Sunday, December 9, 2012


Went to kirtan this evening.

Wasn't sure I'd go. So tired. Possibility of freezing rain and sleet. So sad about Fluffy. Need to get out: out of my head and out of my house.

Stayed up past midnight reading a good book. Jumped out of bed around 6 this morning and decided to head out to the dreaded Wal-Mart for Secret Santa presents. A work thing. My recipient likes Santas and detailed plastic table decorations. Spent about an hour selecting gifts for her and stuff I needed for the house. Got to the register: no wallet. Left it home because I was shopping online last night. Forgot to toss wallet back into purse. I asked the clerk to save my bag and trudged out to my car, in the cold drizzle, empty-handed.

Had a flat tire.

Drove slowly to the garage across the street and squirted in some air. How much? No clue. Til it looked better. Drove home for my wallet, then onwards to my tire place. Hours later I had my Wal-Mart bag and a new tire.

Made rice for the potluck. Did corpse pose (savasanna) on the couch for 30 minutes. It got dark. I fired up my GPS and headed out.

HI hi hi. Look at the food, Got a plate and sunk into a comfy couch. The host, Ashok, asked me, "Do you want to relax, or do you want to work? Oh, you want to relax."

I jumped up, "Oh no! I want to work. What can I do?"

So I hung up coats, organized the food (salads on the kitchen island, entrees on the table in the kitchen, desserts in the dining room), and jiggled the toilet handle. I also moved coats and shoes to the other closet (they piled up so fast in the entryway), answered questions, and got to meet lots of people. I'll tell you, taking coats is a great job for shy people.

Left to myself, I would hover on the edges. Observe. Step out for fresh air. With jobs, I talked to everyone.

Suddenly, Pierre was there. He's a friend, a fellow Reiki practitioner. Hi, Pierre! Hugs...

We celebrated Ashok's 25 years in the US. "I came to the US in 1987 with $100," he told us. Now he has a gorgeous home, his own business, and lots of friends.

Then the kirtan started. Kirtan is chanting the names of Hindu gods. You don't have to be Hindu to chant, as Ashok explained. People of all faiths are welcome. Kirtan is spiritual music. It's community. It's sound healing from the inside, and from outside. It's sound and movement, call and response. Sometimes it's quiet and slow, other times fast and loud. Some people dance.

There were talented singers and musicians there. They played harmonium, classic guitar, drums, and flute.

I sang for Fluffy. My voice joined the community of voices. I shook a purple egg, making a rattly sound. I felt like a musician. I even swayed a little.

Afterwards I helped clean up. I tossed plates and cups, lugged garbage bags outside, swept the floor, and consolidated the leftover food. There was another woman cleaning too. She washed dishes and wiped tables and counters. We talked and joked as we worked.

Out of the blue she said, "What's your maiden name?"

"Why do you want to know?" I asked. Cautious.

"We went to art school together! I recognize your voice," she said. "Michael Moore, Uris Ubans, Sheila, and Willow, remember?"


That was how many years ago? Lots. She's my age? How come she's so beautiful and I'm so old?

We were art majors. We drew, took photos, and made pots.

She was wearing silver jewelry that she made herself. She looked chic and sophisticated. All those years ago, now here we were cleaning a kitchen as the kirtan wrapped up.

Life sometimes goes around in circles.