i’ve spent hours organizing my pictures… looking at the places i’ve been and the people i’ve met. those are always the memories we keep… if only there were ways to capture an emotion, a conversation, a moment with a life lesson realized… i suppose that is often what we are trying to keep with our pictures.

katrina said in group that one thing she noticed was the duality that exists in India. her words reverberated through the walls of my mind, as words often do when they speak a truth specific to me. i definitely spent most of the 10 days in Chennai only seeing the positive… connecting more to myself and the universe and having a great time. however our experience in Delhi, when death crossed all our minds while sitting in the car of a man who refused to listen to us as he drove us through the dark streets at midnight that were familiar to him, and frighteningly foreign to us…there was a moment where i was at peace with the moment, the fear. a fleeting thought called out to me: if i die tonight, it will be okay. it’s easy to reflect on this now with some sense of acceptance – now that i am safe and at home…but i remember what it felt like to open the passenger door en route and seriously consider jumping out of the car to face the slum streets in the dark, cold night. i remembered the anger i felt, the thumping of my heart in my chest, the shakiness of my voice as i attempted to assert myself. even as i recount this memory, i notice that i have stopped breathing…

although we arrived safely, and we met strangers who became our friends quickly, and we received a lot of help from the universe after that, the whole journey to Delhi and Agra was wrought with duality. i witnessed poverty in a form i could never conjure up in fantasy… a toddler shitting off the side of a train platform in public, and his mother spitting on his ass and wiping his anus with newspaper found on the floor of the train station, floors that have been covered in piss and feces of animals and humans. india, the country, is a public toilet, and the streets are it’s dustbin.

the duality of good and evil, of love and fear was everywhere. i read in a book called My Master, one i purchased from the Ashram, that we must learn to live in balance of the spiritual and the physical while we are here on earth. sometimes people can’t handle the physical, so they immerse themselves entirely in the spiritual. but it’s about balance. i’ve mentioned before that this word has lived with me for years now, at least four years ago when i thought i may create an MFT theory called Balance Theory. and here it is again.

India, a country of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, and Christianity, is the home for spirituality. or, it’s one home among others on earth. and while many believe and have strong faith and practice, they also act against the good they strive to be. it gets me thinking about all the dualities i saw in India – every time someone tried to rip me off and every time someone offered their time to help me, every time i saw danger and every time i was helped to safety – i think about the duality within me… every time i swear that i am good and every time i’ve ignored the bad. every time i know i love myself and every time i see that i still can hate myself. every time i want to help and every time i hurt by helping…

the truth is that this is just life. i was wondering about Shantaram, the object of my love affair for the past 933 pages… i wondered why this book spoke to me so much. was it all the clever little words? the stories of a madman? the acts of love? the stories of betrayal, the human drama? could be. what i know though is that the entire book is about duality. just read the quotes. they are often clever because of its duality, because of the pain that comes with love, because of the ongoing waves of highs and lows…it’s about living the duality. and when i ignore that there is duality, i ignore truth, thus, i ignore myself.