What’s on top?
This week I read The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga. Published in 2008, it won the Booker Prize. I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a book this much. Written in epistolary style, in this case as a letter (epistolary can also mean using other documents such as newspaper clippings, diary entries etc to tell a story); powerful, so completely readable, spiritually challenging and inspiring and with violence present but not described in explicit detail- I don’t like reading or watching violence.
I also watched the film Lion which was great, so good to see a film about India in India, and the film The Art of Loving about Michalina Wislocka, a ground breaking Polish gynaecologist who fought to educate women about their bodies, sex and contraception which was also very good.
I also came across this great blog post, which this post is named after, about one’s individual journey and individual wisdom, which was inspiring and reassuring.
I also- at last- finished reading Kim Gordon’s autobiography. This quote explains everything about how in the UK I managed to survive and enjoy moving to the country:
‘Small town silence almost obliges you to have inner resources, which the racket of New York doesn’t. New York is all about distraction and what’s next.’
In fact, even now, with so much writing to do about what has happened so far, I often say, I need it to be boring, just so I can catch up. Otherwise it’s like those cartoons of the rail track being laid as the train is coming, as fast as I get stuff typed, more stuff happens. (Which is churlish of a writer to complain about really- too much material- rather than writer’s block.
But even with writing the book and this blog, even with reading two books at once, watching films and having in depth conversations with my husband, I do still have moments of restlessness. My life used to be so pressured, my work was so pressured that I burned out in the end; so that this quiet, delightful peacefulness is still an adjustment. Rather than rush to fill it with, let’s say, going out or drinking, instead I am sitting with it, using it to reconnect with and build upon my awareness: seeing beauty everywhere, feeling love for my husband, which is after all where and how my awakening began nine years ago.
We are still here in Varkala so not much to report. It has been raining most days although these are pre monsoon rains, the actual monsoon is due on 29th May. We have bought an umbrella, plus porridge, raisins and long life soya milk so that we can cook porridge at the guesthouse if it is too wet to get out at mealtimes. We have been eating lots of lovely masala dosas from the cheap local cafe, plus vegetable curries, delicious Indian breads, and fresh juices. (But yesterday I went to the tourist area and treated myself to good strong coffee and Marmite on toast for breakfast, heaven!)
I have maintained my confidence in myself and my writing this week, and worked hard for four days, two sessions a day, on Chapter One, which is all about getting the idea, finding the strength to follow it through, decluttering and letting go of possessions, and escaping the matrix. In a few days I hope to have a 9,000 word draft that I can show my husband. Added to Chapter Two, about arriving and Delhi, 4,000 word draft already done, that’s not bad going. Next up, Goa, then Hampi, and then Varkala (bringing us up to date).
Thank you very much for reading
See you next week