Journal Entry: March 26, 2009

Fellowship, Programs

PrernaPrerna Seth

Everything has been about my project so far. And when it hasn’t, I’ve stressed myself out thinking I’ve been unproductive. But this… This is simply beautiful! This is freedom! This is about my life, about our life, about all of us, not simply this project or this fellowship. I’m sitting besides this point of this river for the first time in my life. It’s barely a 5 minutes walk for my room. I’ve lived here for the last 6½ months and not once have I walked on a path that has not been pre-planned, not once have I stepped outside the box, not once have I let myself be.

I’m sitting amongst tall pine trees, next to a river on a very comfortable rock with a natural backrest. I can never get over how powerless the river seems, moulding its shape and flow according to the rocks in and around it. And yet it is this water that has eroded these rocks and determined its own path.

As an observer, this is what my fellowship year and my role here looks like as well. On the outside, I’m doing nothing. Simply flowing, taking the direction my community leads me in. I seem powerless amongst these hard, conditioned, resistant people. And yet I keep flowing, slowly, inch-by-inch chipping away at their thinking, eroding their set ideas and beliefs like the river erodes the rocks that surround it. The result of my efforts will probably show a number of years later, once I’m gone, once I’m a distant memory in people’s minds and they can’t even remember my name. But that doesn’t mean I can stop playing the role assigned to me, stop playing my part, or consider it worthless, for everyone has a place in the world that is meant to be theirs and only theirs for a given moment of time. And this is mine for now…

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