Wednesday, January 18, 2012

hare krishna

It had been a long time since we listened to devotional ecstatic religious music--chanting and mantras and bouncing. We listen to Hare Krishna music, because there is a joy there. Children respond well to joy. The words are easy to say and they all mean God. So, we laugh and dance and bounce, and fall into a pile of us. I told Beezus last time we chanted that we should go to the Hare Krishna temple for devotion.

Chanting in a group feels electric, I tell her. Then we could eat vegetarian food and smile at people. There is a light in this scene I am painting. It was summer then. Our shoulders were bare. Our feet leathered and hot. It was humid. We soaked through our clothes. We burned incense. We put our hands in namaste position and bowed to each other laughing. Beezus loves namaste hands, she repeats the word like a mantra too. I don't tell her it means peace, because I like the way she says it quickly, in a very unpeaceful way.


Beezus asked me what a Hare Krishna is. And I tell her that Krishnas are people who believe they can be closer to God and achieve enlightenment by chanting and dancing together, and eating food for God. They devote their lives to this kind of joy. Her eyes perk up, and she says, "That is what I want to be when I grow up."

The wind has been terrible this week. We are wearing layers in our house. I light the fire. The wind blows it out. It rattles the upper floor windows, sending an icy draft over us. It pushes against the car when we are flying down the highway.

Box yourself into your metal machine. Crank up your Sigur Ros. Turn on the heat, but I will still blow you away, the wind howls.

I feel swept up in the winter now. My voice, nothing but a weak breathy deepness, lost in the sounds of our house. The only thing I have been chanting is ahem.  My heart pumps faster to do less. My nose drains, runs into rivulets and floods the arroyos, like snow caps melting. I don't have time to get sick. I don't have the wherewithal to battle the gales. I want to chant about God, but I feel an icy emptiness in me--a tundra that stretches from apathy to abandonment. I sit still. I sit with the children and walk through a meditation. It is a winter meditation about quiet and reverence. It feels so Nordic these practices. There is no Hare. No Krishna. The dark and cold seeps into our belief, settles into our God bone.

This morning, we rebel. After our coughing spells, following the warming of our tootsies in front of the fire, we strip down to barefeet and bounce.

Hare. Hare. Hare. Hare Krishna. We are happy. We are happy. Hare Krishna. We are family. Hare. Hare.


  1. I like to listen to Krishna Das sometimes when I'm running long. It helps me settle into a meditative state to forget what I'm really doing :)

    I love that Beezus wants to be a Hare Krishna. May the winter settle gently and leave quickly for you.

  2. Angie, you are a beautiful mama, with one amazing beautiful family.

  3. I was at a festival last weekend and the Hare Krishnas were there, and I ate a huge plate of their delicious food. I love it, so good for the soul. You can live vicariously through our summer if you like and I will hope that time speeds up for you and your winter flies past (though that then means we'll be in our winter!)
    Love to you and your lovely family.

  4. I love this - that you made your own little bit of summer from a Hare Krishna chant when you needed it. Sending sunshine from our summer.


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