Nov. 30, 2008 – Invite to Local Family Celebration and Buying New Clothes, Indian Style and Being Alone…
I am sitting on my rooftop terrace as the sun goes down and I can never get enough of this. Having easy access to outdoors is the big thing I miss at home in my flat. I have a terrace but it is not the same. I find it so peaceful up here (usually alone), and since I’ve begun cooking for myself, it will be very easy for me to fall back into the “hermit” pattern I find myself in at home in Israel. I don’t have to go downstairs for all my meals which means I “hang out” less with other people. I honestly don’t miss it. With the weather still beautiful, I am very rarely IN my room either. But my room is situated such that unless you actually come up here to see me, you never see me, and I like it that way. As usual, if I choose to be around people, that is no problem. Tomorrow for example I am meeting a lady I met at the clinic while she was also doing panchakarma, and we will go out for lunch. There are plenty of these opportunities, but I don’t really go looking for them. I basically am the same person here as I am at home and do relish my “aloneness”. Below is a copy of a poem I wrote during one of my stays in India, and I thought it appropriate here:
Why are others always an intrusion?
I don’t seek them yet they find me…
Must I become invisible to be ALONE?
Or is this part of who, what I am
Flowing along and blending into the river of common pain
Floating as a log for those drowning to latch on to.
Where is the log meant to keep me afloat?
Or have I been given the strength to stay afloat ALONE?
Do I draw my strengths from my ALONENESS?
Or from the giving OF myself?
Who will be there to keep me from drowning
When there is no more strength to draw on?
I am surrounded by heavenly love and protection…
Spiritually I am never ALONE…
I am physical as well
As is my life…
All the new that awaits me…
All the changes to be made…
All the wonders still to reveal themselves…
Are not meant to be experienced ALONE
My soul, my heart, my body all yearn
For the one with the same yearnings
To continue the journey together in our ALONENESS…
Can there be such a miracle?
I have these feelings often but the poem expresses the depth of my confusion very well.
And now on to the regular post for yesterday and today.
Nov. 29…. Yesterday was a lovely day which began with my waking up feeling very tired and still with a slight headache which I had been having for a couple of days (It is gone today). I can only imagine it has to do with the weather changing…it was kind of “chamsini”, and perhaps I wasn’t drinking enough…who knows.
Anyway, I had forgotten to soak my dried fruit for porridge overnight, so ordered a
couple of pieces of toasted brown bread and ate it with tahini and honey, as I do sometimes at home as a change to porridge. It was quite good. The tahini I bought here is homemade and very tasty. Then I went down to Dr. Arora’s clinic to give Devi the shawl and sweater I bought for Devi’s Mother and to give her the cash to buy a sari. She promised me she would not use the money for anything else and that she would invite me to her house to see her Mom all dressed up…I will take a picture for all of you to see. She was so happy she was in tears, and today when I saw her, she could not find the words to tell me how happy her mother was. I will not mention her by name, but my friend who donated the money, $20 in all, has done a great Mitzva and has been blessed over and over and over by this lovely young girl. That so little can not only buy so much, but also generate so much happiness, is simply wonderful. Any one else want to help out??
By then I was really tired but decided to go to the internet and get some online stuff done, and when I finished there, I really didn’t feel like going back to the room…it was still really early, but was not sure I could make it down and back. Finally decided to walk very very slowly down to Laxman Jhula and go sit on the beach along the Ganga…something I haven’t done yet this trip. Well, the walk down took me quite some time, but as I approached the beach I was very pleased that I had done it. I only waded into the Ganga, but that was enough. I sat on the beach with the sun on my back for quite some time, saying my mantra and absorbing the energies of the River and by the time I left, I was completely revived and feeling wonderful. I then decided to check out a new restaurant a few people recommended, and went to eat lunch at “Little Buddha” which is run by Tibetans. Well, I’ve been in many many restaurants in Rishikesh, many with wonderful food, but this was the first one that had powerful, calming energy. I can’t say exactly why. The food was also excellent, but I could have sat there for hours (did sit there for over 2 hours and there were others there who came before me and were still there when I left so apparently I am not the only one who feels the energy there). I was completely at peace…serenity was what I was feeling. Eventually the sun started going down so I started to walk back up…and to my surprise it was not difficult considering how tired I felt in the morning. I got home and on the way bought milk to make chai and vegetables to add to my kicheri. Got up to my room and made my own chai for the first time in 2 months…my chai is the BEST. I really enjoyed it despite having to go through all the bother of making it. Then my friend Einat came up and we chatted for awhile. Eventually I got down to preparing my kicheri with the veggies…I took my time, doing most of the scrub work out on the terrace, and finally cooking up a truly delicious dish, ½ of which is waiting for me in the fridge downstairs and I will have it for dinner tonight.
Einat stayed for awhile longer after dinner and then I read and went to sleep, knowing I would have to be up early this morning to go to a family celebration we were both invited to.
This celebration actually began yesterday evening, lasted the whole night, and ended this morning with breakfast. But both of us were too tired to go down last night, and it was also very chilly. We did however decide to arrive at 8 this morning. And we did. The celebration was for a baby boy’s first birthday and a big ceremony is performed and then there is singing and dancing all night. We came at the tail end this morning and joined in the singing (well, we clapped our hands and swayed to the music, which was live and intoxicating. Also VERY loud…my hearing was effected for about an hour afterwards. But it was a true celebration with everyone sitting under a “tent” set up outside the stores on the street (the music could be heard all night long by everyone around for miles)…sitting on the floor, men,women, children and babies, old (and very old) and young, all together, with various family members acting as entertainers, none professional. Singing, chanting and much dancing. Now, Indian dancing is very beautiful and very sensual,when done by both men and women. It is wonderful to watch and the truth is, I would have loved to get up and join them but being me, I never would! And then, just like at all family gatherings, anywhere in the world, there is always one guy who thinks he is a great dancer, (or maybe not), loves to be in the middle of the dance floor, and also pulls everyone else onto the floor to join him, but in effect has 4 feet and no sense of rhythm at all…well, there was this one guy here also, but to his credit, he got lots of people up to dance. There is no dance floor actually, they are just crowded together in the middle of the people sitting on the floor, not really moving anywhere but doing the dancing in place using their entire body to keep time with the pulsing rhythms of the drums, keyboard, singing etc. There are a few pics here but nothing to capture the beauty of the experience.
Afterwards, there was a catered (Indian style…lots of big pots and the food being freshly prepared and fried on the spot as well..) breakfast up on the roof. We ate all kinds of lovely dishes, deeply fried, full of oil, spicey as hell, but delicious. I ate small tastes of each thing, but it was really nice. My mouth was still burning about 1 hour later!!
After this, I had to go down to the market to pick up my Reiki workbooks for my first workshop beginning on Wednesday. They came out very well to my surprise. Not in color but good quality print and binding.
And then to the fun part of buying clothes Indian style. I decided I needed one more suit for the winter made of warmer fabric than the ones I had made in Delhi and went to the local clothing shop. You can get a small idea in the pictures. You can really go crazy there with so many fabulous fabrics to pick from. Einat joined me to confirm my final choice following my first session a couple of days ago where the young Indian couple helped me. She chose the same thing they did and it is now being stitched and will be ready tomorrow. After seeing all the absolutely amazing choices of designes and colors, I just wish I was an Indian lady and could wear this stuff all the time. I saw something just wonderful and thought perhaps to have it made into an outfit for Shai (my son)’s wedding, but not sure if it would be appreciated back home. I will think about it for awhile before deciding.
From there I came back to my room, rested for awhile, made porridge for einat who was after a treatment, and then went down for lunch myself….spinach mushroom lasagna..quite good. Came back up, made myself chai again, ( I bought milk yesterday evening and did an experiment to see if it would still be usable in the morning. I bought a thermos kind of storage dish which I initially used for my food….it is supposed to keep things hot for 4 hours and seems to work…but it also says it will keep things cold. So I put the remaining milk in it yesterday evening, and to my great surprise, not only was it still cold this morning, it was still cold this afternoon when I made chai with it…so that is also good to know).
I will now relax the rest of the evening and the next two days prepare myself for the workshop.
And that’s about it for now….