if the bun doesn’t fit

December 30, 2012

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Over this past summer, when I was traveling a good bit and processing the past year, I compiled a good bit of my writings from the year in the form of a manuscript entitled “A bun in a burkha.” The closing piece of this manuscript was the entry with that same title, in which I concluded that the manner in which my “bun” did not fit in my burka was symbolic of the way I did not fit in the land. Soon afterwards I was sharing a summary of the manuscript with a fellow writer and asking her opinion, as one who was familiar with the country and of life in it, even though she did not know me or have a knowledge of my writings at that time. I was disturbed by the comment she left me with, wondering what would have prompted such a statement. “Maybe,” she suggested, “your story is not yet finished.” Whatever does that mean?, I wondered. Of course it’s finished! I mean here I was, proud of my conclusion and confident that I was nearing the end of my time in this place, happy to move on as soon as possible. And besides, once I’ve written something, it’s done–I’m not a big reviser. I barely even manage to reread my writings, most of the time. That’s a horrid confession, so far as writers go, no doubt, but it’s true: I’m a rushed, spewing sort of writer. It gurgles up inside of me and then spews out in a rushed jumble of words after a day or so in which I’ve been mulling over the need to write, knowing something was going to come out, quickly! I was quite certain that I was done with my “Bun in a burkha” manuscript . . . the words were out and my time with it was done.
But I couldn’t forget those words, and for months now they have reappeared in my head. Is my story not done yet?
And now, I believe, she was right. My story was not done. Because when it came down to it, my second year in this country got to me. It got in my blood and, as I told one coworker once my time to go drew near, I’d have to leave “kicking and screaming.” It looks like I’m having to leave, but I’m not liking it–not one bit. I have fallen in love with this home of mine.
So what if my bun doesn’t fit in a burkha? Maybe I didn’t need the bun after all . . .

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