Today, I waved off another new and instantly dear friend on his journey bound for Delhi. I hung over the balcony and watched him put his backpack in the taxi and then get in to the backseat from the driver’s side. As soon as he was in, he slid over to the passenger side, wound down the window and stuck his head out to flash me a crest white smile. We waved and blew kisses and sent blessings for each other’s perspective journeys into the wild and blessed sky that India inhabits. The blessings will be heard here.
We had only become friends a week ago, but the friendship already feels embedded in the future. He was great company; funny and intelligent and charming and all the time together felt right, just as right as him leaving and me being left here as more and more friends leave for the end of the season. I walked back inside and wrote the first thought I had as I waved him off on his new adventure. “It’s been a journey of a lot of hello’s and goodbyes.” The traveling life is like that though; an open door of people breezing through. It’s the most tangible experience in life I’ve had of the feeling of non-attachment; which is why it can be so addictive.
I’ve realized, since being here, the perils of my attachments. The energetically tight spaces I tried to stuff myself into, all while another life lay waiting to offer more space than I could imagine. I was too attached to my life looking one way, to see any other way though. I suppose I am being poetic about things. What I am trying to be clever in saying is that in giving up some of the ideas about the way I thought my life should be headed I actually turned to face a life I didn’t know was already set up for me to step into.
Coming to India wasn’t a long plan in the making but, once I made the decision, things started clicking in place for it to happen. And, to be honest, I was slightly annoyed about it all. There were times when I would lament to my friends about it “why am I doing this now? Why is this happening? Why can’t I just have a good, sound career, settle down and live the sweet life?” – cause that’s what I was attached to.
Slowly, over these past few months I have felt myself soften. It’s no surprise though. When you don’t have children or a relationship to butt up against or a house full of stuff you have to work so hard to keep, it’s much easier. I understand that – there’s no revelation there. But still, we all have our own confinements, our personal prisons that keep us locked out of the feeling of freedom. They’re called fears and expectations and deep attachments and the quality of desire that deals in urges and insatiable wants, not heart space and healing.
So yeah, most of it is just in our heads but what to do?
I was walking along the beach the other evening. The sun was setting to my left; the sky had turned a milky shade of blues and pinks and off white. There was a slight breeze and you know all the proper cinematic scenes a walk on the beach at sunset should have. I was feeling really good and I knew it wasn’t because of the setting I was in; it was because I had softened some pretty hard and crusty perceptions of my life and of life in general. India has that kind of influence though, I haven’t met anyone yet who hasn’t felt stirred by this county on a deep, energetic level.
But, I was staying keenly aware of my thoughts. I noticed them moving from feeling grateful, to trying to understand it “what is it? What am I doing differently?” and then, I caught it, the moment I tried to hold it all “how can continue to have this feeling? What is it I need to do? Eat better? Walk? Sleep? Meditate more?” There it was; the seed I was planting that will start the growth of the struggle weed. I was working out how to measure and keep it all so that I can have the magic ingredients to a perfect life forever. Trying to do this, ironically, is the cause of most of (at least mine) our struggle.
Attachments are like a vacuum cleaner against your thigh – they can only hold so much of you before all you’re left with is a giant hickey and no one to blame for it.
So, I realized I can’t hold this. I am not supposed nor am I supposed to think about trying to. But, as my time in India nears it’s completion I found myself wanting to.
What I realized is that I am simply to move through this and have my experience day by day with India as the mirror and then, when I get home to see family in Australia, I will be reminded of who I am in a different way and I won’t be able to hold on to that either. And then when I return to the States that will offer another reflection of who I am, but I can’t hold on and bottle that either.
Remembering that each day is essentially another mirror in the house of a thousand mirrors.
Being attached (unlike being committed – big difference) I realize. is like trying to force a symmetrical image of ourselves in front of a concave or convex mirror. It’s never going to work and the only thing you can do is pull a funny face and then move on to the next mirror in the maze.