A Moment in Oaxaca

November 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

20141124-103546-38146990.jpg

20141124-103550-38150373.jpg

Basilica de Soledad
Oaxaca, Mexico

Many people are sitting around me on the wooden benches inside the basilica. An old man with a white beard is deep in contemplation with his eyes closed and a bible in his hand. Human sized figures of angels hang from the wall high above blessing the space where the people sit. Chandeliers hang from their hands. At night light must come forth from them illuminating the chamber. It’s a nice image. Try as one might one can never belong to anywhere other than home. Every now and then a boy carries large bouquets of flowers and places them at the Dias. It angers me what the colonial Spaniards have done to these people. These people that love color and music. They don’t share my anger though. They love it. A lady walks by with her daughter and crosses her heart with reverence. Nothing endures but love. Even the dirtiest ambition for conquest is ephemeral. It dies even though it’s symbols persevere to be held with love. They’re beginning to play the organ. I think a service is commencing.

The Magic Garden

November 17, 2014 § Leave a comment

He doesn’t find himself

who is never lost

don’t hold on to your dreams

let them free

Life is not matched

by an idle reverie

and then wander

with wonder wild

you are the Soul

the divine child

in a magic garden

with lemon trees

last night I walked

with the moonlit breeze

as the princess of

the hour of sunrise

fed the fountain

from blue and hazel eyes

The Seer

November 10, 2014 § 1 Comment

Tonight

The moon was a partial silver orb

suspended over the Bay Bridge

veiled by gossamer wisp of drifting cloud

silent it hummed the lazy song of night

Waiting

The pier stood with perfect still life

the streetlights stood quiet

with the glow of mischief

the secret behind their gleaming smiles

Look!

The seer but has to look

And the veiled moon

must sing its song

The seer but has to look

He knew the secret all along

All Is Me

November 8, 2014 § Leave a comment


WP_000610WP_000612I walk through

The blue skies
Wide open streets
A group of leaves
Perform a dance on
The cold concrete
The colorful houses
Whisper to each other
Across the breeze
Sounds of the crisp san Francisco
Morning
A baby croons behind a window
All is me
Intense clouds above a
Wooden house
The vista opens out
Pines on the top of the hill
Quietly shine in the light
All is silence

All is me

- On November 1, 2014
Day Long Mindfulness Retreat at aMuse Studio, The Mission, SF

Sane Memory

August 8, 2014 § 9 Comments

Aliens in my dreams
My life a river of keyboard streams

I deny the flesh
and worship the screen

Some Internet God! Free me
from this prison of ones and zeroes

So I can stand once again
among the old forgotten heroes

Day Hat, Night Cat

July 27, 2014 § 6 Comments

Day

San Francisco was pierced by long golden rays of the sun during the summer afternoon. They illuminated the concrete at the base of an old building in the Financial District. It was Friday so the city was abuzz with people rushing to their favorite haunt after work. This particular corner on Battery St was deserted except for my car at the stop sign and a round man with tufts of white hair above his ears and none on his head. He dawdled along licking an ice cream cone and wore a white wife-beater that defined the extent of his round belly.  

“Stop that hat!” 

A sharp, high-pitched voice came from my blind spot. Someone behind my car was yelling at the man. The old man turned around, confused, and then kept walking. He didn’t notice an old leather hat that had landed right at his feet, after a couple of somersaults. The warm afternoon had been interrupted by a gust of wind that channeled into the corridors of the city. A wiry, tall man appeared in my rear view mirror, wearing a leather jacket and carrying his whole life with him. A huge knapsack, a guitar and other accouterments for a vagabond life. His curly long hair, sans hat, was being ravaged by the wind.

“Hey man, you wanna stop that hat!” he said again. The old man lifted a heavy leg and tried to stomp on that hat but it beat him last moment and flew to a spot a few feet away. He broke into the slowest run known to mankind. His belly bouncing with the effort and specks of ice cream flying in the wind. 

“Never mind dude, I’ll get it,” said the traveling musician with a tone of annoyance. At that very moment, the old man caught it under the tip of his heavy black shoe. He bent down, picked it up and turned around. With kindness he said in a hoarse, weak voice.

“Here you go man. Sorry I didn’t see it.” 

*   *   *

Night

Berkeley was cool with a crisp, still air at night. Moisture-less and bright even in the darkness. The moonlight kissed the leaves of the dense home-gardens that had large leaved plants. Through the scent of pine and rose I turned onto the path that led to my apartment with Lindsay by my side. The thin, white and gray kitty that lives next door stood among the potted plants that lined the walkway. She stood at attention, listening carefully. We approached it with our grocery bags flapping at our sides. It took a narrow opportunity to our left and slinked away, frightened. 

“We appear larger and scarier with our bags,” explained Lindsay. 

Then, green eyes in the darkness. The black kitty. She is heavier, slower and more needy. It came up to us cautiously. A motion-sensing light came on behind us, always a few seconds too late. For a brief moment, the light filtered through the pine trees and illuminated a moth. The black kitty made a dash. It pounced on the moth, swatting at it with her soft paws. The moth disappeared into the potted plants in my landlord’s garden and the kitty jumped into them, still swatting. With no sound, it leaped onto the thin wooden fence in pursuit. The black fur caught the moonlight beautifully. On the fence, it stood, evaluating. We watched with giggles, then walked away.

“That was amazing,” I said. Lindsay agreed, knowing the nature of cats fully well. 

The Plunge and Surface

July 14, 2014 § 2 Comments

I went home to India last December after 5 years of being away. I spent an emotionally intense 4 months there and upon my return plunged into nervous exhaustion, anxiety and depression. All three have now abated. I feel differently still than “my old self.” I can’t tell at this point whether the illness still lingers and is making me feel differently or whether it has gone away leaving me a totally different person who will never be the same again. At any rate, I’m ok. I wrote this entry in my journal while I was in the eye of the storm a few months ago. I’m laughing at myself for thinking it was a “bad reaction to antibiotics.” A profound comment on the state of medicine in the age of the Internet which I have a lot to say about, at some later time. 

April 8, 2014

I’m sick. Its about time too. I often tell my friends that I basically never get sick. When I would say these words, some voice would warn me at the back of my mind that it is arrogant and boastful to do so. I would ignore this voice, tagging it as the voice of primal fear that masquerades as quack morality. My particular illness has some mysterious cause. The doctor within me says that I’ve reacted badly to antibiotics that were prescribed for a sore throat. This view is corroborated by forums on the Internet but is being opposed by eminent members of medical community. There is a guy on the Internet somewhere who, symptomatically and experientially, could be me. At any rate, investigations are to follow and the verdict yet to be proclaimed.

The major symptom of this illness is depressive episodes that last up to 4 hours. The depressing part about them manifests both physically and mentally. Physically I feel a pressure around my temples and at the back of my head right above my ears. Mentally I feel what is termed on the Internet as derealization. It is a real treat. You basically look at things and you see and understand them perfectly, that is a tree, this is a birthday card; but you feel disconnected from the world as a whole. The continuum of existence that includes the self and the external world is fractured. It is like seeing the world through a glass box or a fog perhaps. The sharp awareness of the present-moment and spontaneity of emotional response is lost, made sluggish rather. I often find I smile at something a microsecond too late and then remain smiling while others have moved on. Quite understandably it leads to negative-spiral thought process and frustration.

I’ve noticed that the faculty deep thought, if you will, has remained intact through all of this. It appears as if the thing that we call “wisdom” emanates from a part of the brain entirely separate from the one that enables what we call “presence.” That a being not physically connected to the world can still reason about it. In fact, during these episodes I find myself endlessly pondering my existence.

In this pondering, I am brought face to face with my sense of guilt of not being grateful enough for my family, for being narcissistic in my belief that I am destined for something special and a sense of longing to return to the ordinary. I believe we make our own religion, each of us. Mine tells me that the reason I’m sick is because it is a strong message and incentive to open my heart to accept dramatic changes in my life. For a few days I was haunted by the thought that this will never end, that the depression would consume me and leave me unable to do anything but the most rudimentary menial tasks. Then one day I broke through and felt a sense of deep bliss at the thought that perhaps I will have to survive the rest of my life not being an engineer, an actor, a writer, an improviser, a blogger and what not. That maybe I will live out the rest of my days doing stonework or painting billboards. This feeling of bliss is most likely what we all call gratitude. The gratitude that is masked by the frustrated ambition of the over-stimulated mind.

 

Crack the shell of the mind

To unlock the light

During my sickness, I took to drawing with crayons. I found it focused my mind in a way that was not frantic. 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,737 other followers