Sunday, 22 June 2014


My mother, at 92, is clean as a whistle. Payson has often remarked on how she never smells like old people who become sloppy with their hygiene. She brushes her teeth for 20, yes, 20 minutes each morning and still has her own teeth. She washes her hands with soap and water twice each time she goes to the bathroom. This morning i saw her soap and water the handle of her cane, too, then wipe it clean. In her bedroom there is a place for every thing, and everything is in its place. a thing out of place sends her into fits. I have never seen her fumble for things, or misplace them the way I do. I am full of admiration for her, though I am glad I don't have OCD. Or, then, perhaps I do. Perhaps my obsession with writing is just another of its faces. Why else would it be my entire life?

Saturday, 21 June 2014


I have been kissing and hugging my mother all day, grateful for her presence on this planet, reminding myself over and over how different the day could have turned out. Why can't we always live with these reminders? Why do we always live in retrospect? When we live in the moment, with awareness, there is no regret, no guilt, not even tragedy.


I have rested today, sleeping when I can, after the trauma of last night. It is hot here, 110, and most of the time i enjoy the heat, I who never get any either in California or in our Himalayan home. I have been cooped up in my room all day, most of it enjoyable, sleeping, writing, reading, listening to my mother telling her stories for the thousandth time. I know which word follows which one, I know them by heart from having listened to them so much. But how long can you stay in a room. Found myself getting cabin fever and going a bit stir crazy, till I thought of clearing up my very cluttered room, taking a bath, combing my hair, brushing my teeth, having a cup of tea, and writing here. Just that little bit of activity has me happy as can be.


Before I fell asleep last night, the noises that my fan was making made my survival instinct go through brain scenarios about how long the fans have lasted, how I have never heard of one falling on someone,  and what a mess it would make if it did, and what a wonderful invention the fan is -- the AC in my room is not working -- my parents' house and appliances are so old and antiquated. I had had a hard day of running around, doing the usual thousand and one things I have to take care of when I am in the city, and looked forward to a night of rest and good sleep. Revki, my mother's maid, came into my room at 1:30 a.m. and said, "Didi, mummy ka pankha gir gaya" -- 'mummy's fan has fallen." I sat up in bed, stunned. She always sleeps under the fan and doesn't like AC, though she's had a new one installed in her room recently. I got out of bed, and mom was sitting on the sofa, well. It was an absolute miracle that she survived. she said, the fan stopped and she sat up wondering why, and just then it fell before her eyes onto the bed, just grazing her feet. Well, no body got any rest, for she was agitated, and so was I and Revti; she had to shift to my room and she had a fit seeing the clutter in it, and couldn't bear it, OCD and obsessively clean as she is, but had to endure, as had I, for she has to sleep with all the lights in the room on. Bright lights make me insane, and fortunately I had a sleeping mask.
Later I reflected on what a world of a difference in a tiny syllable : Revti could have come into my room and said, "Didi, mummy par pankha gir gaya" -- "the fan has fallen on mummy." Heavens, what a difference between 'ka' and 'par'! ka is the possessive: mummy's fan; par is on.

Well, this morning the family has been calling, and she's having a jolly time telling the story that she has survived to tell.

Friday, 20 June 2014


Well, it's easier said than done. Shortly after I wrote the previous post I sat at my desk trying to do something and was so frustrated at not being able to do it that I tied myself into a really tight, painful knot, the kind that takes at least a day if not days to unknot. I said to myself, hypocrite! Fool! How easily, glibly, you wrote that post! Priestess, follow your own advice.

Learning to recognize this, to surrender to the frustrating experience, laughing at myself helped unloosen it. It helps to know the difficulty, to be able to look at oneself, to have some distance, makes the process of SURRENDERING TO CIRCUMSTANCE easier.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014


Partially just laziness, guys, and the causes of it: much to do by way of writing; working two or three projects + researching; the weather, muggy, and warm (though not nearly as hot as in the plains), conducive to a great deal of sleeping; the heart wants to meander like our stream, arrange things in the house, play in the garden -- we're putting down local dark grey slate in the pathways. Secondly, internet connectivity, though I must admit it hasn't bothered me though I have used it as an excuse to do less and less! Thirdly, a sense that I'm just talking about myself here -- why should anyone else be interested? I'm not helping anyone, which is always my intention. I have a bit of priestess gene in me which I sometimes rebel again, but return to unerringly.

I leave for the city tomorrow -- I have postponed it long enough. Have been here five weeks, but now my mother is calling and I must go. She gets lonely, and I do nurture her in many ways. I have to admit I haven't wanted to go, being quite plugged into our life here. The wild pink rose vines are just beginning to come on; they are everywhere in our home, wrapped around boulders and stone walls; the garden is full of poppies and all sorts of flowers I have no names for; the stream, its volume reduced due to the heat, is just personal and intimate enough to step in and wade through, something P and I did yesterday. No, I don't want to go, but I must. It is part of my resolve to not resist any part of life, and to be forever ready to change gears in whatever direction needed. This makes life much easier, this surrender to circumstance; it is what all religions call submission. Believe me when i say that this also makes like a load of fun; by resisting too much you cut yourself off my life; you live by your ego and your own stubborn will. But with submission life becomes a mystery, a miracle, and an adventure.