Hemisphere

telling me where and when I am.

My brain obediently responds,

yet my essence is tugged by the magnet of memory.

Genes tussle with mind


where I am

where I was

where I should be

where I cannot be.

Wavering temperatures, timidly-coppering leaves, are the here and now.

Monsoon relief and the onset of the festival season are the there and then.

An alarm clock, a BlackBerry’s buzz, a dog’s cold nose, are the here and now.

The cawing of crows, the muezzin’s call, the milkman’s bell, are the there and then.

Suburban solitude, domesticity, neatly-numbered blocks, are the here and now.

Discordant, concordant, flamboyant, triumphant jamborees of sound, color, bustle, dust, life, are the there and then.

Google, Skype, Twitter, Facebook, Amplify, are the here and now.

Saris, street vendors, bangle-sellers, processions, happily homeless dogs and cats, are the there and then.

Husband, pets, my dearest friend an ocean away, growing-dearer friends a phone call away, no one a doorstep away, are the here and now.

Mother, father, brother, sister, aunts, uncles, cousins, all too numerous to count, are the there and then.

I was there then.

I am here now.

I loved it there then.

I love it here now.

I wanted here then.

I miss there now.

I am in both places, no place, some place, which place?

When clocks and calendars collide.

Image: Pinto Alex via Flickr, CC 2.0

Shonali Burke
Founder and publisher of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke helps purpose-driven brands bring big ideas to life. She teaches at The Johns Hopkins University, has gone back to school herself with the Harvard Business Analytics Program, and is creator/lead instructor at The Social PR Virtuoso® online training hub , where ambitious PR pros learn how to unleash their inner Social PR superheroes. Owned by Lola the Basset Hound, she's mad about ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis, though not necessarily in that order. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke