Reminiscences for my Friends by Manatita
State Capitol, Austin
Temple-Song-Hearts in Songs of The Soul, NY.
It was a joy for me to visit Texas recently and to give social time to my loving younger Sister and family. I also got the opportunity to see my first Sister, whom I had not seen for 41 years. My Younger Sister, Laslyn (Mom called her that because she thought, unluckily, that she was going to be her last child. Anyway, she has stage 4 cancer, and so I devoted some quality time to be with her.
She is sociable and kind and empathetic and self-giving, just like mom; perhaps too much, in her current state of health, but there you are. When mom passed two years ago, my older Sister, Pearl, was in Houston, dealing with some immigration issues, and so she could not come for the funeral. Also, she was abroad on my first visit to Grenada in 1986 and so we missed each other then.
Texas as you guys know is huge and so is its road too. Everyone drives in Houston, but Austin – only 3 hours away – is different, cooler, bustling with life and full of vibrancy, like a flower. There are many youths there, and the University and campuses are buzzing.
The Library is huge and full of excellence and the State Capital building was full of tourist and pretty immaculate, too. In Austin we drove around and walked all day. In fact it was while there that my sister showed her first sign of illness. We had just climbed the steps to the first floor of the Library, when I suddenly missed her. I turned around, and saw her sitting down trying to recover. Those steps did take their toll!
Apart from spending a lot on doctors as in New York also, nothing much else happened but to spend quality time with my Sis, and so I travelled to NY on the 16th August, for the Sri Chinmoy August Celebrations Golden Jubilee, my main reason for travel.
Songs of The Soul, Skirball Center, NYU
I went to Manhattan only once and that was for our Songs of The Soul Concert. Following this I went to the Nuyorican café, to recite poetry, and left about 0130 hrs, I believe. Their style is very different from London. They really know how to enjoy themselves.
There was a bar and a DJ system and even a hired MC to entertain in between poems. They were also much bigger with lots of seats. There was a slam going on which I missed. These guys and girls were good but dealt in the mundane so I would not have stood a chance. I have found in London that my poetry is too sublime; too profound for many.
Mostly I was in an enclave in Jamaica; Queens, with 1100 – 1400 people just singing, meditating and praising God. We visited the Aspiration-Ground Temple from about 4a.m to 2400hrs, although functions ranged from 9 – midnight with breaks in between. Our sweet enclave is an epitome of beauty.
Originally a clay court, one would not think so now, as it is adorned with beautiful vases and pots of flowers. It also has pretty green overhanging trees, is full of fragrances and seems shut away from the mundane. It is a welcome oasis for peace and tranquillity. Every day we have different countries performing their songs, verbal and instrumentals, plays, videos, recitations... and we do have walking meditations also.
Well guys, enough for now. Needless to say I came away fully charged spiritually and raring to go and I’ve since answered many letters, written a few Hubs, and done a full weeks work. Welcome to the real world, Manatita! Wake UP! (Smile).
Manatita, Bard of Solace, 7th September, 2014
Skirball Center, NYU, 2014
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