A List

It must be my eyes misting up all the time, that my other senses have finally sharpened.

In my heart there is a visceral hope to quell fears about desirability. Whether this be as a friend, confidante, advisor, lover, sister, daughter, or angel.

A warm smile should not be a charm or seduction but a true welcome, as natural as breath to the body. Acts of kindness are often put on a pedestal, lauded admiringly but not aspiringly, because being so ostensibly good is self-martyrization. I still cannot forget the speech we read by Nipun at a Buddhist university, containing an anecdote about how after a driver stopped to help his aunt from a car accident, his uncle could never again drive by a car accident without stopping to help because of how grateful he was, and also how far reaching the depths of his love are. 

Here is a list, for detachment

-       I love your open heart. It is a true gift, not only because of the masala potato chips you offered which I otherwise would never have tried, but your optimism and excitement about things that have not been pre-arranged. Rickshaws, documentation, or calling frank attention to the stark contrasts of our conference room with A/C at Setco Foundation with the under-resourced villages like Lilapur that are waiting it out until that have true ownership of the land. You ask such honest questions, and give such honest answers, I have to hope that you know how much I admire them.

-       Your sweetness and maturity is a shocking combination. Your genuine gratitude can sometimes be shocking because you focus so keenly on sending your message to the receiver and never on the rest of the room. Your mischievous smile just kills me. I feel there have been moments when I have not been truly kind to you and you have never punished for this, have remained so staunchly lighthearted and good that you have a really dear place in my heart.

-       You have infected me with your faith. I have found intense, challengingly fearful moments when I am not sure if I will make the wrong move and you have faith and it’s a declaration of and dedication to being that I admire so much in you. You say you are fearful but it is all the more amazing that you do not project any of this on anyone else, only constantly revising and growing and pouring out care and appreciation that is far beyond what your duty is.

-       I never leave a conversation with you without feeling that it was of importance. There is no small talk, and sometimes I feel like my heart is being assailed by cupid’s arrows because your dignity is so freaking beautiful and it shows, it shows, I want to paint you.

-       Down to earth, a home, someone who has shown me infinite patience and humility, you loved the beautiful parts of things that I sometimes saw the challenges in, that I even complained about. Thank you.

-       Someone who I have been anticipating getting to know. Oh shoot, expectations, but my being drawn to your dgaf attitude was a blessing because you are like Buzz Lightyear. I was nervous around you one moment and then I wasn’t. That seamless transition into friendship was owed entirely to the opportunities you gave me to relax around you.

-       I do so appreciate your self-awareness. What you know about yourself and your direct approach to expression your thoughts, without, it feels, consciousness of an audience.

-       Your energy. I would never imagine you are tired at the end of the day, despite hearing you say so at breakfast. You basically transcend the assumption that age and experience must correlate in my mind. Oops that may have been a giveaway. But I love the sound of your voice, because I have grown to rely on hearing your balanced lilt.

-       Holy cow :) I feel swallowed by your laughter sometimes. You have take-charge tendencies and humor that make everyone fall into a habit of waiting for you sometimes to take the first step. Thank you for holding onto that undue pressure and turning it always into an energy that everyone I know would feel great loss without.

-       You have an intimidating amount of happiness in one body. You emotionally throw yourself into whatever you are doing and have a refreshing absence of any agenda. Do they call this passion? From day one, your patience that you have gifted me has been a huge catalyst to myself being able to keep my heart and mind open on this trip. Much thanks.

-       I want to lean in when I speak to you. You are too hard on yourself! Stop it! I love so many things you do, even if I don’t like them all. That’s my way of saying you hold a candle to some of my weaknesses, and I feel like I’m better off for that. Thank you. It means so much to never hear careless words from you, knowing that with everything you say I can listen close and know that it carries weight in both of our minds.

-       When you are positive, it is with substance. The Real Stuff. Not a 24/7 smile, exactly. Your smile is great and blinding and beautiful when it appears, and I feel that you practice detachment most unconsciously of us all, and you don’t even know it. Sorry, these are really disconnected things that I appreciate about you but it’s hard to paint a full picture of how I admire your authenticity in your care for your friends.

-       As I reach the end of this list, you remind me of Ms. Tous and I know I am putting too much pressure on the adjectives + the word love to do all of the work. You are honest to what you feel… in the sense that I feel you have a consistency to your body language and language and poise, yet you are never stagnant in your thinking or attitude. You have a kindness that is remarkably inconspicuous .