A single word said or a simple gesture exchanged sometimes makes all the difference in what follows, as my sexually charged recasting of Hippie Drum demonstrates (without the dogs, cats, and chickens).
Rebounding from the breakup of his first sustained relationship, a hippie boy embarks on what becomes a sequence of lovers, each with her own unique sensibilities and stipulations. The colorful and varied encounters lead him to find what makes a right fit in the end.
Because of her dog, she lived largely outside of mainstream society, even of the hippie sort. Or maybe she’d selected her dog as a reflection of already living outside either world. After all, life could be cruel, even if you were beautiful and seductive, tawny and round-shouldered, moving like a lioness. … I was tempted, if only I could find her.
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In this boot camp for the soul, the road to enlightenment leads through a cement mixer and chicken house as much as headstands and Sanskrit chanting. And self-realization has more to do with serving others than with your own desires. Swami’s methods may be unorthodox and down-to-earth, but she gets results. Or else.
Vajra reflects on getting the ashram ready for the summer onslaught. He and Rudy are pushing the garden along, a piece of ground hadn’t been used in many years, it requires lots of extra care. They’ve removed so many wheelbarrows of rock that Uma swears they’re growing crops of fresh stone. Vajra insists they work in a lot of cow manure, as well as piles of peat moss. Stubborn runners from nearby shrubs and Japanese knotweed must be rooted out – real back-breaking grub work! Trenches for carrots and turnips are dug and filled with sand, and ground set aside for an asparagus patch. All of these garden assignments kept their spring guests busy. “What you plant now,” Swami told them, “others like yourselves will harvest and eat this summer. What they can and freeze for the winter, new students next winter and spring will enjoy. We’re all connected through our practice.”
A single word said or a simple gesture exchanged sometimes makes a whale of a difference in what follows. Humorous and sexually explicit, my HIPPIE LOVE recasting of HIPPIE DRUM investigates what happens when “almost” becomes “yes.” As a heartbroken hippie-boy discovers on the road to recovery, each new lover becomes uniquely offbeat or whimsical in bed – or after.
Tara was a lovely sight, sitting on my bed, wearing my flannel shirt and reading. She softly petted a kitten. “He was climbing inside my shirt earlier.”
The wisdom according to Swami is down-to-earth and direct. She has little patience for holy posturing on the road to self-realization and transcendence. Her devoted students learn to keep their feet on the ground rather than their heads in the clouds, and their experiences instill smiles and twinkles even when their bodies ache from the exertion. But nobody promised them the lifestyle would be easy, especially when they’re cleansing their souls. Here’s how one day together looked for one circle.
“There’s no letup. Swami says nobody vegetates here. She’s right. She’s always right. In a world of fast food – junk food – Swami teaches us to do things slow, to taste life as we live fully. Until I came here, I thought vegetables always came out of tin cans or the freezer. And the best food came out of plastic wrappers or soda cans.”
You can always ask What If. Suppose your answer had been different or you heard the question from another perspective or you knew what your options really were – and the door opened rather than shut in your face? For one hippie boy, that’s what happens in my HIPPIE LOVE recasting of HIPPIE DRUM. Even so, is there a certain inevitability in the outcome anyway?
This time he’s in for a wild ride, and you can ignore all the dogs, cats, or chickens.
Here I was, about to leave a career behind, however briefly, while she was still debating what hers would be – would it be an academic, organic farmer, or even a registered nurse working in world health? She was more confused than she ever let on. And, apart from her tense handwriting and fingernails, far more conflicted and stressed. She masked her insecurities with a poker-player’s genius.
It’s the gospel according to Swami, and she’s anything but a plaster saint. Her language can be crude; her methods, unorthodox; her operation, ragtag. But the hands-on learning opens her students to each other and the universe in what often turns into divine comedy. Or else.
He thinks of the funeral pyres along the Ganges and processions of fiercely naked saddhus. Elephants and water buffalo. Garlands. How quickly people began addressing Swami as Divine Mother and providing letters of introduction for the next stop in their journey. Most of the trip became a blur, and Rudra often felt himself a fifth wheel dragging along behind Swami and Garuda. Most of all, aware of the intense fertility imagery wrapped up within the religious symbols around him (to say nothing of the multitude of sensuous girls and women everywhere he turned), he was tormented to be so far from his wife. The erotic sculptures at the temples of Khajuraho had him envisioning Uma’s attempting some incredible positions. The only peace he felt was in the four days they spent at their master’s ashram, a warren of boxes and passageways perched above the Ganges.