March 5th, 2006



i'm now in the New car/van down to rotterdam
with Sebastian, Helena and Frank

This morning i woke around 9:30 or so
it was not a great sleep
i felt all groggy
Leo talked a bit

then left
on his way to the mass...

i lay in bed
feeling my body.

just in sivasana
just feeling my body could feel everything going on
well.... the pain...

the soreness...
strange imbalances
strange rhythms...

my body feels like a foreign place
like all of the terrain has changed.

as i paid attention to things...
as i felt my way though things
awareness would blossom
and pathways would open..
my throat
my sinuses
my ear

it's simple
i know
if i'm present
all will take care of itself

it's not just getting out of the way of my body
but releasing it
while devoting myself to it
subjugating myself, in a way
... as a servant.

i then started in on some yoga

everything is so tight
and so sore...

and where as i had excellent feelings of awareness and wholeness in bed
while i was moving around my thoughts were going everything...

and if what i need now is concentration
perhaps my style of meditation must change as my life must change

not so much moving... more stillness...

i went down stairs
took a shit
enjoyed looking at it
ahh... the dutch inspection shelves...

need to firm it up a bit...

then a shower
all the tricky water controls...
when will we live in a perfect world where all the showers work properly?

so hard to get out of the house...
i futzed about on the computer a bit
getting my self together
i felt a panic to rush out the door:
Leo was at church
but we weren't meant to meet at the Centraal Station to validate our Eurailpass and get reservations for our trip to Berlin
meanwhile: i had plans

so i threw all my gear on
there were wires all over the foyer...
the mass was being recorded for radio today, oy vey...

i had to pump up the tyres of Marcel's bike
so... figuring out how to do that
then the phone rang...
it was Mixalis thinking he was calling Leo
but he chatted with me
and chatted and chatted
while i struggled to get my bike to the door
then the technician guy came through and grabbed the cables
and thank you thank you
and i explained the mix up, gave him Leo's number
and he gave me his in Crete
ok ok
he told me i should drink whiskey
warmed up
with cloves
and honey
yes yes
thank you
by this time i had wrestled the bike out of the door
and had walked it down the street a while
but we were done now
i said good bye
got on the bike
and rode round the corner
down the street
to my favourite local turkish place in this neighborhood (back when i lived here)
different people working there now
i asked a girl to make me Two Lamachun
got an Ayran
and sat down to breathe...

good to drink...
and the food

each bite was like warm LIFE
felt so nourishing
like i could feel my legs pulsing with life again..
was i just starving?
i hadn't really felt hungry til now (for days)
but my stomach wasn't really ready for two of them
so i ate one and a half
thanked the other half
and tossed it
back on the bike...
and off to find the Laagte Kadijk . . .

i was shocked by how i found my way through the city
how i remembered almost every turn
knowing where i was
the big streets
the little
through the traffic...
how everything worked...
the nostalgia so strong
sweeping me up with excitement and joy
and all of a sudden
i was there
wondering which way to turn next
i was there.

jumped off
took some pictures
what to do here?


no time, gotta go
winding down
trying to find the way i wanted to go
(past the swimming trees)
... it opened for me naturally
an adventure
an invitation
a welcoming.

i parked the bike
said hello to the ducks... the strange birds
wanted to take pictures right away
wanted to hug the trees...
didn't want to piss off the ducks.

the trees were slick
from all the snow
the ice
the moss
the algae...

i walked slow
the ducks grumbled at me
then swam over asking me for food...

i took some pictures

i grinned like the fool i am

people walking by...

but gotta meet Leo
so i'm off
past Henk and Joeke
through the Waterlooplien
down to the NieweMarkt
that alley to the Oude Waal...

to chain up the bike
and write a note...

when Leo called me to tell me he'd left his passport at home
Oh, OhKay.
so i wrote.
and i walked
and i bought some groceries.

Mercury retrograde
round and round again

Lost in the train station
looking for Leo
standing behind a pillar
i'm one side to the other and back and forth, oh.

we eventually meet up
go to get our pass validated
and there are no window seats left for tomorrow!
i'm heart broken...

but on we push
Leo walks me out of the station to catch the 5
but then it's all the way back by the door we came out of

i keep forgetting...

but i've got to get going quick!
back to the house to grab my lap top to take on the trip to rotterdam so i can write while sitting in the car...

then over to sebastian's....
when i leave the rectory
the wind is blowing and big wet snow is falling fierce...
by the time i get to Sebastian's door...
it stops.

i helped clean up a bit from yesterday's ritual
folding up all the clothes
wrapping up the copper wire on a spindle
which is what i'm doing when Frank arrives
and we all get ready and GO

the new car that Sebastian borrows is nicer than the old one, which had no back seats
this one is posh
little van/car thing
i don't think i'll get much writing done here
we talk most of the way
i write for a little bit
not looking at the screen... staring out at the scenery..
the Modernity of things outside of the old cities

that war torn city that rebuilt it self in part like a depressing british neighborhood
and part like an art project

a huge factory... refinery or something
looks like a giant art deco toaster or something
smooth round metal walls
with some hard edges for accent
a few hundred feet high

-- the Sheik's neighborhood warms my heart as my eyes recognize it
snow falling
we all get out and quietly walk inside...
a lecture going on...
the Sheik sitting in the kitchen
i walk up to him
and drop to my knees
and instead of grabbing hands
i throw my arms around him

which is strange
my relationship with him used to feel much more equal
but now he feels like a sight for sore eyes..

a man who is special (to a community) because he is a Vortex of love
he is love
he is loving
he is lovable

a man who is lovable!
how rare!?
a man who is loving!

when i was here in 2002
i was much closer to that
how i aspired to be
to love all
be loved by all
be love
shine love
share love

now i'm feeling lost and scared and ...
it felt amazing.

so we sat down for the beginning of Zikr
the music started
one of the men, i don't remember his name
but the dark skin
the deep eyes
he plays ... a lute? something like it
then an african type drum from a white boy...
then the iranian drums
then the singing
then sebastian is a dervish
and i'm shivering
and i'm swaying
and i'm praying
and i'm saying
la ilallaha il alla
-- there is nothing but god
and i am dancing
my hair is flowing
and my head is opening
i hear things pop and move
and i'm laughing and i'm crying
we've got it going on

it's short today
the Sheik is ill too.
only slightly longer than a half hour
we wind down
we come to rest
he calls me over
we talk
we mostly sit next to eachother

there's drama with the other white people
the dutch people
there always was before
the same thing that challenges me with the naraya
certain people needing SO much attention
maybe it's just cause they're greedy...
maybe because i am
maybe because they're asking for it
so he gives it
where as
to me
he offers it
so i get to receive it.

dinner is much simpler
but good
and the sheik goes off to bed.

we sit and talk
the sheik's daughter-in-law asks me about yesterday's ritual
Sebastian and her Husband are translating so everyone is understood
i tell her it felt much more like lift triumphing over death:
many people are born dead
they live dead...
until eventually
they die
or they burst into life screaming!
...and they surrender into being carried by those who will bear their weight.

she asks me what i would do, right now, if i found i had two weeks left to live...
i tell her i wouldn't try to see the world, taste the foods, feel the feelings...
coz i've already done that
i'm still doing it
i love it
i would find someone who i trusted in the art of dying
in such a short period of time
i would want someone who could help train me
so i could do it gracefully.

then a cake comes out
for a birthday
and more music is made
more songs are played
- i record one with my camera

and we go...

but on the way home
we stop by another of Sebastian's friend...
an Old Man
90? 80? 70?
who knows
you can get old at any age
but he couldn't use his legs much
severe arthritis

great mind
walls filled with books

Sebastian put me on the spot telling me to suggest a project for his old friend
-- i imagine him naked on a bed surrounded and entwined with young bodies

everyone laughs
or blushes

but most elderly are ill because they don't get touched enough
i see him rubbing his red arthritic hand
and i so badly want to reach out and touch him
but don't know if i can ask
how i'm feeling...

and it's time to go
and we get back home
i go and get "in the city of shy hunters"

return to Sebastian's...
where he shows me pictures from yesterdays ritual..
ah, the sweet face of Ito..
we look so beautiful!

then he and i and Johnathan and frank
sit around the table and talk
talk talk talk

Leo invites me down to a bar
but how could i possibly?

this is what i love
talking with friends

and Sebastian shows me the journal i left at his place
made out of my jodhpurs


mercury retrograde
guiding the way
tricking us in the steps...

i go home
make sandwiches with Leo for tomorrow's trip

but it still takes me a long time to get to sleep