Thursday, March 25, 2010

Girl Gets Out for a Night, Packs Breast Pump but Leaves Mama Hat At Home

I live on Capitol Hill, so I've been "among people" regularly since Katherine was born four months ago. But I've yet to go to a fullblown event out on the town. Til Last Night.

"Krishna Das and Deva Premal are playing tomorrow at the Moore. I'd like to go, but I've been doing lots of fun stuff lately. Why don't you think about going?" says my husband in a fit of thoughtfulness.

Cramming one last nursing session in at 15 minutes to showtime. She blows it all down my back, on to my pants, splashing to a puddle on the couch. Change, or eat? Food, I need food. There I find myself, among the spiritually fashionable, wearing a plain old shirt with dried spit up on the left shoulder.

But, spit-up-free Kimberly and I made it. On time.

Survey the scene as we're seated. The sheer number of prayer-shawl-like scarves: overwhelming. And I could feel a part of myself wanting to make fun of the bamboo flute player, standing in his shiny gold shirt, tight pants and bare feet.

And the moment Deva opens her mouth for the first sound of the first part of "Ohm"... I am instantly grounded, instantly released from cynicism, instantly transported. Yes, to a higher realm, there I said it. Have a listen to one of her CDs. You'll know what I'm talking about.

"Won't you join us?" she says. All us of there invited to sing along. Her voice spreads golden honey. Shakti. Love. Swirling feminine divine. I think of my sweet girl baby at home. Tears pool in my eyes from the swell in my heart.

We sit in silence between each song. Like the fourth sound of "Om": a + u + m + Silence. An integral part of the sound Om. After a few sets, darkness on stage, then Deva in soft light, kneels on stage. "Time to get down," she says with a wry smile.

She invites us to chant Om Shanti Om - 108 times. She'll do the counting. Breath in. Go. Om Shanti Om Om Shanti Om Om Shanti Om Om Shanti Om. I'm working hard to keep up with the fast pace of the chant. Like on a run, I sip in air every fourth cycle. The tops of my ears start to tingle. I realize the secret of the mantra 108 times. It's another form of pranayama. Breath control. As you vibrate the hell out of your body. Quite literally.

I'm left fantasizing about waking up each morning to chant. Creating a community to join with me in chanting. Forget church. I've yet to find "my home" on Sundays. But Chanting? Yes. Chanting I think can be my church.

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