Wednesday, January 18, 2012
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.