Saturday, December 03, 2011

Love and Chaos, Chaos and Love

"If you are really preparing for the reality of human existence, preparing for groundlessness, you are living on the razor's edge, and you must become used to the fact that things shift and change. Things are not certain and they do not last and you do not know what is going to happen. If you start to have a direct honest relationship with reality, you know you're asking for trouble because it's not always going to congratulate you, it's not going to confirm you, it's not going to be convenient. And in the process you learn how life itself pulls out the rug."
 ~ Pema Chodron, from this lovely article No Right, No Wrong, (slightly edited)

Two days after flying back from the climactic warmth and social chill of the tourist-centric Canary Islands, I left a very cold England to arrive this afternoon in New Delhi, India. The temperature is comfortable, and the traffic jam on the drive to my hotel gave me the chance to make eye contact and smile at other stranded motorists who probably weren't having as much fun as I was. I'm tempted to say that India is washing over me right now, but it feels more like it's coming from the inside out. What ever it is about this crazy place that touches me so deeply, is blossoming today. Was I really just in England? A couple sentences ago it says I was - but wow, I'm really here, and India is really SO Indian! 

One of my favorite words of late is "authentic." One way to consider what is authentic is to look at what's not: virtually everything on television; virtually everything out of any politician's mouth; fashion magazines; most things that someone are trying to sell you and the selling process itself; and giant resorts built in what had been a desert. But leave Las Vegas out of this. Authenticity is real natural food, compared to packaged survive-nuclear-fallout quasi-food; a heartful and present conversation rather the than kiss-kiss-love-ya-babe nonsense; maybe going slower instead of faster; and being yourself rather than posing as someone you're not. Be yourself. Speak from the heart. Slow down. And don't pose.

India is authentic, in ways you sometimes wish it wasn't. It's rough, often dirty, always confusing - but it's genuine; it's the real thing. And nobody can pull a rug out from under you like India. As Pema would tell you, you have to be thankful for that.


p.s. I feel kind of guilty about the teasing I did in my last newsletter. So in the spirit of authentic politicians everywhere, if you are a Gigantic Naked German who somehow, and rather unreasonably, felt slighted by my comments, then I apologize. (Such authenticity - I feel so much better.)

Not so chaotic, really. The roads were widened last year for the Commonwealth Games, where athletes from around the Royal Globe compete against Queen Elizabeth. I've never seen them, but it doesn't sound that interesting to me. Her reaction time and endurance probably aren't that great.
IMG_8313.JPG (720×540)

More chaos, although this guy does know how to tie a load to his motorbike. There are big, wide lanes now, but no one pays much attention to staying in their lane. I can't tell why the drivers get mad sometimes and not others. The driver today gave the stink eye to a bus driver that would killed the whole family of a lesser man. The bus was just careening from one lane to another like they always do. At least it seemed that way to me.
IMG_8314.JPG (720×540)

Love! These kids aren't on the way to prison, it's a school bus. You can just see all their school bags hanging off the back. They were so excited to have me waving hello and taking their photos.
IMG_8317.JPG (720×540)

More love.
IMG_8320.JPG (720×540)

Friendly chaos. These boys were enjoying themselves while they cooked up some grub at their street stall.
IMG_8329.JPG (720×540)

Love and chaos, at the same time. An Indian wedding, with the groom on a horse. This is a short video. Crazy dancing, drumming, chandeliers on the heads of the worker bees, and loud music as they make their way down the street. I love it.
(The End)