Hey everyone! Funny how things turn around (mainly outlooks, attitudes, expectations....). My Aussie friend Damien (who was also volunteering at the Solar Kitchen way back in the day when we were young, naive, and idealistic) talks about Imagining. Instead of going to the Matrimandir to Meditate, or Concentrate, he often goes to Imagine. "Never mind the How, just Imagine What."
Okay, Damien! (Here's Damien, we're lunching together at Repos Beach on a typically hot and muggy day. The salads here are ginormous, fresh, yummy, and did I mention ginormous? Repos Beach, according to some or maybe many Aurovillians, isn't really Auroville...we think it's because there is a nice sensual vibrant vibe going on here with lots of youthfulness)
So yesterday morning I go for a long walk and I start imagining. Very simple things like, waking up feeling excited about the day - adventure - finding some joy - creating some joy - feeling lively. I decide to just break it down to the basics. Find some community.
I walked down a road I hadn't yet explored and then turned around, and walked down another road on impulse - remembering a banyan tree Damien said was around here somewhere - and stopped short at a sign on a gate:
JOY - NVC - FAMILY - COLLEGE G.H.
What?! I've never heard of this before! So I walk in, and hesitate, and breathe. I wonder if it's okay to just saunter in uninvited. I remember that I'm imagining Welcoming attitudes (in me, from others), and confidence, and I'm imagining a sense of belonging.
A girl comes riding down the lane on a bicycle and I ask if she lives here. She actually smiles and gives me some straightforward information, takes me to meet Angela and Angela shows me what's available. Breakfast is included, there's a communal kitchen, too bad I'm not going to be able to attend the Non Violent Communication workshop going on in five minutes...I tell her yeah, it is, but I've gone to a couple workshops and read the book and I love the principles and models of NVC.
She shows me the top floor of a double room structure. You know how I love to be above ground, in treehouse like structures....I really do. Each little room is open to common space, Michelle (with a long 'e', Meechelle) seems really nice and open and smiles. We meet several other people who immediately smile and welcome me. There's laundry service, and a bicycle included with your Rs 450 per night cost. The bathroom and showers are shared too. The dormitory is cute.
I say thanks, and I need to check in with myself about all this.
I go off to a small circular space by the bicycles and breathe some more, and remind myself of everything I'd just Imagined. I'm nervous about sharing space, but it's what I want, really. It's okay to try something new, right?
Did I tell you that the Guest House in Prayathna is across the street from ongoing construction, next door to a family who blares the TV at all hours and at voluminous decibles, and a pack of dogs like to bark and sometimes growl and chase me home at night? Yes, it's all true. The community isn't much of a community in the way that I want community; as far as I can see, nobody visits or even speaks with one another.
I turn around and march myself back in Angela's direction and say I'd love to share some Love with Angela.
So yeah....awwww...the name of our little treehouse is called Love, and it's just above Surrender :) There's a ladder inside that goes to the top too!
I'm in the front cubby, on the right...I've settled right in, I looooove it here.
My quarters, and there is a desk on the right, with a locked cabinet for valuables.
View to the side, the baths, and clotheslines
Looking out the front:
(down the stairs, mind your step)
out the front:
to the side
out the screen window (screens! yay! fewer mosquitos by far!
I'm paid up for a week, so I guess I'm staying a bit longer now :)
Nice to be feeling a shift. I was ready to get the hell outta Dodge, been really unhappy. It's interesting that all the people I've been hanging out with lately have also experienced a shift, a positive one. Mostly it's because we have individually and now collectively adjusted our spectacles, and are willing to see things more as they are with less additives or maybe fewer expectations. It's really interesting that we've all arrived at a more relaxed, curious, and humorous outlook on this whole place (Auroville in particular, and India in general) more or less at the same time. We've had quite a few laughs about it.
And here's David with Damien at the beach. I met David and his wife Marissa while riding along on some daft errand to keep myself busy last week. They'd just arrived and hailed me to ask which way to Atiti, a guest house. I expressed no knowledge of such a guest house, they were also interested in my bicycle. They said everyone in Auroville is so spaced out...we talked a bit about our impressions of the place, truly a mixed bag. They said they were ready to go the next day, but they ended up staying nearly a week. Hee hee. David and Marissa own houses all over the world and have been teaching English in Japan for the last 18 years. Damn I didn't snap a picture of Marissa!
So now I'm off to see the Wizard - Peter from Portsmouth, England. He is quite an entertaining fellow, we hit it off immediately, sometimes he drives me bonkers, but that's the way of it, isn't it? I'll snap a few photos of him soon. He's leaving next week...Damien is leaving this week....I need to Imagine making new friends! And visiting these guys in the near future, too.
ps - both Peter and Damien helped me move yesterday, we all kind of ran into each other at the sort of opportune times that I love....I was on the back of Peter's bike (motor bike) with my bigass backpack and he hit a sandy spot and started weaving violently, fishtailing back and forth. I was planning on how to fall - that's how long we were waving about like that. When we finally bit the dust, I fell right on my bottom. I watched Peter skidding and bouncing along - not too ungracefully, I might add. We're both okay, but it was scary. My ankle swelled right up, some abrasions...I thought maybe my ankle was totally busted up because of how it looked, and that it was dislocated and would have to be pushed back in OH MY GOD. But no, I can even walk today.