A woman called me by name this morning. She was standing on her stoop a few feet away as I passed on a motorbike. She was young and tall, wearing a beautiful green dress; her home was filled with dust and children.
A strange neighborhood in a strange part of the city. It’s Maha Sankranati, so the narrow streets were filled with people and cows beautifully dressed for the harvest festival. That’s why I was there, wandering through to see painted animals and intricate ragnoli drawn in chalk on the threshholds.
I looked back, driving off, and made eye contact with the woman. She was confident and happy. And a complete stranger. Unnerved, I told myself she’d been a worker at the massage place I patronized yesterday… but it’s not an explanation. I just walked in with no appointment, filled out no paperwork, never gave a name.
Things have been even more uncanny than usual. Beautiful adventures in embodied and non-embodied mental states, mostly; plus the usual India-vivid dreams. And days full of weird moments that make me shudder: like a big old coconut whose water comes out carbonated, an ecstatic funeral procession for a corpse covered in flowers, a cat wailing like a baby during lunch at Mahesh Prasad.
Last week, at the moment of a power cut, the combination lock on my door refused to open, only to let me in after I’d finally given up and spun it to a different number. In the next moment, my flashlight also suddenly stopped working, but went back on when I emptied the batteries and found they had been mismated negative-to-negative.
There are sleights of hand, and shifts of mind, in the gaps between what I can explain and what I can’t explain. An interaction with a woman I’ve forgotten, an accidental flick of the carriage in my lock, a side-track taken by happy accident between deep relaxation and REM sleep.
Being here shows my awareness some of its present limits. Tonight I put aside the Lydia Davis and Bhagavan Das on my headboard in favor of Being and Time. Here's from page 322…
Uncanniness pursues Dasein and is a threat to the lostness in which it has forgotten itself.