POSTCARD 148: Delhi: bare feet on marble floor surface, pad-pad-pad, darkness in the front room, no daylight coming in through the glass patio door. What’s the time? Blinding light of my phone left on the desk: 5.15 am. I know my way by feel, through between furniture, mindful not to stub my toe on chair legs, and unwilling to switch on the light that hurts the eyes. Gentle with the mind/body organism waking up after having been parked, horizontalised in sleep mode for 8 hours. I know where the ceiling fan switch is… ting-ting-ting and I can depend on the laptop screen to illuminate the room – switch on the machine and it’s like a car headlight in the room, I need to turn my head away to avoid the glare.
There’s a pair of prescription sunglasses I use for this harsh brightness. Peer at the screen, scroll down through Word Press Reader and discover: Zen Flash: Tibetan Singing Bowl Meditation: Session 2 (27:30), click on the link. Plug in my ear buds and enter a huge, wonderful landscape of sound, space and far-away things – an entire panorama inside my head. But is that some conversation in the background or people chatting outside the house? Here in New Delhi there’s something going on 24/7. Is there a dog barking in the distance or is that on the sound track too? It seems at first that I need to differentiate, the ting-ting-ting sound is not the sound track, it’s the ceiling fan. At first I feel I have to be able to know what’s happening inside and outside of the listening zone, which is which? Then it doesn’t matter, it’s okay, accept it all as a oneness.
Back to the screen, open iPhoto library, and there’s the pic taken at Khan Market, a popular area; bicycle propped up on its stand in an alleyway. Left in the middle of the road, why? The owner must be somewhere nearby. Tibetan Singing Bowl sounds swirl around this bicycle, empty sack tied on the back, with a box on the front. There’s a presence of the owner – choosing to leave the bicycle in plain sight… he must know that everyone knows it’s his. It’s like the whole world is one large room; domestic life without walls, centuries of open-air living. There’s this quality about India – if you’ve ever been here you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s not about visiting ancient sites or jaw-dropping experiences that fill you with awe, it can be simply the fragrance of incense, candlewax, ironed cotton clothes; an aura arising from something olfactory, the strange familiarity of cooking smells.
Fragments of people’s lives; a hugeness of ordinary things, a sense of loving-kindness and well being in the millions of every-day events taking place inside homes. Inside my home where we’ve lived for nearly five years, the Tibetan Singing Bowl Meditation track has birdsong, a sound like an aircraft passing overhead, voices outside quietly whispering. I look up to find the music has stopped, sounds from the world enter the room, faint daylight coming in through the glass patio doors. What’s the time? 6.00 am.
I am restless. I am athirst for far-away things.
My soul goes out in a longing to touch the skirt of the dim distance.
O Great Beyond, O the keen call of thy flute!
I forget, I ever forget, that I have no wings to fly,
that I am bound in this spot evermore.