I am safe. And I mean physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I had no idea how safe I could feel.
We are staying in a ridiculously gorgeous home on the outskirts of Nepal. I was so tired when we arrived. I had not slept. And the city is overstimulating…auditorially, visually, physically.
But I have to stop here and qualify that. The streets of Nepal are precisely as you would expect them to be…busy, crowded and wild. All manner of motor and wheeled vehicles. But I was not overwhelmed. I don’t understand this still. I felt peaceful in the midst of all that.
In any case, we got to Renu’s house and settled in.
This is Renu, Stephanie, Jen, Neil and Krista plotting about what to do next.
This is dinner. The empty place setting is for Tracey Clark. She was with us in conversation all evening. She deserved a setting at the table.
I laid myself down for a nap and as I was falling asleep I heard:
1. Children playing the street in front of the house. Two boys, playing and chatting in a language I could not understand. But it sounded exactly like the cadence, rhythm and subject matter of children playing in the street back home. It was the same. It felt so familiar it was bizarre.
2. A cow mooing very close by. Can identify from where, but if you told me she was directly below our balcony, it would not have surprised me. It sounded that close. And it probably was.
3. Call to prayer. I did not expect this for some reason. The distinct sing-songy prayer. I loved this so much. If I had had the energy, I would have joined in.
It was so beautiful hearing all these things together. I wished I had had the energy to jump up and find the source of all these things. But all I have the energy to do is cry silently at how beautiful this all is and let sleep take me.
I am having trouble already containing the wild horses of my imagining of what could be…what I could do to help on every project that is swirling around this beautiful group of people. But I am staying quiet. Fireworks are exploding inside me and I hold them in. Those of you who know me will know how completely inconceivable this is. How quiet I am being. I need more context. These projects are not mine. This world is not mine. I am learning to just “be” first and let things happen around me. But it is not easy for someone like me.
Renu says, with all seriousness, “who wants to see the slums?” We all affirm that we are in for this trip, for a variety of reasons, but the question sticks with me. From a communication perspective, this is a really good question that I will carry with me through the remainder of this trip. I want to know the answer to it and I want to know the “why” behind it. I immediately think I know the answer to this question myself…the answer to “why” I want to go. But I am not sure I do actually. In any case, I am in.
I feel very lucky that I am so exhausted. Because going to sleep tonight is not going to be easy. I want to write. I want to go back out and take pictures. I want to stay up all night making lists and planning.
But I will sleep. Tomorrow we meet the kids. Tomorrow, my life changes. Again.