2017, Journey To India And That Trump Tragedy
January 1, 2017, Bali
The 1st thing I read in 2017... and what a comfort to contemplate
"Chances are that the universe neither treasures nor regrets us. It permits us, with a marvellous neutrality, and later it may permit artificial intelligence, humanity 2.0, or a lot more bugs instead. We can’t comprehend all that phantasmagorical stuff out there, but we also can’t kill it. That gives me hope. Although we’re a remarkably successful biological manifestation – and so is mould – our aptitude for annihilation is largely limited to wiping ourselves out. The gift of self-destruction is a minor, not to mention stupid, power, and apparently humanity’s suicide would be relatively safe, like a controlled explosion. The universe would get on perfectly well without us once we’d gone." - George Monbiot
5 more days and I will be back in India, after one of my shortest but most family, friend and love-filled times ever in Bali.
Now very much looking forward to being back with my Goa family and the astrology tribe. Packing with a smile on my face.
There's a woman leaping around in front of my house with a selfie stick, picking my flowers. I do have to say it isn't bringing out the best in me.
I have 3 days before leaving Bali for several months, and as always I am like the lover preparing to leave the beloved. I can't get enough of the beauty. Joy and sadness have morphed into the same thing.
But I'm taking that moon with me.
Boarding pass printed, a last wander around the homestead for 4 months. I've relayed my wishes, now all is in the hands of the best builders on Planet Earth. Gallivanting Hippie Granny is on her way again.
Just caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and realised how relentless that hippie gene really is.
In the airport
People watching around the world. If this was the only thing to do when travelling, it would be enough.
India, January, 2017
All settled into my new abode for the next few weeks. At the very start of 4 months journeying. Best pastime I know of.
Already reunited with some of the Goa peeps. My marvellous Kashmiri tailor, (1st order already in), my trusty fruit seller, (the garden of eden now sits in my room), and of course the great staff at Bhakti Kutir, (this upcoming workshop could never happen without them).
Wonderful Portuguese Goa; and its diversity of Catholics, Hindus and Muslims.
One of my favourite beaches ever; now there's jet-skiing and a 6 lane freeway parallel to it. Still no people, except for the Russian group that just decided to park themselves 3 feet away from me, (on a completely empty beach), talk in extremely high decibels, and chain smoke.
It's still a beautiful day, despite the fact that I have definitely been hacked, by human presence.
India, unless you enjoy some chaos and a complete lack of logic in life, (secretly or otherwise), you can't really love her the way she deserves. I find it all oddly comforting, and as long as I live, I want her in my life.
Happy in Goa.
Except for Trump’s Inauguration.
As some languish in the "surely it won't be that bad"s, most of us, (at least amongst my "friends"), belong to the privileged, "correct" skin colour, "compatible" roots and religion, classes. Regardless of how little our lives may be directly affected, we need to keep our voices loud and strong for the others; those whose colour, social status, religion, sexual orientation or heritage does not jive with what is now happening. Those we may not know personally but are still our sisters and brothers, and they need us to STAY VOCAL AND ENGAGED.
I intend on staying just that way, and as indignant, and pissed off as I need to be. If you think astrologers should be neutral, or social media politically neutral, then you won't want to know me.
I'm finding it really hard not to cry today, and blah blah blah to all the platitudes, and "we need to make the most of it’s”, and "maybe we'll be surprised"s. Not buying any of it.
I don't believe this is the time to be all "new agey". When a fox has managed to get into the henhouse, all the OMs in the world aren't going to get it out.
So inspired by every one of my friends who marched, and there were many. I have been smiling all morning at the posts.
India, for so many reasons, feels like it's a million miles away from the USA, but still I swear I can hear the distant buzz of a peaceful revolution stirring.
Enfolded deeply in the ample and multi-coloured bosom of India. Feeling fully nourished by the very best of her right now.
A new friend in India just remarked on how "political" I am. Never in my life would I have thought of myself this way, however in these new times it doesn't seem there is any other way to be. Non participation = acceptance when faced with oppression and budding dictatorship.
Surrounded by the beautiful people of India, many of them Muslims, we with US affiliations are feeling horrified and ashamed at what is happening.
Why did you all vote for him? was the burning question yesterday. Why indeed, us with all our freedoms, affluence and choices? And of course I know most of us DIDN'T, but still, there he sits in the White House.
Diversity: the gold of life. The warmth and welcome we feel here in India is particularly poignant right now.
I was a bit taken aback by how mouth numbing Indian toothpaste is. Then I discover that for the last 2 days I have been brushing my teeth with mosquito repellent. An organic brand, but still.
Our Sufi hotel owner was just telling me how much he admired Rick Levine, and how that he instantly intuited that he was a gem of a soul. He then said how much he wanted to just grab him (Rick) and kiss his 3rd eye (he apparently resisted). I had a flashback of hearing a similar, but at the same time, oh so different sentiment, from another. The big difference being spiritual class in a Muslim sensitive to perverse crassness in a (so called) Christian pervert (Trump, of course).
Bye bye, Hampi/Kishkinda. Home to monkeys, eagles, peacocks, leopards, pythons, crocodiles, cobras and sloth bears. I saw the bears once, and the peacocks and eagles are hard to miss. And of course the monkeys dancing on our metal roof, and leaping around everywhere else. As for the others, they may have seen us, but we didn't see them.
On a train back to Goa, it will be farewell to my fellow travellers soon. Then another 24 hour train trip to Kerala, as the solo adventure resumes.
5th trip to Hampi and still everything was just as new. Another priceless deposit for the memory bank.
Zipping through the endless waterways of Kerala. Even a filthy train window somehow manages to intensify the beauty.
The unforgettable image of Grandma giving the baby a massage, in a leaf cradle, at my homestay. There is a simplicity, grace and sweetness to life in this little corner of India I have landed in.
Happily catching the vibe after a hectic, but fabulous, few weeks.
A much wilder, rowdier sea than in Goa. Way too much for this Scottish herring, who doesn't swim that well, to venture into. But not a soul for miles, in either direction. Just what the astrologer ordered.
Indian women perform their everyday mundane tasks, always looking like Vogue models, (or maybe Vogue models are trying to emulate them?). With their perfect posture and colours that would make even butterflies jealous.
I asked for a remote spot, and I certainly found it. Thought I'd skip dinner at my homestay and wander into town to eat. Only there is no such thing as a restaurant here. Best I could find was a little bakery, so I had a samosa and a chai. No-one spoke even one word of English, but I thought I surmised that the cost was 50 rupees, so I handed it over and walked away. Several people burst out laughing, and I was beckoned back to get my change. Silly tourist, I was paying far too much, it was 15 rupees not 50, (and there are conservatively about 64 rupees to $1USD).
India is generally friendly, but this place takes the cake, every single person beams a smile at you. Or maybe words just out that I'm the nutty foreigner extravagantly throwing money around town?
Wonderful peaceful time in Kerala, literally nothing to do but walk on the beach. Only other tourist for miles is a homestay neighbour, Chris, from Portsmouth. Stunning palm fringed beach, with sadly tons of trash in places. Ironically, the trash will go if tourism arrives, but so will the serenity.
Off to Sri Lanka tomorrow. In search of more pristine beaches.
What a lovely quiet airport. There is a big sign saying just that; "Quiet zone, please monitor the boards for flight information, announcements will not be made." How considerate, especially for people who have to work there.
Bit sad to be leaving India, but on my way to what is a brand new country for me. One of my favourite feelings ever, second only to that delicious anticipation before reuniting with loved ones.
Hey, it really is true that someone has to do it. I volunteered.