A special evening prayer session was held at my school tonight sponsored by my home class XC in honour of Madam Martha. They made hundreds of butter lamps and handed out candy and gum to the whole school too. I just love them!
I have been on the verge of tears all week and this morning when they announced that they would sponsor a special prayer session for Madam Martha beacuse today was an auspicious day I immediately agreed that Ian and I would attend. I am astounded by their sensitivity.
They organised for us to sit in seats of honour and immediately took to the task that they had set themselves. Class captain Karma Tenzin did himself proud. He is a boy whose reputation precedes him but tonight he proved the pundits wrong. He was calm and in control.
The girls too played and active role and I know that would have pleased Martha. They all continued the chanting with haunting dedication and devotion even when the whole hall was plunged into darkness, as the power went out. No-one moved and the whole student body just reverted to what they knew by heart without missing a beat. Even Ian and I were able to recognise one of the prayers.
Wangda Gyeltshen gently led us though what we had to do and when, with poise and composure. Although I can rarely get him to speak in class, here he was in his element directing us with expertise.
Ian was impressed with their organisation and I loved that they knew how much it meant to me. We have become so close to each other. Last Thursday in class different students jumped to their feet to share their own interactions with Martha totally unsolicited. "She talks a lot." "And loudly." "She laughs all the time." She talked to me at the Dzongkhag sports meet." I had to ask them to stop for fear of bursting into tears.
On Thursday the 7th day memorial service will be held in Rangjung and I know that many BCFers would like to be able to participate but XC will be able to accompany Ian and I to the monastery in the evening. Then monks will do the chanting but we will all get to light butter lamps together again. I thought that it was really important that students were involved as that is really why Martha was here.
Just when I feel most likely to fall apart they are exhibiting their resilience. I envy them their rituals and faith.