To become neighbors is to bridge the gap between people. As long as there is distance between us and we cannot look into each other’s eyes, all sorts of false ideas and images arise. We give them names, make jokes about them, cover them with our prejudices, and avoid direct contact. We think of them as enemies. We forget that they love as we love. Care for their children as we care for ours, become sick and die as we do. We forget that they are our brothers and sisters and treat them as objects that can be destroyed at will.
Only when we have the courage to cross the road and look into one another’s eyes can we see there that we are children of the same God and members of the same human family. ---
After being here a few days shy of two weeks I have seen great beauty in people's faces, in the land, in the love and hospitality that I have been shown by the brothers here at the monastery and the staff at the school and people I have met in town. I have also felt a deep sense of familiarity when going to the grocery stores, being in school watching children play and swing and jump up and down and cry and pout, also when walking on the streets looking at birds flying over head and looking at trees as they shed their leaves (its winter over here).
At the same time felt I’ve felt completely isolated from the world I know and the people I love and have had a sense of unfamiliarity with my surroundings; forgetting which side of the road I’m suppose to be driving on, getting lost trying to find my way home, hearing conversations people are having in passing and thinking wow I really am in a different country, which sometimes feels like a completely different world.
One thing that I try to keep in mind is perspective. Im sure that in time I will learn the streets and become more comfortable living here. In time I will learn how to better stay in contact with my family and friends. In time everything will balance out and I will find that happy median.