Ancient Egyptians believed that upon death they would be asked two questions and their answers would determine whether they could continue their journey in the afterlife.  
The first question was, "Did you bring joy?"  
The second was, "Did you find joy?"

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Joy Squared

I'm sitting in an almost dingy hotel room in Siliguri, West Bengal.  I awoke in time for the sunrise I might see if I were still in Darjeeling.  The view from my room here is of an abandoned, trash saturated lot and a highway.  I have no idea where the sun would be if I could see it.  The rain that started in Darjeeling two days ago, lingers here.  It is dreary.  When I arrived last night I checked in, went to my room, ordered room service and watched Richie Rich on HBO.  Sometimes you just have to check in and check out.

I'm hoping for good wifi in Varanasi.  Ha.  That's a funny thing to say.  I'm going to one of the spiritual epi-centers of the world and I'm hoping for good wi-fi.  That's funny because I've been noticing how my defense mechanisms are already kicking in even before  I get to Varanasi.  It's a place that makes non-woo-woo folks stand up and take notice of the aggressively energetic vibe.  I bought a string of beads yesterday and stood for 15 minutes deciding which one held the best ju-ju.  So, the woo-woo in me is more than a little nervous about encountering the ju-ju of Varanasi.

If I was a good spiritual pilgrim I might tell myself, "NO INTERNET IN VARANASI!"  Force myself to just be with the experience, process it internally, let it rummage through my psyche without any back up.  But, as I discussed in the last post, I am a sloppy spiritual pilgrim.

No.  That's not true. Well, maybe it's true.  But it's not entirely true.  There's another reason I want good wi-fi, besides the ability it gives me to check out of intense experiences when they become overwhelming, and that relates to why I started to say, "I'm hoping for good wifi in Varanasi," in the first place.

This reason is summed up perfectly by this picture:

That's the quote that greeted me on the balcony of The Classic Guest House in Darjeeling.  It made me laugh when I arrived there alone.  But the main reason I laughed when I saw the quote and didn't get a little bummed out in a "oh, right, thanks for reminding me that I'm ALONE and that I have NO ONE to share this trip with," kind of way was because I have so many of you to share this trip with via the internet.  And, it does, indeed, increase my joy.

Plus, I figure if all the monks I saw in Darjeeling can walk around with cell phones glued to their ears, I can have my electronic outlet and still be a spiritual pilgrim.

I started to write a very short post in which I was going to share with you these few pictures of young monks playing cricket in Darjeeling.  You see, I don't have good enough internet to just upload ALL my pictures (maybe in Varanasi! See where I'm going with this?).  But these few pictures bring me particularly great joy.  And I wanted to share them, the pictures, and it, the joy.


auntiemao said...

As you know, I have been particularly keen on your current location since before you left. I thank your lucky stars that you have good Wi Fi there!! If you can spare the time and energy, TELL ALL.....xo....

Kirstin said...

You've definitely been sharing the joy and I've loved every minute of it! I am seriously transported regularly through your entries and I thank you. xoxo