Home: Questions and Reflections

Home: Questions and Reflections
Dana at Govindaji Temple, Vrindavan, India

Fred and I are home and feeling India’s true distance (7,000+ miles).

Since settling back into our routine, (and experiencing significant reverse culture shock) I’ve begun to ask myself these questions:

“How do you successfully paint India’s portrait?”

“How do help the reader feel the dust on their feet, smell the street canals, and see the poverty amongst the auspiciousness?”

“How do you convey the sweetness of Vrindavan’s holiness and your own reality/struggles of reconciling two religious traditions (i.e., Hinduism and Christianity)?”

Reader: What questions do you have about India?

I’m looking forward to the continuing challenge of wrestling our India experience into words. Thanks for sharing this journey. Stay tuned.

5 thoughts on “Home: Questions and Reflections”

  • All I can say Dana, write it down NOW. If you wait, every day will make it harder. In all those places I’ve travlled to I always thought ‘one day I’ll write it down’. Well… one day’s too late. Even though I still have looots of vivid memories – the smells, the sounds – they are gone. So put it ALL down on paper as soon as you can in all the details as long as they are there!!
    Your question on religion would fill paaaaages – I’m sure people will agree. I have been wondering and reading about this fascination with Indian Ashrams (and did find parts of Eat, pray, love on this aspect quite insightful) as I have several friends who’ve gone and keep going.
    However, one Californian astrologer friend once said to me about all my travelling ‘You know, you can continue travelling the world all your life but the thing you are looking for is right here – inside you’. I strongly believe this – more and more so as i get older – but this would now go into far more personal things happening in my life right now. Not for the www 😉
    I’ll send you an interesting link for a medidation where ‘it’ is called ‘God/Goddess/All that it is’ which I quite like as ‘it’ really is something slightly different for every single person not just culture as i’m sure you’ll agree.

    • Thanks for your wisdom, Mary. Have you thought about setting time aside NOW to write down what you remember about your travels? You’ve lived so many extraordinary lives!

      You’re right–writing it down is essential. I kept a paper journal while in India, and it’s been the basis for many of my blog entries. Still–there’s much more material to reflect on. I found that journal writing in India was far easier than writing at home. Perhaps it’s the anxiety here of other things to do (e.g., work, laundry, cleaning, errands, mail, bills, etc). My biggest challenge for 2011: making the time to write.

      Indian ashrams are fascinating. I found the temple schedule, lack of technology (computers and phones), and quiet awe-inspiring. MVT in particular has lovely gardens that quickly became my favorite outdoor spot.

      It’s true that what humanity is looking for is often found inside of us. It’s like the old saying of, “Wherever you go, there you are.” We can’t escape ourselves–but I do think the pace of the ashram (or similar travel experiences) helps us slow down enough to become aware of what’s inside.

      I’m especially looking forward to more reflection on the question of reconciling “the sweetness of Vrindavan’s holiness and [my] own reality/struggles of reconciling two religious traditions (i.e., Hinduism and Christianity).” You’re sweet to say it would fill up pages … and I hope it will. One of my dreams is to publish an essay (or book?) on my interfaith marriage. When Fred and I became engaged, we searched for resources on Christian-Hindu relationships/marriage, and there were none to be found amongst the plethora of Christian-Jewish and Christian-Muslim publications. Sounds like a gap in the market, huh? 🙂

      Thanks again for commenting and for sharing this journey with me.

  • Thanks for commenting on Radhe Radhe. It was nice reading your stories and saying to myself “that’s exactly how I felt!” My husband is going back to Vrindavan in a few weeks, and while our time there was full of sensory overload and culture shock, I can honestly say I wish I was going back too.

  • Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment, Kera. I reviewed your November and December posts on the engagement and wedding ceremonies–fascinating! I’d love to hear more about what brought your family to India for these events (are these family members/dear friends of yours who got married?).

    Love your rickshaw photos, by the way. I was less confident about snapping photos in India. So glad you captured these moments–I’m really enjoying them!

    • The groom works with my husband here in PA. We had been planning on going to India, but not sure when, so when we were invited to the wedding we planned our trip around those dates. The groom is from southern India and his bride from Delhi. She never visited America, so coming back here to live with her husband has been interesting for her. Upon arriving in Central Pennsylvania she asked “where are all the people?”

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