This is written like a journal entry, it is the only way I can think to come close to expressing my impressions of India.
I had often heard the expression “assault on your senses” I realize now that I had never really experienced anything close to what India is capable of doing to the senses of a first time North American visitor.
Landing in Delhi is probably a rough way to start but the group of twenty coming from all over the world assembled there just over a week ago. We are a rather strange and eclectic group and after sharing a week with them in Delhi, Udaipur, Jaipur and now Agra it is starting to feel a bit like a travelling Agatha Christie novel. The cast of characters complete with a flamboyant Swedish actress with tales of many lovers, a scholar and Mystic and various other bit players and guest roles.
In some ways just allowing yourself to look and take in what is presented you by the mass of humanity that passes by each day is almost too much to comprehend. There is a post apocalyptic feel to what you are seeing and experiencing. The air is unbreathable, the water undrinkable but there is a fullness of life that is unmistakeable as cows, dogs and people coexist in ancient streets and deplorable conditions.
As we slowly make our way from airport to train station to luxury hotels i see and feel my white privilege and need to understand what that really means. I feel more gratitude for what I have and the people in my life than I ever have.
India is not just a place on the map, it feels like an entity that is ripping open my heart and allowing me to see things that would have been impossible to see any other way.
This morning as the sun was rising I stood in front of the Taj Mahal with tears streaming down my face. I have never been so moved by seeing a structure in my life.
“sometimes you reread a teaching and hear it differently, this….today”
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
Some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows
Who violently sweep your house empty of it’s furniture.
Still, treat each guest honourably,
He may be cleaning you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
Meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
Because each has been sent
As a guide from beyond.
Banafsheh photographer unknown
“You are an ocean in a drop of dew, all the universes in a thin sack of blood.
What are these pleasures then, these joys, these worlds that you keep reaching for, hoping they will make you more alive?”
WE ARE BEING LIVED
Touch the quiet
Drum beat, matching heartbeat
Music becoming flesh
We are being danced.
Hear the sounds
Earth beat, touching heartbeat
Sounds becoming words
We are being written.
And in the dance
the longing and desire
Love becoming life
We are being lived.
Photo Linda McDaniel
“Time is an Ocean, present and eternal. We are adrift on that ocean of possibility, you and I , and the miracle is that we find each other at all. Maybe it’s age that keeps me scanning the horizon, looking for you, waving, bobbing in that sustaining current, because I want to hold eternal moments closer now. We move through time and space separately, and the mystery of our meeting is time’s gift to us. Swim with me now. We have no other chance.”
Richard Wagamese “Embers One Ojibway’s Meditations”
Gateways, doorways and thresholds all inviting an entrance or an exit, their silent message ‘the only way out (or in) is through.’
We arrive at our personal thresholds through a naturally arranged opening, the decision to step forward or not, totally in our hands.
Fingers on the latch speak of transition and escape but mostly possibilities that lie beyond fear.
Push the latch and set the barrier free, disengage, turn sideways into the light and it will both dissolve and expose you.
We stand on the shoreline, toes in the water not wanting to leave safe harbour despite knowing instinctively how to navigate rough seas, rising with the swells and resting in the trough.
The surrender that brings you again to the surface the vulnerability of the letting go and the trust needed for both, all released with a push of a latch .
written in response to Denise’s “Six Sentence Stories” Prompt word: Escape
photo credit westcoastwoman “Rock formations Newcastle Island”
“Write a little everyday, without hope, without despair“* Isak Dinesen
Rough, yet ever so gently
Water on Stone
washes in, out
softening edges of
Body and Breath
Water on Stone
Stone to Surrender
Surrender to Release,
Sweet longing, caressing
our lives carved open as
“without hope, without despair”*
we float, we whirl,
a single leaf riding
a wandering stream.
Sculpture “Break through from your Mold” Zenos Frudakis
©photo credit westcoastwoman
” I had known almost every pleasure and discomfort, all the happiness and all the suffering that can befall man as a social animal. Useless to give you the details: the repertory of possible events in human destinies is rather limited, and they are nearly always the same stories. I will tell you that one day I found myself alone, all alone, fully convinced that I had completed one cycle of existence. I had travelled widely, studied the most esoteric sciences, learned more than ten trades. Life treated me a little the way an organism treats a foreign body: it was obviously trying either to enclose me or expel me, and I myself thirsted for ‘something else.’
Quote from Mount Analogue by Rene Daumal
Reading this rather quirky and inspiring allegory for the journey of life before setting off on my own journey/adventure in a few days.
As if in reply
to an unformed question
illusion of secure
Life nursing life
Foundations on shifting sand
no safe haven
no inland retreat
New vision. New rules.
Co-operators are standing by,
“Woof, Woof, wanna play?”