For the past three weeks i’ve been in the Shanta Ayurveda Hospital in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, undergoing treatments for neuropathy, a condition that i have had for the past five years.
I’ve spent the days mostly sitting on this bed, reading, writing and looking out the East facing window in front of me. I have celebrated watching the sun rise on the few days when the clouds and rain were absent. And on the occasional clear evening the moon rising above the mango tree.
I think back to my first few days here when three weeks seemed interminable, wondering how i would make it. A sense of isolation, of missing family and friends. In the evenings at dusk i’ve gone up to the roof terrace, put in my ear buds, picked the music for the day and i danced. In this ritual i connect with my soul, as the music moves through the inner realms of my body and guides me. Involuntary, seemingly imperceptible tiny movements start in my hips, wrists or shoulders and make their way through me, as if following a clear threadlike stream to every muscle.
The passage of time is marked by the rising and setting sun, meals brought and empty plates taken away, doctors visits, evening dances with ethereal beings, books begun and concluded.
I will be 65 in three months and I am touched by having, for the first time in my life, a tangible felt sense and acceptance of impermanence. That life is not static, unlike the childhood belief that i acquired by living through and enduring ongoing painful moments that i thought and believed would never end. A ‘knowing’ that time in of itself does not pass by me, rather that i and everything else move through it. Just like a dance moving through space, only to pause and start again. And with this ‘knowing’ comes a glimpse of greater possibilities for detachment, for letting go, and my dance becomes more fluid.
Today is my last night here. This evening i went up to the tiled terrace and danced one more time. My music pick was Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s album Mustt Mustt. There are more blossoms on the mango tree. It too has moved through time. The day when i thought about being here for three weeks and questioned how i would get through seems so distant, a faint image. I have had revealing dreams and insights that are shifting and reshaping my internal landscape.
I look around my room, it doesn’t appear to have changed, and yet it has. I close my eyes, breathe, and in the stillness feel myself moving through time and space.