Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Love and Respect: A brief narrative of progress in an unlikely pair

When I first moved here, to this little country in S. Asia, I grieved long and loud the death of my former life.  I wept bitterly and daily over the trash and filth and stench and these were all I could see.  Not long later, I lifted my eyes in something like horror and acquiescence and strained to embrace the grotesque beast that was my new home, less out of love, more out of fear that I might run away in terror if I didn't hold on for my life.  As I held her, I learned to look for her beauties in the midst of her atrocities, her own griefs, her brokenness.  At present, I have altered my approach again and I find I am no longer disgusted or critical.  I no longer cling with my eyes closed.  Rather now, we are dancing, eyes open with even breaths, searching one another for hope and meaning and possibility.  I am taking her in again.  I respect the way she wears her history, the way she carries her flaws, ancient and deep.  I am awed at the way she has managed her bulging girth into her sari with many pleats and only two pins and all the while she ploughs the same fields with the same tools she has used for the past 3000 years, sorts through garbage with deft hands, fashions nuclear war missiles and chats intelligently at cocktail parties with the most powerful men in the world.  I cannot say I love her.  But I respect her.  To me, she is no longer a hideous beast, but a creature most complex, quite strong and strangely beautiful.