Friday, June 3, 2011

birthday gift in form of violence

it is my birthday and who knew what shape, color and tone a birthday gift would take and from where it strikes? a violent assault. here's the story. hwubby arranges for us to go to chinatown to have birthday dim sum. he has thought it through. he has to go to san francisco for business and he wants to spend as much birthday time with me as possible. so he decides to take along his bike while we take the bus to chinatown. everything is fine. we have a lovely and sweet conversation while waiting for the bus. it comes. hwubby sets the bike the way he always does. the way every biker always does. on the rack in front of the bus. i get on the bus first. which seat should i take? front? or back? back seats are more elevated. has a little wider, more open view. so i go to the back seat. hwubby pays. we continue our sweet exchange. i barely pay attention to when the bus stops and restarts at the familiar stops. after all this is the bus that i take to chinatown. now i don't recall whether i or hwubby catches this first. as i blog all i know is this. i realize a guy, a bearded guy, is trying to remove hwubby's bike. i am in disbelief for a moment while hwubby is already sprinting forward. i start to yell, stop him, he's stealing my husband's bike. while hwubby is jumping off the bus the guy is already on the bike. i get up and run out of the bus and run and towards this guy. out of the corner of my eyes i see several people gather at the far corner of the block. the guy is across the street going towards the far corner. i am on this side of  the street, running and screaming at the top of lungs, he's stealing my husband's bike. hwubby is running after him, losing out further and further as this guy turns the corner, passes the cluster of people at the far corner and disappears out of my view.

this all happens eleven in the morning. on my birthday. i am still rattled and unsettled. i gather all the will and strength i can pull together. i meditate. i see the rudram, the vedic hymn praising lord rudra, beside the bed. i sit down and chant it. very soon i get the inner message. do a rudram saptah. midway through i hear this message. deal with things as they are. i know what it means. the video of what happens auto-replays in the mind along with questions of what if, should have, how come those people just stand by and watch all this, if only i didn't...

i struggle out of bed, have a sip of cooling coconut water. these lines from the poem 'breakthrough' comes to mind. 'resistance, lack of understanding, and the inability to surrender created one wave after another. i was struck by each wave and washed clean.' yes, it feels like that, being struck by a towering wave. so i suppose i am in the process of being washed clean. i have no idea yet what it is being cleansed out of me. whatever it is, may the power of grace grant me the strength and resolve to go through what i need to go through.

and then there are these two lines right after the previous lines referenced above. 'each successive breakthrough came at the peak of intense tapasya. and it was also the fruit of that austerity.'

is this the peak yet? i don't know. has the fruit been borne and ripened? no idea. to be continued.


  1. Everything is karma. At least, you knew what to do to try to deal with this karma. The bicycle will be forgotten, but meditation and the rudram you will never forget.

    Harry Chitrakar Kottler

  2. Torahnanda, Did this really happen or was it a dream alohananda