Wednesday, 6 March 2013

my gypsy dream realized

i wake with a vague discontent.

"it's time to leave this little slice of heaven," i think.  "I want adventure, some travel in rickety Indian buses, crammed to capacity, bouncing over pot-hole-riddled roads - flying a good 6 inches off my barely-padded blue seat, followed by a tail bone- slamming thud that forces an unsought "Ayyyy!" out of my mouth, as my vertebrae ripple from tail bone to neck.

why would a 65-year-old woman crave such a thing? 
because it's a kind of cultural DisneyLand ride. a sublime challenge.  how much can i let go?  how much can i merge with a group of travelers whose lives are nothing like mine?  creating internal mantras that whisper: "as my heart beats - so does theirs.  as my blood courses through my veins so does theirs.  as my chest expands and collapses, so does theirs." 

besides, there are too many Russians in Arambol now.  the ratio of posters, flyers, and notices in the Russian cyrilic alphabet now outnumber those in English.  Russians everywhere.  tall powerful blond woman with babies suckling at their breasts.  naked blond Russian babies running jubilantly through restaurants and on the beaches. strong sturdy solid little tykes with broad smiles and determined faces.  hardly ever crying.  fat and content - looked after by their barrel-chested fathers and smiling amber-eyed mothers scantily clad in tiny wrapped and draped sarongs.

"I'll walk along the beach, then go to Dylan's," i tell myself, needing a plan to catapult me out of the oh so Shanti Shanti calm that envelopes me. "then after breakfast, i'll figure out where to go next.  maybe have a coffee to snap me out of this heat-lulled stupor.

and then my whole attitude shifts when Pierre sits down next to me.

1 hour after arriving in Arambol, I met the dancing Pierre and Emilie at the Prem Joshua concert.  on the free side of the billowing sarongs stretched to form a wall of color.  we just started dancing together under the full moon and hung out together like old friends.

i hadn't seen Pierre since, but now we pick up conversation as if we were long time best friends.  with complete openness.  with depth and transparency, we share ourselves.  for 3 hours we sit on the cushions on the floor and communicate our fears and longings, our joys and raptures.

leaving Dylan, i think: "what an amazing place this is.  i think i'll stay a bit longer."

then evening, after dinner at Magic Park, as a cool breeze blows off the sea of Arabia, i hear music as i approach Mohan's.  my step quickens.  my heartbeat speeds up.  a smile spreads across my face.

and sure enough, when i arrive, Sergei, the Ukranian accordian player gives me a full toothy smile.  Maria Peligro (a chilean singer that i know from istanbul) opens her eyes wide and flashes me a huge laughing welcoming.  Jaime, (the chilean guitar player who i also know from his playing with "Billie Not on Holiday" in Istanbul) welcomes me.  i lean over and kiss the head of my Turkish musican friend Firat, who is squatting on the ground playing darbuka.  he turns, hugs me and kisses me on each cheeks.  the other Ukranian musicians smile and nod at me.  AND OF COURSE, WITHOUT A MOMEMT'S HESITATION, I SLING MY BAG UNDER A CHAIR AND START DANCING!!! in the only place available, as the musicans and spectators spill out of the small restaurant, in the street.

Sergei swigs whiskey from a tall, squarish bottle and breaks into song while accompanying himself on his accordion.  the baby-faced tuba player puffs out his cheeks and blows the full bass notes.  the male and female violin players slide their bows across the strings of their instruments , then sing harmony.  Maria slaps her tambourine.  the full-bearded Ivan beats the bass drum, and 2 men play guitar.

song over, Sergei takes off his white panama hat, slicks back his long brown hair with his fingers, re-dons his hat, takes a healthy slug of whiskey, and shouts: "Let's go!"

the musicians rise and promonade down the dusty road to the beach playing wild gypsy music: "Ay tchiki tchiki..." as i swirl my purple and white shawl and dance exuberantly - part of this band of mad wonderful musicians.

we stop at ouside tables of diners on the beach.  i pull people up to dance with me. Russians join in, singing along.  and finally Sergie removes his white panama and extends it to the people, urging them to contribute.

we move through the sand as waves' foam fringes the coast, then recedes.  overhead Orion winks at me and Cassiopia rocks a littel moe vivaciously in her rocking chair.

like a scene out of a Tony Gatliff film.

i live out a long-held dream: to dance with a band of gypsy musicians in total abandonmnet, beneath a starry sky.

is life perfect or what?


No comments:

Post a Comment