Searching for Peace (in India, a while ago)

woodss-2 I did some yoga years ago right after college. I did it for a couple of months before I was caught up in the war between rock and disco and needed to devote all my time to sex, drugs, disco and rock & roll, especially after the instructor tried to get me to put both my feet behind my head so far they could shake toes.

I wasn’t having any of that. Maybe a few years before when I was a hippie, but at this point I was party animal with a hard on for pushing my mind and body into the wee hours of the night and thank you George Carlin for all the laughs at Saturday night wine and cheese parties.

So it came as a surprise to me that I was sitting in the lotus position. Upside down. Balancing on my head. I’ve never done that before and I don’t know of anyone who’s done it. I can’t imagine anyone living through it. And my concerns were definitely not assuaged by my sudden realization that I was in a upside down in full lotus at the top of a trapeze in a burning tent with thousands of screaming people in it.

“Fox?” I said.

“Yeah, Biff?” said the fox.

“WTF?” I said.

“Beats Texas, Biff,” said the fox.

I had to agree with the fox on that one. I looked down at a scene of pure insanity. Men, women and children ran in every direction toward exits from the tent as flaps of burning canvas spiraled through the air to land on bales of hay and clothing, igniting new fires.

A large flap of burning burlap wrapped itself around a woman fleeing with a child in her arms. I heard them screaming through the flames as the woman ran with sizzling eyes into a post, hitting it so hard the impact knocked her off her feet sending herself and the child sprawling like burning embers and ash shoveled from a coal fire while children with flaming hair ran around them screaming for their mothers.

Clowns of fire gesticulated horror with macabre dances pounding their bodies with their fiery arms as their colorful costumes tore shags of skin from their chests and faces. Jugglers juggled balls of fire from hands dripping into their last act. A man with wide eyes stared through the flames surrounding his head, wondering why he hadn’t just stayed home today and made a delicious curry dinner for his family…and where were they? Where were they in all this terrible mess? A brother and sister gripped each other as they lay on the ground being trampled to death by crazed-eyed people running mindlessly into the horror.

It was about that time when the fluids in my body stopped being fluids and became steam and I felt myself explode into a shower of lotus bits with the realization that I was crossing from my next novel to my blog and the two worlds were becoming indistinguishable from each other.

“Hey, Biff,” said the fox.

“Take a look around.”

I looked around. I was in the woods with a camera in my hands and snow shoes on my feet surrounded by snow-piled evergreens soaring into a sunny sky.

“This is where you’ve always found peace, Biff,” said the fox.

“Yeah…but I need to find it for everyone, fox,” I said. “And I will.”

(To be continued. With my camera.)

“How’s a camera going to take you anywhere, Biff?” said the fox.

“You wouldn’t believe, fox, you wouldn’t believe.”

(NOTE: This scene was based on the circus fire in Bangalore, India in 1981. I’m certain the world shuddered that day.)

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