So have I repeated myself a few times if I write that India is like a carnival ride and you just need to board, let go, lean into the curves, and occasionally barf over the railing?
Well that is what it's been like for me. By turns exhilarating and sick-making, dizzying, slapdash, confusing and...once I leave will I be extremely relieved but then turn around and say, "Let's do it again!!"
Not sure where the port is here for the USB so I can load up some pics, so I'll skip it for now and just say hi before I ride over to the Solar Kitchen and fill up my water bottles. I'm using Ross's computer. Ross is a friend of Damien, and Damien is an Australian who is also a volunteer for serving lunch at the Solar Kitchen.
Damien is in Pondicherry at the mo, probably scoring something illegal from an auto driver, since he says that is where the action is. I said oh yeah, is that why their eyes are always bloodshot? (it's true...) Damien and Ross are great friends and this is Ross's flat and Ross is a full-fledged Aurovillian.
Ross is also in Pondy, for a few days, in the hospital, for a hernia operation. I've never met Ross but I'm wishing you a speedy recovery dude! And I look forward to meeting you in the near future!
Damien's other friends are arriving tonight, maybe they're from Australia too, I can't recall. They're scheduled to land in Auroville in about an hour and a half. Damien left the door open for me with a nice little sticky note saying he's out for a bit. Sweet.
So I'm sitting under a fan using Ross's fast connection, reeling just a little bit still from the heat and humidity of the day, on top of a meltdown at Catherine's earlier. (I'm buying Catherine's bicycle, right? She's going back home to London on monday) I'm feeling so raw, more than usual, it's rather exasperating and in retrospect I have to resist succumbing to a fit of self-reproachment and severe embarrassment after blubbering in front of Catherine.
See, I had reconsidered buying her bicycle because I don't think I'm going to stay here very long after all. It's just too damn hot, and muggy, I'm sticky all day long, I shower and immediately I'm sticky again. It's ridiculous. I'm thinking maybe I'll just shove off to Australia, to Damien's neck of the woods, which he describes as wonderfully beatnik, alternative, and sub-tropical with the autumn coming on and wide white sandy beaches and lovely clear water.
Catherine is going through some serious shit of her own, a friend's terminally ill. I'm freaking out because I'm thinking I'll never find my own community of people and feel like an outsider for the rest of my life which is becoming increasingly intolerable and frankly frightening (of course there is evidence to the contrary, I'm not really an outsider, but tell that to me when I'm going through my mid-life crisis freakout sessions, which can go something like once or twice or fifty times a freaking day).
So I'm at Catherine's, and I decide okay I will buy the bike, after I tell her I'm really not after all because I need to get the hell out of Dodge before I melt down all the way. She says I can resell it no problem. I go to the bank and withdraw funds, and she's asking me about my freaking out, like she's really concerned and I think she is and I'm aghast because she's dealing with her own stress.
As I'm talking I'm saying things like: I just need to chill out, I want to rest, I want to do-nothing, I want to connect, and build relationships, and I want joy, and it's all true. I can do this anywhere in the world. In India, it's all very much in your face as my friend Camille in Eugene pointed out to me right after I landed here.
The women in India are very much repressed. India is very much a contradictory place. You have your high spiritual aspirations and manifestations. Then there are the millions of undernourished, in all senses of the word. The smells are entirely different here too, of course. Sometimes I love it, and sometimes I recoil almost violently. Sometimes I feel like I could just hang out here for awhile, especially when I meet cool people...and sometimes I feel like I am going to run screaming and hide myself away in a cave somewhere like I'm really good at doing.
In the meantime, my latest coping mechanism, or should I say response to this whole situation which has been coming to a head for some months now, is to BREATHE. I feel tension, apprehension, the sadness, the This That Other, and I bring the air into my gut. The other thing I'm trying to do is just to BE. Very simple, no? Yes. And no. Also, I'm just really trying to do the whole surrender thing. And trust that there is enough. Of everything, physical, emotional, etc.
I can't help but really want to be A Success Story. Coming out the other side of the...profusion of confusion. Learn how to separate myself from the confusion, doubt, etc.
Well um...that's kind of what today has been like for me....
It's interesting that I'm volunteering at the Kitchen. I swore I'd never be in Food Service again. I'm so over it. But there's a free meal in it for me. Even as I want to contribute to Auroville in a way - and it's also a great way to see lots of people, and to be seen (in fact I've seen two people today who I recognize and who recognize me from the Kitchen and have been very friendly and even invited me to go and do things with them). The free meal thing is nice but what really happens is that the volunteers get whatever is left over, and after everyone else has eaten. For the first few days I found myself feeling really anxious. And mad. Like, will there even be enough food for me? Why are they treating the volunteer help like slaves? Is this some sort of sick reverse role situation? Are they getting off on it?
So then I've been eating a big lunch from the leftovers, to store up for any sort of future famine, and then I feel really full and lethargic and uncomfortable....but still strangely empty.
Iiiiiiinteresting, so very.
My therapist's name is India. How about you?