Thursday, February 8, 2024

Remembering Varanasi

Hooray! Wednesday was a great, great day. Why? Because much of it was outdoors.

First, there was our morning walk. As we walked, the sky cleared, and the sun came out and I went into a state of ecstasy. I loved everything, and everything made me high. I get overwhelmed by the beauty of the forest when the sun shines.

When we were done, we came home to eat and chill. I was very happy having absolutely nothing to do. But the outdoors called, so I got out there with my wheelbarrow and I cleaned up the back deck and the courtyard of all their Winter storm forest fall. It’s really lovely to look out from my desk and see tidiness instead of shite everywhere. And my fountain works. It survived the big deep freeze. 

When the yard work was done, it was time to take you know who to the park to fetch the ball. She looks absolutely gorgeous—all clean and cut. She looked beautiful running in the park. And I was happy because the sun was still shining.

Last night, I watched a movie called Hotel Salvation. It was the first Indian film I can remember seeing, and I loved it. It helps that much of it is filmed in Varaasi. 

I went to Varanasi because my friends wanted to go there. It was easy to agree because I had never been there. We were three, and one morning we rented a fellow and his boat to be on the Ganges at sunrise. When he dropped us off back near our hotel, he said that he’d pick us up again at 4:00 and that we’d be going to the main ghat for sunset.

I had no idea what to expect, as we moved slowly down the river. When we got close to the main ghat, there were candles on half-coconut shells floating all over the water, and there were fires on the ghat, and ribbons, string lights, banners and lots and lots of smoke from burning incense, as seven handsome Brahmins let the ceremony of fire, each on his own elevated altar.

It was sensory overload, and on the Ganges—in Varanasi, the holiest city in Hinduism and one of the oldest cities on the planet. I was in tears during the ceremony. It was theatre, it was so magnificent, it had so long a tradition; it was the most exciting and emotional night of my life. And to see it in the film was very moving.

The story is good, the acting is excellent. I just loved it. I subscribed to Sundance Now, so I’ve been watching shows that were in past festivals. 

Today has dawned bright and sunny. It’s also chilly, but I’ll be outside doing more yard work this afternoon when it is warmer. It felt really nice this morning to go outside for wood and see how clean and tidy the deck and courtyard are.  I love bringing order to Pinecone Park. 

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