It is hard for me to put words to the feelings surging through my body at the moment. My general physical response is to cry - a form of release - of joy, of sadness, of grief, of hope, of relief, of disbelief, of awe, of shame, of guilt, of fear and back to hope again. I left the studio early today. I had to, when I cry a lot my contacts start fuzzing over, so I could no longer see. To see everyone today, come together in D.C., to join in this human experience, amazes me.
The human experience, learning about it, participating in it, is what motivates and fuels my life's work. To learn about what makes people excited, what brings people together, and also what keeps people apart. It is with this curiosity that I traveled half way around the world - to learn from others, who look entirely different than me, speak a very different language, and at times held very different values than me - carry a common interest as me - textiles - their creation, their inherent meaning to a healthy, happy society. But along this journey, I encountered intense, seemingly meaningless suffering. There were many times when I wondered why I was born in the U.S. Why I was given the opportunity to go to school, was fed complete meals, and had people around me who believed in my capacity as a human to create and build. I felt - and still feel - an intense form of powerlessness when I think back to my time in India.
Here, in the U.S., I have the tendency to fall asleep - to judge others. I use my life in the U.S. as a way of insulating myself, or escape from what is going on in the larger context of life - whether it be here in the U.S. or beyond. As I pull away from others, and from a portion of my true self, which is drawn towards participation, I limit my life and all that it holds. Through the form of my business, I have started reaching out again. Building relationships through the common bond of textiles. Again, found interest and love in learning about what makes people happy - what inspires people. It has changed my life. This year, I want to continue that momentum.
I am so grateful that Barack Obama is our President. I am inspired by him - his life, his intelligence, his commitment, and his courage to be our President. He is a role model for me - I am inspired again to participate as part of our human experience, this life.