WE LIVE COMPOUNDED IN SEMI-CONSCIOUS, SHELTERED IGNORANCE, STRATEGICALLY BLIND TO THE TRAGIC REALITY OF OUR HURTING WORLD.
THE UNITED NATIONS ESTIMATES THAT AROUND 40% OF NEPALIS LIVE IN POVERTY. IN KATHMANDU ALONE, THERE ARE ESTIMATED TO BE 1500 STREET CHILDREN.
WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR US TO BECOME INVOLVED? IF THOSE WERE OUR CHILDREN, STARVING AND SHIVERING, SWALLOWING STONES TO FILL THEIR BELLIES, WOULD THAT BE ENOUGH? A PORTRAIT OF A CHILD ON THE STREETS OF NEPAL IS A PORTRAIT OF EVERY HUMAN—BROKEN, HURTING, BUT LOVED WILDLY BY GOD.
Cracked soil under cracked soles, she stands with blackened palms opened and extended, held together at the wrists. Monkeys play and scamper at her feet, eating crumbs as they drop to the temple ground. Her eyes, hollow and desperate, follow every passerby. She breathes in the sweet thickness of polluted ash as strangers fill her hands with roupies. Tucking the crumpled paper into her pockets, she crawls to the next set of people and continues the sell, trained to beg before being taught to play.
The street people of Nepal are unsettled in their space, sensing the division between their indefinite realities and their incapability to alter them. Their bodies are blistered and bruised from the everyday battle of existence, yet they press on to dismantle the delusion of weakness. They are wounded warriors who find strength and resilience deep in their bones.
She is a holy, human, beating and breathing consequence of her culture and circumstance. She knows only conflict and corruption and sinks beneath their weight. She must swallow her wishes and wildness and settle into her inherited role of street begging. What she cannot understand is that she was loved before she ever loved; her cries echoing like sculpted howls are her language of becoming. Her spirit says, “I am, I am.” He sees her, knows her, and the infinite galaxies she inhabits. She is a child of the universe, loved at her darkest, but forgotten by the world.