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India - A Poem

by Deborah Larrimore

Tell me of your trip to India.
And the words stick painfully in my throat.

How is it that I was so convinced to go?
And, what is it with which I returned?

I try to hold onto the moments of teaching….
Connecting…heart to heart
Images of human compassion

And the Boy in the orange shirt appears
Look at me…remember my face…..

I have roughed it before
Camped…fasted…sweated with the Lakota…Hopi…Navaho
Been alone
Peed on the ground
Slept in a canyon…in a creek…on a mountain
I’ve been cold and I’ve been hot

And I’ve been turned inside out
And upside down

Laying my head on a pillow as I dared to peek
outside my window to the bodies below sleeping in the street.

I found myself unable to eat
But more than anything unable to stomach the inequity

Scenes from the day…
A young girl, maybe seven, with a skewer through her tongue
Begging in the streets
An old woman’s fearful face as our bus comes to a screeching halt
to avoid running over her sleeping body on the road.

The Outcasts scooping human excrements into the side trough of sewage
Debris and trash, pollution,
Water contamination in all streams and rivers…flowing to the sea
Roads with no signs and traffic with no laws.

And yet, colorful sari’s and beautiful women
move throughout the land.

These people survive oppression
They work and labor long hours
They sweep the ground before them with their branches
And give care to the children.

They are eager for our teachings.

I hide my embarrassment when I hear another say….
“Now use this Healing Touch technique after you have worked
long hours at your office on the computer
have had a long drive in your car.
Are we Westerners stupid or just repeating robotic phrases?

And I watch as people shirk reality.

I lean over from the second floor of the thatched roof from where I teach.
A chicken dangles from a rope trying to get free before becoming
the evening meal.

And I try to get free of my expectations
My nausea
My inability to comprehend.

I try to Center and to Ground
And hold on to common TRUTH
I am disoriented
The smells….the sights…the sounds are unfamiliar.

And I seek to resonate with the Spirit of the People

And my Heart beats to find its rhythm

How was India?
Oh….I went out into the village to teach the men’s class of 22.
There was a women’s class of 38

And a class in Auroville of around 24.
So, we taught about 84 Level 1 students
And around 75 Level 2 Students!

The Indian people welcomed Healing Touch back
and eagerly plan to use it in their villages.
They had even built a hut for Healing Touch in one village
where we celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Medical care is sparse, so I know Healing Touch will make a difference!

Having now returned from India
I know human despair….hunger…poverty.
But I also know the innate ability of survival.

To Become
…in spite of circumstance
To lift one’s face above the pollution to the Divine
To create mandalas each morning which honor the day
And prayers each night with offerings of thanksgiving.

I am sure it will take me a lifetime to comprehend
But from this journey
I will connect deeper within Myself and My Spirit.

Over population
Stray cows, elephants and wild monkeys
Chaos and famine and poverty
And colorful saris paint my memory.

The human spirit survives.

You sent me as an ambassador to teach Healing Touch
I did so.
And I have returned to our land with deep gratitude and humility.
I have returned forever changed.

How was your trip to India?
And the words stick painfully in my throat.  Deborah Larrimore   03-12-06