Written late October 2016
For a few hours the temple is electrified, the display of the pink-footed geese that land upon the mud flats of The Wash gets reimagined here.
I blow the conch for the harmony of the whole world. That is why I keep going, despite blacking out completely on numerous occasions. It’s like being pulsated to the extreme, things are so so real that they disappear completely before me for short amounts of time.
I keep telling that deeper inside me is something waiting for elsewhere. It is subdued in these moments by the magnificent displays of the Maha Mangala, but it’s there to stop me falling too deeply into the energy of all this.
Five days previous, and I’m starting building a structure to give shelter around the Nandy murthi, the sacred cow that always looks towards Lord Shiva. I have David working with me, who taught me to ski earlier in the year, but who has very limited building experience. Within a couple of hours we have the structure planned out, and he’s following my guidance. I’ve never built a structure from scratch before, and yet it all seems so clear and like as if I’ve done it many times before. We get the first of our beams up on the first day, and we finish the planking at about midnight the next day. The snow falls gently, nestling over the roof, and we talk for an hour on the roof about life, and David tells me stories from the early days at Fideris. We agree to share a beer come the right time to celebrate our completion of the structure. It looks so beautiful, glistening in the snow.
A week before, and I’m on the roof with Swami Govinda and Benoit finishing the planking of the goporum roof. We stop late in the afternoon for a fondu party with everyone else, our last chance to let our hair down before the final push. I keep topping up the glass of Kirsch that I share with Ralph, we dip our bread in it before dipping in the fondu. I go back to the roof at 6pm feeling fairly tipsy, but really happy to be where I am. I make some measurements for the last two planks, and soon Benoit is back, and we get ready to cut. We make certain we have the measurements right, and cut and chisel the slot to fit around the Kalasam block. It looks good, and we put it in, and it’s 3cm short. We both read 9.5cm rather than 6.5cm, and I laugh a lot at the situation. It’s easy to bodge up, isn’t such an important mistake, and I find it very funny how seriously we try to get it right and still get it very wrong.
Now a week has gone by since the inauguration. My body has complained a lot about things in this time. I’ve had headaches, belly aches, and frequent energy crashes. I’m in no way to think straight yet. Things still have to settle. And yet, I’m posed an ultimatum.
I’m told I’ve not got very long to decide what it will be for my life – to begin a life of monasticism, or to leave to the dark depths of the world outside of the ashram. Somehow this big drama arises, despite me feeling so sure for the last year that I have a big role in the world outside of year. Suddenly there are doubts, and visions of being in brown robes and feeling a sense of acceptance. The world outside of the ashram can be so unforgiving, and I would need a lot of support from everyone who can offer it if I would venture back out. Somehow, wearing the outfit seems to be the easiest option. I forget briefly that I am my father’s soon, my father who never took the easy options. And I likewise forget my sisters, that island hill-top where I communicated so clearly with God, mystical Lamas, the sacred springs that I dreamed to rediscover, and all else that has disappeared a fair bit from my life over the past year but have remained in my memory. And something doesn’t feel quite right, despite it feeling like it would be an easy decision to robe it up.
I perform well in my private conversation with Swami B. I agree that it’s really good to give a nudge, and I explain that my head is in a fair bit of a jumble and I could do with his help in sorting it out a little.