A Golden Farewell in Madagascar

Saying goodbyes to Tojo, a village boy at Angavokely, District of Manjakandriana, Madagascar.
Saying goodbyes to Tojo, a village boy at Angavokely, District of Manjakandriana, Madagascar (Photo by Cara Brook)

It’s dusk on the eve of yet another departure from Madagascar, and I find myself once again in my ever-present state of leave-taking. A year ago—true to my fomba—I quoted Steinbeck on this subject when I said my last goodbyes in Madagascar: “It would be good to live in a perpetual state of leave-taking, never to go nor to stay, but to remain suspended in that golden emotion of love and longing…” At the time, I did not understand Steinbeck’s words; it seemed hard to me, this life of constant transience, this perpetual in-betweenness, but I think I understand it better now.

I’m headed back to America for eight weeks only, a length of time that is both long and short. It is long enough that I will feel settled in the US, short enough that I’ll be back on the Eighth Continent before I know it. At present, this in-betweenness makes me happy, for I feel as though I am never really saying goodbye to either place that I love so dearly. Thoreau and Emerson and the rest of the transcendentalists believed that —> Read More Here

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