Thoughts on a warm evening

Goa January 2017

Here in this red-earth land of Goa each day the sun beats out it’s rhythm, arrival heralded by a cacophony of bird song that erupts before dawn, with the light the palm trees are etched into life as though some ancient  being is marking out a canvas of creation, in walks along  beaches in the early morning there is a simplicity and calmness that I have rarely found, planting one foot in front of the other, walking along the waters edge, the sight & the sound of the waves lapping or crashing, peacefulness in them both, one finds a sense of the infinite, the rolling of existence in which we are but the briefest of visitors, that it has been this way before man was dreamed to life, that it will be so after we are long forgotten echoes in time.

I am always struck by how inky black the nights are, the darkness peppered with a blanket of stars, how you can see venus making her way in the early evening, how in turn with the dawn degree by degree the darkness becomes a ghostly white, then colour by colour the palette filled, blues & greens and golds, with each colour the creatures begin to stir from slumber and move across the earth & sky, the world breathed into life.

A little after seven pm I am sitting in a cafe, just back from the beach, nestling under coconut palms, an Indian guy sings sanskrit chants, he strums along with an electric guitar, the old and new wrap & coil around each other, his voice like honey dripping from a spoon, sweetness in the dark, the sounds float away on the night breeze. The dozen or so people in the audience sit and quaff Kingfisher beer or local spirits, they eat their spicy thalis, I sip at my glass of rum, the ice chill coats my throat. Faces are lit by flickering candles, I feel warmness, contentment, I’m not sure if it is honeybee rum or the music.

My thoughts wander to another day in Goa,  “When a man and a woman look deeply into each others eyes for long enough, only one thing can happen”.  Her words stay, I did not reply to them, I understood. I remember the touch of her, skin browned by the sun, traced contours, fingers, toes, belly button, the silver ankle chain that rattled and chinked. I think of intimacy, of surrender, not of losing oneself in another, but of recognising yourself there. How often we can glimpse ourselves in the eyes of others, sometimes we find our own darkness staring right back, sometimes another person  shows us light and our possibility, what matters is not what we see but that we recognise it for what it is, stripped free of thought and want and need, that there in that space, eyes wide open one person to another we find understanding and we find freedom and maybe even what it means to love.

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