Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Here are some pictures of my last days in Sangli, India in September. So memorable and filled with closure and connections. Life is constantly in motion. Just doing its life thing.

Sharing the Ganapati festival was clearly the highlight of the last days.

Seeing it from the perspective of local families was an experience that is without words. I have gratitude for the Magdum family for taking me in during this time and making sure I got to share in all of the rituals and ceremonies.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Lesson Will Come in Time.

For now, this will all be such a lesson learned in time.

It still feels as if a blog is not really the place to give lengthy reports about some of what has been transpiring. But what is so, is that for all involved, an agreement was made that we all took a chance to try something really new. And sometimes it is better to say goodbye earlier than later. For the organization, for me, and for the children.

This has probably been the hardest part to swallow, and can only really be truly understood in time.

The set up here posed several challenges that were without tangible resolution. So what to do here? Sometimes I don't know. I've stayed on before, to fight it though. And then, there are times when for all involved, moving on is best. The message here in many ways, appeared to be the latter.

With some perspective, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. This new small school in the middle of India really took a chance in bringing in such new energy to their tight knit group. Both the NGO and myself really bit off a huge bite of life. And someone reminded me this is how we all truly live, by taking the big kind of chances.

And as for you. You have been here all along. Quietly, and sometimes loudly rooting.

The heartbreak comes so much from not wanting this small story to discourage any of you in supporting a cause like this. That because of all of your support, encouragement, hope -- I made it here. I got to see what this was going to be all about. And learned about this beautiful culture, and some of the special causes it supports within its communities.

I didn't have a huge safety net to fall back on, other than the truth. And now I have learned that my visa will not allow for further volunteer work within India. As days passed, nothing tangible turned up. I was not drawn to come for an extended vacation, a service role was not materializing, and the clock was ticking before I was out of place to sleep. So, as my brother said: it's time to come home, eat a pizza, and plan the next step.

This is where turning it all over comes in. My intentions are not to come home. However, the next right thing to do is re-group. That scattered planning will not prepare me to truly be present for another organization, cause, or myself.

So in the end, the plane ticket has been bought. I am more dismayed than I can remember in recent times. And yet, I am constantly moving toward faith in it all. That truth is all we have to work on sometimes. The results are not up to me.

And because of you, there is a renewed sense of dreaming big. In understanding the power of support. And also, that I have shared so much, as well as gained, in this period of time. That it is clear there is still more to go around, more to be revealed, and more to be received. So know, in your efforts, that this is not going to be the end. That I will look forward to being in contact to discuss ways about returning any funding you may have provided. Because it was the energy behind the gesture, not the means, that made the biggest difference in all of this.

I have learned so much from you, and from life. And all of this was carried to the community I got to know here, especially the children.

I will return to India. In service or other. Of this I have no doubt. She whispers softly to me to come back, that I am welcome any time. Her colors are so rich, her people so passionate, her impact is lasting. So for now I will have to say goodbye to her. It feels like love lost. Like letting go. And I guess it is. So all this grieving is natural.

As for closing this chapter, I will stay a little over a week to get some closure with the community here. This part feels important. Many people took me in and shared with me the best part of Indian culture -- that we are all family in this life.

There is also a 7 day Hindu festival just beginning, to honor the god Ganesh. This is a major yearly celebration, involving a visit from Ganesh to everyone's home. And even Smita, my friend, told me that Ganesh was the one who helped me to decide to come home. And maybe she is right. I traveled to a large temple in a neighboring city two days ago. I ended up going to Ganesh. Talked to him, like a buddy, to say all that has been happening. He is such a jolly God. And then the next day, the answer came.

Who knows how any of this works. It all just does.

I love you all.