Monday, May 16, 2005

And Now -- The Sabbath Day

After all that bitching, you must know I had a truly awesome (in the sense of "inspiring awe") and most righteous (in the Bill & Ted sense) Sunday, to cap off my week of despair and suckage.

I got up early, put on my awesome bright-stripes polo that I usually wear when going to an event where I might lose my people, wrapped up the locks, watched the Eldest and Middle Kitties cleaning one another's necks, and then rolled out to Goddess & the Moon.

I was meeting ConservativeWiccan and BellyDancinBeth to go to the Sri Ganesha temple on the other side of town to hear Karunamayi speak. Since some of us were leaving our cars, we met at a place where we knew we wouldn't get towed. CW showed up first, so we walked across the street to get sodas because BDBeth was late.

I mention this only because it is a part of this coincidence that I got to spend most of yesterday in the company of the also most righteous PerryfromtheArmy, who was in Nashville, had found G&tM, and would have figured out in about 5 minutes that the place wasn't open yet. He told me later that he almost stopped at the store, too, and didn't. I totally assumed someone like the Artist or CDHSarah had forwarded on the temple event to his email and he had just shown up. Turns out he didn't know anything about it, but he was game, so I took a bag of carrots, hopped in his car, and we headed off to Sri Ganesha.

When we got there, the Germanic hexenmeister/powwow and his wife that I met briefly at PUF but hadn't really had a chance to connect with, despite how awesome I've been hearing they are for two years, turned out to be the couple we were meeting there. GHP led us around the upper sanctuary, giving those of us with no Hindu knowledge and those of us with a little bit a running commentary on the shrines, their origins, and proper etiquette. (We all knew to take off our shoes!) I communed with the 2-ton, beautiful Ganesh, who I hadn't seen since he spoke to me when I was 16 and on a school tour. It was good to see my old friend, dressed in fruit and flowers. I found out that Nashville's temple is unusual in that it has a multiplicity of shrines, some of which cater to different Hindu sects, and that all the people come in and hold worship at different parts of the shrine on holy days. (The child-Krishna was fascinating; I'm going to go back and visit him.)

About the time we got done touring the upper sanctuary, the procession to welcome Amma (the other name of the guru, meaning "mother") had begun. The priests and the worshippers led her around the shrine (always clockwise, according to GHP) singing songs of welcome, as she greeted the shrines, and the central Ganesh. While I must admit that it is odd to see worshippers wipe up the dust where a person has stood to transfer a bit of that person's holiness, it's not invalid; better a person who tries to be holy than a person who is merely famous, or infamous.

We followed everyone downstairs to the auditorium for the program, which was periodic -- the 9-Om chant, the Saraswati mantra, followed by the guru speaking, then a new chant, song, call&response, or mantra. The fact that they kept turning on & off the lights for silent meditations made things distracting. I didn't care, though; I was transfixed by Karunamayi.

Karunamayi is supposed to be an incarnation of Saraswati, the Divine Mother, representative of limitless compassion. She was born in 1950, but having seen her up close and greeted her during the processional I would have placed her age at about 35, maximum. Her talks were on universal energy and the love of the Divine Mother. It annoyed some people that she constantly referred to all of us as "her children", but that's fully consistent with someone filling the Saraswati role. She's round, has a self-effacing way about her -- even when she was greeting us during the processional, she looked like she was kind of embarrassed by the pomp and circumstance. Mostly, I was just entranced by how beautiful she was -- it's rare, any more, for me to love someone for their beauty with no sexuality involved.

Maybe I'm easily rooked, maybe I'm just gullible, but I could believe in her. I could feel her love. Hell, I could see her aura, and I almost NEVER see auras, I just sense them. When she stopped speaking and people started lining up to receive her blessing, I looked at my Palm to find out what time it was and was shocked to see that only 2 hours had gone by -- I guessed three, PftA guessed four.

We waited until close to the end to receive the blessing, because it was crowded. She placed her hands on my head and most of the bad physiological results of the medication adjustment stopped -- they had continued throughout her talk, but they were gone when I left her presence. Don't worry -- I don't think she cured me of my depression, but I do think she took the horrid adjustment symptoms of the medication away, which is pretty strong juju as it is.

She gave us all a blessed piece of fruit, a bag of sacred ash from her ashram, and some simple mantras. After we had all been blessed, we decided (surprise surprise) to go to Taste of India for lunch.

All day long people fed me. I owe so many dinners coming up, but it's worth it.

Along with us came the Hindu Honkies, a couple that knew the GHPs, and lunch was a fascinating dissection of the experience, and the type of people who attach themselves permanently to a spiritual leader as opposed to the people who just experience that person and carry that experience back out into the world (her Caucasian followers were, without exception, assholes -- we compared it to a permanent childhood, to live and follow the Divine Mother is to always, always, ALWAYS be a child, to always approach God in that way, and that's the spiritual equivalent of a disability.) CDHSarah showed up briefly because she wasn't sure she was going to make it to drum circle and wanted to tell everyone hello.

After lunch we went back to the HH's apartment, which is one of the most beautiful apartments I've ever seen -- it's the attic of a converted, turn-of-the-century building, which they had painted beautifully. They restore and recreate furniture -- I covet their Klimt coffee table. They are repainting a two-D Saraswati for the temple and she looks beautiful.

While we were there I finally got the chance to talk to the hexenmeister about the issues with my back. He's been wanting to take on a distance healing, as he hasn't done many, so he took a lock of my hair home with him to Kentucky and is going to get back with me in a couple weeks to do a hands-on healing if the distance working is ineffective.

Perry and I had planned to go to the Centennial Park Sunday afternoon drum circle, and we did, but not without much getting-of-the-lost. Turns out "the hill across from the Parthenon" is actually in West End Park, even though it's across the street from Centennial. CDHSarah did end up showing up, even though she wasn't feeling well, and she TOTALLY DISRESPECTED THE SACRED BANANA by throwing away half her piece. (Kidding!)

We almost thought there wasn't going to BE a drum circle, because we were half an hour late and the drumming hadn't started. It wasn't the best one I've ever been to once it did get started, either -- the major problem in a drum circle is that you need at least one and hopefully two Really Big Drums, to carry the simple rhythms. Otherwise it gets cacophonous. But really, it was good because BellyDancingShamanismLady showed up and we actually got to have a real conversation, which I thoroughly enjoyed. We talked about I Ching, which she had wanted me to explain, and laughed about PUF and where to get the awesome outfits she wears (similar to the traditional Hindi male dress, with the long tunic and loose pants). Perry slept in the sun and I made plans with BDSL and HeathenryLady, who assisted at the blót and turned out to live in our neighborhood. They advised me on the best intro to bellydance classes for the least money and may be coming with me to the African dance introductory next month.

I feel like yesterday was PUF family reunion or something. It made me so excited to see all these people again, the ones I don't normally see.

After BDSL and CDHSarah both decided to head out, Perry and I decided to head back to G&tM so he could head home. Just so turned out that CW and BDBeth were pulling up to get BDB's car at that moment, so I tagged along to the Evil Rabbi's acupuncture clinic.

The Evil Rabbi isn't really evil; he's a Jewish Kabalist who is also well versed in Chinese medicine, energy work, and acupuncture. This is another guy I've been hearing about from everyone for forever and a day, and he is pretty awesome. I could see the energy coming off him too -- he gestures a lot when he talks, and silver streaks come off his fingers when he gets excited. We talked about religious internal consistency as a validating factor for the spiritual path, why tongue piercings aren't the best thing for you in the long run, and other things, as well as eating delicious Turkish food and drinking apple tea. When I pass up the baklava because the lamb chops and rice were so good that I can't eat another bite, you know the food is awesome.

I didn't want my day to end. But it did, as days do. I went home, to my (blessedly) working Internet, and talked to LadyAlambil, who I miss sorely while she's home on college hiatus. I took a bath and went to bed and slept better than I've slept in years.

Sometimes it's good to have a Sabbath of your own.

Told y'all the day more than made up for the previous week.

Also, I sold the first of the Venii today! Woot!

Big shouts to my Elvis Twin -- thanks to her, I have kitties blissed out on catnip and stuff to read. She's my hero.


At 8:41 PM, Anonymous LadyAlambil said...

I must see this child-Krishna of which you speak!
This summer, it shall be so.
Except, due to my probably brokeness, I probably cannot buy you dinner after. :P

At 10:56 AM, Blogger GoddessAradia said...

I only threw away the nub part that you aren't supposed to eat, thank you;oP

At 6:24 PM, Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

Yum, I love Turkish food!
Your day sounded very exciting! What Indian food did you eat? (I love food!)

At 7:37 PM, Blogger Special Sauce said...

Oh yeah! This is just what I needed to read to make my day rock!

Congratulations on selling your first Venus! Hello to your fuzzballs from mine (and me too!)

(Egads, that's a lot of exclamation points, but it's one of those days!)

At 7:48 PM, Blogger parcequilfaut said...

The nub was holy, CDHSarah. GAAAH.

I had chicken tikka and some kind of fried cheese that was delicious. CDHSarah had a mango shake, which I wasn't feeling adventurous enough to try as I am not a huge fan of yogurt.

Unfortunately, I'm back to work and feeling like ass again...can't have everything, I don't suppose, but it's not as bad as it was by a factor of ten. LadyA needs to haul ass out of the boonies and go to temple with me. It'll work itself out.

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

You gotta try one of those shakes... They are really good and not like yogurt at all!


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