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UPDATE: Relief Has Reached Nawalpur Village!

Lives Saved Namaste Friends – Thanks to those of you who contacted me for the specific way to donate directly to Nawalpur Village through Teach for Nepal, aid has at last reached this remote community, benefitting hundreds of households. Dhanyabaad! (Any donations made through Santi School will help rebuild the two schools in subsequent months.) read more..

 

Lives Saved

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Namaste Friends –

Thanks to those of you who contacted me for the specific way to donate directly to Nawalpur Village through Teach for Nepal, aid has at last reached this remote community, benefitting hundreds of households. Dhanyabaad! (Any donations made through Santi School will help rebuild the two schools in subsequent months.)

School1

As I’ve attempted to be positively proactive while making a particular peace – putting writing on hold to take all this love and lavish it on clients, then sending all the money saved to channel wealth from New York City to Sindhupalchok District, Nepal – something in me has further fissured. It’s an oddly restorative, transformative time fraught with the disappointment that transpires with high expectations I had no idea I even had. I’ve often been cautioned to be guarded in my oft-naïveté, and I now sense that a sort of innocence regarding what I do and how I engage with the world at large has collapsed. These quakes have been as tectonic as they will remain internal. I don’t mean to be cryptic, but an unsaid something continues to intensify globally, and it’s big. The shift in me is immense.

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In our globalizing culture of sound bites and technological distraction, it shouldn’t have been so shocking to receive mostly radio silence from friends and family concerning a peaceful people on the other side of our sphere when we are so commonly disconnected from the moment we’re in and the folks we’re with in the West. When we are so seldom still within ourselves. And I want so desperately for the individuals I come across in the day-to-day – for myself! – to feel that presence and interconnectedness I witnessed so effortlessly practiced in Nepal.

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We cannot continue multi-racing at the rates we are, and I personally hope to not feel so consistently let down and, instead, focus on building up an intrapersonal awareness – and humility – in our shared humanity. Our ultimate interrelatedness in an ecosystem of escalating egotism.

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The last few hours of that first magical week in the village two Decembers ago, I was called on to teach an impromptu class to grades seven through ten at Nawalpur Secondary School before boarding a bus back to Kathmandu. On the spot, I wrote on the board what I felt most in that spur of a moment: “NOW IS THE MOST FASCINATING TIME IN ALL OF HUMAN HISTORY TO BE ALIVE!” And for around an hour, in simplified words, and with the assistance of a teacher-turned-interpreter, I went zestfully and zealously on and on about how humankind has learned more in the past two decades about everything from our multi-faceted psychology to a possible multiverse than our minds had managed to in the numberless millennia before.

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I recall inspiring over two hundred already-smiling faces crammed in a classroom to break out in laughter as we all reined in an ardently affirmative “YEAH!” My jubilance joined with their gentleness in a blissed equanimity of blessed equality. We were experiencing this instant together, and it would extend into all that was to come.

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Supplying each student with paper and colored pencils a week-and-a-half later on New Year’s Eve 2013, I asked the entire school to illustrate their combined aims for the future, which I now hope are helping you – dear readership – approach your own desires for a life fully and connectedly lived. When I was their age I would have drawn a picture of myself teaching schoolchildren – and there I was, reaching that realization, beaming in their dreaming. (In a few months I will send hundreds of these illustrations to Nawalpur Village to assist families of children who have passed in their grieving process.)

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You can view a photo album from this past year’s wayfaring in South Asia here. It includes my reunion in the village the succeeding April when – having celebrated a Gregorian 2014 months prior – we welcomed a Bikram Sambat 2071 atop the mountain. Towards the end you will happen upon blissful moments from my fourth and final visit in August, when two schools showcased dry erase boards, window shutters, functioning toilets, and running water friends and I (and some of you!) had the great privilege to provide.

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If you wish to support Nawalpur Village more immediately, the information on how to do so is in all three of the personal compilations I have made public.

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A client I massaged first in Madrid the winter of 2011, and then again my initial New York entry the fall of 2012, messaged me a poignant reflection on the current crisis we advantaged passengers of all kinds are experiencing. It encapsulates my own feelings better than I can relay, and I’ve included it below. Sometimes it’s nothing short of breathtaking to be seen and embraced.

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My heart is as broken as it is open, Men Alive. I feel such a love for life and an appreciation that I get to align the man I am with what all it is I do. And all this coming to – the getting lost and the letting go – this becoming.

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I simply cannot express this excess of gratitude. So many of you have been so supportive – monetarily and morally. Know that the grief is easing into a more whole-hearted way of being in this world. I trust this is true for all of us as an intercultural collective.

Namaskar, namaskar… I pay obeisance to you.

Adam

***

Adam, my friend, I hear your heart breaking. I understand. I know. I curse my limitations – physically, financially, persuasively, motivationally… I know the agony of “not enough,” not like they know, but only the frustration of powerlessness, of there not being enough, of not having enough…

We will do what we can. Regardless of what we can give, it will not be enough. But we will give what we can.

We try to have an impact with the boat people escaping the hells their homes have become, and in their attempts to flee they are locked in the hulls of sinking ships. We cannot do enough. We try to make a difference with the children who flee to this country in an effort to escape the desperation of nothingness at home, only to have our government (in our name) berate them for trying to mooch off our bounty and send them home to die. But it is not enough, it will never be enough… we cannot do enough…

But, like you, Adam, we have been touched by their humanity, by their beauty, by their “alikeness” to ourselves. We have met Juliza and Mita, Carlos and Jario. We have met Yupar and Mu, Zaw and Gouba. We know their names, and God forgive us, they know ours.

You know Madhu and Rama, Hari and Shankar. They have embraced you, and you them. You have looked into their eyes, and they into yours.

So, goddammit and Thank you God in a breath, Adam, we cannot turn away. We cannot be free of their tragic realities. I hear people demand, “How could a loving God allow this?” and they, we, attempt to have no idea that it is not God, but ourselves, in our selfishness and self isolation and self indulgence, who are the ones who allow THIS.

Continue to do what you can, Adam. We will do the little we can as well. Continue to allow your heart to break and your tears to flow and your anger to explode and your agony find voice. Maybe we will make a small difference, but yet again, we are the ones who win the realization of being human. And it only costs a continuing broken heart.

From Madrid and New York and wherever our paths shall cross again –

Know that whatever little you or we can do, somehow, it matters.

Add a Response 16 thoughts on “UPDATE: Relief Has Reached Nawalpur Village!

  1. I love how all of these comments are so supportive and so caring of you, Adam. And I find them personally encouraging, as well. I feel like a fellow traveler with the other men on this site, with our connection to you, as well as your cause.

    I just came across this Camus quote, which the historian, Tony Judt, cites in his last book on social justice and increasing global inequality.

    “Other men will make history. . .All I can say is that on this earth there are pestilences and there are victims. . .and so far as possible one must refuse to be on the side of the pestilence.”

    Albert Camus, The Plague

    • Absolutely, Chris! Let’s embrace our privileges, and then employ them. Where would we be without armed artists? Adam

  2. Dear Adam:
    These are uncertain times marked by an explosive material development but lacking essential ethical values. We know and possess more now than at any other time in human history. Technology has brought us to unsuspected territories of wealth and possession, although not fairly distributed -it won’t ever be-. Paradoxically, this same technology contributes to alienate us, precisely, when we need to be connected to each other as we did during the primitive community. Our individual strength is limited, our personal power minuscule and the daunting problems insurmountable unless we face them collectively……but we are unprepared. We are still more concerned with our apparent differences than with our unique essence and if the problem does not occur at home, it’s not my problem. Therefore, we must reach out, educate, claim, scream, protest. Someone will hear……….a lot of them will ignore us. But we all must act to overcome their apathy and aloofness.
    Cheer up my sweet friend! You have done your part and you have done it right. The real satisfaction resides not in the results but in the effort.

  3. Adam
    I feel your pain and wish I could comfort you physically – but distance temporarily prevents this.
    I am not a subscriber of the apocalyptic theory – I remain ever hopefull perhaps at times unrealistically. The real issue is wealth and its distribution. We all desperately wish we could do more for the struggling people of Nepal. This frustration only incites in me a more earnest effort to contribute and volunteer locally as well as educate friends and family to advocacy – that it does not always have to be money from our pocket, it can be time we devote to true need right in our own backyard.
    Much Love to you my friend.

    • I appreciate this, Dan, and wholeheartedly agree. The ripple effect becomes a tidal wave… See you soon (when we can express all this mutually felt love). Adam

  4. Adam,

    So glad relief has made it and I love that you posted the letter you got from Madrid,it rings very, very true. So looking forward to seeing you next week, laying in your arms and hopefully, giving you some comfort and support as you have giving me a thousand fold. Hugs, Dennis

  5. The more we know our neighbors, our brothers and sisters, the more connected we are. In turn we share with them both their triumphs and sorrows.

    Adam, sharing your personal connection with the people of Nepal has struck a cord with those of us who connect with you. We grieve and struggle with you and do what we can to help.

    Thank you for helping us all to connect, and ultimately to learn how to love and be loved.

  6. Thank-you, Adam, for your heartfelt update. How gratifying to hear that funds have turned into concrete aid and arrived. And it’s good to know that there’s also a conduit for sending aid to rebuild the schools.

    I walk through Herald Square at nine-o’clock at night on the way home from work, and am often struck by the sight of thousands of shoppers still struggling from one store to the other, loaded down with shopping bags. If you really look in their faces, you will discover that most of them have no expression (shouldn’t there be a smile? Shouldn’t they be happy with all that stuff?). Most are blank, dissociated. No wonder some of the most popular shows on TV are about zombies, vampires, and bodies in the morgue. This is our culture’s current identification and representation of ourselves.

    If I understand your Madrid friend correctly,in this pre-apocalyptic time, nothing we can do will be enough, but anything we can do will keep us human, and help us to realize that we have a beating heart.

    • Shouldn’t they even be aware of who they’re around in the moment they’re in, Chris? I’m with you. It’s shocking. And, yes – the very act of presence and mindfulness will let our humanity shine. 🙂 Adam

  7. This update has cheered me immensely, Adam. I am so grateful for what you’ve been able to do, and what you’ve inspired other people to do, including my own very, very, very small part. Our focus doesn’t stay on one area for very long, as the news media move on to whatever the next story is, so thank you for keeping at least some of our focus on Nepal, and for sharing some uplifting and encouraging news from the area.

    Bless you, for all that you do in all aspects of your life.

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