Post Awakening – Life Begins in Earnest

I live in Sri Lanka now. It’s been four months. Awakening takes away fear – of Life.

I spent a few hours up at Koneswaram Temple which is only a five minute bicycle ride from me. It stood here since 400 BC, one of the sacred sites for Hindus, and is mentioned in Mahabharata. I wasn’t looking for the temple, just felt like climbing up above the ocean, but there it was. The same as in France when we rolled into a town looking for bread and water and found a magnificent chauteau with Leonardo Da Vinci’s grave.

A fake is a fake by a thousand names. Dragging a statue of Christ through the streets of Lisbon is no different to floating Shiva around any town in India. Hugging a totem pole beyond the Arctic Circle is the same as peering into faces of Easter Island idols. That’s why I don’t have a programme on hitting every ‘culture’ spot here.

They’ve just had the Shiva float here, it takes place at all sorts of hours, surreal and noisy, but all in good (albeit human) faith.

BUT. I loved being up there. It sits atop the Swami rock over the Ocean into the vertigenous cliffs, the crows fly between the columns, there is an air of gentle decay, abandonment and a spirit of generations who lived, believed, perished; nothing, but a fairytale left. The breeze from the ocean sings in the ears, and a giant statue of Golden Shiva gazes past you into the distance of the harbour. So peaceful, no crowds, no tourists. I shudder to think about this becoming like the Pyramids. When I saw those at 25, I wanted to cry.. from a shrill sense of impossibility to be one to one with eternity… fucking crowds, and sure I was one of them too.

Trinco, Koneswaram Deity
Sri Lanka, Trinco Koneswaram

A Temple worker perceptively told me ‘You love it here, don’t you.. come any time’. The devastating beauty of the location and a strange air of dignity that the human touch afforded it.. when you see both the military ship patrolling the harbour AND a giant turtoise splashing at the surface.. just fills one with gratitude for being part of it all… in this needle of space and time.

I could die there tomorrow, and that would be OK. The Divine Aloneness, even when surrounded by thousands is the Gift of Awakening.

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