Friday, June 11, 2010

Familiar Strangers

There is a saying that a stranger is a friend we just haven't met yet.  I try to uphold this guiding rule when going about my daily interactions.  Recently I have had some travel opportunities and made it to Pennsylvania, Myrtle Beach SC and Port Aransas TX. I have also been doing informal "research" by assigning myself homework. 

My summer reading list has focused on travel themes and the authors have created scenarios of deep interaction within their scope of study. 

I have been reading Familar Strangers, Uncommon Wisdom in Unlikely Places by Gotham Chopra, son of Deepak Chopra.  (A great garage sale find!!) And here he aligns his travel assignments to War Torn countries with stages of Buddha's path.  He reveals his inner discoveries of fear and death and love intertwined within each road trip. He writes a short story about an instance where he and his father discussing death and Deepak says, "until one is ready to die, can they really begin to fully live." I chew on these words and find they ring very true. To release and relax is the full state of awareness and aliveness.  

Gotham reveals a scientific finding in one of his fathers books on a trip home.  It is an old Science manual that outlines a elementary experiment, but illustrates a very significant result.  1. Put a rat under a glass globe and leave it for a few days.  result: it will use all of the oxygen and die. 2.  Put a small potted plant under a glass globe and leave for a few days. result: it will use all of the oxygen and die. 3.  Put the rat and the potted plant under the glass globe and they will coexist, providing the other with necessary elements to survive. The plant provides oxygen through converting the rat's emitted carbon dioxide.

Gotham concludes that the element that stands out from this experiment and also his traveling experiences, is RELATIONSHIP.

Pg 143, Gotham writes...."It's not an entirely mind blowing experiment--the science is fairly easy to explain. It's simple and rather cool--their only chance at survival is in their relationship with one another. Simply put, Life is a relationship."

Our relationship within ourselves is paramount.  How we open our eyelids and bodies and cells and souls to others is the next level.  How we allow and open our hearts to the collective neighbor is another layer.  The relationship of all humans to all humans is a level unto itself.  The relationship of humankind to her host mother earth grows and is strained.  The relationship of our home Earth to the Universe is also relative in our day to day existence.  

How do you relate?  I find that the way I react to things in my daily two hour yoga class is how I relate to the world.  My teacher Pamela B says that exactly, the way we react and approach life on the mat is how we react off the mat.  The on goings and communication between students and each other and the teacher.  I look at myself as a new yoga student and fast forward to today, five years later and that is the woman being human awakened I have become.  Without yoga practice I would not be who I am today.  Another path or relationship would have blossomed, but for me that was the path.  I am glad that it is unending.  There is no destination.  

Rather grumpily today, I was running an errand, taking two boxes to be shipped.  As I returned to my car in a huff, from the heat and band of back pain that has made residence in my lower right quadrant, I saw a blackbird dive toward my bumper.  The car was not on and parked still, so I glance out the window as I turn the key and see the crow nab a wasp or hornet and bite it in half spit it out, pick it back up and two gulps gone.

He shrugs it down the gullet and goes of in search of another bug meal.  I, meanwhile, am stuck staring at the memorial imagery in my mind. Life.  It is just that precious and precocious.  My attitude somewhat realigned I find a special relationship to the road and drive to the yoga class I was thinking of skipping.

Another quote from the book is the last.... PG 185... as Gotham and his father (Deepak) are spending some time together at breakfast on a train in India...

"Both of us stare at the plains outside, the strange but familiar world. 

Deepak:"At the end it'll have been a very interesting trip,"

Papa says, his eye fixed outside on the yellow haze hovering over the dusty earth."  

Gotham: "What Varanasi?" (their destination in India)
Deepak:"All of it, baby" he says tenderly, "All of it."


Friday, June 4, 2010

Georgetown Sun City Tennis

Unique Mesh Pack of 12 Tennis BallsSun City Georgetown is a  community with a bounty of activity for its residents.  There are several golf courses, garden centers, community halls, events and sports leagues.  There is an extensive Tennis community that thrives here.  The residents have formed an intricate system of brackets and substitution rules and monitor this themselves in a professional manner. 
 This Spring, May 21, 2010, Ron Niksich won the Mens A Tennis League Championship. 

Ron is a recent arrival to Sun City; he and his wife Peggy have set up "camp" in a house after five years of touring North America in an RV.  Their Rig of choice was a 40 foot Alpha Gold fifth wheel trailer pulled by a 2005 Dodge Ram Dually 6 speed.  He has recently joined the Sun City Tennis circuit, but is no novice to Tennis at this level of competition.  He has polished his Tennis skills at the McAllen Winter retreat for the last five years and played in leagues in Clear Lake City TX during his professional life. 

Congratulations to Ron Niksich !