Sunday, June 24, 2012

Merry Christmas, Hare Krishnas...

Husband and I ran an errand today without the kids. On our way back, and within just one mile from our home, we found ourselves behind a giant, slow-moving float: The Hare Krishnas were in our hood. 

The Hare Krishnas, as it turns out, are always in our hood. They have a temple a few blocks north and west of our place. We see them about once a year. I remember the day after we moved in ...12 years ago ... we heard the sound of tambourines coming from out front. We ran to our sun room and saw a small parade of 12 (or less) Hare Krishnas: Rogers Park diversity in full force within the first 24 hours of home ownership! 

For anyone following this blog, it seems like I may be on some sort of path: I'm searching. Or, I'm just getting old. Or, I'm getting old and starting to search for something. I don't know, but 6 months ago, two Kundalini yogi's called me up for some marketing work and nothing has been the same since. 

Actually, a lot of things have been exactly the same. But other things have been remarkably different. In short, I've chanted mantra and I read Russell Simmons' Super Rich. I treated my kids' liced-out heads with essential oils instead of chemicals. I started doing more shopping at Whole Foods. And amazingly enough, I still haven't taken a damn yoga class. 

Regardless, this kind of spirituality, chanting mantra and making personal changes, is stirring something up inside of me more than any kind of forced, organized religion (Catholicism) has. And because I want my kids to be less freaked out about stuff than I was at their age (more on this later), I called the kids immediately: "Get your shoes on and meet us out front in 3 minutes. The Hare Krishnas are having a parade. Bring the iPad."

They didn't know what was going on. By the time we got to the front, the kids were still inside. I called up and Little Guy answered: "Who in the heck celebrates Christmas in the middle of summer?"

"I said Hare Krishna, not Merry Christmas!" I yelled from the yard.

If you look closely, you'll see the rope in the middle.
Two confused kids and an iPad ended up downstairs and we high-tailed it up Sheridan Road to find the float. I was worried we had missed it. I would have not been worried about missing it had I realized that the float was moving from the slow, but steady force of at least 100 Hare Krishnas pulling a rope that was attached to the axle of the giant wagon: Slowest. Float. Ever.

What a spectacle! 

I don't even remember what traffic in the southbound lanes of Sheridan was doing ... it was either getting redirected or it was moving at an absolute snail's pace behind the float. Northbound traffic proceeded cautiously.  In the float, an amplified Hare Krishna was chanting mantra:

Hare Krishna
Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna
Hare Hare
Hare Rama
Hare Rama
Rama Rama
Hare Hare

Now, as much as you probably want to sing this to the tune of George' Harrison's "My Sweet Lord," that's not how it went.  Focus.

I haven't made any commitments to new practices yet. And until I came home and Googled it, I didn't know what this mantra meant. But I will tell you that after 15 minutes (to travel 2 whole blocks) of hanging with the mantra-chanting Hare Krishnas, I felt good. Happy. Not enlightened, because that's going to take some work on my part, but good.  They're throwing out good vibes and I'm picking them up. Is this what happens when WASP's sing Amazing Grace on Sunday morning? I don't know, Amazing Grace usually makes me cry.

Positive vibes of peace and love? Or just that I was self-indulgently patting myself on the back for literally grabbing my children and running to see the parade, where my parents would have grabbed me and run in the opposite direction. 

6-Year Old Me: Who are they?
Parent: A bunch of god-damn weirdos. Stay away from them or they might take you.

Evidently the Hare Krishnas have this festival in our park every year. I don't know if they do it on the same weekend (like, if this is a celebration connected to a holiday), but if they did this last year at this time, Rodd (my father) was in town.  Actually, we were in Wisconsin a year ago today for my first Olympic-distance triathlon with Rodd.  But I can't even tell you how much I giggled at the idea of Rodd being within touching distance of a bunch of 'god damned freaks in their weird little orange dresses singing about peace and shit. Get a god damn job and some pants.'

It made me wish that teleporting was possible. 

I can hear them chanting from my bedroom window as I'm writing this piece. I'd like to go over and chant with them. But even more, I'd like to take a nap since I've been awake since about 2:30 this morning. 


Clearly, my path is a little twisted. I'll get there, even if it takes so long.

1 comment:

  1. Good positive energy, is good positive matter where it comes from.