The floor of my apartment has been covered all week in photos, scraps of paper, and other materials . Last thursday Will and Lissa drove down from Boston and the four of us (Lissa, Will, Catherine and me) held an open house and slideshow talk for about 30 people here for summer school classes. After a bit of a whirlwind getting ready, I have to say I think it went great! Catherine and I were decked out in traditional garb and Will wore the shirt he had sewn in Pokhara…and it a great stroke of luck, Aamaa’s daughter Bishnu (who is now living in Maryland) was able to attend and see our talk about IMT in Kaskikot – the village where she grew up!
Our talk took just over an hour, and we had two tables full of our teaching materials, photos, singing bowls, blog printouts and more. Will covered one wall with some of his gorgeous professional photos, many of them arresting portraits in Kathmandu, Kaskikot and the Tibetan Refugee Camp.
One of the things we emphasized in our presentation was that our talk was not a post-script to a cool experience that four of us had in Nepal. It wasn’t even exactly about Nepal, even though that is where this particular project is taking place. But sharing it with a broader circle is hopefully part of an ongoing discussion about the field of IMT, about inequalities and responsibilities in our world, and about the plain, striking experience of hands-on therapy as a language that apparently crosses vast distances and differences.
Whatever good things and lessons came out of our three weeks in Nepal–and there were many–the purpose of sharing is to extend those things as broadly as possible, to provoke conversation, to generate new connections and amplify the effect of our efforts as much as possible. That was always the intent. So hopefully our Aug. 9 talk was simply the next piece, or maybe even the first piece of the next thing–and in fact, we had people coming up to us the rest of the week with ideas, contacts, interest, and requests for copies of our cards and manual. I for one don’t know exactly where we’re going with this thing in Nepal (although I have some ideas!)…but I am sure that any impact on other people right here at home represents the Olympic gold medal for now.
Our slideshow itself had 120 pictures in it, many of them are scattered throughout this blog. But here is a shorter slideshow of our wonderful, invigorating evening.