POSTCARD #164: New Delhi: The rental agent calls to say she’ll pick me up at 11am to look at a few houses. I’m glad to be going out because packing for the move is difficult; the attachment to possessions is so strong it’s like they’re being pulled from my grasp by the sheer force of having to move from here – I hold on tight, fingertips clutching the surfaces but it’s slipping away… no choice. It’s a last minute thing, there’s a moment of familiarity, remembering this in other places I’ve been, doorbell rings, put much-loved object into the box marked ‘Give Away’ and get up from the cluttered room. That’s the letting-go, the final goodbye… walking away, the rental agent is here, get keys, step outside, close door behind me. Into the car, chatting with the agent, and we’re off.
I visit a house in a popular area… crowded. Walk up the path, open the door, go in and there’s a feeling of the previous tenant everywhere. In my state of recent relinquishment it’s like this is still their surroundings and it’s me that’s the potential new owner of their life … walk into the living room – the ‘living’ room? Suddenly I’m in someone else’s life – feel like I stepped out of my own life and into someone else’s by mistake – who am I? The world is how I/you perceive it, he/she, perceives it. We/you/they look into each other’s lives. A window opens into another realm inhabited by someone else in the network of interconnected lives. It’s just a slightly different angle on a world that’s seen, felt and understood, but through the same sensory awareness mechanism we all have.. a kaleidoscope of different coloured lights. The only difference is the ME that feels it, thinks it’s different from all the other ‘MEs’ walking around thinking they’re different too
Now there’s this feeling I’m looking for a place to ‘be’, the sense of a presence interlacing with the transparency of the presence of others. Observing the motion of the body in a sort of surprised way seeing that it can do it by itself. Gently stumbling around these empty rooms – looking for a place to sit down but can’t find anywhere because there’s no furniture. Well, isn’t this nice, says the agent, and I’m thinking, I’m tired, maybe this’ll do, maybe here I can invent another life I’ll be happy with.
‘Pretending you’re not “it” is exactly the same as “it”‘ [Alan Watts]