I'm finding it difficult to begin this entry - for a couple of reasons: 1) I want to talk about the preceding picture, as well as 2) our get-away and 3) us. So let me first begin by talking about Tony & Pramanod below with hopes that all will fall into place...
At the beginning of our stay here at the Ashram, Pramanod (the one on the right) was picked up and brought in with a broken leg. A cute guy, ex-junkie, intelligent kid. Quickly I was drawn to him, his spirit, his wit, willingness, laughter and smile. There is simply something about him that is different than many others who live here.
Three weeks ago came Tony. Picked up from a local government hospital, both of Tony's legs are broken and severely burned. In addition, he has what appears to have been polio, which has paralyzed one of his legs. He also appears to demonstrate many symptoms related to autism. I call him "the love of my life." He is also the boy whom I am kissing in the news article posted below. He is beautiful, aware, exciting and silly.
A week and a half ago a miracle occurred. I began to watch Pramanod take Tony on walks around the Ashram. Pushing Tony's wheelchair with a cast on his left leg, I would watch them creep around the plotted gardens along brick-laid paths and budding marigolds. I began to notice Pramanod help Tony feed himself and change his bedding and pants when he wet himself. But the night shown in the picture below was something which I have never before witnessed.
Each night one of the guys who lives here comes to the office requesting two candles to light in the mandir (place of worship). With the lighting of the candles, oil lamp and incense many come each evening to pray before these simple offerings. But this evening was different. Pramanod, with Tony at his side, came around to collect the candles for the evening. Still in awe of the relationship that was being formed between the two, I walked over, grabbed two candles to give them, kissed Tony on the cheek and gave Pramanod a good love slap on the head. With business on my mind and tasks to be accomplished I sent them on their way and continued on. Not too long after I ran out of the office to have my all too frequented play time did I witness what you see below.
It was one of the first times I have cried since coming to Ashram. Surrounded daily with pain, hunger, loss, grief, devastation, abandonment, death, mutilation, diseases, rejection and injustice I have found myself very much at peace right now with a living, breathing, burning sensation inside my belly. I am angry. I am hurt. I am frustrated. But I don't cry for some reason. I am in love I guess.
I am in love with Tony. I am in love with Pramanod. With time to give, love to offer and truth inside, Pramanod picked Tony up out of his chair and carried him to the alter, to the feet of Jesus Christ. Before my eyes in the darkness of the late night, Pramanod taught Tony how to pray. He demonstrated how to bow down. He spoke words of offering, gratitude and love. They became one before my eyes.
Jake and I do not yet have this depth of love between us, I don't believe. Even with time together each morning and evening, a luxury we are grateful for, I do not yet believe we are as "one" as Pramanod and Tony are today. We do not pray enough together like they do. I do not think I love Jake as deeply as they love each other. I do not sacrifice enough for Jake to really show others that I truly love him. I think we are a marriage of hedonism right now. I just really enjoy him and take delight in him. I acknowledge that, and to be perfectly honest, I'm okay with that for the time being, I think. I think God may be okay with that too. I love my husband. I love simply enjoying his heart. I love simply enjoying him. I love enjoying his mind, his body, his voice, energy, wit, knowledge, convictions, love for others and feistiness. I think that's how it's suppose to be, at least for now. Yet, I think we need to begin making more intentional moves toward growing together, with each other as well as with others. I need to start making efforts to carry him to the feet of Jesus Christ like Pramanod carried Tony.
Our two days away were a beautiful time of hedonism, simply enjoying one another. A beautiful time of renewal. A beautiful time of talking without interruption, obligation, technology or commitment to others. With the knowledge that all of the preceding are all well and good, it was refreshing never-the-less. I love my husband.
Yet, two hours ago we walked back onto the Ashram campus and were reminded of why we are here. Among all of the "Where were you?"'s and "I didn't know where you were!"'s there were smiles welcoming us home. Bald heads to love slap (lice is taking over not only my head). Armpits to tickle. Laughter to be had. Comforting to be done. Love to give.
It's nice to be home with Jake.