Sunday, May 27, 2012

Freddy & Spaghetti

There is a gecko watching me shower. Some days there are two in the bathroom I share with Beth and Ashley. Ashley named the first to appear, "Freddy", I named the second, "Spaghetti." I don't have any privacy issues with the gecko high up on the bathroom wall, making his exits and entrances via slotted window. If you had told me a week and a half ago that there would be geckos in the bathroom, I would have been uneasy with it. I would've wanted to be relaxed about it, but I know deep down it would have made me feel strange. The fact that very quickly, it does not bother me, and I even get a little sad when the little amphibians aren't in there, shocks me. I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting my reaction to India to be pre-adventure, but with this as with many things in the last year and a half of my life, I surprise myself with my adaptability. This is the closest I've ever come to the exact opposite of my ordinary lifestyle and I'm genuinely relishing in it. My mother will never believe this, but the other day I was telling Alyssa that I was even really loving the bucket showers. There is something so graceful about the simplicity of our life here and I am thoroughly enjoying being reminded of how little I need.

I thought I would be complaining about the heat, I expected to be incredibly uncomfortable with the smells and abrupt poverty and always to feel on edge, a little unsafe. While the poverty is another thing to consider entirely and I'm sure it will maybe never sit well with me, after just one week I feel much more at home in Kolkata than I ever expected to. I am much more comfortable here, particularly on Sudder St., the walk to Mother House, and in Daya Dan, than I would have imagined. The taxis, cars, buses, autorickshaws that buzz by used to terrify me and even though today Carlitos and I had a close call walking from an autorickshaw to the metro after our first visit to Brother Xavier's, I feel safe even with the chaos. I have been thinking that there seems to be a thin line between such vibrant life and the potential of death in this city, and Ashley also brought that up in reflection the other night. In the homes, on the streets and even in our group, there is the joyful and the distressed living so symbiotically that it's an interesting but beautiful experience to be a part of.

Much love & peace to all of you thinking of us. Your support is remarkable and gives me so much gratitude.

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