28 July 2006
and a blog mira sent me to organize worldwide resistence:
and a blog rayya sent me with more information on lebanon:
[ please note that im confident there will be, mixed in with an honest desire to save lives and worldviews, a good amount of anger, even hatred, and anti-israeli propaganda on these sites. i neither support nor endorse such sentiments, though i can often understand them. more on that as the situation requires]
and another update from mira, who survives, as we are wont to do, in tripoli --
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Jul 26, 2006 7:56 PM
Today i woke up with a feeling of a ball in my down throat ..well they say it is becoz my stomach cant digest food becoz of stress ,i still f\el that ball in my esophageal.. so i'm seeing a doctor tomorrow. so becoz of Israel i have to feel a ball in my fuckin system :p
I was hearing some news yest. some of them are this:
-in maroon el ras one of the villages on the border where the israelies arrived ,they went in to a house ,kicked all the family out and put them on their knees and they began to shoot ,even the children ..The dad arrived without one of his wounded daughters he left behind fro some reasons some
intensive bombings and she was seriously wounded …
-the Red Cross was hit also in the south..Not to forget that the UNIFEL was also hit…
-they showed us schools ,malls even public parks full of kids with only few months old …how can these kids survive with the low hygiene and not enough food…
-and not to mention that all the villages in the south are not accessible for ambulances or aid..but only the civilians with foreign passports could arrive to tyre to get on the ship …is it fair ?while I heard that a wounded family under their bombed house , couldn't get any help coz no red cross can arrive and ONLY the western passport get through ?!??!
Of course we are all worried about wheat ,petrol, everything …we r beginning our count down …..
So I'm confused and trying to help the refugees as much as I can even though I didn't really feel good today when I went to a new school opened for refuges today ,tooo many families in classes ouf laying on the ground and shit !maybe I'm too sensitive …but what is nice and really assuring is that I see a lot of people I know in these schools ,young people like me ,or working people that are not working during these days and helping ,doing an effort ,giving all they have or part of what they have ,it makes me believe in our will to help each other ….
And I know I know that I love Lebanon so much …and all my Lebanese friends here that I see everyday in my hometown Tripoli or anywhere from Lebanon ..i love u all .. I love my wounded country more and more every day ….
mira love peace
20 July 2006
so please feel free to read what I wrote and interact
with it. What I wrote so far is very personal and does
not follow any specific logic and there are no
intentions behind it.
..no no wat that wodul be 2 hours from here???
they say teh big strike is sooonn and i'm beginning to
get reakly scared.....
...the bombing hit our port of tripoli so we got
sacred a lot by the
sound and effect ..we know that israel might hit any
bridge to tripoli or electricity and we dont move a
lot ..and i assure u we dont have any fuckin hezbolla
here ???why r they killing our army then?????a lot of
refugees are coming here from the south and i have
been trying to help by bringing necesseties ,my car s
full of rice , milk,clothes,detol,food,anything that a
person needs to survive....
i see children sleeping on school's floors away from
thier villages but they like it here more coz they say
they can sleep at least away from teh soud of bombing
in their ears and bodies....
little babies with diarrhea.....what can i say ... i'm
so sad and outraged that u become numb ....but not for
so long coz soon i will begin to panick i know
....yesterday i cried as if i'm crying over a person
that died or a guy that left me ..i was crying for
lebanon ....i couldnt stop crying ....
i cant do anything to help it ....i'm thinking of
leavng but i love it here ..but why continue trying
when i have to pay teh price of soemthing i ahvent
where to leave ..i dont even have enough money
...woudl i work in tourism again ??what future do i
have here????all day long i ask questions???with no
i'm going home now ....
19 July 2006
first of all, let me note that i was just informed that "blogspot" (including myself) has been banned in india (along with other blogging tools), so i can't actually read what i'm posting (via email). i'll take this attack on digital liberty, on the part of the indian government i'm assuming, as some sort of absolution for all my typing errors. whose existence i would lay at the door of third-world keyboards in general, anyhow.
second of all, mateo has left for chennai and the ten day vipassana retreat which awaits him. if you don't know what vipassana is, i can only suggest that you do it (www.dhamma.org). it's an amazing ten-day silent trip into inner space that can only result in the pure positive result of you being more who you are. which is to say, love and/or god.
third of all, i dropped him off in mysore. mysore is a snug indian city amidst sandalwood forests and soap factories, in which i had absolutely no idea what was going on. the reality of travelling in india, it came to me, is very, very scary. i took a three hour bus away from our cozy indian solution -- replete with dosas, mangos, and kitchy portraits of whatever gods are nearby -- to end up in a totally foreign climate, language, culture, and ambience. thank krishna there were still mangos everywhere or i would have totally lost it. we ended up walking away the afternoon through back alleys and large urban cow pastures (as in, no grass and very large uddered cows) and -- and this is india -- the worst that happened to us in a seedy area of an unknown city where we were literally clueless was walking down a non-veg street bordered by dead chickens. which was pretty nasty, but nothing like what red hook had in store for us that bygone year...
so i've now segued into yet another stretch of the indian solution. another week of intense music practice -- which is destroying some deep and wounded parts of the self, all too slowly for any pretense of comfort -- and then a group of gringas arrives to carry me through my final keralan week. in anticipation of the general stare festival that will surely ensue, i've begun marketing 50 rs. "stareathon" tickets to at least recuperate whatever rice ("food") expenses these ladies unpack in the spacy red foregroud of the monsoon hotel.
speaking of which, mateo's cd, "live july at the monsoon hotel", has been recorded successfully; if the cookbook project (still in progress) is any indication, the real work can now truly begin. i'll post some tracks as soon as sony lets me.
and, speaking of marketing, once again, i am now selling ten thousand copies of the cookbook, which has been prehumously renamed "Cooking can be God" for the second edition. which means, naturally, you are now buying a copy.
so, thanks for that. in the way that all class struggle can be rosily viewed as mere prehistory before this golden age of social relations and jam sessions that marx has forecast for us all, this cookbook proejct and all her antecedents are the mere prehistory of my projects heretodate.
i'm feeling a sense of closure. the shifting temperatures of the border regions. a looseness of footing and spring in my step. indian and i are almost through, for a time. i've almost given up the deeply buried notion that i am not and cannot be a musician. i'm already, strangely, over cooking. and i'm ready to go home.
luckily and unfortunately for our heroes, home does not exist. as the situationists burned into my brain
"the hacienda must be built"
which is what the next step is all about. i'll be leaving india, taking a warm bath, selling ten thousand cookbooks, and moving back to sequim to start an ashram. the lost mountain observatory. a festering pit of possibility. an integration of tropics and temperance, of henry miller and aurobindo, of gandhian clarity of value with a burning man's insistence on the present. the Only gift, as it were.
there are plenty of details in terms of how large you can build a shack before it falls under the shadow of the county code and how we're going to transition off the grid in a couple years. and they've been largely worked out. so at this point i'm psyched to be going home, to be planting trees, to be finishing all the strange books, programs, theories, and projects that five years of wandering have saddled alongside me.
and, if you are reading this, it probably means i hope to see you there.
17 July 2006
--another stanford grad that we met in kanava said last night that it is all about working with play, and then included creativity and art to describe what he is trying to create on a plot of land he has not bought yet in india. which brought up a strong visual memory of me hand washing clothes in a bucket of water at mali's grandparent's home many months ago while ank played the flute. granted, i actually enjoy hand washing clothes, but being able to listen and sing music while "working" does just make everything different.
--only using a bucket of water and a cup for showers. and finishing with coconut oil in the hair.
--i can't find a trash can anywhere in india.
--in the smaller towns, mirrors are rare. but even finding myself in a home that is financially well off i was surprised. the father is a lawyer, the family owns a house and has a maid cooking all the food. i walked into their bathroom. first of all, there was a toilet to sit on, which i haven't used in months. and after getting past the toilet, the nice tiles, etc. i noticed there was no mirror. so i did a little, "there is no mirror" dance knowing things will be different in america.
--infinite rice meals during lunch time in kerala for 13 points (1point=2pennies).
--commutes: whether i am travelling on foot, by bus, or rickshaw i have never been surrounded by so much amazing landscape. a few things i see everywhere are rice patty fields, cows, chickens, goats, coconut trees, jackfruits, mangos, women carrying firewood barefoot on their heads, people walking and talking everywhere in the streets, and monkeys congregating on the ledge of a huge cliff filled with fruit trees and vegetation in the monsoon
--listening to my music teacher playing the tabla or flute and taking everyone in the room to some far off place. and watching him enter his zone of pure emptiness filled with this vibration from a piece of bamboo or wood covered in goat skin. the playing may only last a few minutes, but i feel like the music in forever. (hopefully that is a good enough reason for him to say that music is his first marriage, then his wife.)
--8am at my music teachers home. i get to watch him put make-up on his two daughters, ages around 3 and 6. this involves black eyeliner under the eyes, on the eyebrows, and a dot between the eyebrows. this is not the pencil eyeliner i have seen used in the states, but the black smuggy stuff that is put inside the lower eyelid.
--walking to work with my music teacher's wife. she just got this job this week after paying some guy 300points weeks ago promising a job weeks ago. then entering the city and finding out that there is no job for her. now she is down 300pts, equivalent to two hours of music lessons for my teacher or almost equivalent to half a month's wages for a woman doing office work. and after some depression in this situation, and me practicing the sedona method with her, she is now rushing to work every morning at 8:30am. but the beautiful part is the walk. we cut off the dirt road to take a short cut, cutting through all the back yards, ending up with mud all over our feet, me losing my flipflops in the mud, and washing our feet at some well in someone's backyard. i am so proud of her. and she keeps saying, are you okay, and i just can't explain who blown away i am by the walk, her inner strength, and mud all over my feet.
--entering homes and seeing pictures of the family in large frames hanging high on the wall. remembering that krishna is everywhere and in everything. the reminders are even in the blinking christmas lights around some jesus figure on the buses. but these are all just reminders, simple reminders, to be thankful for it all.
--putting the name of your children on the front windowshield of the rickshaws or on the side of the buses
--ankur playing his flute by candlelight since the electricity (well the locals say the current)seems to cut out quite often. and realizing that ank's nose and skin is starting to share a lot of resemblance to the spiritual icons i see everywhere.
--women in their saris with colors, oh so many vibrant colors and designs.
--sitting in the computer stalls, reminding me of office jobs in new york, and selling cooking com bigode. yes, even watching ank get the word out about his book is beautiful.
--and finally, watching all the parts of the world meet in geographic location and in age. i almost want to cry while recording matt playing music from south american ceremonies on his guitar with my music teacher playing the flute and a ten year old student on the tabla. wow.
I could go on, but I am trying not to spend my time in India sitting at a computer. The chickens might get lonely at home. And I am supposed to be practicing the tabla. And the little bit of news that filters through makes me wonder how the pure beauty can coexist with all the suffering. but the bombs have even stuck in india. so it helps me remember that running away is impossible. we can only LIVE inside it all.
16 July 2006
even the europeen media is controled!even the united nations didnt ask the stop of the fire!is it normal !i'm not a prohizbolla at all but i think that we r paying high and nobody is saying shit!where r the europeen countries and their human rights????they have ships all over the coast even here in tripoli the northern city of lebanon and they also attcked a lebanese military base next to tripoli today ....why lebanse militaries???they also bombed a littel airport unused in the north of tripoli ....in fact they only aim bridges ,electricity ,airoports they r trying to isolate us ,in fact we r !the economy is down down .we r running to buy prtrol and bread ....it's war again :(
i'm more sad then scared honestly ...i thought i was a weak panicking girl but i told mom today i'm not leaving my country ,until my house is destroyed, this is my home....anyways i hope that they dont begin bombimg the cities...that's what we r scared of ..i think u people in europe and states shoudl protest for us for the kids for the minimun rights not to be invaded in that way ..maybe ur governmenets would listen to ur voices coz ours dont exist ...we r just nothing ....
i was watching ghandi movie today and i cried so much coz war is so absurd and i hate to live in this world of injustice and hatred ...
mira love peace
do you eat? www.somethingconstructive.net/jamanta
14 July 2006
mateo has been here for some amount of weeks. our handsful of nighttime love guitar. a few days of sunshine and a lot of trips to the internet.
and marketing. see bill hicks for the orthodox take on marketing ("anyone involved in marketing please kill yourself. right now. i'm not joking"). and i'm learning, once again, around and around the wheel of life, that
1. everything matters
2. nothing is other than what it is
3. judge not
4. to be the self, one must know the world
and this While or two, it's marketing. which can be, if done out of deep personal attachment and with single-minded precision, a sort of dusty run-up to the Divine.
this all goes back to a large indian prophet named 'Prem' (love) who gave mali and i each copies of a book entitled "mind-power" after a three-hour freelunch/diatribe on his life and how the only way he could escape from the thorny mistress of alcoholism was to self-hypnotize himself out of it.
so i started reading this book and naturally mateo has been into this stuff for years and now i'm totally convinced, irrespective of the "current" position of the universe, that i am now selling 10,000 cookbooks. i somehow know that i will have no problem doing whatever i need to do in the near future because i am now selling 10,000 cookbooks.
obviously, in order in for this actually to happen, the second edition will be called, as one of my customers of the indian edition attempted pronounced the title: "cooking can be god".
it's a dangerous proposition, to use the higher regions of the human mind for narrow personal gain. i think dick cheney and the other members of the advanced lizard cadre are probably experts at it. and i don't often think it's appropriate to fight fire with fire, even for the oft-repeated "highest good of all". but this is where the experiment has led me and this is what i'm doing. right now.
this leads me back to that dangerous busride to kalpetta, which was almost the end of days, and, inevitably, to marx.
two things about india have recently and consistently amazed me.
a. everyone here understands that 'god is one'
b. seemingly irrespective of wealth or profession, people are incredibly happy to be with their families, to have one day off, and to work at their duty.
why is this? i have neither clues nor tools to get to dig down to the roots, but my surface appraisal points to the role of the family in anchoring one's stability, one's path, one's dharma. when people ask or tell about religion, they are speaking more to family than to caste or belief. they want to know what rituals your family practices, for that defines who you are. they don't care what you believe in, normally, because this isn't a culture where the possiblity of your disbelief is a live option. i think that -- religion is tied to family, to your very blood -- is why everyone can be so chill and believe in different gods and have them all be one. how hindu rickshaw drivers can be like "jesus, allah, oh yes, shiva, god is one" and have their index finger stridently aloft through the polluting energy of nearby camels, oil wells, and military bases.
with jobs it's the same -- people are psyched to be doing what they're doing because there's no option in doing so. you're basically assigned or groomed for a profession since your well-behaved childhood, and the 'consensus reality' is strict enough that you understand a Shoemaker is What You're Doing and that sunday when you can ride the bus 2 hours to see your family is real the rain of all blessings.
these perspectives have been shat upon by the modern world, and -- and here im getting back to our favorite four letter word -- by the bourgeious destruction of the family, as marx's points out in his little manifesto:
"The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honored and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage laborers.
The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation into a mere money relation."
so there's that. interestingly enough, in 1848 when marx published the manifesto, this destruction of the nuclear family into pitiful atomic units had not yet occured. there weren't even televisions or microwaves to supplant the factory labor system. so, my concern here is whether in his phraseology and critical zeal, marx actually created the result he prophesied.
these are the dangers inherent in marketing. and that's what i'm dealing with. so, you know, buy more cookbooks and i'll see you in amerika. gods willing.
there's a south indian breakfast item that is not dosa. it's called 'putta' or 'put', likely with an infamous malayali half-vowel tacked somewhere along the end. they roast rice flour and steam it in a sultry cynlinder that attaches conviently to the top of a pressure cooker, so you end up with a thick cylinder of ricey goodness with coconut and salt (naturally, as their is no music without rhythym, there is no cooking without salt) mixed in.
supposedly. actually 'put' is just the latest in my novel series of south indian culinary Disasters. the first time i tried to make it (with mashed up banana instead of coconut on the bottom of the steam tube) the holes clogged, the pressure accelerated, and a tube of uncooked rice erupted like a snowy volcano all over the kitchen (ie counter and pressure cooker). today's experiment, with all recommended ingredients, ended up less spectacularly in the backyard mango/plastic pit. it just never seemed to finish cooking.
there's a lot of room here for interpretation about the gods. my initial hunches are:
1. in writing a cookbook i somehow manifested a reality in which i'm not supposed to cook any more.
2. flowing with the indian currents of spacetime, i hadn't had my own kitchen for the last eight months, and should have kept it that way.
3. i don't even know the name of the kitchen god, and that's really Who's getting in my way.
4. all i want to be eating is dosa and mangos anyhow, and i should just stick to my tava on this one.
all of this borne out by the fact that the one thing mateo and i acknowledge as a culinary success is our dosa/chutney making, neighbors be politely ignored. our dosa are large, brown, thin, and crispy -- better than the restaurants in all dimensions except size. our chutney employs hand-grated coconut, grandma's "mixie" (ie robot), and no added water to thin the tasty fatty goodness.
we can afford that, along with kilos upon kilos of mangos, because we are imperialist dogs. one kilo of mangos costs as much as five kilos of tapioca. that kilo of tapioca keeps us satisfied (the both) for two days, with rice, whereas matt and i generally need 2-3 kilos each of mangos to keep our sticky hands pleasantly aloft.
so there's the asymmetry of mangolandia always -- alongside some cumin or coriander -- right in your face. luckily, the already odius comparisons wither even more under the scrutiny of indian infinity. the scale of everything in this country -- death, disaster, love, giving, inequality, bounty, abundance, spectacle, and amazon -- defies anything i've experienced in normal spacetime/bodymind consciousness.
so i'm ready to come home. i'm ready to be shocked and appalled, to listen my own music, to eat apples and to feel the crisp air of the olympic peninsula.
i'm also ready to be here forever, to careen down mountain roads in buses which, despite a chassis of steel and plastic, scream a living amazonian awareness in their everpresent encounter with death, racing across any lines the government cares to paint, hot on the trail of the "limited stop" ideology, intervening cows, rickshaws, trucks, and elephants be (smilingly) damned.
basically, i'm going to hold off on the recipes indefinitely. until i get some that i can do. or stop trying. the music never steps and the fasting never ceases to appeal to me.
05 July 2006
And yet, Aurobindo is here to help us.
In case you weren't moved by previous exhortations to seek out Aurobindo and read of him deeply, perhaps a direct installment will add a little oomph to the recommendation that you check his books out and read them, out loud, slowly:
Since, then, eternal and immutable delight of being moving out into infinite and variable delight of becoming is the root of the whole matter, we have to conceive one indivisible conscious Being behind all our experiences supporting them by its inalienable delight and effecting by its movement the variations of pleasure, pain and neutral indifference in our sensational existence. That is our real self; the mental being subject to the triple vibration can only be a representation of our real self put in front for the purposes of that sensational experience of things which is the first rhythm of our divided consciousness in its response and reaction to the multiple contacts of the universe. It is an imperfect response, a tangled and discordant rhythm preparing and preluding the full and unified play of the conscious Being in us; it is not the true and perfect symphony that may be ours if we can once enter into sympathy with the One in all variations and attune ourselves to the absolute and universal diapason.
If this view be right, then certain consequences inevitably impose themselves. In the first place, since in our depths we ourselves are that One, since in the reality of our being we are the indivisible All-Consciousness and therefore the inalienable All-Bliss, the disposition of our sensational experience in the three vibrations of pain, pleasure and indifference can only be a superficial arrangement created by that limited part of ourselves which is uppermost in our waking consciousness. Behind there must be something in us,--much vaster, profounder, truer than the superficial consciousness,--which takes delight impartially in all experience; it is that delight which secretly supports the superficial mental being and enables it to persevere through all labours, sufferings and ordeals in the agitated movement of the Becoming. That which we call ourselves is only a trembling ray on the surface; behind is all the vast subconscient, the vast superconscient profiting by all these surface experiences and imposing them on its external self which it exposes as a sort of sensitive covering to the contacts of the world; itself veiled, it receives these contacts and assimilates them into the values of a truer, a profounder, a mastering and creative experience. Out of its depths it returns them to the surface in forms of strength, character, knowledge, impulsion whose roots are mysterious to us because our mind moves and quivers on the surface and has not learned to concentrate itself and live in the depths.
In our ordinary life this truth is hiding from us or only dimly glimpsed at times or imperfectly held and conceived. But if we learn to live within, we infallibly awaken to this presence within us which is our more real self, a presence profound, calm, joyous and puissant of which the world is not the master--a presence which, if it is not the Lord Himself, is the radiation of the Lord within. We are aware of it within supporting and helping the apparent and superficial self and smiling at its pleasures and pains as at the error and passion of a little child. And if we can go back into ourselves and identify ourselves, not with our superficial experience, but with that radiant penumbra of the Divine, we can live in that attitude towards the contacts from the world and, standing back in our entire consciousness from the pleasures and pains of the body, vital being and mind, possess them as experiences whose nature being superficial does not touch or impose itself on our core and real being. In the entirely expressive Sanskrit terms, there is an anandamaya behind the manomaya, a vast Bliss-Self behind the limited mental self, and the latter is only a shadowy image and disturbed reflection of the former. The truth of ourselves lies within and not on the surface.
Again this triple vibration of pleasure, pain, indifference, being superficial, being an arrangement and result of our imperfect evolution, can have in it no absoluteness, no necessity. There is no real obligations on us to return to a particular contact, a particular response of pleasure, pain or neutral reaction, there is only an obligation of habit. We feel pleasure or pain in a particular contact because that is the habit our nature has formed, because that is the constant relation the recipient has established with the contact. It is within our competence to return quite the opposite response, pleasure where we used to have pain, pain where we used to have pleasure. It is equally within our competence to accustom the superficial being to return instead of the mechanical reactions of pleasure, pain and indifference that free reply of inalienable delight which is the constant experience of the true and vast Bliss-Self within us. And this is a greater conquest, a still deeper and more complete self-possession than a glad and detached reception in the depths of the habitual reactions on the surface. For it is no longer a mere acceptance without subjection, a free acquiescence in imperfect values of experience, but enables us to convert imperfect into perfect, false into true values,--the constant but veritable delight of the spirit in things taking the place of the dualities experienced by the mental being.
(The Life Divine, pgs. 113-115)
(Special thanks go to Chris Holmes, who purchased the copy of The Life Divine that made its way to Wayanad)
04 July 2006
matt playing "beija-flor" in a concrete hotel room in bathery