Yesterday I felt sad.
It would’ve been my Nanna’s 83rd birthday, and all I wanted to do was talk to my mum.
But the bastard wifi went down. All day. And it still isn’t fixed. (Perhaps Karma for hustling the p/w to my pre-teen pals next door? Obviously horrendously heavilly downloading).
I love waking up each morning and spending a bit of time bantering with Deb. It usually works perfectly; six and a half hours ahead, she’s either in her break, has just finished work or is just about to start. We message back and forth for a bit, then my day starts.
Yesterday I woke up and thought of Nanna and I just wanted to check my mum was ok. I can imagine when Deb eventually kicks the bucket I’ll be a bit glum every September 2 (her day of birth). But I couldn’t connect to messanger. Any other day would’ve been all right; annoying maybe, but all right. So I was a little dejected from sunrise.
We had a little field trip organised to go to this cave about 15km away that’s meant to be sensational for meditation. We went down to the river next to it beforehand, and there was a funeral going on. A crowd of family and friends were gathered to farewell a passed loved one. It was quite poignant. They were burning what appeared to be a big bonfire, but we were soon informed it was actually the body. On the beach. Yes, the cremation was occurring right there.
We were informed that the remains of the body would be laid to rest in the river, where the currents would take it away. I thought of myself swanning about in the stream not a day earlier and felt a touch unwell. How on earth would I have reacted should a char-grilled hunk of human come cascading at me? (Sorry if that makes you envision such a scene, but needs a must). I was flitting about feeling fantastic and all at one with nature; pretty sure such an encounter would have blown that right out of the water (is that not the most literal use of that phrase ever?).
We went to the cave and I had a momentary freak out. I am slightly claustrophobic (think having to be Valium induced to have a standard MRI; fantastic when the drugs have taken hold, but a nightmare should I not be chilled-vibe-induced) and I had expected a big expansive hollow full of people; this was more a tight cranny barely for five. But I sucked it up and gathered myself together in padasana (lotus pose – I apologise, my gradual learning of Sanskrit terms has me dropping them in convos whenever possible. Don’t be surprised if you are with me on my return and I discuss animals a lot; plentiful opportunities for me to chuck in a shalabha (locust) makara (crocodile) or ashwa sanchalan (equestrian/horse rider) reference. I shall be hanging down at the Cambridge tracks on the regular to slot that last one into discussions. Of the pluses of living in a horsey town!).
I don’t know what happened in the cave. I thought of each and every one of my family members in turn. Cousins, uncles, you name it. And I started to cry. The emotions swelled up and I couldn’t stop the stream of tears. Then I imagined Nanna in heaven getting plastered and smoking cigs with Bampga in jovial birthday celebrations and I started laughing hysterically as I sobbed. I honestly must have looked like a lunatic. I tried to pull myself together and be all deep and focused like the others but to no avail; I did a few “Ommmmm”s then retreated.
Back at the ashram I was feeling good for awhile but then my mood plummeted. I couldn’t even write because I couldn’t hustle onto WordPress. I was strung out about my exam on Tuesday. I wanted my mum (may be turning 24 in a mere two weeks, but when the going gets tough, the worried want Deb).
I managed to escape up to a cafe and use their sloooooowwwwww wifi for awhile to let her know I was alive and (semi) well. I ordered a soda water for the minimal calorie count (seems beyond the ashram walls my mind immediately fixates again) and as I slurped the bottom with my straw I encountered sugar; by crickey did my heart drop. Sugar?!?! Calories!!! Fuck!!!! Why, hello ED. Haven’t had you clutching like this in a few days.
On the mournful mooch home (it seemed to be a day of grief, death, despair and funeral-like processions) I suddenly regarded the situation.
Get your shit together Poppy!
You’re in India. You’re in a better frame of mind than you have been in years. Stop stressing about the exam! It’s not a big deal. Mum knows you’re thinking of her. Nanna is at peace and no longer derailed with dementia. Sort your shit out and stop the sorrow.
So I did.
I did the PM yoga class. I went for a short run. I had dinner and stayed up chatting to the fellow ashram dwellers who arrived that afternoon for a few days retreat. I wrote in my p/d scrapbook (more to come on the subject) and thought about what I’m grateful for. I read over my class sequence plan in a calm and halcyon manner. Hell, I even ate a small banana as an after dinner snack. (Big ups! Fuck you ED).
Then I went to bed and did a word find. From a little girl to a young adult, Nanna and I always sat side by side and searched for words, competing companionably to locate the most. When I had been packing to come over I had felt compelled to include the little book of puzzles in my bag and I’m so thankful I did.
I went to bed if not perhaps at peace, i wasn’t quite so flat. And I told myself it was one down. I can’t expect to be constantly climbing up up up. But at least I recognised it, tried to rectify it and will attempt to combat it next time.