Archive for dragon

Next Kiss

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2012 by javedbabar

Sami looked around in desperation. What was the best test for knowing if you were dreaming or awake? Asking another person was the best test he could think of, so he asked the man lying in his arms, smiling, staring up at him, dead. “Guru Baba, am I dreaming?”

The smile seemed to broaden, or was he imagining that?

All around him, people stood open-mouthed. There were hundreds of people, maybe thousands. He realized where he was. He was in Lucerne’s Transparent Temple at Guru Baba’s darshan – holy viewing. He recalled the holy man saying he was going to “change into somebody else”. Had he been talking about Sami or himself?

Guru Baba lay in Sami’s arms with his eyes wide open, as if seeing everything, but Sami knew he wasn’t. A minute ago he had kissed Sami on the lips, and said, “It is you,” before falling away.

Sami heard people chattering. He didn’t look up at them, just stared at their shoes.

“He is not dead. He is resting immaterially.”

“The Guru will never die; he lives forever in our hearts.”

“Did he appoint a successor?”

“We must find his reincarnation. What are the signs?”

Sami’s mind could not acknowledge the situation. It was too strange, too much to handle. Guru Baba had said to him, “It is you.”

He thought back to when they had first met, on the New City bus to Lucerne. He had noticed a strange brown man, with long black beard, orange robes and ASICS trainers, and smiled at him, prompting the man to leave his seat and sit next to Sami.

Their sudden intimacy was surprising. The strange brown man had talked non-stop for three hours, and Sami had developed a headache, mainly from laughing. The guy’s main topic was sports shoes.

“I thought that modern life is all running around. I am an Indian holy man, yes, but I am also a modern citizen, so I must also run around. I did research. I tried sneakers in many sports shops. They said to run in them to test them, so I ran twenty-six miles to see if they were suitable for marathons. I tried Reebok, Puma, Fila, New Balance, and ASICS. ASICS were the best ones. I tried Nike too, but they have a bad reputation among spiritual people, you know, since the Heaven’s Gate people wore them and killed themselves. They also name shoes after Irish terrorist groups. They really make killer shoes! And Adidas, with the rubber shackles, made a joke of slavery. I know, all sneakers are made in sweat shops, but what can we do?”

Sami was stunned. How did a seventy year old Indian holy man know so much about sneaker culture?

Guru Baba said, “There are many kinds of sneakers – high tops, low tops, mid cut, sneaker boots, trail shoes, running shoes, basketball shoes, but they all share one quality. They are humble. They cover the lowest part of the body, touching the ground. They take daily pounding, and don’t mind getting dirty as long as they save the feet.”

At the end of the bus journey, when they separated, Baba kissed Sami on the lips. He had had found it creepy and pulled back, but then had a change of heart.

He realized that this kiss, all true kisses, were far deeper and more lasting than any erotic connotation. They showed loyalty, affection, gratitude, compassion, sympathy, joy and sadness, and held the redeeming power to cast off spells. Princesses were changed back from dragons, and Beauty’s Beast into a prince. People kissed the Pope’s ring, the Torah, The Kaaba’s black stone, Krishna’s feet and Buddha’s bones. A reciprocal kiss was a greeting and farewell, and a blown kiss went straight from your heart to heaven.

His meeting Guru Baba was as surprising as his parting. Both sneaked up on him unexpectedly.

He removed the old man’s robe to reveal Road Runner boxer shorts, draped the robe around himself, and called forward the next person to kiss.

Beowulf

Posted in Conceptual Art, Mystical Experience, World Myths with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2012 by javedbabar

Osiris was a commercial success, though not a romantic one. Things ended badly for Isis, who lost her beloved husband Osiris, and for Sophie, whose love interest Ahmad disappeared. Maybe the shows at QARY were too real, thought Sophie, and affecting material reality. What a crazy thought.

As the next production Sophie selected Beowulf, which also had an underworld theme. To be precise it was an underwater cave, but that was near enough.

“I’ve seen monsters here,” said Albert, the quarry’s last manager before mining operations ceased. “There were days when you couldn’t bear to go in for fear of what lurked in the shadows. You tasted the dust, darkness made you see things, and rocks made you hear things. The quarry seemed alive to us and sometimes when we went too far, she punished us. Many good men were lost over the years, about one every season. They were our sacrifices to the mine. I’m glad you’ve brought the quarry back to life, but you better be careful with her.”

They gathered for a pre-production meeting. Sophie said, “Okay, we’ve pretty much decided on layout. We’ll make the first chamber Heorot, the mead hall, the second chamber Grendel’s mother’s lair, and the third chamber the Dragon’s cave.” Everyone nodded. “Instead of a linear narrative, this time we’re trying something less structured.” They nodded again. “Each chamber has a monster which can move between the stages, so raising the drama.”

This was their fourth production together, and the team had gelled. They had a good understanding of each other’s preferences, relative weaknesses and strengths.

Within four weeks the production was ready to go. The first three nights were sold out in advance. QARY had become a big money spinner for Lucerne.

The first chamber was stunning. Its bare rock walls, floors, ceiling and pillars were filled with projections. They seemed covered by rich tapestries and paintings, and hung with swords, shields and armour. The gems on the weapons glittered like stars.

Feasting Dane warriors were slaughtered by gruesome Grendel. He crushed their skulls and ribs and feasted on their brains and hearts. Brave Geats came from across the waters to help them; their King, Beowulf, killed the monster by ripping off his arm.

The second chamber used mood lighting only. It was the underwater lair of Grendel’s mother, who had continued to slaughter warriors as revenge for her son’s death. The epic battle between her and Beowulf caused splashes of red to multiply till they filled the whole chamber.

The third chamber also used mood lighting. After Beowulf’s victory in Denmark, he had returned to Geatland and ruled for fifty years. One day a dragon guarding a hoard of gold was awoken, and laid waste the land. Beowulf’s final heroic act was to rid his kingdom of this cruel dragon, and whilst doing so he was injured and died.

During the performance, groups of people hid in chambers and moved around. There was indeed no separation between mythic and historical, and real and imagined events. These people were fighting modern monsters – drugs, alcohol, glue, lust, greed, anger and many other addictions. The dark corners of QARY were the perfect place to indulge them all.