Finally had the chance to wade through all of the India photos and select my favorites… it’s like the carefully edited trailer of a way-too-long documentary. I even like this version better than the whole bunch, myself. If you are so inclined, you can view the new album here. It works best in Slideshow format; I’d recommend setting the speed to 1 or 2 seconds per shot. Cheers.
Damon and I got married last Saturday (yes, again) and are still basking in the big, giant happy. It was a gorgeous day and we had so much fun at our small celebration, surrounded by the people we love most in the world. Hard to believe the windy, brambled, unexpected paths that led to this place, but certain that every step was an integral part of the journey. Grateful, grateful, and grateful, with a side of bliss. Still learning new things every day and having more fun than is right or proper. Shared goals, provocative exchange, extreme silliness, profound seriousness, eyes-wide-open authenticity, no drama and an irrational love of all things made of cheese. This kicks ass.
There’s something about being this in love that it makes you want to get married over and over again. Once a month. On every continent. Okay, maybe not the really cold one… but Damon and I are having our “western” wedding (as our Indian friends would say) tomorrow in New Hope, Pennsylvania and we couldn’t be more excited. It’s a tiny, family affair, with a larger gathering of friends on Sunday. (And a webcam for some far-flung friends who we wouldn’t do this without.) Tonight, the families are meeting for the first time at our house, and then it’s on to a weekend of celebration. We’ve worked hard to plan a really personal ceremony (in English, this time) that is reflective of where we’ve been and where we’re headed and all that we’re grateful for. During this week when so many are facing such excruciating loss in Virginia, we’re sharing in the grief, and trying our hands at courage. Ferociously holding onto this happiness, fully aware of how easily it can be taken.
Our final goodbye on that last day at Mother Teresa’s was with Auntie, who had been waiting by her sewing closet in a pose that was somehow at once both formal and twitchy. When we broke free of the crowd and approached her, she hurriedly unlocked the small room and motioned us inside. There, she handed us several small wrapped parcels and tried to find bits and pieces of English to wish us both a long, happy marriage and all the blessings of God. The metallic paper later revealed a small marble jewelry box, with a little beaded necklace and a Mother Teresa medal for me, and a wooden flute for Damon; she had remembered from our pantomimed conversations that my “husband” liked to play musical instruments. Auntie didn’t have the money for the things she herself needed, and here she was, showering us with gifts. Still — she had one more thing up her sleeve.
Indians are easing the restrictions for foreign adoptions in an attempt find families for more abandoned girl children and children with darker skin. Read the article here.
Microlending is on the rise in India and has a chance to make a real difference for the poor. An Indian blogger weighs in.
Kissing in public is a no-no in India. One hundred couples were rounded up in Bombay during a recent crackdown on “obscene” behavior. Read more, if your delicate sensibilities can handle it.
Heard the assertions that India and China are going to be the world’s next superpowers? Believe it.
When Damon visited Mother Teresa’s with me to say my last goodbyes, I couldn’t wait for him to meet Shanthi, the girl I’ve written so much about here. I had told him of her progress, of her laughter and of the way she tugged on my soul. She would be the hardest to leave.
We first met the stern “Auntie” on our second day as volunteers at Mother Teresa’s, when the ritual of a mid-morning break for chai and biscuits was established. We were in the middle of tending a gruesome amputation-worthy wound in ways that are too unlovely to even describe here, when we were anxiously summoned by a resident. We hurriedly passed along a half-Hindi-half-English explanation that we couldn’t possibly come now, but thank you so much. Our lack of attendance was not well-received that day and our subsequent tardiness the following was greeted with icy silence. The assertion that important medically-necessary work couldn’t be interrupted was ignored — even when we had it perfectly translated in Hindi. It took us several days to understand that Auntie had been given the task of extending this hospitality to us and our seeming indifference to the chai ritual was an overt insult.