on the inside of his bicep flashes a tattoo of a leprechaun holding a spliff, wearing a doctor’s coat. ‘oh yah, I was so drunk when I got this’ he says with the most beautiful set of teeth I’ve seen in a long time. but then he explains he had discussed the tattoo five times when sober and so his tattoo artist obliged while the client was inebriated, still a sane decision though. “sane”. some 20 odd minutes later he goes into a small albeit entertaining spiel about how he’s off now and anything he says or does henceforth happens with the absence of his mind. everyone is in the know and they send their best through fits of giggles.

in my mind, i’m asking myself, what am I doing here. what am I doing here. what am I doing here.

how did I get here?

but that story is much too long, and much of it is irrelevant for now. for now, what matters is the group that I find myself in the company of. americans, germans, poles, Canadians, and some mix of Yemen and Russia–an eclectic collection of characters. here they sit in relaxed smoky respite all connected not by their indulgences but by this strange experience of having been part of a medical camp in remote post-earthquake struck Nepal.

the guy with the tattoo, did I mention he’s a medical student. and the guy with blonde dreads that’s been growing for 12 years—he’s the camp doctor.

and i, as the only nepali with Nepal in my heart and in my blood, i am the outsider. it’s impossible to miss the irony of this situation. i’m the outsider in their world which is but a pocket in my world, my country, my (what I suppose I must confess) home. and they are here, taking part in the larger good. living out what the professional respectable world of INGOs and institutions have struggled to do – stay in the mountains for two weeks straight, serving.

there are complications. A Nepali family opens their home and these oddities free of spirt and also so free of mind and body haven’t the sense to realize it’s offensive to get high and have sex while guests in a Nepali home. details. but these the realities of the situation i see myself an outsider-insider, insider-outsider to. regardless, does the socially inappropriate activation of their libidos undermine the hundreds that benefits from their collective effort? i think not.

the earthquake eh. there’s been so much said, written, thought, criticized, critiqued, conversed and it’s not stopping right away. over a month after and the one sentence snippet I catch off of passing by conversations—it hasn’t changed. where were you when the big one happened? and the second big one? no, the big tremor not the other big one. oh yeah, the government. INGOs. independent groups. media. tremors. another big one. So on and so on and so on.

i tire of it. i truly do. it fatigues me and i find it tedious.

all this talk. just talk.

but then there’s this group. and if nothing else, i am entertained. there, for how every many hours we remained in the mist the earthquake barely came up. the tragedies were just about irrelevant. and yet there is a presence. a song that doesn’t suit the vibe comes on and i hear a comment behind me from a boy who turned into a man after seeing his share of war, “as if we weren’t depressed enough already.”

they say, these trips you take—it’s an escape. you’ll lose yourself in it. but maybe people journey for another reason, and there is much to be found.

in light of events we can’t explain– the shaking of the ground beneath our feet so violent it leaves nearly 9,000 dead in the rubble, what god or ideology can offer sound condolence for that? what theory, what amount of money, can offer justification? Class-quake. Inefficiency. Poverty. People at risk. Development. Infrastructure. Politics. Corruption. words and phrases get thrown around and in the back of my mind i hear this voice singing this line, “i’ve smelled the stench of loss”.

and though the mind wanders, though you seek release, we have to confront this. we must. i do not know how he processes seeing villages collapse, watching bodies laid out, seeing death…smelling loss. a truck passes and previously unnoticeable sounds now causes my heart to quicken and my feet wonder if they should run.

run to what. run away from what. what brought these vagrant, shoe-less, borderline degenerates here? most of all, what’s most interesting of all, how do we end up in the same room, sharing the same air, all of us having our own thoughts.

there is much i do not– i cannot–write about. several years ago i made a commitment to myself regarding this blog. i told myself that every word i put up here, i would do it for me. i wouldn’t do it for the readers (how ever many or few there are), i wouldn’t do it for those i wrote about, i would intend nothing of my posts, save for being posts i wrote for myself.

making that choice wasn’t too hard. i knew what i was signed on for. i knew i’d have my vulnerabilities out for show, out for comment, out for criticism. and i decided to accept it all.  what i didn’t know this decision would do was prevent me from writing about so many things.

it’s one thing to ramble about something i saw on the street, it’s another to put my wounds into words, to allow myself to be seen through my eyes as i construct sentences. so there is much that remains unsaid. there are hurts and tears and struggles and fears that are lost in drafts, mostly lost in thoughts.

so what can i–what do i–actually write about? this and that. bits and pieces. important things and not so important things.

i have felt a silence on this blog that has been echoing in my head for many months. yes there are words i put up, but they feel restrained, restricted. like i’ve been using words to hide the things i cannot say. there are still many things i do not think i could resign to being posted here. my hope is one day, with the gift of 20/20 hindsight i’ll be able to reflect on ongoing situations with good humor and the gift of understanding that comes with time. until then, there are other things.

today, i’ve had many thoughts, i’ve shared a good lot to S at work. sweet sweet sweet S who is a daily reminder of the best of what humanity can be. earnest. humble. open. and kind. so so kind. S has listened, she has listened well, she has allowed me to regain my sense of peace. and this peace, this moment of calm i feel in an otherwise chaotic place, is a reminder that the universe conspires.

i do not much care if your credit the universe or if you know the universe as God, it is what it is and i am eager to submit to all of it. this presence. this sense of divine. this thought, idea, concept, that is so beyond our understanding. i make another human effort to glimpse at the bigger picture. and for the most part, what i see is good. what i see is the possibility of good beyond all the darkness and horror of humanity.

i think of the hurts, of the sufferings. i think of injustice, i think of rape, i think of abuse. i think of the wounds of my soul, the scars of my heart, the pains in my head. and i know how hard it is to see good. how hard it is to believe in good.

i think about those hurtful, hateful, horrible words i stumbled upon last night and i know “good” is much further away when blurred by tears. i know. i know the pain. i own the pain.

and yet, what story actually ever ends? what tale is truly, utterly, “complete”. even in death the story goes on, it will move, and so it is, so the universe is conspiring. and so, i’m trying to understanding everything in the much larger context. not just of my individual experience, but within the revelation of history, the expanding of space, and the ultimate mystery of the divine.

it is a heavy task. it comes with many thoughts, many complications, and ultimately there are black holes i cannot see into or get around. but i am learning, slowly, that it is well with my soul.

being “well” doesn’t mean being fixed. it doesn’t mean being healed. there are many more tears i have to shed. there are many hurts that continue to be repressed. no, the wellness of my soul doesn’t come from exploring every splinter i have endured. the wellness comes from knowing there is so much out there beyond me. that there is great joy in a cup of tea, a blade of grass, in a hug you didn’t think you’d be getting.

the wellness of my soul lies in accepting the universe as it gives itself to me…good one day, bad another maybe…but always giving. the wellness comes from 1 hour conversations on the phone where i cried across countries, and where i was heard, and i was heard because i am cared for. i am cared for in so many places by so many people, and each person has been designed for me. and i for them. so i am well.

i am well knowing things i don’t like lay ahead. i am well knowing i dread the confrontations that are being orchestrated without my trying. i am well despite knowing that i have a plan to remove myself from this world should it ever come to that. i am well, to know, that even when it feels like love was lost…there was so much i gained.

i am well to be human, to be flawed, to still be learning. i am still a rather broken soul, but being well is more than i had once hoped for.

and one day, i’ll write about all of it.

 

 

 

she looks at me for help and i have nothing to offer. those eyes that fear she’ll be abandoned if i leave the room. those ears that perk up for lulls of comfort.

i lie down next to her, rubbing her head, rubbing her ears, rubbing her belly. i whisper to her. and in doing so, i hear her breathing grow heavy. i feel the movement of life inside of her.

i am left in wonder.

my puppy, my baby, my little girl is pregnant and due any day. she walks heavy. she moves with  unease. she tires easily. and more than ever, she is in want of company. in her situation, nothing could be worse than being alone.

i watch, and i wonder.

my mother has taken to new heights of worries. my back used to hurt, i don’t know where it hurts on her, she says, but I would know nothing of experiencing pregnancy. or the pains of carrying a child. or the upcoming imminent pain of delivering babies.

my mother does.

it hurts like you wouldn’t believe. when i was in labor with you there were a few of us women. euta le kasto mukh chhareko. she laughs over the potty mouth of a laboring soon-to-be-mother. but after you have your child…the pain is nothing.

i wonder.

no matter what, my mother says looking to our dog, us female always suffer. And she tells me that women are stronger. that there is so much more we bear. look at me. she says. and i try. she tells me to strengthen myself, she tells me to be kind, to offer friendship, to be loving.

boyfriends are boyfriends, you’ll love many times. but you must be strong when you decide to have a husband. i try to listen to her as i cry into her embrace. as i cry from the persisting pain in my heart. as i cry explaining his confusion. without saying it, she knows. i try to understand the pains she has endured. the pains of a woman–physical and otherwise.

look at me, she repeats. and she reminds me of her story. her struggles. her pains. her marriage. look at where your father and i are now, she says. and i know she’s right. she is, after all, Ama. sacred mother, mother of mine, mother of many, mother of all.

as i gather my things to leave, she complains, it’s raining and cold, i wish you’d just stay here until the puppies are born. i’ll come tomorrow, i tell her. i’ll come tomorrow and stay until the puppies are born. as i pick up my bags i noticed she’s stuffed them with food. oh mother.

before i leave, my baby walks up to my leg and looks at me with those eyes, with those ears. if she could i imagine she’d put her head on my shoulder. i lean down to leave a kiss near her nose, and to wipe away her short tears.i’ll see you tomorrow i whisper.

and i wonder, what do we gain, what do we learn, by the pains of being her.

In the summer heat of that stuffy small room and that tiny single bed we cuddled and we laughed. 

“I like it when you make me laugh” I said.

“I like making you laugh” you replied.

I remember what it was that I found so funny. I remember submitting to the heat, our skin sticky, our eyelids heavy. We napped. 

The months have dwindled to days. Summer is soon upon us. Our meeting seems strange and far away. I wonder if we’ll laugh again. 

I suppose not. I suppose that’s okay. 

*i am afflicted by a certain maladies that absorbs all notions of excitement, passion, and purpose. it leaves life wanting. it shows everything to be futile.

*of the thousands of hours i have spent traveling between various parts of the city, i have invested much in looking into the faces of strangers. ‘resting face’ it’s called, i believe. most people are rather un-emotive. i wonder what’s there to read on me. probably bitch face.

*between micros, tempos, taxis, buses, and pedestrians, i wonder how many in this city i have crossed lives with. if but for a moment. faces shuffle around and i have no way of knowing if i’ve come across the same person hundreds of times, or if this shall be our only passing. how many stories does this city hold?

*i do, however, recognize the bus boys on my route. i wonder if they ‘know’ me, i wonder how many others they ‘know’

*i am in awe of a friend’s concern for me. the imperative my friend feels to motivate me. to make sure i don’t waste my potential. (my damn potential has been the worst thing about being me.) regardless, it leaves me in great respect of my friend

*honesty that comes across as truths that don’t hurt is a rare thing. i suppose it is slowly incubated over time and the unfolding design of specific relationships. i know it exists because i’ve had truth offered to me with no malice and such love,
“i definitely think you need to brush up your writing, but it’s your topics that are so interesting”
in an over-said, over-stated world, does there remain anything to contribute? my friends think so.

*what purpose does an idea serve if nothing is to ever come of it? if at full blossom it passes as a comment made in a forgettable conversation. (can’t that be enough?)

*”meditate” he used to tell me. but he doesn’t speak much to me anymore. and the space in my head continues to be cluttered.

*if only cleaning up after a broken heart could be done in the same fashion and time as rearranging my room, wardrobe, and seasonal clothes.

*i’m keeping my things tidy, and my nails well kept. this is me trying.

*in all the words and thoughts i vomit on my friend, i am frustrated at how limited it makes me feel. if only i could have voiced things to certain people, but they don’t want to listen. and so these thoughts, these words, they bubble over, they spill, they stain, they scar. and my vulnerabilities burrow more so in their hole.

*i think i am several years into feeling so…exhausted

*there is less comfort to find here than i had hoped

*hope is a two-faced bitch

*and so it is.

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