Rafiki / For All To Read- re my trip back home after 2 decades

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by springwater, May 24, 2008.

  1. springwater

    springwater Well-Known Member

    Rafiki - I seem to have deleted the first post while editing and have tried posting mine again but cant find your post in your profile...sorry for goof up)

    ___________________________________________________________


    I'm back. After a week long holiday in my hometown in India. A hillstation. I must say Im feeling refreshed altho very sad to come back.

    I missed this board tho. Tried looking it up once or twice tho time was so limited. And the places not internet friendly.

    My kids enjoyed the trip even tho my son didnt like it at first...they both havent travelled much and he didnt like the road journey upto Darjeeling too much. But perked up considerably because of the cool climate and the novelty of seeing some place new. We left him to his own devices mostly, which was roaming around on his own and going to the internet cafes and communicating with his friends back home. The internet cafes are either having 'server problems' or there is no electricity or usurped by foreign tourists so i didnt have the patience to wait around...

    My daughter and us did the holiday-ee things; visited the zoo, which boasted red pandas but the bird section was closed, bird flu has been found in the next district Kurseong, so. Same reason we had to exist on pork and mutton. Chicken being banned completely.

    Visited St Pauls School right on top of the hill, a school very famous for its old style of boarding rules - handed down from British times....its still compulsory for the boys to wear their suits and carry an umbrella when they visit town on their off days....(incidentally my bro in law graduated his grade 11/12 from there);

    we also visited a beautiful park and Ghoom monastery - a very very old Tibetan monastery (hundreds of years)...they have not renovated it a lot but pretty much left it as it was ...it seems the foreign tourists hate visiting touched up monasteries...its also perched on a hill...like most of the houses in Dareeling are, including the hotel where we stayed...another relic of British times...going by the looks of it, awkward slanting tin roofs and wood panelling and old fashioned closets.

    We spent three days in Darjeeling and then went off to Kalimpong where I was born and raised and felt teary when i took my strapping kids to see my old town house and school and met a few (a very few) people who i knew still living in the locality...most people have gone off to bigger cities in search of jobs...

    I didnt like the town at all, it so very ugly with so many new houses but very ramshackle and unkempt...unlike Darjeeling which has some very nice buildings and charming hotels/cafes...I suppose they have more money because of the tourist influx.

    But the hotel we stayed in was again a relic of the British times, and looked like an English gentlemans rather large cottage....which it must have been at one time, and they havent changed it around much....just added some amenities...

    The highlight of my visit was going back and trying to find my old house where we had stayed for two years...a little below my school which is on top of a hill overlooking the town...a very forested woody area....and i managed to find it...!!! unchanged after 30 years...the little footpath was still the same...just as narrow and closed in by trees and bushes although they have built a few little houses on the way...but very pretty, all having little wonderfully blooming gardens and covered by vines and trees...

    I kept asking the way and it seemed i just had to follow the old path...my daughter was telling me it was so pretty...she never saw so many wild flowers growing everywhere...my old house is the last house on the winding twisting lane if it can be called that, its just a tiny footpath cut out of the wooded hill...and it was looking a little different...brighter...the new owners had installed a little gate and had painted it a pale blue. But the essence was the same, charming...a wooden house with verandah..built by an old Englishman over a hundred years ago.

    The surrounding area, thank God didnt have any new houses, it was just as green and wooded as before, I suppose not many people want to build in a place where a car cannot go and one has to walk for half an hour to reach it.

    My beloved stream which bordered the house on two sides, south and west, was alas, dried up....but you could see there had been a stream once, lots of rocky stones...th duck pond had dried up too. And the big chicken house dismantled.

    the bamboo grove was there, the fruit trees too, and our neighbours house, which is alas just a derelict house, being used as a godown by my old houses present owners...the neighbours, five beautiful sisters, most of whom were married and divorced when i was a child living there, had all gone off to Canada/America/elsewhere.

    I had been wanting to go back and see my old place for so long - and it happened and i am so happy.

    Also took the kids to see the monastery my maternal grandfather had built (I'm Buddhist) ....on top of a hill on the other end of the town...Tsang Do Pal Ri...there is a bust of him...constructed to honour his efforts in building the monastery and i was so proud to show my kids and husband. I remember playing around the shell of the monastery...just cement and pillars then when i was a kid...my grandfather passed in 1973 after the monastery was just beginning to function and house monks...

    We spent one day at Deolo Tourist Lodge, a very very beautiful place right on top of the tallest point of Kalimpong, a whole hill converted into a hotel / resort...and the views of the surrounding countryside breathtaking, that is ,when the mist wasnt creeping and swirling around...

    My depression although not completely dispelled, was vastly diminished, I didnt feel 'sad' all the time. And consequently, my energy levels also seemed to have improved a great deal. Its still there today...i suppose the novelty of having done something new and something I'd wanted to for a long long time...ho hum, lets see how it goes....

    Im glad to be back on the message board amongst all of you, tho....missed you greatly while away..and prayed as usual for everyone.

    God Bless

    Pictures of my trip at


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/24417367@N08/



    ________________________________________________________


    Rafiki

    I hope you wil one day go to India and maybe come to Nepal too! I think you will find nepal fascinating because there is so much Hindu/Buddhist culture and architecture accordingly.

    About the colonial past, sometimes i am irked when i read about it but now things have turned tables, so that Anglos are minorities and not treated to well. Only those who could not go away abroad are left. Even my old school which was built FOR orphaned anglo children now house more Bhutanese/Tibetan/Nepali kids. So i dont really resent.

    I have this strong feeling that in one of my recent past lives i must have strong ties to Britain/English way of life, because as a kid of 5 i remember being so drawn to the English way of life rather than my own Tibetan/Buddhist origins...all through school which was strictly Protestant and later. Only later in life I have started looking into and getting interested in my own traditions and religion.But i stil find the England and its traditions charming.

    My maternal grandfather a trader from Tibet altho he was Sherpa had brought this whole thick 12 volumes of Encyclopaedia Brittanica from Tibet, please dont ask me how he got them from Tibet...I dont know, this was the 1940's and maybe he brought them from Calcutta and my mom didnt know...and i used to pore over them....the stories, the pictures...very fantastic; I learnt so much from those twelve volumes. Countries, birds, architcture, ideas, fables, trains, flowers you name it...it was all there in those 12 volumes, all in glorious colour....

    God Bless


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/24417367@N08/




    _______________________________________________________

    it seems i deleted the whole post by accident so can only retrieve yuor post by going to your profile - I am so sorry....for this goof up




    [This Message was Edited on 05/25/2008]
    [This Message was Edited on 05/26/2008]
  2. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    This was a wonderfully interesting post I hope others read it-why not add "for all to read" I know people will be fascinated. Great you could get back.

    Annie
  3. springwater

    springwater Well-Known Member

    Thank you for your kind comments....Im glad yu stopped by anyone is welcome to view of course, and i am going to post this again in general.....thanks for the suggestion.

    I was editing and pasting and then it seemed i deleted the first post of this thread with Rafikis reply to it too and i cant find it now even in her profile....what a goof up!

    God Bless
  4. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    I see you erased my shameful family history. I can't say I'm sorry. It's funny how the narrative of the lives of people across the world intersect. You were raised influenced by the traditions by grandfather helped to impose on that land and I have come to adopt the traditions your ancestors held dear and deepened over millenia.

    Again, I must say that your wonderful descriptions made me long for India since you conjured up such vivid and evocative images. I will treasure that walk to your childhood home with your daughter as I felt as though I was there. I could easily imagine stepping out of the wooded area and coming upon your house. It is a shame about the streams but I feel as though I got a glimpse of a little Springwater enjoying her beloved streams.

    You are consistently kinder and more forgiving about colonialism than am I. I believe it was a great evil fueled by greed and arrogance. I am sorry for what part my forebears played in it.

    I suppose, for each of us the other's way of life has seemed rather exotic. And yes, you may, indeed, have been a Brit while I was Indian or, perhaps, Tibetan! I know that I feel both more at home and more alive there than anywhere else.

    It is good to know that I have a friend to visit when I am well. I believe I told you that I copied and saved your email so that I can google all the locations and plan the Darjeeling (and thereabouts)leg of my trip to India and Nepal including my visit to the monastery of your illustrious grandfather!

    Thank you, again, for sharing this wonderful holiday. I have enjoyed it so very, very much!

    I'm very happy and encouraged to hear that your mood has lifted somewhat. May it continue in that direction!

    It is very, very good to have you back with us again. You have been missed.

    Smile, breathe and go slowly,
    Rafiki

    ETA: Of course I remember you are Buddhist!

    [This Message was Edited on 05/25/2008]
  5. Granniluvsu

    Granniluvsu Well-Known Member

    Springwater,

    Thanks so much for posting this. Just as Annie said post for all to see. Iam sure tht is what you meant anyway but some might think they need an invitation. I just read it anyway. They will find it very interesting.

    It was a lovely "journey" !!

    Hugs and blessings,

    Granni
    [This Message was Edited on 05/26/2008]
  6. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    I butted in too and was fascinated to read your story - it's wonderful that you were able to go home again with your 2 kids. I'm going to look at your photos, love the photo on your profile.

    I'm a Brit (Scottish) like Annie and know a lot about the colonisation of India and its fight for independence. I think the way you were schooled would have made you think the English way of life was the better way. We were raised to believe that too.

    Glad you're 'home' in the States again safely, the trip must have been somewhat of a culture shock for your kids.

    Rosie


    [This Message was Edited on 05/26/2008]
  7. bevy2most

    bevy2most New Member

    Your post is heartwarming.... I hope that your visit continues to provide you peace.

    Bevy
  8. springwater

    springwater Well-Known Member

    I am surprised and touched so many people liked the story about my journey home!

    Granniluvsu - I will change the post title to what you suggested. Glad you liked reading about my journey.

    Rosiebud - I didnt know you and Anne were Brits...somehow one tends to think everyone here is American isnt it? lol!and errr..Im not from America, I live in Nepal...which is the country next to India on the north of it..it took me a 45 minute plane ride, an hours richkshaw ride (due to transport strike); a half an hour bus ride, and then two hours jeep ride to get to Darjeeling from my country. Actually, i dont know if it was my school which influenced my love for all things English...none of my friends who studied with me are like that...they just melted into the Nepalese/Tibetan way of life as soon as they finished school. Unlike me for whom my love of England seems as strong as ever...

    Bevy2most - glad you enjoyed reading...and for you wishes

    Rafiki - looks like youre not alone in your thoughts about Englands colonisation of India :) Rosiebud and Anne think the same way too!

    You really do feel strongly about injustices...and i appreciate that...like your support for the Tibet cause and British India. I wonder if in a past life you were a freedom fighter or a political leader...hahaha...altho a very nonviolent one like the Mahatma Gandhi was.

    Were you able to look at the pictures at the webpage given? I included some monastery pictures..visited three of them including the one grandfather started. Meanwhile looks like my vacation is welland truly over..hav posted a piece on depression board...if u like to see

    God Bless




    [This Message was Edited on 05/26/2008]
  9. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    I'm so sorry, I thought you were an ex-patriat going home from America!!!! Like you I think most people here are from the States, I definitely did not expect to meet someone from Nepal here.

    I've seen many fascinating tv documentaries about Nepal and Tibet and I know whats going on there. It is shameful!!

    I'm going to look at your photos today.

    Rosie

  10. Jorgie

    Jorgie New Member

    You took some beautiful pictures. Thank you again for sharing!
  11. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    Did you put up more pics? I didn't see the pics of Ghoom monastery when I first looked! Love the prayer flags in the mist! It is so beautiful! (I'm going to run out of exclamation marks at this rate!!!)

    Are you the lovely woman in blue standing outside that incredible facade? You look about 14! And, you have such beautiful bone structure... just like your daughter! But you look scarcely older that she is. It's so good to see you!

    It's amazing to see where you walked to school. It must have been a strange and remarkable experience to walk that path again. I wonder if you left some happiness there and if you picked it up again. Check your pockets!

    It must have been quite wonderful to grow up in that house in that beautiful place... with two streams!

    Your children are amazing! What a gorgeous young man your son is! Isn't it amazing how many opportunities one has to photograph a boy that age in bed! Your daughter is so very beautiful. She looks like a little girl when she gazes into the camera when it's held by a parent (you?) and rather more sophisticated when she is just hanging out with her handsome brother. Isn't that interesting. She knows you see the little girl and she reveals her... It's a little bit scary for mom that she is a young woman, isn't it. And then, she runs along a path just like a little girl. Sigh!

    Thanks for this! What a marvelous treat!

    One day I will come to visit! I hope that isn't a scary thought!!!

    Peace to you and yours,
    Rafiki



  12. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    I loved your photos, your children are beautiful and so are you and SO young looking.

    Thanks for sharing them with us.

    Rosie
  13. springwater

    springwater Well-Known Member

    Rosiebud, Jorgie and Rafiki

    Glad you enjoyed the pictures and thank you forthe kind words..about my family and myself.

    As for looking young, I can tell you i have my share of wrinkles and eye bags, maybe the camera and the distance were kind to me, lol. Yes, its me in the green outside Ghoom Monastery.

    Rafiki, I used to feel so strongly about this old rented house, my heart was beating wildly as i retraced the old path...I could see why i was so happy here...its my idea of paradise and solitude. Ironically people who had a chance to live here have all moved away...or like me, was it the choice between survival and staying? Jobs are hard to come by there.

    Both my son and daughter, 'pose', like teenagers would, quite a bit when taking pictures and i am always trying to get them when they are not aware of being clicked.

    I took pictures of the actual Darjeeling downtown but with my manual camera and will try scanning them and then uploading them...seems i just posted all the 'pretty' pictures. The town is not pretty but interesting in its own quirky way.

    God Bless
  14. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    It's a lovely house. I can certainly see why you would be happy there. I'd like to live there. I also read your description on the other board about the way people would come and go from that house, the way life was lived, how lively and happy it was. Wonderful!

    The way you write about it is also very moving. Someone on the other board said "your words are like poetry" ~ it's true.

    It is a shame that people everywhere must leave the country for the city. We are left, in North America, with a countryside devoid of small farms and owned primarily by Agribusiness - big factory farms.

    The situation in rural India has been a dilemma for such a long time I have a book by Gandhi, "India of My Dreams", which he wrote in 1947 and in which he writes about the necessity for healthy villages and countryside. During the 1990s when I was working in India it remained an area of real concern. What a gift to have experienced the kind of idyllic rural life you did while growing up. It only grows more rare. We can't know how precious our experiences are while we are having them, can we.

    I have been a city creature for my entire life. I've never really known anything other than sidewalks and traffic. Well, we did live outside a large city when I was a teen but I fled to the city whenever I could. Hmmm? We really don't know how precious our experience is! Well, I don't :~)

    You not only look young, you are young! You're only in your early 40s. That is so young these days. I'm in my mid 50s and I feel very young. It's funny that I should feel so youthful living on my couch but I do. I really think it's a state of mind. However, in your case it's also a state of face :~) You look so much like your daughter or, should I say, she like you.

    I look forward to more pictures when they are up.

    Smile, breathe and go slowly,
    Rafiki



    [This Message was Edited on 05/28/2008]
  15. springwater

    springwater Well-Known Member

    jaminhealth - glad you liked my story. A Russian who was born in Egypt..now that IS rather exotic isnt it? I dont know why, for me Egypt, Peru and Mongolia seem so remote so as to have an almost another worldly quality.

    Rafiki - most people do say they dont feel as old as their years indicate...and I dont think 50 something is considered 'old' these days....

    (Oh i reread the posts and yu mentioned you will be coming on a visit....I would be delighted to show you around...there is so much i know you would want to see here...the kind of culture and tradition you love!)

    Its sad to hear about the dwindling farmlands in N America. Giant corps seem to take over everything these days...those little family owned farms and fishing villages seemed to have so much character...

    Well, that wont happen in Nepal any time soon, what with the new government investors getting jittery...yesterday they declared a republic formally and just announced a three day public holiday out of the blue...theyre telling the king to leave the palace of his own accord or else....

    the streets were devoid of traffic because of al the rallies and i had this 3rd cousins daughters wedding to go to...that itself was a nightmare...i hadnt got a present leaving it to the last minute (ALL shops were closed) nor arranged an 'pangden' traditional apron worn by married women here when going out, worst of all, I was struck down by such a heavy feeling and lack of energy all day, lay in bed after attending to son and his two friends who had had sleepover and were stuck in the house, for a another night coz his friends moms phoned to say it wasnt safe for them to come home, violence having been reported on the streets. Probably the fact that on top of anaemia, I was two days into my cycle, and had to work more than usual cleaning and cooking for the sons friends...and my usual reticence to attend big gatherings all combined to knock me out...anyway having CFS is scary when one has social obligations..no wonder i want to hide in the country!

    Anyways, around 6 when i HAD to make a move, i got up and bathed and managed to find a coat piece or something in the cupboard which daughter wrapped for me as wedding gift, and was able to make it to the venue. And as usually happens managed to make it thru the wedding...tho hubs and i made as fast a getaway as politely possible. I couldnt not go because i remember these same relatives making efforts to come to my wedding and helping with the arrangements tho we barely interacted much those far off days...

    Rafiki, have you ever had a time when you HAD to attend something and a terrific flare happened? This scares me. What if we cant cope?

    God Bless






    [This Message was Edited on 05/29/2008]
  16. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    Well, typical me, I read your last, found it fascinating, wanted to think about it a bit before responding ~ especially to your question re "what if we just can't" ~ and I totally forgot it was here! In fact, I started wondering if you were ok (given the political situation which I follow on our news here), searched your name and found you had posted. I was relieved but then wondered if I'd said something to offend you as you usually respond so quickly and... ! So, today I looked at this thread and there was your post, which I remembered reading as I read it again. Oh dear! No brain! I do make me laugh, sometimes.

    Very sorry to hear that you are all going through more turmoil and instability. Can't be easy. Most of us in Canada don't know what that's like. Of course, being a country of immigrants, many of us do. I do because of my time spent overseas. When I was in Bangladesh there were often hartals and we would be stuck in our guest house all day, sometimes longer. But it just never happens that the streets of a Canadian city are locked down.

    Last time anything like that happened was in 1970 when Quebec Separatists, the FLQ (Front de libération du Québec) kidnapped 2 people and killed one. They had also planted several small bombs over a period of time. (There has been a sometimes uneasy peace between English and French speaking Canada since they were created.) The War Measures Act allowed the police to pick up people without going through regular channels ~ a kind of suspension of civil rights. But, by world standards it was all very tame. We have been very, very lucky to know such extravagant peace. Our indigenous people were not so lucky when "we" arrived, alas.

    I'm sorry that you have been feeling low. You certainly have reason enough! You have 3 or 4 reasons enough! It is very tiring even for healthy people to simply keep up with the responsibilities of a large and loving family.

    I often cannot do something that I would be expected to do but I have the luxury of the kind of life where I can decline and no-one can really say very much. I have no husband nor living family save a brother I hardly ever see. I have no cousins or aunts or uncles in this country. There is no-one who feels they can make a claim on me or my time. I do have my much loved step children from a long ago marriage but they are various kinds of understanding ~ all understanding enough ~ and it is my great pleasure to overdo for them when necessary.

    It makes a big difference to have the kind of independence I do. I would think that this kind of independence would be very unusual in Nepal (or India or so many places) and would seem like it must be very lonely but it suits me and it is supported by our culture. In many ways, I am allowed to live a life with few attachments not unlike a nun or monk. I am constitutionally suited to it, I find.

    I am quite a social person by nature (was VERY social) but find I have come to enjoy my own company far more than I would have thought possible. It is a fortunate arrangement for me. I am lucky. But, I suppose I would also be lucky if there were more people in my life loving me and wearing me out a little bit more! One of my kids is living with me now so we will test this theory and I'll let you know what I discover.

    I just looked at your question again because I think I've gone hopelessly off course. I know I have not answered it.

    "Rafiki, have you ever had a time when you HAD to attend something and a terrific flare happened?"

    You know, when I relapsed, I "had to" run my business and I simply couldn't. I had to pay my mortgage and I couldn't do that either. I sometimes forget how frightening it was to be in that situation where I thought I "had" to do what I could not. What I found was that when you cannot, you cannot. It is easier than being able to just barely and is not to be feared.

    When and if that happens to you it will be just the same as coming down with food poisoning and being unable to do something. You would not suffer doubt and guilt, you would simple take care of yourself and assume the understanding of those in your life. I think it is important to adopt a similar attitude about this illness. I think we sometimes project our feelings that this illness (any illness) is different and that we are failing when it stops us from doing something. Because it is a bit of a mystery, we feel responsible for not being able to always rise above it. We needn't feel that way. It isn't our fault.

    Do you know the American Buddhist Nun Pema Chodron? She has an Abbey in Nova Scotia, Gampo Abbey, and she is a world respected Buddhist teacher. She has ME and she cannot always do the things that she "has" to do. These are things we simply must accept. Wearing ourselves our with worry only increases the likelihood that we will be unable to cope. I think that Pema, like me, has gone through a period of worry and angst and guilt and frustration and has learned to simply accept that it is going to be what it is.

    But, again, it is easier for us. Neither Pema nor I need to ensure the understanding of our husbands or extended families. You must be even more centered and peaceful in your mind than we. (That doesn't seem fair, does it!) You are called upon to be more mindful, more compassionate, less judging. All I can say is that it's a good thing you have the DNA you do. Let us hope that the truth of suffering and the path to the end of suffering are encoded there somewhere just waiting to be reawakened. Thic will help you :~)

    I do not know how I would cope with life without The Path. Well, I do. I used to be such an anxious, worrying, fretting, doubting, guilty, rattling creature. The Path changed me. I didn't find it until I couldn't do the things I "had" to do. I didn't find it until I thought I had lost everything that ever mattered to me. It was only then that I learned how to cope with life.

    Ok, I have rambled on SO LONG! I have no idea what I have been going on about so please forgive me for having done so and yourself if none of it makes sense to you. My bad!

    I hope you have gotten some rest. I hope things calm down there. I hope you dogs are merry today!

    Again, please forgive my rambling!!! If I had a brain I would go back and edit but I know it would defeat me. I trust your compassion and non-judgment.

    Peace to you,
    Rafiki

  17. springwater

    springwater Well-Known Member

    Well, typical me, I read your last, found it fascinating, wanted to think about it a bit before responding ~ especially to your question re "what if we just can't" ~ and I totally forgot it was here! In fact, I started wondering if you were ok (given the political situation which I follow on our news here), searched your name and found you had posted. I was relieved but then wondered if I'd said something to offend you as you usually respond so quickly and... ! So, today I looked at this thread and there was your post, which I remembered reading as I read it again. Oh dear! No brain! I do make me laugh, sometimes.

    Very sorry to hear that you are all going through more turmoil and instability. Can't be easy. Most of us in Canada don't know what that's like. Of course, being a country of immigrants, many of us do. I do because of my time spent overseas. When I was in Bangladesh there were often hartals and we would be stuck in our guest house all day, sometimes longer. But it just never happens that the streets of a Canadian city are locked down.

    Last time anything like that happened was in 1970 when Quebec Separatists, the FLQ (Front de libération du Québec) kidnapped 2 people and killed one. They had also planted several small bombs over a period of time. (There has been a sometimes uneasy peace between English and French speaking Canada since they were created.) The War Measures Act allowed the police to pick up people without going through regular channels ~ a kind of suspension of civil rights. But, by world standards it was all very tame. We have been very, very lucky to know such extravagant peace. Our indigenous people were not so lucky when "we" arrived, alas.

    I'm sorry that you have been feeling low. You certainly have reason enough! You have 3 or 4 reasons enough! It is very tiring even for healthy people to simply keep up with the responsibilities of a large and loving family.

    I often cannot do something that I would be expected to do but I have the luxury of the kind of life where I can decline and no-one can really say very much. I have no husband nor living family save a brother I hardly ever see. I have no cousins or aunts or uncles in this country. There is no-one who feels they can make a claim on me or my time. I do have my much loved step children from a long ago marriage but they are various kinds of understanding ~ all understanding enough ~ and it is my great pleasure to overdo for them when necessary.

    It makes a big difference to have the kind of independence I do. I would think that this kind of independence would be very unusual in Nepal (or India or so many places) and would seem like it must be very lonely but it suits me and it is supported by our culture. In many ways, I am allowed to live a life with few attachments not unlike a nun or monk. I am constitutionally suited to it, I find.

    I am quite a social person by nature (was VERY social) but find I have come to enjoy my own company far more than I would have thought possible. It is a fortunate arrangement for me. I am lucky. But, I suppose I would also be lucky if there were more people in my life loving me and wearing me out a little bit more! One of my kids is living with me now so we will test this theory and I'll let you know what I discover.

    I just looked at your question again because I think I've gone hopelessly off course. I know I have not answered it.

    "Rafiki, have you ever had a time when you HAD to attend something and a terrific flare happened?"

    You know, when I relapsed, I "had to" run my business and I simply couldn't. I had to pay my mortgage and I couldn't do that either. I sometimes forget how frightening it was to be in that situation where I thought I "had" to do what I could not. What I found was that when you cannot, you cannot. It is easier than being able to just barely and is not to be feared.

    When and if that happens to you it will be just the same as coming down with food poisoning and being unable to do something. You would not suffer doubt and guilt, you would simple take care of yourself and assume the understanding of those in your life. I think it is important to adopt a similar attitude about this illness. I think we sometimes project our feelings that this illness (any illness) is different and that we are failing when it stops us from doing something. Because it is a bit of a mystery, we feel responsible for not being able to always rise above it. We needn't feel that way. It isn't our fault.

    Do you know the American Buddhist Nun Pema Chodron? She has an Abbey in Nova Scotia, Gampo Abbey, and she is a world respected Buddhist teacher. She has ME and she cannot always do the things that she "has" to do. These are things we simply must accept. Wearing ourselves our with worry only increases the likelihood that we will be unable to cope. I think that Pema, like me, has gone through a period of worry and angst and guilt and frustration and has learned to simply accept that it is going to be what it is.

    But, again, it is easier for us. Neither Pema nor I need to ensure the understanding of our husbands or extended families. You must be even more centered and peaceful in your mind than we. (That doesn't seem fair, does it!) You are called upon to be more mindful, more compassionate, less judging. All I can say is that it's a good thing you have the DNA you do. Let us hope that the truth of suffering and the path to the end of suffering are encoded there somewhere just waiting to be reawakened. Thic will help you :~)

    I do not know how I would cope with life without The Path. Well, I do. I used to be such an anxious, worrying, fretting, doubting, guilty, rattling creature. The Path changed me. I didn't find it until I couldn't do the things I "had" to do. I didn't find it until I thought I had lost everything that ever mattered to me. It was only then that I learned how to cope with life.

    Ok, I have rambled on SO LONG! I have no idea what I have been going on about so please forgive me for having done so and yourself if none of it makes sense to you. My bad!

    I hope you have gotten some rest. I hope things calm down there. I hope you dogs are merry today!

    Again, please forgive my rambling!!! If I had a brain I would go back and edit but I know it would defeat me. I trust your compassion and non-judgment.

    Peace to you,
    Rafiki

    ______________________________________________________


    You could never offend me....I know it is simply not in your nature to offend...

    i do understand the wooziness and forgetting because sometimes when i am very low I get that too, forgetting something from one moment to next...the times even kids get and hubs get amused and start laughing (not unkindly, amusedly :))That muscle/brain connection.

    The rambling...actually the more a person rambles, the more insight you get into that person..did you notice? Because the words are flowing & there hasnt been any editing...it didnt surprise me to find out you have this loving connection between your step kids...it somehow seemed quite natural..and I am glad you have them and they are lucky they have you.

    I remember the elephant who came looking for you (Im pretty sure it was that); it found this wonderful lady with loving vibes and came to look you up...Ive seen instances when stranger animals just seem to attach themselves to random people...its touching and wonderful.

    Yesterday i spent most of my time just laying in my living room floor diligently doing meditation and breathing exercises....and can feel a very noticeable difference today. I feel so much more in control and at peace and best of all energetic! Things are going thru my mind as to all the things i have to do around the house...the preceding two days i have been so mind numbingly tired/sad I thought ..."it can all go to hell, who cares?,". Whew, feels good to come out of THAT.

    Thank you for telling me about Ani Pema Chhodron...other people have this CFS and cope..it gives me comfort to know that.

    Ugh..i can tell today is gonna be this hot hot day...my daughter was telling me we should go see this movie 'Narnia' (Prince Caspian) and i think maybe I will - want to see some nice strange places...snow and all. I wouldnt have minded Indian Jones but she wants to see it with her friends... I remember a young Harrison Ford in the first Indiana Jones.. and now here he is....some decades later...and still at it.

    But i am going to make sure i achieve some amount of productive work (household chores, lol). A very bad side effect of depression and CFS combined is the mess which stacks up around the house...and reading around the boards I know this is very common for us folks. My daughter just came from a sleepover for the nth time at her friends place..this friend (one among their gang of five) is so clean and tidy, it seems she starts tidying up her friends rooms when they go for sleepovers there). My house? No sleepover yet...for one, three of the four girls are petrified of dogs and another...no energy on my part. But i am trying to feel good enough to arrange somethng...my poor daughter...its a good thing she has taken after her dad and is not so sensitive about things.

    God Bless







  18. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    Hello my friend,

    I'm happy to hear that your family laughs lovingly with you over our little moments. We must laugh at them. And, anyway, they can be very funny if we let them :~)

    Well, if one gets more insight from the rambling then you must have a great deal of insight into me because I always seem to be rambling away at you! And, I never edit because there is always the very real danger that I would just erase. You always get unedited and, sometimes, I worry, an ill considered, torrential flow of thoughts. I always rely on your kindness. I know that is a safe thing to do.

    Yes, I adore my stepkids. They are amazing people. They are a gift. We all believe it was meant to be exactly as it is. I would change nothing at all. Well, like everyone, I could not resist the impulse to change things so that my kids would be happy all the time but I know that they would not have the experience they are meant and need to have in order to learn what they need to learn. It's a good thing I don't have this power because I would delay their journey to enlightenment if I did.

    Someone else asked about "my" elephant recently and bumped him. I always feel a bit sad for him ~ he seemed lonely ~ so it makes me feel better somehow that he is appreciated and remembered by people who have never actually met him.

    I can get a bit overconfident with animals, I'm afraid. I'm sure, given where you live, that you will understand the incident I'm about to recount very well. There was a music festival in Ellora where the wonderful buddhist caves are and I was visiting with a friend. We were staying in a lovely little guest house in a ground floor room with a little terrace. Terrace sounds rather more grand than it really was. Anyway, we had bought some very fragrant fruit from the local market and taken it back to our room. We ate some and, foolishly, left in on the terrace while we took a nap ~ with the window open. Of course, we had been asleep for only a little while before our room was invaded by monkeys! Big Rhesus macaques.

    We jumped up yelling which surprised most of the monkeys enough to scatter most of them but not one very big female. She was in the very centre of our room and did not seem to want to go anywhere. I, foolishly, thought I could back her out of the room given my greater size ~ I was the bigger primate, after all. I really should have just departed through the window and let her have the room :~) She seemed well aware that she had much greater speed, leaping ability and those sharp little teeth! I did manage to maneuver her, with the aid of a small chair, to the door of the room and that's when I made my big mistake. I decided to show off my great and impressive size. I put down the chair and pulled myself up to full height and told her, in a very no nonsense way, that she should leave. She, now standing just outside the door, launched herself at my face!!! Thank goodness, I had one hand on the door knob and reflexively slammed it into the airborne monkey. She was, happily, unharmed and so was I. She had something of a reputation for being one of the most troublesome macaques which, if one knows one's Indian macaqus, is quite an achievement!

    So, I think that in another life I knew and loved my elephant. And, in another life, I knew and was hated by that monkey!

    I'm so happy to hear that you are meditating. And, even more to hear that it is doing what it does. It is amazing, isn't it! I don't know how anyone manages without it. There is so much suffering with an unruly mind. I do little mini meditations several times a day which I find very helpful. I need a lot of reminders or I can backslide very quickly. "Mind numbingly tired/sad" is a totally dreadful feeling. Terrible! One good reason to practice is to be ready, as you were, when that dreadful feeling strikes. It can be very sticky and it's not easy to let go of it. I have to practice letting go over and over again many times a day or I'm stuck. Do you ever do walking meditation? Walking meditation is excellent. Or other meditations done while doing something else with total concentration on the task. Like a tea ceremony but with something more mundane ~ washing dishes, sewing, polishing something... I'm going to try showering meditation. I'll let you know if I have any success.

    Pema is wonderful! Pema tells a wonderful story about being in her monastery following a very productive meditation session. She was feeling very, very good about her enlightening self. She exited her room and began to walk down the hall towards the kitchen where she could see dirty dishes sitting there. Her mindful, peaceful state began to fray at the edges. Everyone at the abbey has one of each thing they need - one cup, one bowl, one spoon, etc. - and each object has the person's name on the bottom. Pema felt sure she knew who had left these dirty dishes. She drifted further from her mindful state as she began to think: who do they think is going to clean up after them, why do they keep doing this?! She was quite hooked, shenpa had her, as she turned the dirty dish over and read on the bottom the name: Pema.

    I love Pema! I love the way she shares experiences like this. I burst into laughter and tears when I read this story in one of her books. I was so grateful to be reminded that I didn't have to be perfect. That, in fact, it was totally and utterly beyond my grasp. I was so relieved that I could share my own foolishness as a gift and not a guilty secret. With this story she offered me freedom from so much! I really love her very much!

    And, yes, she has ME. In different times and it many ways her life has fallen apart. She wrote a book called: When Things Fall Apart, because she understands that experience first hand. She wrote another: The Places that Scare You, something else she understands.

    Did you go to the cinema? What did you see? How was it? I'd be seeing something Bollywood were I there but, of course, Hollywood is more exotic when you are closer to Bollywood.

    You wrote about the difficulty getting housework done. Did you read the clutter thread? You are not alone! Oh, I just reread yours and see you did. Yes, it's very common. The dogs are a good excuse! Get more dogs :~) I had a friend once from a very rich family ("old money") who had an aunt who lived in a very dusty house. When my friend would visit her aunt the aunt would occasionally open up a room not often used, run her finger along a table picking up all kinds of dust and say, in a slow and languid way, "Dust. So restful." My friend told me that story nearly 40 years ago but I have never forgotten it and I often quote my friends aunt! Nevertheless, I hope you got some chores done because I'm sure it would make you feel better.

    Smile, Breathe and go slowly...

    with metta to you,
    Rafiki


    [This Message was Edited on 06/02/2008]
  19. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you and your family had a nice trip. Wonderful pictures.

    Here in Los Angeles change never stops. In small towns, like the village where I grew up, there is far less change.

    Were you able to go inside your old house and look around? Did the kids have a good time?


    Rock
  20. springwater

    springwater Well-Known Member

    I am so happy you were able to look and liked the pictures....

    I only dared to ask the lady to let my daughter use the loo and got a glimpse of the living room when she opened the doors and it was all over changed and done over very nicely. My times - we were so poor - there werent too many nice things...rather shabby furnishings but the furniture was old oak and very traditional english.

    Daughter loved it. She thought it all very quaint & pretty and of course was awed by all the space....Kathmandu being so congested.

    i remember the quote "change is the only constant" and was SO relieved it had not applied much to my little old house in the hills. I have since sat in my chair with a cup of tea many times and looked at my pictures over and over....and can feel the old happy feelings just wash over me, sigh!

    God Bless
    [This Message was Edited on 06/02/2008]