Greetings from the Land of Enchantment: October 2005

Monday, October 31, 2005

Good morning. It's Monday, Halloween, after an eventful weekend. I wish I had a camera because my roommate is dressed as the Queen of Hearts today and she looks stunning. A red (fire engine red) sating princess cut dress with straps and little rhinestone closures. So not her cool space-chic, Princess Leiah gig she usually has going on.

Movie recommendation: Prime. Terrible name and I don't usually like Uma Thurmann but she pulls it off in this movie--genuine and fresh. The kid in the movie is amazing. I've never seen him before and, although my Jewish friends say Meryl didn't quite pull it off, I thought her performance was good. But what do I know, a WASP from small-town Texas?

It was especially applicable to me and my circumstances--37 surrounded only by younger men. I can be thankful I'm not divorced. I can be thankful I'm not about to have my heart broken by a younger man--despite my transient and often mislaid crushes. Most of the time, I can be thankful I'm single, truth be told.

We made halloween cookies this weekend--they weren't a Martha moment, to say the least. But it was fun visiting with friends and making a mess.

May you have an uneventful Halloween. Blessings on Dia de los Muertos! Sat Siri Akal!

Friday, October 28, 2005

20-year reunion

I just returned from my 20-year high school reunion. What a trip! The town I grew up in is much the same as it was--only a little more worse for the wear. I got there early and drove around the deserted downtown. Wal-Mart killed it more than 10 years ago and then left. The high school is now where the Wal-mart used to be. I bought some flowers and took them out to my grandparents grave. I got a little sad at the thought that here they were, lying in earth that wasn't even theirs. They were from dry-farming country up in West Texas but had lived their last twenty years close to my parents in this small Central Texas town. I left the cemetary and drove around some more--a little lost. I had several hours to kill before the reunion, so I took the chance that my childhood friend's mother would be home. Sure enough, like clockwork, I see rugs resting over the rail and know that it's cleaning day in the Brien household. We visited and made beds (I napped) and then she fed me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and we were off to see the property: her daughter's house, her son's business, some old friends from church who work with their family. It was a reunion of sorts in itself.

Later, I met my friend for dinner at Mary's and then we headed out to the football game. High school football in Texas is a ritual that most people from the east or west coasts would find completely foreign, yet here it still exists, blazing in all its glory. Fathers screaming at their sons to live out some uncompleted life of their own; girls in their outfits looking good for the guys who will probably end up marrying one of them eventually; the band is still the band.

It was a perfect night. October in Texas is lovely. Our team won the game. Then we're off to the banquet hall. Only a few people showed up, but we danced and stayed up until 2:30 in the morning talking about nothing. I later find out some of the tragedies my friends have lived with and through in the past 20 years. But for that evening, it was suspended animation. Very little talk of work, very little talk of family, just shooting the proverbial S___. I think it was a relief to everyone that we didn't compare successes and failures. There was no bravado. There was a little "what could have been," but even that was cut short by the reality of life in the present moment. I think that is what struck me most. How very real everyone was. However surreal it may have felt.

I was reminded that I have friends. I was reminded that home never really looks like what you'd like it to, but it is home nevertheless. I was reminded of where I come from: good people.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Some pictures from Solstice

Well, much of what will be posted is sort of "old news." I have some pictures in my in box that I'd like to share and this seems the best way. As many of you know, I took Amrit this summer at Summer Solstice here at Ram Das Puri. I don't have any pictures of that but I do have some from my first time at Solstice. If anyone out there has pictures of me during the Amrit ceremony I would be obliged if you passed them along to me.

This picture was taken the night before the Amrit ceremony. We all stay up through the night singing and chanting. Very beautiful. I couldn't have slept anyway so having an organized slumber party was the ideal prelude to the morning events. This is my dear friend Sahaj (on my right) and a friend from Vancouver, BC, Ad Purakh.

Going to Solstice for the first time combined with moving my entire life and starting a new job the Monday after it was all over was quite the experience. I highly recommend it--if you've laid the groundwork, that is. The community here is really growing, so there are several new people in the sangat which helps. Plus, some of the old-timers have been really kind to me and have ushered me into seva and song, which has been a blessing.

My friend Jude took this shot. A beautiful view overlooking the bazaar tent at sunset.

This is Sahaj and I during a break the first day of Tantric. We had a powerful time together. I think the picture below must be us at the end of the day; we look to pleased to have more ahead of us!

White Tantra in all its Glory!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Moab, Utah

This is me on my way here from Seattle, Washington. It's a photo that really represents the transformation I was in the midst of making and continue to live here each day.

Just over three months ago, I picked up my entire life and moved to Espanola, NM. It was scary, but it's been the best decision I've made (or that God made for me) in years. I miss my friends but I'm beginning to make new ones here.

I'm new to this so I'll keep it short for now. More stories and adventures from the land of enchantment in the coming days.

Sat Nam and Blessings,

Sat Purkh Kaur Khalsa
(aka Chiara Huddleston)