Admittedly I can’t complain about the surroundings. In a world that seems to be engulfed by the mass hysteria of covid, I find myself a far cry away in the south coast of Sri Lanka where subdued solemnity of the outbreak still rings in the air, though with less chaos and more calculus.
I’ve had really bad PMS today. I was meant to hang out with R- and his friend on a beach in the next town over but we went our separate ways this morning. I’ve spent the day leaning into my own company. Like I say, I can hardly complain. The hostel has an open area with a Yoga Shala (currently occupied by a beautiful tanned girl meditating and pressing on her third eye. The pressure is changing and it feels like there’s a tropical rainstorm brewing and a part of me is wondering whether she’s controlling it) and a widened expanse of greenery that I’ve stared into all day, in between bouts of writing, reading and meditating myself (though no weather control for me).
Over the last several months, my menstrual cycle has synchronised itself with the lunar one, so as she wanes to a crescent and disappears into the fabric of the night sky my womb starts its ‘moon’thly shed. I see increasing significance in the cyclical nature of this and today I’ve chosen to honour her and rest. There is a Buddhist temple somewhere behind the hostel and there’s chanting coming from it. It mingles splendidly with the sea breeze and hits some part of my brain that knows and loves India in the same way and I feel strangely at home though strangely misplaced. Duly observed.
Earlier today I found myself wandering to the beach with a book in one hand and my Birkenstocks in the other. In a place where nature is so…. just… everywhere; is it normal to find oneself more activated? More aware of the way the mind drones and the absence from the present becomes so potently observable?
I was, anyway. And these last few days I’ve noticed a certain discord.
I have everything I want and need to be happy. In anyone else’s mind I’m ‘settled’, nicely. Got the home, the man, the career, the ring and the promise of nice holidays like this one around every other corner. And I’m not even putting on a show for Instagram anymore. I’ve genuinely got it all. So where is it? The gratitude? The sense of accomplishment? Contentment? Self love? Peace?
Recovering from depression is weird. Today, as the waves lapped against my ankles and the salt precipitated on my skin I found myself pondering over the last time I felt really and truly content. Happy. Not in fear of what was round the corner or coming next. Without fear. The last sustained period during which I thought I was truly happy was instantly preceding my three year long dark night of the soul. And after that, there were perhaps days and sometimes even weeks but it was all so fleeting.
It’s darker. More rustling. More chanting. A text off R-. “Just at Salt Mirissa. Having a beer. Where do you want to have dinner?”
Will I ever be happy like that again? I was once an optimist. I once looked at life and saw all the bits where the sun danced so they’d sparkle with light. Not that it was a good thing because I pushed down all the shadows until they came back and engulfed me. I’ve come out of all that but this isn’t balance, Gowri. There’s an underlying tone of sadness at this critical point where we have hauled our gears out of depression but where anxiety still looms, where self love just seems to escape me and where it could go up again or down again. But which way? Will the sunlight dancer ever come back?
Darker yet. The breeze has picked up into a wind. It feels cool against my sticky skin. Maybe I should join R- for a beer.
Contentment and peace. I’ve written about you endlessly but heavens do I just long for you. I long to be somewhere and think to myself “There is nowhere I would rather be than right here, right now”.
Rain. She definitely summoned it. Its glorious by the way; pass on my gratitude to your third eye.
The thing is, if I can’t think that here; can I think it at all?
Friends who read this; don’t worry. This too shall pass. It’s just nice with all the tropical storm to catch the one inside and let her spill over onto the pages of the web once in a while.
Love Gowri x