No mountain • 17 November 2008

Durvasasana is Pattabhi-drste, if I’m in range. I’m myopic, so this only works out on days I go for front row contorting, near the photograph centered up on the wall. (We are non-territorial people—different spots on different days as flexibility ethic.)  Today I was up close, a little to the left.

Toss in to eka pada—left leg standing—inhale up—look for it. Rascally guru: three feet to the right of where my craning neck would prefer.

I’m standing there on the left leg with the right foot behind the head, comfortably incarnating a ridiculous evil flamingo, but also listing to the right because reaching to gaze upon the photograph.

At which point all the following information jolts in:

an image of PJ’s open palm slamming the empty wall before me,

a bellow of “THIS IS GOD!”

and the comic twitter of Donovan singing “then there is no mountain, then there is.”

I guess it’s my Christian subconscious that has the sky opening up, birds being released, divine bellowing from on high and hands sort of writing on the wall, but on its face it was all very 1970s for a moment. Remnants of the acid I’ve never dropped loosening from my spine in a tender moment.

But that is a real story, you know. PJ losing his temper years ago, smacking a sweaty shala wall with open palm, bellowing: “THIS IS GOD!” Nondualism, you idiot westerners. It needn’t take a lot of explaining.

Caught between the photo and the adjacent wall slammed by the phantom hand, I realized: what do I need some photograph for in this moment? Some outer witness to witness? Duh. Dial back to the left, gaze to the wall, see god to the echoes of aurally hallucinated panflute, exhale release.