Friday, October 14, 2016

letter home...

since I never got to say goodbye to my only true home and loving community....

Dear Tsenkharla,

How to say goodbye to my dearest love. The privilege of stepping out my door and gazing hundreds of miles eastward the dragons tail Tshohgtshongma, the pyramid awash in tendrils of clouds always moving and revealing more the hump of Shampula, the center of the universe. Somewhere back in these archives I've written much on my favorite trees temples, ruins and rivers. Each mote of dirt and stone or mossy chortens in hidden fields.  A land I close my eyes to see every day. But the real love that fills that landscape cannot be expressed. Love of neighbor and pupil and even pet. Karlos and Sonam my brother and sis feeding me and laughing with me and telling me when I break the rules. And my many students, to name a few, my sons Nima and Pema, waiting at my door in the fading twilight as I return from Shakshing.  They huddle in the kitchen cutting chili while I prep lessons and we banter back and forth like family.

The classroom pulling my hair out to the amusement of the students who forgave me so many tantrums and shared even more laughs putting on skits, writing poems, and drawing and asking questions. Teaching siblings accumulating more love. Watching batches move on including beloved daughter Pema Yangdon, cultivating new ones like Guru Wangmo, adopting sisters and brothers along the way.  Watching them run to the mess in gho and kira the colors of Tsenkharla black red and purple all mixing with noontime laughter our green mountaintop paradise. Eavesdropping under the eaves for evening prayer a song lifting me to heaven confirming all I love.  Running together in the hard rain....hanging prayer flags...Sharing in an ancient community.

I loved you well and my heart will always remain broken from not saying goodbye. Those few letters collected by Karlos and sent to Thimphu are my daily strength. I hope my village doesn't forget me and forgives me too. I have a lot of regret that I should've done better. But am proud of the relationships I forged and only hope I made a difference in individual lives.  I hope someone thinks of me when they pick a piece of trash or remember my antics and enthusiasm.

My beloved kids so simple, wise, and kind you gave me so much that I cling to. I truly hope we are all joined together at Tsenkharla in the next generation.

I love you!