Sunday, February 01, 2009

magical mystery tour

Somehow, things happen. Even moreso in India. It's sort of like rubbing a genie's bottle, I guess. Part of it is shell-shock. Things happen here in ways I can't fathom, by virtue of being raised in western culture. So when it takes a half hour to buy a bunch of bananas, I'm shocked (well, I used to be, but now that I'm gaining on being a semi-seasoned traveler, I barely bat an eyelash now). Or, for another instance, when one of us is wishing for a particular item (say a tool for a job), one will suddenly and most certainly appear. Virtually out of thin air.

I think these sorts of things happen all the time. I even noticed it before landing in India. But now, it seems even more, ah..magical and mysterious and appreciated.

Things I love about India, or at least this area we're inhabiting for several weeks, which lies some tens of kilometers from any very large city and is surrounded by rice paddies and families who make their living making and firing bricks:

The canopy of stars you can see at night.

The way the earth's shadow falls across the moon here. Imagine a sickle moon in the States. Now turn that shadow a quarter clockwise. That's how it looks here. Last night the moon was verily blood-red.

Add some fireflies to the mix.

And for good measure, goats braying, and cowbells clanking, all accompanied by the farmers' 'haAAye!!' to herd or direct said livestock.

The ever-present and contagious sideways head-bobble. It means yes, no, maybe, all three at once.

Ear-and-side-splitting movies playing on buses. Possibly even more frenetic than japanese anime!

Grubs the size of pachyderms. They're probably loaded with protein, and they remind me of a pale anus canal with those mucus membranes they sport.


Let's's nearly Tea and Tamil time, so I'll try to relay one fun thing before I sign off: yesterday a member of our crew arranged a cob workshop with the school children here. Kate is an artist from London who works with children a lot. We all gathered in groups according to animals. Did you know that in India, cows say Maaaaa, and monkeys say Coo CoooCoooooo? They do! We all sat around making animals and stuff from cobclay. Great fun, and one of the guys in our group made percussive music to accompany us. I took pics but the connection is too slow to upload right now.

Also, we were visited by some people from Vellore (population several hundred thousand, about a half-hour's bus ride away) to speak about traditional Indian medicine. One guy whose name I can't even remember (most Indian names being multi-syllabic in a big way....which is why they love the name Victoria) - he spoke about the body and the other guy spoke about plants. The guy who is a doctor (of sorts, I'm sure there's another more venerable and accurate name for his profession in Indic) took our pulses and will let us know what's out of balance within a week. There are three pulses he listens to, all by resting his fingers on your wrist. There was a lot of talk about hibiscus being especially potent and efficacious for women's health. COOL!!! One of the things I'd like addressed while I'm here are some female imbalances!

okay I hear people gathering for the tea...I'm doing great today, I've switched from natural building back to doing gardening and permaculture where I find more inspiration and happiness. This was a big decision for me on a lot of different levels. I'll try and flesh it out at some not-too-distant time, but suffice to say that I basically stood up for myself and I'm still alive despite some people's disapproval (in fact I feel more alive the last 48 hours than I have for many days).

waiting to take you away,

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