As much as one can study from the shore

The good news is that it's a baby tooth.

The bad news is that it will be three to five years before it grows back in.

The good news is that he's cuter than ever.

But still... I have this wistfulness that comes from knowing that his appearance is changed permanently, now that there was pushing going on in the shower and he slipped and fell and he cried for about five minutes and then was better, now he will never look the same.  I wasn't ready for that baby tooth to be gone yet.  Sigh.


I have added new layers of BUSY to busy.  We are beginning a meditation center in the Christian tradition, here in our village, and construction is commencing right now on our rooftop.  (Eventually we may get a building, but, as they say here in India, slowly slowly.)   The construction has nothing to do with me- Cate is designing and overseeing the building, but what DOES have to do with me is the week of teaching and workshops taking place right now.

Our friend has come to do some lectures and expand our knowledge of meditation: Eastern, Western, and all the middle bits.  He leads a monastic life with his wife, the type of life where one prays in a cell and builds buildings with rocks that one has quarried, and one bakes bread with wheat that one has not only ground, but grown, harvested, and threshed.  And one has no electricity.

His knowledge is of the doctorate variety, and his presence with us is of the fun and fresh variety.  We're enjoying the lectures, the meditations, and the conversation.

(Kid A:  I had a conversation with Evan the other night.

Me: I noticed.  What did you talk about?

Kid A: Oh... almost grownup things.)

But we have been busy, meeting until almost eleven every night, and then starting over in the morning.  Yesterday everyone drove off to look at churches and ruins in Old Goa, and I stayed home because, as I told everyone, it wouldn't be fun for them or us, to drag the kids around for the day.

Staying home looked like this:

Watering the garden. (I'm obsessed.  I touch and whisper to the new growth on our plants everyday.)


Walking to the painting for kids workshop.

(Me: If you can't behave, Kid A, I won't bring you back.

Kid A: That's okay- I don't really like painting.

It's true- he never has.

Me: Sigh.

Kid A:  Do you know what my real job is? (Announcing to the class.)

Elaborate pause.


I refrained from telling the teacher that once upon a time I was a painter too.  I just let her tell me about colors and mixing and sat with my baby, laughing into his face, in my new life.


Bringing a friend home for the afternoon.  There is a coffee house here which is run by the friend of a friend, a man from Manali.  His daughter came to the painting workshop with us and then spent the day at our house, braving socially inept attempts to impress her by the boys.  (Kid A, painting on his face and spraying others with the spray bottle while at the workshop.)


Having a Belgian friend who is here studying massage give me a free TWO HOUR MASSAGE.  Wow.  It was the nicest thing that has happened to me in a long time.  What was happening with the kids?  Ratatouille.  The movie, not the food.


Eating the kimchi that our Korean friend made.  He is going to teach Chinua how to make it, and then I will be in heaven, sitting on the floor cross-legged, throwing it into my mouth.  I LOVE KIMCHI.


Having the surprise delight of Cate volunteering to sit with the kids after I put them to bed so that I could go to one of Chinua's concerts.

I sat and dreamed of the day that I first heard those songs.  I watched his every move from the front row, singing along, clapping loudly.  His biggest fan.  It was wonderful.