Upcoming Shows




We've been named as a official selection in the Southern Circuit of Filmmakers Tour, March 17-24.

Shows are in Hapeville, GA 3/17, Madison, GA 3/20, Orangeburg, SC 3/22, Gainsville, GA 3/23, and Manteo, NC 3/24.
Learn more by going to the SouthArts blog.

View the theatrical trailer for A Gift for the Village

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Last Blog from Jane in Kathmandu

Friends, Andrea, Carol, Joe, Tom, and most of all Ike, THANKS for your latest encouragement and e-mails as we ready to return. I am tired, and it must be the emotional kind of tired, because I had only a grand total of three sips of rakshi (rice wine) tonight with dinner--Jenna will tell you about our fun meal at Bhancha Ghar--and I can't think of any other sufficient reason for all this yawning and for the feeling that somehow I have a sodium i.v. drip slowly knocking me out tonight.

I know that when Jenna and I picked up our last little Tibetan stone things at Mr. Bhatt's, we had yet another amazing talk with him, and a last overview of what we would be doing until we should see one another again, hopefully with our film in hand. We planned to cook together next time, momos and vegetarian spring rolls, and sweet and sour vegetarian soup. Apparently Mr. Bhatt is also a chef. Mr. Bhatt apologized for not having us to his home this time--and Reba, I think YOU and Carl have some very special company just now, bless your heart, and THANK YOU all for taking such good care of our Sunil and Sarita! We can't believe they are in BLACKSBURG!--and Mr. Bhatt and Jenna and I talked about world politics and the 2008 American election and terrorism and Tibetan culture and American awareness of the Tibetan issue and the Dalai Lama's accepting our government's highest civilian award, The Congressional Medal of Freedom, this October 18th (also my brother Charles' birthday).

We talked, and laughed, and Mr. Bhatt told us the parable about a man walking on a sea shore, where the tide had beached a school of fish, who were all flapping, but lost, and destined to die out of water. This man was stooping down to pick up the fish, and to throw them gently back into the water, one by one. He was at this task for hours, when another man came walking by, who saw that for the length of the beach, as far as the eye could see, there were such beached fish, thousandsm who would die without being rescued in this way. "Why do you stop to save these fish?" The man asked. "Can't you see how many there are? Many are doing to die, no matter what you do, so what does it matter that you stop and save any?" The man saving the fish paused for just a second before he threw the present fish back into the ocean, and said to the sceptic, "See this fish? This one? To this one, it matters."

Mr. Bhatt said that we can not stop all the terrorists, but we can be sure that our own actions, our own hearts and jobs, are right. We can love, and take care of each other, and do good wherever we can, in our own lives. We can find beauty and make beauty, and string these amazing necklaces of our times with our human and our animal friends. My Virginia Tech students know that I am thinking of A River Sutra, Gita Mehta's excellent book, and that a sutra is the connecting string that holds together the stories and the karma which all touch and add up to the weight of your own narrative. You can not do everything, but what is near you, you should do, if you see that you can try. This kind of practical compassion is enabling, I think, and makes good sense to me in a world where fundamentalisms clash violently, while detached intellectuals hold up magnifying glasses merely to show the severity and folly of the clashes. Mr. Bhatt is right, and I will take heart from his lesson.

What I will most remember from our trip, outside of the festival on my best friend's birthday, and the time our entire team spent together to create the Gift for The Village, is that as the time came for Jenna and me to leave, Mr. Bhatt stood up and came out from behind the counter. I am well aware that he is a Tibetan Muslim, and out of respect, I would never, ever have assumed to do anything but shake his hand goodbye, even though I have known him for many years, and even though I am a southerner with a passionate heart (I hope). He looked up at me with a Tibetan face almost stern and full of honor and courage and then reached for me and hugged me long and hard, and came away from this long hug crying. He hugged Jenna the same, long and hard and firmly, as if we had all crossed oceans of time and thousands of past lives to reach this recognition of how deeply connected we are. We said not a word, but all stood crying, and then we held our hands up to one another in namaste, trying to smile, but being too sad and yet also too sobered by the bare truth of our affection and love for one another as friends to do anything but stare at one another with tears in our eyes for a few more seconds. These moments were one of the greatest gifts I have ever received.

Iris, Emerson, all my our friends and family, we are coming home, with hearts full, and luggage heavy. Jessica and Barbara Vance, you have been my greatest of all friends, and I owe you a debt from my heart--for taking care of my cats all this time, and for knowing how wonderful it is to have loved ones in my home. Thank you again. To our teammates already returned, we know you must be smiling, because you understand the journey. Sherrie, Jason, when you read this, thank you for staying on. Our time together with Tsampa and Tsewang and Narayan and Bishnu and Ganesh and Gopal and Hari was astonishing. And Jenna, you still amaze me. Love, Jane

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