Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday evening ..

Who am I & what am I doing here? Lately it's more a question of how to be here & where to be, & so far the answer is I really don't know.

Next week I return to India after an absence of two months, during which time I have been mainly in England with a three week stint in Amsterdam for work & seeing old friends. It was fun. Amsterdam is a fun city to visit. The work part went really well & so did the seeing old friends part. I enjoyed being somewhere different. I enjoyed living out of a bag. I stayed with lovely people & felt loved.

Returning to England I stay with my parents where I am confronted by being a daughter, the child who kicked the traces yet came back round the other side to an acceptance, an understanding, a knowing..well, not 'a' knowing, I own this one ~ I know that there is no separation, that there is no death, & that everything's fine right now. Well of course 'fine' is a label, life simply is. Everything is. It's the old 'how to say the unsayable' conundrum.

Which brings me to a discovery I just made this evening; I like myself.

This may not seem like a revelation, yet to me it constitutes, well tears are welling as I write it, as I acknowledge it.

Here's how I made this discovery; I found a piece about positive thinking which states that life just is. Which it is. An unequivocal statement. It talks of the inherent balance in life, of day & night & so on. I looked further & came across an Advaita type, the type who strips everything back to the bare bones, who question every statement for veracity.

I find this approach stark, I find it male & I do not find it light. I like some mystery to remain, I like to look between, into & around what is said, & delight finding how best to say it. Clarity with lightness, & the ability to laugh at myself when I mess it up, & to give it my best shot.

This is why I like myself.

This is my gift, this is my task, this is what I'm doing here.

On the one hand it is true that the truth cannot be spoken; on the other hand, because the truth cannot be spoken it has to be spoken in thousands of ways. The problem is not that the truth will reach to you through thousands of ways, but you may become infected with the search. If a man speaks about the truth he may not be able to say it…but you can get a glimpse from his eyes, you can get something from his gestures – something not from the words but the way the words are spoken, the emphasis, the gaps. The presence of such a man speaking may be just an excuse to allow you to be showered by his presence.

Osho, Beyond Psychology chapter 3

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday evening ..

My favourite soap comes in a box. Inside the box the bar of soap used to be wrapped in a kind of grease-proof paper. Now it's sealed in cellophane. Previously the soap was ideal for travelling as you could keep the wrapper to re-wrap the bar before setting off to your next destination. Now there's no chance of that. So what? Get over it! Have you nothing better to think about, or, worse still, write about? But you don't understand, I've been using this soap for over twenty years, & it's yet another thing to add to the growing list of things that have changed in the last couple of months...

Including me. I went through a number of years fairly confident about whom I am etc etc & recently I wonder all over again. In fact I have less idea than ever. The picture I've posted is blurry & this accurately reflects how I feel about myself.

This is in part due to my bones starting to disintegrate. It's curious as I feel nothing of it, & it isn't dramatically into the red, so to speak, yet still at times I feel I am only held together by my skin. I'm kind of incorporating more protein as per the Blood Type Diet. I say kind of as it's kind of hard to find decent protein here in India. Thank god for canned tuna! A friend who had a hip replaced at around my age now has healthy bones as a result of eating this way, & without taking the appalling-side-effect producing drugs routinely prescribed for osteoporosis.
Thank you Vandana.

& I must post this from Rumi ~

You've no idea how hard I've looked for a gift to bring you.
Nothing seemed right.

What's the point of bringing gold to the gold mine, or water to the ocean.
Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient.

It's no good giving my heart and my soul because you already have these.

So I've brought you a mirror.

Look at yourself and remember me.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday afternoon ..

Will someone please explain to me the need to add music to film? One of the best & most memorable pieces of film I've ever seen was shot at a ghat in Varanasi over 24 hours & the only sounds came from what was actually happening. This irritating habit has begun only in the last ten years I would say, but like political correctness & other recent insanities it has taken a firm hold. I just clicked on a short video of a puppy prancing about in front of a rather bored-looking cat. Perhaps the music is a favourite of the person who shot the video? I would have preferred just ambient sounds as I found the content entertaining enough on its own. A bizarre example of the music-with-everything trend is adding it to television news stories! As Suparni would say, "What's up with that?"

I think it's an off-shoot of dumbing down, like the asinine captions on a collection of photos I saw earlier on Huffington Post. These particular photos were of graffiti, so they really needed no introduction, yet this normally excellent online news site clearly has less confidence in the intelligence, or even reading ability of its readers than I had thought.

Dumbing down is another thing, & here's what Stephen Fry had to say about it in June of this year in the Daily Mail, "Infantilism's the problem. The number of times I turn on the television and I think: "Gosh, children's television's gone on, that's a really good art documentary... Oh my God, it's nine o'clock in the evening. This is for grown-ups?"

A word about Suparni, she's a wonderful person with excellent taste & happens to be a terrific photographer, here's a link to her web site, Jen Ross Photography. Her work is copyrighted otherwise I'd show you myself.

So today's picture is of my mother's Christmas cake. As time progresses it will have brandy added at the rate of 'a good spoonful a couple of times a week.' Another one may have to be made as my brother will get to it before the end of December & what he doesn't eat he'll take back with him to Kabul. And I've promised a slice to Suparni!

& my brother is in Kabul for the Mines Advisory Group, 'a neutral & impartial humanitarian organisation that clears the remnants of conflict for the benefit of communities worldwide.'

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tuesday morning ..

Can anyone tell me what this is? I mean what insect? Whatever it is has made a coat for itself out of little bits of dry grass stalk or similar, & I came across it as it let itself down a wall by a thread. The picture shows the start of the return journey ..& the thing is about half an inch long ..

I just wrote a couple of sentences about how this body is doing but really that's not where I want to put my attention. I mean it is getting attention, & love, & I don't need or want to go on about it. Full stop.

I went the other night to the Resort to dance. It was towards the end of the Monsoon Festival & it was just tremendous fun to be there. It's been a while since I danced like that & if you have any kind of a lurking feeling that perhaps one day you'd like to see the place for yourself then absolutely do it & as now as possible!

I was looking for a quote & then I thought I'd better just leave it. I've been keeping my head down somewhat over the last couple of weeks, just have't felt like venturing out much. I mean I do go out almost every day for errands & stuff, for physio, to take care of things for friends who are away, but not really more than that. I've been reading about some major planetary goings-on which accounts for much of what's been happening world-wide, or no, wait... which is a way of explaining what's been happening world-wide... see how easy it is to fall into the trap of mind? Things are as they are & that's the beginning & the end of it!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Saturday morning ..

First I must just mention that I've been hearing a bird lately who's call actually does sound like 'tweet' - I think he may have gone on holiday though, as since the recent pretty much incessant rain he has been silent.

Investigating all avenues for my bones, ingesting vitamin D like it's going out of style, calcium etc etc & started with physiotherapy for my still painful right arm. Of course when seeing the guy for the first time I showed him all my stuff; X-rays, ultra-sound report plus the bone-density scan result, so I also have some exercises which incorporate bone-strengthening. It feels good to do these things because I tell you I have been filled with a sense of creeping dread when unable to sleep recently; not only difficult to find a comfortable position for the arm, but that type of irrational, small hours dread about what if the body never recovers? How will I support myself if I can't edit because my arm is too painful? How did I manage to create this for myself & why? On & on, you know how it goes.

Meanwhile my Hotmail account was apparently hacked into by someone who them spammed various of my contacts with, ironically, an advertisement for some Apple product! Now, having rigorously followed all the instructions for resetting my password etc I am locked out of the account, which means that all the stuff I had kept, categorised, updated & cherished is out there in about not building your house on a bridge! Philosophically I say to myself that everything changes, this too will pass, it was / wasn't meant to be... emotionally I say f**k it!

The rains continue to fall here in leafy Koregaon Park. Its not raining at the moment, but from what I read in the inestimable Times of India, 'an improvement in rainfall activity' is expected in the next 48 hours. Unlike Pakistan where the situation seems cataclysmic; 14 million people affected & counting. Don't worry, I'm not saying any more about the weather, (English conditioning don'tcha know?), nor am I going to hazard any theories about divine retribution. Absolutely not. Existence decides its timing is all I'm saying. Lol..

All a bit low-key really. Random stuff; Apparently tons of major planetary stuff going on. I have the urge to paint this room. Should I be taking more vitamin D? Well into a typically cracking Penny Vincenzi novel, (middle England is safe!). Must return that DVD I borrowed. Things are as they are. Sorry if this is all a bit disjointed today - hoping to pass it off as stream-of-consciousness. By the way have you ever read any of Derek Jarman's stuff? Or Andy Warhol's essays?

Here's another quote from Rumi ~

People want you to be happy.
Don't keep serving them your pain!

If you could untie your wings
and free your soul of jealousy,

you and everyone around you
would fly up like doves.

The photograph at the top was taken by my friend Maneesh, the one who does Tai Chi, who travels by Enfield in the High Himalaya, & who dedicated this picture to me.
Thank you Maneesh.
(It's at the top when really I wanted it at the bottom, but I still have no idea how to get it here so...)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Friday morning ..

I've just posted this Rumi quote as my status message on Facebook, it tells you everything you need to know about how I'm feeling this morning!

Dance, when you're broken open. Dance, if you've torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you're perfectly free.

Because I have found out through having a bone-density scan that I have osteoporosis. Not badly, not deeply into the red area, but into it nevertheless. My initial reaction was just that, a reaction! What the f**k? How is this possible?? I'm as fit as a fiddle!!! Well I have it. So I got on the net & researched my ass off, & heard tons of useful stuff from a dear friend, & life is again worth living. I've started again with giving myself B12 shots, I have D shots at the ready, little sachets of D granules, calcium with magnesium plus a few other things thrown in for good measure... my very reaction was, in itself, energising, as well as a clear indication of how still attached to the body I am. And that's fine, I see that everything is, indeed, as it should be a any give moment, otherwise it would be different.

Now don't get me wrong. This isn't a 'so therefore I'll just sit back & let life happen to me' type remark (& know that I have a deep suspicion of any remark starting with a negative; e.g. 'I don't mean to be rude but...' 'Now don't get me wrong...') Hahahahahahaha ..

My camel is more securely tied with every moment that passes & I trust in god / existence / whatever.

I was going to find all sorts of suitable quotes, clips, pics & stuff, but I think I'll leave it like this.
Well OK, here's a picture; (let's see if it comes out where I want it to :-/

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday evening ..

It's been raining a lot since yesterday. Actually I took this picture some days ago but the principle is the

I was just looking at another blog, The Sartorialist, by Scott Schuman. If you've not seen it he takes photographs of people & I love it. (Note to self; seriously consider moving to Italy)

Now I'm wondering what to have for dinner. Oh, just to round off yesterday's no toast thing, this morning I had two rounds just because I could! They were cold by the time they reached here but so what? It's just such a luxury to have someone else make it & bring it. The chai-wallah's gofer was soaked to the skin when he came for my flask, so I found him a suitable-sized Tesco bag for his head.

You'll just have to bear with me while I find out how best to position pictures & stuff. I really wanted the guy in the bag to be next to where I wrote about him & now I can't see how to change it..sigh..

Coming up in a few days time at the Resort is a Who Is In? This is the course to end all & if you never did it, just do it! (Thanks Nike) Really. Do it, just do it, just do it. do it, do it!!! (Thank you Black Eyed Peas). Look, in weather like this you can't go out, so you might as well go in, right?

Getting a clearer idea of what to have for dinner & I think it'll be tagliatelle della casa which is one of my favourite things, & the only way to get it is by ordering it, so here goes...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sunday morning ..

Sunday morning during monsoon, & although it's not raining at the moment, it has been for much of the last two days which is a relief because who wants to be having to make do with water available only on alternate days? (By the way this isn't a platform for discussing those for whom this type of shortage isn't a choice OK?)
Here's a 'what's on your mind?' poached from one of my Facebook friends, Amano Manish;

Gratitude, the best attitude.. always wear it. Thank you Masters, Guides, Angels, friends, lovers, neighbors... flowers, trees, sun, rain, moon, rivers, dolphins, birds.. et all.

Manish is a musician, a slide-guitarist, btw. Anyway thanks for this Manish!
(Must also comment that my inner English-nitpicker would rather it end with et al...)
So this is a full moon weekend, & as it's also the month of July this means that it's also Guru Purnima here in India;
Guru Purnima, or Guru's full moon day, is observed in many parts of India by disciples paying respect to their gurus or teachers. The day is also of significance to many Hindu farmers, as it heralds the start of the monsoon season, rains being essential to producing a good crop. (The Independent)
I live in the city of Pune, erstwhile home to Osho, & still host to OSHO International Meditation Resort. Since much has changed at OIMR, (like a shark it must keep moving or it will die), there are those who view the way it was as 'the good old days' & make no bones about trashing the way it is now, hardly, if ever, setting foot inside the gate. ("Too expensive" plus now the gate as it was is no more, & that'll be another thing!)
Anyway, these people...oh never mind, interesting to note myself giving attention to this...
Today being 25th means that all local shops are closed, which means I can't have toast delivered to me by my local chai-wallah because he has been unable to buy bread. Now wouldn't you think that the sensible thing to do amongst local shop-keepers, (& don't misunderstand, I think they richly deserve a day off in a month), but surely they could arrange it so that at least one was open? Stagger it over two days?
So I'll have to order in as I don't have a kitchen...
Before I do though I'd just like to say thankyou to & for Osho's presence in my life.