August 27th, 2011
“I am not afraid of dying. I am afraid of being forgotten.”
“And when I die, and when I’m gone, there’ll be one child born in this world to carry on.” –Blood, Sweat and Tears
It’s almost 11 pm but I can’t sleep. My head is buzzing with the processing of the workshop activities and other hilarities of life. Our group of about 15 students is so wonderful. I am one of the younger participants, and the only foreigner. I am joined by many education professionals, teachers, principals, and published authors who are all lovely and have come with open hearts. My elegant and intelligent roommate Rama, currently snoring in the bed next to me, serves as a principal at a fancy residential school in Puree, a town in west India.
The Delhi ashram is a very nice facility, built in the modernist era when everyone thought concrete was God’s gift to humanity. Every room and wing of the ashram guest rooms is built in the shape of a hexagon, after Sri Aurobindo’s symbol. There is a health center, a library, classrooms, and a large, beautiful meditation hall.
It is interesting to see another branch of the Sri Aurobindo ashrams. The dining room is much smaller, and the food has a bit more variety than in Pondy. (They have chai at breakfast!) In Pondy you also need a meal pass to enter, here you just go eat.
Our workshop activities have been a combination of sensory free writes, a group story, object descriptions, and a free write inspired by our favorite song. One activity was meant to get us to stop observing with our minds and use our senses instead. The blindfolded person in the center had to touch the faces of those around her to guess who each one was. Hint: it’s really hard. Our days are punctuated by tea and samosa breaks and lively conversation. It’s going by as quickly as my usual bag of guavas in my backpack. (I love guavas. A source of amusement for my colleagues, I try to explicate that we do not have the yellow fruit in the lush but gelid pacific northwest.)
I have written a lot in the last two days, some good, some that I am unsure where it came from. I will post some after the workshop is over. It has felt wonderful to get to write for no one but myself. Writing blog posts is a different thing, with a consistent theme and audience. Blogging has certainly gotten me in the habit of writing everyday, allowing me to dive into my expression at a deeper level right away. In these activities I lose myself, free to scrawl whatever bubbles to the surface.
Tomorrow evening I’ll be heading to Arti’s house, which is fortuitously in South Delhi as well, only a few subway stops away. The Divine above has definitely been watching out for me so far.