On the left you see a picture of the full moon in Cairo along the Nile, close to where I live. A moment of beauty amidst lots of chaos. It’s been almost a month since my last post and another new moon approaches. I don’t know about you, but the last few weeks have been quite challenging for me – inside and out. It could just be because I am living in a foreign country away from my comfort zone and those I love most. However, from what I have been reading on Facebook and feeling from lots of others – the challenges have been everywhere.
How do we stay in love and hope and humor, when life around us seems so out of control? This is absolutely my meditation during my days here in Cairo. And so I can choose to focus on what’s not working – I don’t have my own apartment yet, the school is not finished being built, the children, though incredibly bright and enthusiastic, don’t really get my American desire for community respect and discipline like listening to the teacher or each other.
Or I could focus on what is working – It’s 90 degrees and sunny all the time. Tomorrow I am going to the Pyramids with a VIP tour guide. I went to a beautiful and healing contemplative service at an Anglican church in Maadi last night and last week I went to Africa Live and met some of the warmest and best dressed people in Egypt – Christians from Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal and other countries in Africa.
Some days I feel like a Master, staying in love, detaching from drama, being in service and some days I feel like a neglected child – sad, angry, cranky, feeling resentful that the school is not what I thought it would be – reaching for the fruits allover the place!! And there it is – who I am. who we all are – light and dark. adult and child. love and fear. and so, I choose each day as best I can. And I am grateful when I am reminded of my True Nature – both love and fear, and God is both.
On a less metaphysical level, the music room is shaping up nicely and we have great instruments, so we are all learning to drum and play music with each other. At times I feel like Mr. Holland trying to teach that one kid with no rhythm (for hours) or Jack Black in School of Rock and wonder if these Egyptian kids don’t just think I am totally insane. But in the end, all you can do is be yourself. I am also teaching them songs from something called the Virtue Project, hence the title of my post. So far the virtues we have performed at assembly were Thankfulness and Responsibility. Next week is Respect and hopefully we will do Patience soon. If I learn nothing in Egypt, it will be patience.
Below are some pictures of the music room and the school. In about 5-7 years, it will probably be everything it hopes to be, but right now we are in the growing pain phase and I trust I am here for many reasons that have yet to reveal themselves. Also there is a picture of Nesrine, my Egyptian music teaching colleague and her son Timo. they are both a great blessing and keep me laughing every day.
As this new moon in Libra on Sunday approaches I remember the teachings that come from many Great Religions. We must know God within ourself, but God is often most dynamic in relationship. It is through our relationships – the mirrors of other people showing us our own gifts and challenges that we feel and see God most deeply.
Notice the relationships in your own life- how have they changed? how are they changing? give thanks for the most difficult ones, for they are often our greatest teachers. Thanks for reading and staying tuned – feel free to let me know what is happening with you.
And did it really snow already in the NorthEast? crazy!