This day was initially earmarked as a day for ‘Organization’ and ‘Project Completion’. It became, instead, a day for reading, listening, and contemplating.
I have begun to read ‘Saddhana, The Realization of Life’ (1916), by Rabindrath Tagore. It starts out: “The civilisation of ancient Greece was nurtured within city walls. In fact, all the modern civilisations have their cradles of brick and mortar. These walls leave their mark deep in the minds of men. They set up a principle of “divide and rule” in our mental outlook, which begets in us a habit of securing all our conquests by fortifying them and separating them from one another. We divide nation and nation, knowledge and knowledge, man and nature. It breeds in us a strong suspicion of whatever is beyond the barriers we have built, and everything has to fight hard for its entrance into our recognition.”
That’s just the first paragraph, and it has been food for thought for the past 45 minutes.
In the background, I have my recording of Hein Braat chanting the Gayatri Mantra. I am determined to broaden my chanting repertoire. And, in the background of the background… our neighbors up-street and down chipping away in a perpetual remodeling project behind thick walls and ancient wood doors… a tree growing in the sidewalk right in front of our casa holding the backpacks and lunch sacks of the municipal painting crew, who are slowly working their way down Calle Chorro, dressing up the facades with fresh layers of mineral-tinted stucco… the bags look like giant, quiet bats.