spirit of christmas
no words for this photo. just, uh, there are cream-puff days and then there are Maha Kali days.
one of my colleagues here refers to some kinds of troublesome, super-intense days as "Penukonda Days." as in, "geez, this was really a Penukonda day!" *chuckle*
that must be the ultimate in-joke of the cosmos, or at least on this planet. everyone thinks spirituality is this nice-nice, love-n-light process of getting sweeter and sweeter and more and more blissful -- and I've actually had folks tell me, with stars in their eyes, "you're so LUCKY to be living in such a calm, spiritual, peaceful ashram...!"
what to say? swallow mah tongue, nod, and smile, and don't roll the eyes visibly.
for anyone who's actually lived in Penukonda, or spent serious time there, every day is a century passing, as if whole lifetimes have been ground out and heaps of karmas have been reduced to a pulp, during the whole day when nothing, really, seemed to be happening.
one day in Penukonda can be an ultimately blissful, beautiful experience -- and at the same time it can seem like a total torture chamber, as we come face-to-face with people who are also in the same karmic pressure-cooker, and they become instruments of our own unfortunate karmas coming back to us as tests, taunts, challenges, arbitrary snarls, and outright insults.
some days, I literally felt as though I'd been battered and bludgeoned by people until I was black and blue.... and I'd crawl back to my room, exhausted by my apparent efforts at surviving the slings and arrows of what seemed like truly outrageous fortune...
and I'd look back on the morning's events (which now seemed like an eon ago), and think that something that occurred in the morning had been several weeks before. (yes, the time factor gets highly stretched and distorted in Penukonda... a curious attribute of the life there.)
I'd say to Jonathan, 'oh, you know, that thing we did last week," and he would grin at me and reply, "Alx!? that was THIS MORNING!"
some days here in America are really just like that -- "Penukonda days."
and this has to do with Christmas, how, exactly?