Three Degrees of Separation

Three Degrees of Separation - Raju Sharma and son

Three Degrees of Separation – Raju Sharma and son

Okay, this is just too remarkable, yet, I know we’ve all heard similar stories of unexpected connections. You know (most of you, anyway) that term “Six Degrees of Separation”?  I’ve been told recently that now it’s down to three-degrees. So, here’s my most recent Three-Degree story:

Two weeks ago,  I tweaked my back and was in fairly severe pain for a few days. It took a few minutes of emotional preparation and careful positioning to get out of bed each morning. Once I was up, slowly my muscles would warm up a bit, and feel a little better; but clearly my spinal joints were out of whack. At first, I thought it was just a muscle spasm, so I let the weekend go by expecting it to subside. When it didn’t, I skipped my Monday class and headed in to town, asking to sit in the front of the rickshaw, miming to them that my back was not good.

Two treatments later, from a recommended bodyworker, I felt much much better! After the second treatment, I was lingering in the lobby of the hotel. The bodyworker, Raju Sharma and his family own the hotel where he and his handsome and friendly young twenty-something son both do various sorts of bodywork. Very nice people. Raju brought out the big book that has all his clients sign, and write comments in. He has clients from all over the place: Germany, France, Australia, Great Britain, the U.S., etc.

During the second session, we got to talking about bodywork in general, and I let him know of my previous experience with Seattle Massage School. This afforded more disclosures from him about his interests and training and opportunities coming his way. So, after the session,  I was sipping chai and talking amiably with he and his son. Raju mentioned having a client who had a particular spinal issue that he knows how to resolve, but the client and her husband were heading onward with their travels so together they were looking on the internet for who else does this sort of treatment. He then showed me the name of the only person they found on their search.

Marc Heller. Well, my jaw dropped, and I exclaimed, “Oh my God, I know “a” Marc Heller…..Could it be the same one who lives in AShland, Oregon?” So the son quickly googled him again and brought up Marc’s face on his cell-phone. Sure enough, this is the same Marc Heller where my good friend, Bridget works and where I had an art exhibit in their lobby last summer!

My word….isn’t that something?! So how can I regret the pain I went through, when it put me in the place where such a connection to the web of healers snaps together like that? I just can’t help but wonder at life, how it reveals its connectedness, and the ripple-effect sparkles with conductivity!

And Now, one week later, a completely pain-free week, I am happy to report; I can reflect on my journey so far as I prepare to leave Udaipur.

I’ve enjoyed getting to know Ravi and Gaurav, the STEP founders, who are doing all they can to build a volunteer organization. I hope my blog will help send more folks their way soon! You can check out their web-site and see what they’ve done, and what we’ve done from their vantage-point:

And here’s the woman who connected me with STEP, as I was researching various volunteer opportunities in India. With whom it has been a privilege and a joy to co-create and participate here. And who I will see again in Goa soon.

(Here’s Karen and Atul when we went out for dinner)

I am so thankful for the fun times with the children,  and happy that I brought my puppets to share with the  kids who had never seen soft-hand-puppets like these. They have puppets here that are simple marionette type.

Dancing, singing and doing art with the kids…Like masks shown below.


And the village school, where we taught English and Math

The day I took the boat-ride out on the lake…

I’ve met some lovely people. One day, as I returned from town in a rickshaw full of women who came in twos and threes and were babbling away happily I felt a bit lonely (rather rare for me). Well…no sooner did I get off the rickshaw, then I joined two little kids walking down the lane, with flowers in their hands. The elder, a girl, promptly responded to my compliments about the flowers by letting me smell the one in her hand – a rose. And then, she happily gave it to me. So, I arrived back at the house with a rose behind my ear.

Pinky-ji (you add “ji” after a name to show respect), invited me for chai, and within 15 minutes I was surrounded by women; and 45 minutes later, receiving a henna tatoo from a neighbor. Here we are:
Neetu, the neighbor, Pinky and Karen; joined later by others…

Pinky Ji

Pinky Ji

And one of her twin daughters..I think this is Retu (the other is Netu)

Here’s my henna tattoo I received from the neighbor, Neetu, the Elder.

And here I am in my new (vintage)sari, after we went out for a final Udaipur dinner, last night.

So…onward tomorrow morning to a new place to enjoy and explore. Stay tuned….and enjoy the holidays and the winter wherever you may be! And thank you to all who contribute comments to this blog. I really enjoy hearing from you!!

5 replies
  1. Bridget
    Bridget says:

    I loved your 3 degrees of separation Nancy. It gives me chills of excitement in how it points to our deep connection with each other no matter where we are on our planet earth..
    I will make sure that Marc get’s your blog, or maybe you have taken care of that already.
    What an adventure you are on Dear Friend.
    Sending you much love,

    • says:

      Hi Bridget,

      Thanks for your comments! And, please be sure Marc gets to see this blog. No, I haven’t taken care of that, but I know he’ll get a kick out of it!

      Love to you,

  2. Your Brother, Ed
    Your Brother, Ed says:

    Hey, Sis. Great blog and a very cool story. Happy trails and drop me a line sometime, OK? Where are you now? Happy holidays!


  3. Maria
    Maria says:

    This story reminds me of the Chinese proverb about what may seem fortunate/unfortunate…how fortunate that your back went out! And what a henna tatoo…wondering how common it is for women to have this skill- it is quite intricate. I am in Gothenberg now! Sending you a separate email, but just finally grabbing a moment to keep up with you. Sending you wishes for lots of lovely companionship and laughter through the Holidays, which you seem to have no problem attracting! Love you.

  4. Joy Bannon
    Joy Bannon says:

    Love reading of your adventurous tales. So happy for you what a wide and wonderful world, of course it would be someone from Ashland! Ken and I are in Cartagena Columbia. Great travels here but not making the types of connections with the community that you are . But we knew you were headed there to spread your love and light. Much love my friend

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