Walk to Kovalam Shala…

by Joanna D.

…a collection of random thoughts.

Next year, I’m getting a scooter. How hard could it be to ride one of those things anyway? It would be cooler to have a bike. Yeah… one of those rad red ones. Maybe not. Start with a  scooter.

“Good morning. Rickshaw?” Do I want a ride…?
“No thanks.” Yeah, I don’t know that guy. Rather walk in the dark with the dogs and cats and lurking amphibians. Ha. Oap. There’s noodle. That’s kind of mean. I really shouldn’t call him that. Sorry dude.

Kind of wishing I could not go back. Just send all my junk back on the plane and keep traveling. Maybe I could get that job in Bangalore. No. Mysore? Something different. Maybe north. I do like the beach. Could go ask Dharma for a job at Molly’s. Would definitely want a bike then.

Pretty ready to get in my car and drive though. Philadelphia… what a trip.

That’s a big rat.

What ways to invent myself? Reinvent. I want to sing! Going to have to just make that happen somehow. Maybe start a band or something. No. Maybe. Shit. Seriously? A band? WTF? Don’t think there will be much time for such shenanigans. Need to learn as much as I can. I want to know what he knows. How do I do that?

“Good morning.” Jesus…
“Good morning.”

What is dedication anyway? Just showing up? I mean that is some level of dedication right? Is dedication giving up everything you have known or identified with or somehow identified as what you know? Is dedication quitting your job and traveling across the country? Across the world! Am I dedicated? I mean, I think so. I’m walking 30-40 minutes every morning in a strange country to practice on a concrete floor while being serenaded by a thousand crows and the occasional lung full of burning garbage. Such is India. But is that dedication? Is dedication coming back to my mat even though it’s hard? More than hard even. Sometimes outright futile seeming. But not at the same time… shit.

“Good morning.” It’s Milton! Wonder how many papers he delivers daily.
“Hi, Milton. How are you?”
“You remember me.”
“Of course.” Glad he didn’t come yesterday…
“We had a long break and are now meeting again.”
“Yes, it has been a few days.”
“Your specs… why?“
“My glasses? Oh, I am usually wearing contacts. You know?”
“Yes, I know these.” Does he really know what I am talking about? It’s nice he doesn’t talk the whole time. Or is it weird that he just rides his rickety bike and keeps me company? Don’t mind it really. At least he stopped asking for my number.
“Today is my birthday.”
“Oh! Happy birthday, Milton.” Auspicious. Leap year baby.
“Yes, very good day. See you tomorrow. Bye, bye.”
“Bye.” Too funny. Milton, the Indian paperboy. I hope he gets a new bike for his birthday. Actually I wonder what they do for birthdays here. I would have asked had he not been so quick to leave. Usually lingers a little longer.

What was with that guy yesterday? Kalam. Man! Straight up propositioned. It must work for him though. Otherwise he wouldn’t do it, right? How much play does he get I wonder. Two, three a week? Or does he just pick out a couple per season? He’s a pro. Seriously. These guys man. They know what they are doing. Need to have a buddy system when going to the beach.

“Morning.”
“Morning.” Yes. Next year a scooter.

Holy cat! So many cats. I wonder how Scarface is doing. Poor dude.

The temple is dark today. One of the cool parts about this walk – the frangipanis. Oooo, that’s a good one. And another… awesome, four. Sweet.

What happened here? Feels like something terrible happened here. This part gives me the creeps. Every time. Sending love and blessings. Love and light. Perhaps she died here. Someone died here. Love and light, love and light.

No snakes. This is good. Come on dog. What good is it for you to bark at me. It’s 5:30am, you can’t even see me. Really. Chill out. Six more paces.

My legs already feel like lead. Come on, up the steps. One… two…

Three people here already. I’m going to go over here today. Going to rock it. Sure as Hell going to give it what I got at least. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

Ok… rug, mat, towel… 

Samastithi.