With a hollow noise the cable car bumped, swayed couple times and opened into the thick fog – nothing could be seen for 20 meters around, except the stony ground with rare patches of wet grass – it had been raining here. All are looking around in confusion, not knowing what’s to be done in this impenetrable fog, which promises new rain on top of that. What the hell did we come here for?
– Let us sit in a café for some time, maybe the fog will clear? I do not want to get into this wet mush.
– Will you have the herbal tea?
– Yes, I will :)
– What makes you smile?
– I remembered how Shafi was telling me with such dignity about one of the high values of this local tea – the herbs for it are picked by virgins.
– Yeah?… People like to be crazy! Virginity causes some peculiar forms of madness… I still cannot comprehend living in this madhouse, because if virginity has THIS KIND of meaning for somebody, it means he cannot be passionate and sensitive… I am sure this attitude is based on complete frigidity.
I want to laugh, but I control it, seeing that my spirit of the moment does not match the seriousness of his answers.
– But this is not always our own choice to be so shy and tense, certain concepts are imposed on us and it is not easy to get rid of them, this is why all these conclusions about “virgins” have reasons. We are all different, each and every person…
– …a special Universe? :)
– Something like that, I do not know how to phrase it…
– I think you stole this phrase from somewhere, this is why you cannot express it, it is unlikely that you think that way… You know, usually I do not feel keen on people who strenuously try to see the Universe in every person; to my mind it does not indicate about the great heart, but a syrupy fear of having your own opinion, total impotence and inability to demonstrate your taste and reveal your wishes. And what can you expect from somebody, who is afraid of revealing freely his wishes and is not keen on sincere awareness of his preferences? It’s easy to understand this fear, because if you are clearly aware of your wishes, then how will you deal with the desire to achieve what you want? It is “good”, if your wish is in harmony with your stereotypes, but what if it’s not? You either will have to live in the continuous contaminating dissonance, or start changes that can be irreversible, and who is ready for such one-way changes with unpredictable consequences? It is easier to tuck in your sincerity somewhere deep and far and keep on the surface your pretense of peacefulness and unprincipled liberality as an example of a sensible ecumenism. When at last I was brave enough to accept a small part of the truth about myself, I became even unhappier than I was before. But I am not sorry I have lost my comfort, satisfaction and peace of mind. It’s better to die than put up with all this.
I did not expect it was possible to meet such a great person for communicating in a café in Shrinagar. Immediately I felt the presence of paws of a predator within me – I’d like to possess this boy! But it made me feel sick – I did not want to pack my interest into this prosaic wrapping. I have already worked out intolerance to any kind of domesticity, and when I hear something like “they have already been together for ten years” I feel disgusted and have no doubts that regardless of what kind of people they are, their life together is a triumph of boredom, indifference and dullness… Even two years are enough to kill everything lively, inspiring and joyful. They just lack determination and sincerity to accept it and break the relationship… Just the word combination “our relationship” causes nausea.
The newly arrived cable-car throws out a noisy group of young Hindus onto the grass. They are rowdy, fussy, singing, pushing each other – it would look natural, if they were ten year olds, but being like that in their twenties, thirties… meaningless faces, bug-eyed. It’s good they are at least not aggressive. Barging into the café, they of course cannot ignore us and immediately approach us in a friendly-impudent manner with the request to be photographed with us. I refuse as politely as I can, but they only pretend they leave us – make a few steps back and try to take my photo unnoticeably. I have to change my pose in such a way they can see only my back. Lingering there for some time and catching nothing, they join their horde.
Even though I did not do anything against my will, I still had some feeling of discomfort, which appears unavoidably if you do something you do not want to do.
– Their attention is so obnoxious, it annoys me so much. If you were a girl, you would understand… All the time they want to be photographed with me. What will they do with these photos? Will they show them to their relatives to demonstrate how cool they are, being photographed with a foreign girl? I have already made it a rule to refuse them firmly, though earlier it seemed to me uncomfortable.
– You made a rule to refuse them firmly??
– Yes, and what surprises you? Do you find that it is…
– I am surprised that you refused them, but your refusal has not been firm at all! On the contrary, you looked guilty.
– Yes, you are right… but maybe it’s not so important, more to the point is that I refused.
– Does it mean you think it is of no importance, “it won’t hurt me”? This was the way I thought, but then I understood that it could hurt very much if I did not change my position, but that this way life would hurt. Well, well! The situation repeats itself.
– What situation?
– One man… well, it does not matter who he is, in general one interesting man has drawn my attention to the fact that I cheat myself in small things and explained to me small things are the most important, because big stupidities are stuck in a sieve of analysis, they get depraved and extinguished, but minors get through and bite painfully. According to him, a real hunter for the truth is being attentive to minor things, and this is what differs him from a dreamer.
Definitely, Denny is quite uncompromising, but it does not trigger rejection, or contains any aggression or arrogance. So what is there in it? Something very familiar and at the same time something long forgotten… what he says is really interesting to me! I cannot admit it completely – at first I devour his phrases without thinking too much, because I assume in advance that it is boring with people, that in the best case I will hear some stolen philosophical or esoteric beautiful phrases, which are empty in meaning – not based on thinking, working, searching and real experience. As for this guy, it looks like he is using his head, he is an independent thinker, – does it ever happen?… Though at times, in his attempts to steer clear from the stereotypes, he goes into extremes and falls into the opposite edge of total negation.
As it turned out, Denny is a little familiar with this region, and we decide to go for a horse ride now after finishing our tea, because the weather can change at any moment, as it often happens in the mountains. Nobody followed our example, and soon we were on our own, we and the fog.
I am not very experienced in riding horses, but Denny assures me that I will not have any problems – the horses are trained very well and respond to the smallest movement of a rider. This was true. At the touch of the left foot to the left side the horse turned left, the right foot – turned to the right, two feet at the same time – it went forward a little faster, at tension of the reins – it slowed down. Earlier it seemed to me, the horse was similar to a car, if you did not control, it would run into something. But such fears had no grounds – if the horse felt no control or you let it understand you were deep in your thoughts, the horse just followed the usual path, choosing the best way. I practiced with the reins, then even trotted a little, but crunched a few times on the saddle, which was quite sensitive, and after that I returned to Denny and we moved forward, side by side.
Soon the fog thinned out, the sky unexpectedly became clear and sunny, far down between the fog patches there opened a green valley, like a sea shell. We have a lot of time, the mountains are bathing in the thin fog and the scarce greenery does not shield the view. We keep silent, exchange our glances at times, thinking our own thoughts.
Suddenly Denny started speaking. He spoke, as if to continue an unfinished conversation, with an unexpected passion, as though it was stored up and now it made a breakthrough:
– It is not the first time I visit India, I’ve been here to many places. I often looked into the people’s eyes, I wanted to find answers that tortured me, but all I heard, did not bring either joy or hope, it did not contain anything lively or real. – He paused for a few seconds, as if deciding whether to continue or stop.– I cannot live just for living, I cannot and do not want to! I do not know how all these people live in their chores and entertainments day by day, they do not bother to search for the meaning of life, for the subject-matter, something that would fill their life up to the brim. I had met quite a few people, calling themselves Guru, but their eyes did not have a sparkle of the quest for truth, there was no daring aspiration to live I was looking for. In general, all these gurus have a common feature – and this is satisfaction, absolute satisfaction. Quite often it is their business or hobby. I could not put up with the fact, that even here, in India, I still cannot find anybody being a real living bearer of certain special Knowledge – leading, opening and giving a new birth, knowledge. I did not want to accept it and decided to search to the last, as I had nothing to lose and did not want anything else. You know, I quit my job. I have enough money, sort of. I have quit everything, what my friends in France live for, because there is nothing left between us… For the last two years I come home once every six months, take my money and again return here – there is enough of this money here, but I still miss the main thing – the truth I am looking for. I simply would not know what to do if I did not find it…
I was surprised with this passionate monologue more than I would be by the sight of the blue sea around the corner. Denny was already sorry he spoke, his confusion was obvious, I also felt uneasy and for some time we were silent, but this silence was not comfortable now and was ready to bite. At last I dare to break the silence and tell something in response.
People believe they hold a conversation. But in reality it is the conversation that holds or leads them, they are just the small horses, controlled by reins, they follow the conversation. As with me, I said something different from what I wanted to say. I said I could see he was uncomfortable, but there was no reason for that, I was also looking for the truth, this is why I came here, I liked what he said and I liked him… No, this is enough, time to shut up – enough of pomposity, it is all wrong, it does not resonate with the friendly feeling that has engulfed me, and every word takes me further away from this feeling.
– This is all wrong, Denny, this is all sleek dump, not living words, I do not know why I say that. What I want to say is different, but I do not know how to say it.
– Maya, sometimes I feel it very clear that this is the question of life and death for me, but sometimes it seems to me that I am going to fall asleep, return to France and become everybody else, or just a common tourist… – his voice now has no despair, just more of anxiety in his awe before the ways in front of him and nobody knows where these may take him.
– You say “I did not know”, “I thought”, “I could not put up that I did not find anything” – all in the past tense, but… has anything changed now?
– Maya, – he stopped, took the reins of my horse, pulled my horse closer to his, patted its face and looked into my eyes. – I did find something on my trips, something, and I know, I feel this has a special scent of something real, it inspires me to hope, it affects me so deeply, and I… I am a coward, Maya, I am afraid to believe in this chance, because I am scared of losing it, or not to be able, or be able, but discover a dead end again. I want to tell you a story, already for a whole year I do not know what to do with it, sometimes I am even afraid to think about it, I just get warm from it… like near a fire… it has a scent of hope, and I am afraid of it, like when you are afraid to lose the last hope. I like you, I feel you have both passion towards life and sensibility… and something else… and for the first time this year I have this wish to tell you about this meeting. Only for you. Is it interesting for you?
I nod in silence, though I want to rush at him, look into his eyes, tell him that this is amazing, I cannot believe it – some chance meeting in a café, and such a close person!
– It happened exactly one year ago. I went back to France, received the money and decided to change the surroundings and travel to Latin America or Australia. I could not decide where to go. Somehow this point seemed to be very important – probably because in my journey to India I always had the main task of the quest for truth, and going whatever way was equal for me to a refusal from my quest in favour of the trivial pursuit of impressions.
Then I had a dream: a very old abandoned building, old but still strong, but ancientry was present in its every pore. It was not far from a river – in about thirty meters. Wide marble steps led from the water to the entrance of the building. The contour of the building was blurry, but it was similar to an ancient Shiva temple – there are many of them on the shores of the Ganges or the Indian Ocean.
In this dream I heard a very strange sound – low, deep, lingering and powerful, it first went from inside of the building, and then as if from inside of me. Against my will something resisted in me, but I overpowered it and surrendered to this sound and it filled me – all of me. You know, you can feel something similar, if you stand next to a gigantic bell, when it’s ringing… This sound called me, invited me, pulled me, flowing through, turning my body into a tense flow of joy… When I woke up, I was crying from this experience of blissful aspiration, when I surrendered to the sound.
After this dream, amazingly, I had an absolute clarity – I definitely wanted to travel exactly to the Himalayas and nowhere else, and immediately. At the same day I left for Nepal.
I had no definite plans or timeframes, so when I arrived at Katmandu, I could choose any route. Yes, Maya, the REAL Himalayas are in Nepal, go there for sure! Neither words, nor photos or films can express how incredible it is there.
Next morning I was in Jomsom – a small place between two peaks at a height of eight thousand meters , Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. It is stunningly beautiful there and you can walk wide tracks. I wanted complete solitude, so at four in the morning I left the guest house and took the path to the Upper Mustang. I thought just to have a walk, because this region is closed for the crowds of tourists, as the trekking permit is about 700 dollars per person, but there was nobody at the check-post and I decided to go on.
For a few days I was wandering here and there without any interference, and at last stopped in a small place near Lo Manthang. Without a rucksack I could feel easier and could go far in the mountains, where there were no people, and once I suddenly found a beautiful Tibetan Monastery behind a small offset of a mountain ridge. It created an impression as if it was floating in the air! I immediately understood I wanted to reach it, and at first it seemed to me it would take only half an hour, but it took three hours. I was met with friendly smiles. I have never seen Tibetans, especially monks, to demonstrate curiosity. So I did not understand whether they were not curious to stare at foreigners, or they just did not want to confuse with their attention.
With the help of signs I explained that I asked for the permission to stay. I did not expect, but they were pleased to give me a room and food. I had never seen such a beautiful place that I liked SO MUCH. Even a thought flashed that I could stay here for a long time, for a few years, maybe all my life… It was still dark, when a loud noise woke me up – the neigh, the sharp sounds of Tibetan giant horns, murmurous voices. At first it all seemed to be in a dream, so irreal these sounds were, as if they escaped from the far past or from another dimension… When I understood that I was not sleeping, I jumped up and went in the direction of the noise. All the yard was filled with monks, and one of them was standing out, straight away I thought he was the Supreme Lama. He looked tall and strong, but most important – he had a piercing, firm and deep glance… You know, Maya, your glance is similar to his, I saw it at once.
I suddenly understood that I had to come up to him, otherwise I would lose my only chance to find something most significant. I was so worried, because I did not know if I could approach this man, maybe I would be kicked out for it… But something pulled me towards him, like a magnet, and I went… The monks gave me way politely, and suddenly I was in front of him – under his glare, which triggered a feeling as if I was standing on top of a high mountain and the warm wind was blowing over me. This feeling was not too comfortable, but on the other hand, it was piercing and full. I was confused, because I did not know what to do and what to say, but at the same time I wanted to sense this moment – something important happened, but I still could not comprehend what it was. I thought probably it was the effect of the unusual surrounding – softly detached faces of the monks, sharp colours of their clothing, low sounds of the morning darkness, same as they were a thousand years ago. Lama smiled slightly and seeing that I was motionless, invited me to come and see him at midday, surprisingly he spoke not bad English.
…One hour before midday I was running all over the Monastery, causing rolling laughter from the monk-boys and trying to ask where that important Lama had invited me to visit him.
Lama received me in a small room on the first floor of the Gompa. The monk that brought me there, bowed and left us one to one. The Lama’s name was Lobsang, and to my questions he said only that he was a master of tantric meditation. He continued his long journey, visiting the Monasteries, staying in some of them for a long periods, while meeting other monks and conducting classes and exams in Daramsal, Darjeeling, Varanasi and Sri Lanka. Hence his English is not bad, as these places are full of tourists, besides, he knows a few monks from France and England, who had came to India, professed the monkhood and lived here for a few years and fully settled in. Recently the Tibetan monks quite actively study English, especially if they are from the monasteries in the region of mass tourism, so often it is possible to see both an old monk and a young pupil trying hard to learn the language.
I tried to tell Lobsang what brought me to India, but all the words seemed to be empty, anyway, how can you express the hidden urge that never surfaces in your mind clearly and distinctly, but flows somewhere deep inside you like a lively spring? Lobsang was openly looking into my eyes, while I was talking, and it seemed that his glance penetrated deep into me, my words seemed to be less and less to the point and silence in between my words seemed to acquire an inmost significance, so finally I ceased talking at half a word.
Lobsang was sitting motionless for some time, as if listening to my thoughts and trying to feel them, and then he said silence can tell much more to those who can listen. He added that silence takes us where words are powerless. Nevertheless words are also needed, because people will be lost in the world of silence as their intellect lacks clarity. Upon saying that, he unexpectedly laughed loudly and happily, like a child. His short speech impressed me immensely. It was not the meaning what he had said that impressed me, but HOW he said it. If I said it, it would sound pompous, sagacious, grandiose or even stupid, but he said it so simply and calmly. While listening to Lobsang, I suddenly understood that only a dreamer would sound pompous. If what you are talking about is a reality for you, it does not sound artificial, your speech acquires power and the ability to clear away misunderstanding.
– Yes, exactly! – I interrupted Denny and laughed. – Once it seemed to me that journalism is something very interesting, and when I was speaking about it, my speech was flowing loftily :). But when I studied at the journalist department and then worked as a journalist, I faced the reality and discovered I could not speak about it in the same manner any more, just it was not interesting for people to listen to me.
– Yes, here in India I heard many times people speaking about their practice – both the pilgrims, coming for learning yoga, and yoga gurus – and their speech was always artificial, opulent and concerned, as if they were trying to catch you and they were afraid you would jump off the hook. Lobsang was the first person to talk THAT way, it was clear he knew what he was talking about, not in some abstract way, but exactly, ABSOLUTELY understood, because he was talking about his real experience. And also I was overwhelmed with his laughter – even more than with his words. I have never heard anything similar. It must be that children in paradise laugh like him, small children that had not experienced yet any concerns in their short life, and had never had to frown. Loudly, openly, easily, cheerfully. No words could reveal him any better, than his laugh. At that moment I felt such a piercing togetherness with him, which I had never experienced with anybody, neither before, nor after. Even now, when I want to tune myself to experiencing that innocence and openness, I remember his laughter, and… I am so sorry, Maya, I cannot explain and share my memory with you … I am sure you would like that Lama.
We were silent for a few minutes. Denny must have been deep in his memories, and I thought that I shared his apprehensions – those that he was talking about his fear to lose the only piece of hope. His story was so good in the beginning, and I was afraid of some banal end. Even a thought flashed to divert him with some conversation – I did not want to ruin the impression. I could easily imagine it to finish somehow vulgarly – for example, Lama would tell him to say thousand times “Om Mani Padme Hum” to make all happy… So many times I was disappointed in the end while the introduction was so involving! So many times I found in the end just a multicoloured soap bubble… So many promises, and every time they brought disappointment. I remember my delight and anticipation, when I was reading “Das Glasperlenspiel” – the book was leading to something, promised to reveal the secret of the Game, and what was the result? Nothing… nothing at all. Same thing happened when I was reading Kafka… it is as if you see a beautiful book with stamps, signatures, ribbons, introduction and epilogue, where important people write about the significance and wisdom of what is in there, but when you open the book, there is only expensive paper with monograms, but no text. I have read so many books on yoga, meditation, psychology… somebody recommends you sit in different stances, or breathe in some special way, somebody intellectualizes about gods, subconscious and super conscious mind, monads and dharmas, but in total there is nothing. In the best case scenario there is a mental masturbation, in the worst case – unhidden commerce.
– Denny, please, only do not tell me I have to say a thousand times “Om Mani Padme Hum”, ok?
Bewildered, he looked at me and froze in amazement, then laughed so loudly, that his horse startled, snorted and jumped aside.
– Now you understand me, Maya!
The road led us to a small creek, running over piles of rocks from somewhere above.
– Let’s climb up, it is beautiful there, – Denny helped me to get off the horse, we tied the horses and walked up the creek.
There is nothing I enjoy better than climbing, it is such a pleasure to jump from rock to rock, as if I levitate above the chaos of the rocks, pushing off, landing, finding the supporting toehold the last fragment of a second. Thus quite quickly I galloped up and soon discovered a very comfortable place with two small grass mounds on a big rock, locating just opposite one another. I sat down on one of them.
With a slight swish the creek flows under the rock, few drops hardly reach me. In a couple of minutes Denny appeared and settled on the other grass mound. It became hot and I raised my t-shirt, opening my tummy to the desired sun. Taking off my sneakers, I stretched and put my paws onto Denny’s knees. He grasped my feet very fondly, slightly patting them, so sensitively, as if trying to infiltrate through the thin fabric of my socks. I always feel if a subtle erotic enjoyment is susceptible for a man, when the bodies open for each other tenderly, as if covered with a veil. Such a delicate erotic enjoyment is impossible to experience with a man, if you do not feel affection, soft fondness and delight of perceiving somebody so similar and compatible for you. It develops from this fondness, being its continuation. As for sexual senses, it is all different, as they develop in the opposite direction – first a touch, then sexual excitement, and only after that it brings a splash of affection and fondness, or it may not to unfold at all. If not, sex is just a more or less intensive enjoyment, intent on breaking through with an orgasm and leaving a foul satisfaction bordering with disappointment. When I only started realizing my sexual wishes, I did not care about erotica, I wanted to receive as soon as possible what I was for so long deprived of – more and faster, to compensate for the short-received. If we were not inured from an early age to think of sex as of something “yukki”, if we had a chance to fawn with our peers, if not this terrible intolerance of surrounding adults towards the children’s erotic impulses, then afterwards we would not be obsessed with the thirst of sex or hatred towards sex. We would build our relationship rather on fondness and affection, then on the basis of the outlines of the body and readiness or unwillingness to make love. When I was a child, I wanted affection so much, but instead I received only slaps, either verbal or physical.
I am enjoying in the sun, thinking of this and that, meanwhile Denny is delicately caressing my toes and heel, slightly squeezing them. Now I feel a pleasant languor raising from my feet, on its way it is touching something deep in my stomach and blending with sparkling affection in the chest. It penetrates higher and turns into a subtle tickling delight in the throat and transpires away like a sunny mist… oh God, this is better than any sex…
– What did Lobsang say, Denny? I mean what significant did he say? I want to know, I want to know the main thing, let me know it immediately. Whatever it is, it will not change my feelings that you evoke in me with your hands, so be brave!
Denny confused and it surprised me – he seemed to be quite easy and experienced – did I only imagine him to be an experienced lover? (maybe he is a virgin??:))
– It’s not so simple… Even now I do not understand: what he has said – is it virtual? On one hand he has expressed himself very definitely, on the other… I cannot comprehend how it can be turned into reality.
– Denny!! Do not torment me, otherwise I will take my feet away from you.
This threat had its effect, and Denny continued his story.
– I stood in front of him and understood I had nothing to ask, because asking a question is not easy at all. Imagine having somebody in front of you, fully knowledgeable, and you have a chance to ask a question – one question, comprising all your quest, desperation and hope. Different stupid questions flashed through my mind, like “how can I achieve nirvana”, “what’s the essence of Buddhism”, but they were all wrong, nothing of this kind is proper to ask this man, very “clever” words dropped like dust. I knew I could not say them sincerely – it would be a lie, and only something simple was left possible to ask – so simple that seemed not needed to be spoken. I felt desperate – my life was so empty, I did not even have anything to ask, and how can I find an answer, if I cannot ask the question??
Lobsang raised his hand and made a calming gesture. Then he closed his eyes and sat in silence and motionless for a minute or two. I could not stop looking at his face. As if an invisible light irradiated him from within. You would not call him beautiful in the usual meaning of this word – there were no beautiful, perfect and proportional shapes, the features were roughish, severe, but different from what it is like on ordinary people faces. No trace of aggressiveness, no pretence of satisfaction, but a special sternness, seriousness, as if he is looking out at the rough sea from aboard his boat, at any minute ready for a hard work and to navigate this boat through the storm. Surprisingly, his seriousness was not gloomy or concerning – it was sparkling and joyful, and until now I did not understand how these opposites could blend. If I did not see his face with my own eyes, but just heard this description, I would definitely not be able to imagine it, and would fancy something tense or something relaxed – in a usual way.
When Lobsang opened his eyes, he said odd things to me. He said that the truth is opened to everybody, who sincerely was seeking it. The truth is not locked behind the seven seals, people do not find it because they only pretend they are searching for it, in reality they are looking for something else, but do not want to admit it. He also said that even among the Tibetan monks there were a lot of those, who during the meditation were thinking of how soon they achieve the enlightenment, or when it would be not too late to leave the monastery to marry, acquire property, if their practice was not successful.
He said the events in the life of an ordinary person did not lead anywhere, because the ordinary person was not interested in truth. He is interested in his possessions, in the attention of other people, in receiving impressions, in discussions about this and that, and in the result his life turns into a dump, and events of his life are just sections of this dump.
He said about a simple way to find your own path in all the senses of this word, either a simple or a deep one. For this you have to “hear” a special appeal from your inner being, and when you “hear” it, you will never take it for something else, you will never prefer anything else to it. It will seem to you to be the sweetest, the innermost, the most endeavoring in all your life, this is why it will show you your path, it will become your path. This is why you will have to change all your life, so it does not leave you and in order to “hear” it more often and deeper to become the one that it opens in you.
He emphasized that he used the word “hear” figuratively. When this appeal unfolds, you yourself become it, there is nobody around, who can also hear it – you are this appeal.
When he said that, he paused and looked at me inquiringly, as if trying to understand what I was thinking about it. This time I had no problem with the question, and I asked it immediately: “Lobsang, WHAT can I do to hear this appeal? WHAT exactly can I do?”
He nodded and said that to hear it I had to become very quiet, very quiet inside. When our distressed life is noisy, when our thoughts, wishes, negative emotions continuously change each other, in this noise we cannot hear this soft appeal. When this appeal arises, it is very gentle, and only after long practice it grows louder, until acquires the weighty sound that incaptures you, every cell of your heart and body, filling you with a blissful vibration. He said he saw that I knew what he was talking about.
I was surprised with his words and was even going to tell him he was making a mistake, I had never had anything like that, even though I understand him, but only intellectually, I understand his description, but hot the experience. But Lobsang looked at me in such a way, that I did not say anything, and suddenly it flashed in my mind – of course, this is THAT – that “sound” from my dream! Lobsang expressed exactly what I could not express myself – that the sound was not a sound, just this word was the most appropriate, it was saturated with an amazing fullness that comprised everything. It was an appeal that didn’t call somewhere, but was the path itself. Hazy memories flared up radiantly and I felt it again distinctly. With a smile Lobsang nodded – “You see…”
– Did you ask him – how to be quiet, how to achieve it? I was a bit disappointed with an answer, I was waiting for something like “calm your mind”, or “comprehend that everything in this world is an illusion”, or “imagine that in the previous life all living creatures have been your mothers and love them”, after that we better go back home as there was time for the evening meal.
I pulled up my legs and put on my sneakers.
– Yes, of course I asked. He said – first of all get rid of negative emotions.
– Ok, I see…
I tightened the laces and got up, my legs a bit numb from sitting.
– Let’s go, Denny, it is time already, I am a bit tired and hungry, we still have to ride back to the cable car for about half an hour.
Our way back was in silence, at a trot from time to time, I really got tired and did not want to talk. As if echoing my disposition, it again became foggy, hanging on low trees in tatters and bespattering with dampness.
– Good-bye, snout! – I patted my horse, giving the reins to the horse keeper. – We won’t meet any more, our journey together is finished.
Looking into the horse’s big eyes, I suddenly felt the pain of leaving it and wanted to cry. I will never ever see it again… the eternity separates us, and once it will scatter me as well… this is so stupid – suddenly to feel the pain of saying good-bye to a horse… well, no, it is not stupid, just something has broken through inside and does not want to heal.
Still silent, we returned to the car. When Shafi saw me, he cheered up (missed me, apparently :)) and opened the door gallantly.
– Thanks, Shafi. Bye, Denny, come and see me if you like. You can come tonight, only later, I want to have a meal and stay in bed for some time, maybe even have a nap. Around nine come to my “hotel”, we’ll sit and have a chat some more. Shafi, if he takes a shikara, can he find your house by the name?
– Yes, ma’am, of course, it’s the same like in the town. Here, just for the case, – he gave Denny his card.
– Sure I will come tonight. If you sleep, can I wake you?
– Yes. Shafi, you will show him to my room.
Apparently Shaffy understood it was not only the friendly relationship started developing between us, and gave me a plotful wink.
– Ok, ma’am, as you say.