And then… 40 children came to play… I feel perplexed at how I will use words to describe or explain the life that now vibrates in me after spending the day with pure joy. One of the four million exciting surprises for me today were the children that came from the school for the deaf. I could speak their language! Knowing American Sign Language I was able to sign with them because Afghan sign is very close to ASL. I was reminded of the absolute serenity I feel when I get to hang out with people who are deaf. There was a moment when kids were finishing up a chalk art project and I sat off to the side to begin creating origami balls. This summer I learned from Sura Hart how to create origami balls that you can toss into the air and then pop them with your hand to send little paper butterflies flying. I sat silent as I constructed the balls. First the kids that are deaf joined me in the silence. Without words, only heart connection, we constructed these balls then tossed them to “POP” and send the butterflies flying. Giggles from a child who has never heard what they are suppose to sound like is one of the sweetest sounds I know. It is the reminder that even in silence love can be heard.
I have had a desire to work with people who are deaf in the realm of NVC and had not seen my way to it in the US. I never dreamed my first experience of NVC and Sign Language would be in Afghanistan. It brought home to me the beauty of Signing and how it is very much the essence of Nonviolent Communication. It uses 40 words or less to say what is meaningful (usually in about 5 signs) speaking directly to the heart from the heart. We have been invited to visit the school…we hope we can fit it in on Thursday.
My heart is tender with humanity. The event today was rich with giving and receiving. We sang, drew, painted, colored and played connecting at the human needs level. We created a country within a country for a day. A country where no one got in trouble or punished and all were treated equal with a chance to express their own aliveness. We created a country with laughter, joy, safety, ease, harmony, community, belonging, inclusion, inspiration, creativity and happiness. While just outside the borders, the windows of the building, men stood in their country armed with guns. A reminder that not all have learned yet that there are more fun and effective ways to meet human needs.
Tears are coming as I write now because how do I share with this limited language the capacity of the human heart? I wish I could sign to all of you…I want so much for all beings to be free from suffering and only know the colors of joy and play. I want all children to fall safely asleep tonight knowing the ones they love will wake with them in the morning to share in another day of peace. Celebration and mourning live ever so closely to one another in my heart. I am grateful for another day on this gigantic journey we call life. I will not write about the 399,999,999 other surprises today. I look forward to sharing them along the way with those of you I will get to see in the coming year. I’m off to prepare for tomorrow.
Peace All Ways, Catherine