Poland, again. Kopecknice. 28th December 1994.

“Last evening a friend put on some excellent techno-trance. I joined him , lying in relaxation posture, on my back, and let my spirit free. It felt so good. To lie there, on my back on Poland, the world stretching out around and under me, turning so slow, but always turning. Time eternally ticks on and life’s river flowing through my mind brain.

Somehow the negativity of these last months softened as I recall this life I call my own.
I began to feel good-proud of all that I have done and the memories that I, and life!, have created for me.

And crying in joy I realized that all of this, that went before, is all that has created ‘me’. The person identity that I felt recently I had lost somehow. I feel happy to carry this history. It no longer makes me feel tired. It inspires me, again, simply, to carry on.

Now I shall try, in words, to recall some random picture memories that build my story. There shall be no chronological element, only each picture coming in its own time…nudging the next into being.

As in meditation.

I remember

Walking behind my friend/mentor/lover, Jungli Baba, in the Himalaya. My elphin friend- connection also with us.His joy in showing us these mountains…his long dreadlocks flowing down his strong, black back, as, on his hand-hewn crutches, he hopped, nimbly, along the barely, visible, buffalo tracks. “Koosch Raho” and chillums, by the running streams. The magic of our precious friendship and the delight felt in being able to help him share this, his land. The struggle over the cliff faces and ridges. The night time ice and wind storm that drove us three from the starry crow’s nest, overlooking the twinkling lights of the plains, into the cattle shelter, that let in the rain….then invited into the family house where an old man sat weaving cloth on an ancient loom. Incredible gratitude for this intimate , pure acceptance. The higher and higher winding climb, out of the forest (jungli) into the snow and stone line. Yak and wrinkled, bent Himachal people. Chai and biscuits in the chicken and dust, ice-blown, half-boulder summer shelter at Triund. On the run from all society and judgement, up there, free. A special trio.
The night in the the deserted shepherd’s village, finding a room not too full of dust and shit. Lighting a small, day fire, huddling together in the candle light while the wind and snow howled around.

The journey down from Triund and the tripping night in the cave-shelter. Sex under a blanket, smelling of burning wood and old sweat. His twinkling eyes as we took the easy route down…down…down to his dog, Raja, and the luxury of his hippy-painted cave he called mother.

I remember…..

The intensity I felt in Scotland as I sat in the ‘caravan-house’ in Ardfern with new met friends. We went in the 2CV to the sea-loch in the night. Laughing, they prepared the tiny dingy and we rubber-ringed rowed across to an old, wrecked ice-breaker, floating , dark in the night. They left me there and I listened to the night- so old and ancient, this land. The dark headland stretched out into the sea and the moon sent me wild to  my bones. I heard the song of this ancient land as the waves lapped and the night birds screeched out from the cliffs and heather.

I remember….

The smell of pine sawdust and ice in Chitkul, Kinnaur, as alone I stepped from the the grey, government, bus into this glacier surrounded rock and wood village.

The wrinkled, leather, curious, traditional faces.
My new ‘family’ Debgiani and Gurugee, leading me at ease to their wood and stone house.
Shitting on the rock landslide. Washing my clothes in the ice water rushing thinly across the stones, bashing them with a rough, wooden paddle borrowed from a passing woman.

Helping in the fields as they ploughed with yak, and hoeing. Sitting with the baby, rolling balls of wool from the hanks already prepared. The women’s laughter as I joined them, watching amazed as they offered their food to the yak’s horns and the land.

I remember….

The children in Kalash valley, hitting the walnuts from the trees with pebbles.

I remember….

Arriving in Vagator, Goa and seeing Subash and Sue’s chaishop, so well remembered from the year before.The baby, Babu, torturing the chickens and their ecstatic welcome as I would my way down the cliff to greet them….

I remember….

The night we played music around the fire, in the top cliff edge, with magic tree platform. Sitar, tabla, good friends and the moon-star-lit view over the Gulf Ocean…

I remember…

Dancing on the beach in Diu, whirling around and around, in the flat scrubby dune landscape. The fisherman’s huts with the round, corn-breaking, circles of cowshit, ash and water. My hair in a fluro-rag mane from Rajistan….

I remember…

The endless crowded, ‘om’, journeys across India. The speeding, bangra-playing drivers, the hard seat to luxury bus chaos of coming and going. The buffalo and the maize field, coconut tree and water-pot carrying women. The sacred cow of painted horns, the scrubbery, the desert and the temples…

I remember…

Pushkar and morning puja with Chacha from the Hari Krishna temple. As the sun rose I cried for my grandmother and threw my rice and sweet, flowers and humble offering to the gods, the fish, birds and monkeys…

I remember…

A house in Om Kareshwar overlooking the island and the river. I, in a white widow sari everyday. The sari lesson in the Dhramsala, while my travelling friends drank vodka in the holy town, I left in anger, to explore the town on LSD. ‘Came up’ as forty, wild, very poor women re-wrapped me correctly, with their well-practiced hands, into the eight metre cloth puzzle. The Shiva Parvatti procession of drums and chairs, dressed up like the holy couple, in red and gold fabric. Pulled into the parade and meeting the monkey, beroo baba…

I remember….

The magik connection at London parties. As the sun rises outside and all the good friends accidentally met and re-met in extraordinary places. There they are, stamping and twirling. There she is, in high step, whirling her hair. Another friend in fancy dress, like a shaman witch. And her, a towering giantess channeling big boots into the earth. And him, in spider-crazy stepping and shaking his dreads. The unison of 1000 feet, the fluro-fantasy of our peculiar family. Then there is him, bruised in the speaker. And over there another friend bouncing and leaning into the wall of sound. Over there another is so earthed, strutting and moving around, eyes wide open. Then him, shambling up and down. Him in crazy, gangly abandon. Another friend over there, shaking his head and, with very pointy boots, from side to side. Over there she bounces high, skipping to the beat. He step- sliding, breathing through his mouth like an ‘O’. The swamp-tight, techno, warrior women. The hardcore. Then him, so swift, every sound translated in a controlled whirl frenzy. Those paced and gentle truths, on the outside slightly. The ‘flying Scotsman’ so fast and full, the funky techno-terrorist, fancy steps and tight control. The party appreciator, often sitting and listening in time. She is flying with purpose, blonde hair tied back and smiling at the sun. The beautiful twins, earth stepping, fairy shamen, concentrating on the ground. Another flaps and stomps around them. And there he is, sitting and taking it om’. And on and on, and ‘so and so’. In crazy theatre we make peace with our lives….

I remember…

Dancing on the roof at sunset, alone, silhouetted against the city chimneys and ariels, as planes took off to everywhere. I too was leaving again soon. Meanwhile the Nottinghill Carnival wound, slowly down below…

I remember…

The time I had two birthdays and we took mushrooms on the beach. The huge revelation of ‘ONE’ that struck me, forever to remain and haunt me. The walk to Arambol, a paradise fishing village, along the parched, sea out, white beaches of India…

I remember…

The times with my Kalash friends in North Pakistan, an incredible, parallel, existence. Open for always, able to return. My pain at their treatment and bleak future…

I remember..

My grandparents magical mansion, so full of Britain’s history, family history. A 9 acre garden, a paradise all of my grandfather’s making…

I remember…

A tree-house my brother built once. The opening too small for his big sister. When he fell from it and broke his arm..

I remember…

The story of Millie and me. My old London taxi and first, ever car. The journey to Slovenia, over the Alps, the Rainbow gathering, the ‘taxi’ service and return via my German friend’s secret self-build, around the festivals in England, then to Scotland. My house in Edinburgh, then to Berlin via London…all ending after my broken love affair, a wreck after a head-on collision.

Rust in Peace old friend…..

So many memories. really it is the smaller things I need to write down, the connections. Slowly, slowly they will ‘come out’.

But now, my pen is exhausted and I need to stop.”

 

 

 

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