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..
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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