Aug 13, 2014

So I do

There are several options: 1). This is just the aftermath of the infection. Patience. 2). This is an allergic reaction to the lamotrigine. Potentially dangerous. 3). This is what happens when you sing too much for too long. Stupid.

It has been over a month now. My throat feels weird. When I talk, it hurts afterwards. I wear a sign that reads “can not speak”. I avoid people. I feel a burden to others. I feel afraid that my throat will never get better. I feel stupid for possibly straining my voice. I feel worried about lamotrigine allergy. I feel I am not assertive enough when it comes to talking to doctors. I feel this is all my fault, no matter what the cause is.

My throat takes me to Nelson, where the doctor says that saunas are good. So I go to the pool and buy a great dress at the Sally Ann. The day after, my throat takes me to the cute town of Kaslo, where the psychiatrist says it might be the lamotrigine. With the prospect of bloodwork, Linda and I enjoy a wonderful lunch overlooking our lake from the other side.

When my throat seems on the mend, I start the course I am enrolled in. Recertification for Hidden Language. One glorious day I happily make collages, and enjoy two Hidden Language classes. During the second class, my throat starts to feel like a razor blade. I cry my way into the little bridge. When I ask my body, it simply says: STOP.

So I do.

"My mind doesn't do that usually"

Just like the moon

The moon is round and magnificent as I walk to the space that used to hold the Temple. Only the foundation is left. A platform. How tiny it looks, and how beautiful the view. This calls for celebration. One toe, two toes and Francesca and I are on the platform. When we do the Mother of Light dance together I cannot help but think: This is the best dance platform ever! All ashramites have been invited to design a new temple. My new Temple doesn’t have any edges. No ceilings, no walls, just light & space. Just like the moon. 

 (Meanwhile, in the fairy garden...)

Jul 16, 2014

And we don't like fire

Moving from -20˚ in winter, to downpours in spring, we swiftly reach the exhilirating joys of +42˚ in summer. Of course this heatwave conveniently coincides with family week, where we double our numbers to 120, including 40 kids.

I keep noticing how I tell people that ‘I hate kids’. But actually I don’t. Kids can be a lot of fun. I like the way they look at things. Their curiosity and laughter. However, a bunch of kids all at once, is too much energy for me. Like a birthdayparty without escape.

This year I decide to face my fears, and interact instead of hide. I take my ‘harp to the kidszone and get involved in all sorts of make-believe. With the professional musician daddies we play music on the stage the next day. The kids dance around and sing Twinkle Little Star. I love playing music with them; the kids, but mostly their dads.

When my throat starts to hurt, my body conveniently remembers an ear ache that has been lingering for weeks. Throat and ear quickly merge into a pain that declares me sick for the rest of family week. In bed I hear the kids yell at the beach, and cover the window with a blanket as to keep the heat and noise out. Neither of them work.

My fellow Ganesh-dwellers get more exhausted as time passes. I only see the meal-end of family week: Bland mac & cheese, pizza and pancakes. Kidsfood. On the last night, I make an effort to go to the gala. Sitting at the back, I keep my germs to myself. It is actually quite cute: ‘We are faeries!’, ‘We are dragon slayers!’, ‘We are goddesses!’ Still I leave early. Too much noise, too much fuss.

Already in bed, I hear Nadia and Mie in the lake. For the first time this week, I feel stable enough to clamber down the rocks and join them. The water feels so good as we laugh and swim. And I know: Tomorrow I am better!  Tomorrow comes. And the much-prayed-for rain has washed almost all the kids away. But not my sore throat. Following ancient yogic tradition, I am to be quarantined until all symptoms have ceased. In a community like ours infection spreads like wildfire. And we don’t like fire.   

Some kids do have great taste
Kids Zone extravaganza

There be wizards

According to the Ganesh girls, being ill makes me look angelic

I think they are starting to like eachother
Being sick isn't quite as bad with a view like this

Jul 3, 2014

The best we can

There is something precious about living in community. I get to see everyone everyday. On good days and bad days. In roles they love and roles they hate. And I recognize how I can be enthusiastic and grumpy and goal-oriented and playful and lazy and eager too. I try to learn from all parts they mirror. What aspects of myself do I want to strengthen, what parts of me have served their goal? Sometimes it’s hard. Fortunately there is something called “laughter”.

After the fire we laugh a lot. There is lightness combined with care. We ask each other how we are, and take time to truly listen. We meet in sharing circles with the whole community, and are being updated about the latest news: It took 48 hours for the fire to be out; the fire chief is inspecting the temple; Swami Lalitananda is being interviewed… We have satsangs outside and inside, sharing inspirational stories. Despite the sadness many people feel, there is also a sense of adventure, paired with gratitude. We are all still here. What will be next?

The ashram is quickly heading into the busiest time at the ashram: Summer. After the Strawberry Social kick off, we will be flooded with courses and retreat guests and visitors from outside roaming the grounds, not to mention family week: 80 guests extra  for 5 days, of whom 40 kids. We don’t have a lot of people to do the work. But instead of going into panic mode, the ashram does what it does best: Taking care of people. Without the people, the work wouldn’t be done in the first place.

So for two weeks, we work 6 hours a day instead of our normal 8. While many opt for sleep, exhausted as they are, I have some good talks with people I love, play music, read books, go for walks, and even enjoy a sundrenched swim with the girls. The garden is overflowing with weeds, the toilets are getting dirty, dustbunnies are discovering the yogarooms, and we learn to thrive in new and unforeseen ways. We simply do what we always do: The best we can.     

Beach Dinner
Prepping Strawberries

Strawberry Servers

Face painter extra-ordinaire