Move Heaven and Earth

I really wish I could blog more, mostly because I think about what I want to write, and then the time disappears.  I feel like I’m living in the midst of a miracle.  I look at the house full of children, and think about the empty broken down place we bought almost two years ago.  I look at the kids, and think about what their lives were like before they came to us.  I look at all the people here, teaching, taking care of kids, cooking, cleaning — all this life and energy that didn’t exist here before.  And I look at my life now, so full — my life that seemed so empty just a few years ago.

It is not a sacrifice for me to be here.  I have created what I needed too.  This is my home now, filled with all these children, and all this life.  Just a few years ago I had a beautiful house in New Jersey, but it was empty.  My kids were out of the nest.  We talked on the phone; they came to stay sometimes, but their lives were elsewhere.  And, my husband had left me for another woman’s nest.  I kept looking at the New Jersey house, wanting it filled with children I was already sponsoring in schools in Kolkata.  I had to face that they were not coming to New Jersey, so it was pointless to hold onto the house.  And they were not orphans.  They had families, ones I was helping also, but no one was coming to fill my house. 

I sold the house and moved to a rented apartment… a first downsizing — thinking I would be back and forth.  But in that next year, I spent more time in India than in New York.  And when I was in New York, I led a fairly solitary life.  I walked my dog (whom I truly loved, and still love) in Central Park; I saw my kids when they were free; I walked along Broadway noticing babies and old people — the baby nannies, and the old people nannies, strangers called in to take old ladies and old men for walks, help them buy groceries, be their companions.  The babies and old people were white; the nannies were brown, off-white, Hispanic, Asian – paid companions, caretakers, pretending this wasn’t "just a job."    In India I felt relevant, needed, contemporary.  In the US I felt more related to who I was in the past, but not in the present.  My life lacked the kind of meaning that had always sustained me.   At seventeen I’d written a school essay about being touched by the plight of Korean orphans.. work undone on my to do list.

I’ve written here before about hearing the voices of the girls calling to me from a dumpster, calling for me to free them.  I think now that was also a call, a voice, to free myself.

I did a lot of writing in that time, the poetry and haiku that continue to define my life, here too.

One haiku..

The invitation

Offered a new assignment,

Move Heaven and Earth.

That sounds a bit like opening an orphanage in Kolkata, moving Heaven and Earth. 


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February 2008
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