Syzygy

“Let’s play a game,” said Guru Baba. “You stand still and I will walk around you.”

A request such as this was not strange to Sami. Working for his holy bossman, he had come to expect the unexpected. Like tonight, where he’d been “given the day off” but was expected to stay up all night “working”.

He said, “Okay Guru Baba, where shall I stand?” They were in the boggy part of a harvested hayfield outside Lucerne village. Some places would surely be better to stand than others.

“Stand wherever you like. It doesn’t matter to me.”

Sami wondered if this was a variation of a previous exercise where he and Shama were required to play flutes and Guru Baba walked around finding “sonic spots”? He said, “Okay, I’ll stay where I am. What next?”

Guru Baba said, “This next.” He began strolling at an even pace, circling ten metres about Sami. He was also spinning slowly as he walked, making about one revolution every quarter circuit. Sami asked why he was spinning. His response, facing away from Sami at the time, was “Technical reasons.”

After four circuits, Guru Baba said to Sami, “How do you feel?”

Sami had closed his eyes a while back; it was getting late and he was tired. “Quite bored. I’d rather be sitting or moving.”

“Good. Now it’s your turn. I will stand still and you walk around me.”

Sami followed Guru Baba’s example, and began walking at a steady pace. He said, “Do you want me to spin too – for technical reasons?”

“Yes, if you can manage it without getting dizzy, that would be good.”

After four circuits, he asked Sami, “How do you feel now?”

“At first I started getting dizzy, but then became peaceful, almost hypnotized. I think I could keep walking and spinning like that for hours.”

“Very good!” Guru Baba wiped mud off his sandals. “Now imagine that fir tree is the centre, and I will walk around it, and you walk around me. We will start slowly but then speed up. Ready?”

There was no point in complaining or rolling his eyes. Sami said, “Sure.”

Guru Baba walked at the same pace as before, but Sami needed to go much quicker. He could slow down when circling against Guru Baba’s direction, but had to hurry and retain co-ordination when turning with him.

Guru Baba said, “Now imagine that tree is the sun, and I am the earth, and you are the moon. Isn’t that an exciting place to be? Moving so fast around us? Whizzing about! In cosmic terms we are connected to the moon, and we subconsciously know how hard it’s working. It is maintaining the rhythms of tides and other waters of the world, both outside us and within us. Just the thought of that is exhausting. That’s why whenever we see the moon, we feel like sleeping.

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