I sat up in bed with a jolt. It was the middle of the night, and I had been awakened by strange beeping sounds. Where were they coming from? What was going on? Was it some alarm in the house? Electronics going crazy? What? Confused and annoyed, I got out of bed and started wandering around, trying to figure it out, until I realized the sounds were coming from outside. Walking to the front patio, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Someone was in a huge truck, reversing it into the parking spot right in front of our house! It was a garbage truck, beep – beep – beep – beep! Come on, it’s the middle of the night! Already unhappy about being awake, I was getting really pissed about the whole noisy commotion. I walked over to where I could see into the cab of the truck, but the windows were dark and I couldn’t quite see the driver. Suddenly the vehicle came to a stand-still, the beeping stopped, and the engine turned off. I opened the screen door and shouted angrily, “What the hell are you doing here in the middle of the night?”
Silence. Nothing happened as I stood there in a moment rather awkward stillness. Then I heard the cab window open. Although it was dark, I could just make out the silhouette of the driver, a man wearing a turban, looking over to me. After few more moments of silence, I finally heard a voice, thick with a very typical Indian accent.
“Excuse me, sir, is this Alon Street 49?”
Still angry, I shouted back, “Yes, it is; but what the hell are you thinking? Who told you to come here in the middle of the night?”
He didn’t seem to notice my anger. “Day or night, night or day, does it really matter?” His voice was far too cheerful for my mood. “You humans are so fixated on this time issue. Isn’t every moment perfect and exquisite? Anyway, I’ve come to collect your garbage. And good thing,” he added, “because it really smells!”
The strange man opened the door, climbed down from his truck and walked towards me. “Master G, right? I’m Kuthumi lal Singh. Adamus announced my coming a few weeks ago, if I remember correctly. It’s been a long drive and I really would appreciate a nice warm cup of chai. Would you be so kind?”
Standing there in my pajamas, I felt as if I’d been transported into some other realm. “Is this really happening?” I muttered to myself and invited the peculiar Indian man into the house. We went to the kitchen and I motioned to make himself comfortable while I prepared the tea.
“Real chai, please, with milk and sugar,” he said, settling onto the couch in the typical Indian half lotus position. Waiting for the water to boil, I heard him humming some romantic Bollywood melody.
A few of my wits had returned and I suddenly remembered my wife in the other room. “Einat is sleeping,” I said. “Let’s go out to the music temple.” I picked up the tray, now filled with tea and cookies, and he followed me through the garden into our beautiful pagoda. It is a sacred space that we built for music practice, lessons and workshops. He paused for a moment, noticing the Indian style decorations. “Very, very nice,” he said, and settled himself on one of the cushions.
And there we were, sitting in the dim light of a few candles at an ungodly hour, sipping our tea and staring at each other.
Finally he spoke again. “Yes, yes, very nice, very nice. But let’s get back to the point of my visit; your garbage. What’s going on? What happened lately? I guess there must be some reason they sent me.”
I sighed deeply, my annoyance almost involuntarily slipping away. “There are so many things, I really don’t know where to start,” I replied. “It’s been quite a ride.”
“What happened with Yoham?” he asked. This was definitely someone who got straight to the point.
“Amir left Yoham several months ago,” I answered. “He didn’t want to work with Einat and me anymore, he said that we were standing in the way of his spiritual and musical dreams. In fact, he ……****………****………**…… and then ………******……………**………… and *…………………” I took a breath. I hadn’t meant to get so worked up about it.
“Hmmm,” Kuthumi said. There was just a hint of a naughty smile on his face as he calmly sipped his chai. Then he chirped, “Well, c’est la vie! Ciao amigo! Bye, bye love, good luck!” He grinned and started humming one of those annoying Bollywood melodies again.
I opened my mouth to protest his mocking, but he spoke again. “You know he is a very talented musician, but also a clown with many faces, and you always knew that it would end one day. And that’s okay, everything changes. The question is, why are you still feeling angry about him?”
I felt into that for a moment, wanting to give a true answer. “Because I got hurt and disappointed by someone I trusted and loved.”
This Kuthumi fellow just laughed. “Oh, poor Master G, life’s a bitch sometimes, uuuhuu, and people, uuuhuu. But tell me, who is it that got hurt so much? Was it really you? Was it your timeless, eternal self? Was it the Master? Who?”
“My heart,” I replied. “It’s my very human heart that feels the pain.”
“Makyo! Let go of all your illusion. Makyo! Your esoteric confusion – you know this song?” he teased me. “It looks like you still love the drama, my friend. All humans do.”
Then he started singing. “Sita Ram, Sita Ram, Sita Ram…” I knew the chant very well; it was one of the first I had learned in India. ‘Sita Ram’ means ‘unity in the heart’ or ‘wholeness of the heart.’ I noticed that even though his voice wasn’t very beautiful and his singing was off-key, there was something special to it anyway. I found myself slowly sinking deeper into the moment, and then a kind of vision began unfolding before me. I saw many different scenes – times in my life when I got hurt and was crying, scenes of other people in fights and battles, the cruelty and violence of humanity, man against man, man against woman, man against nature and finally man against machine.
All else was forgotten as those scenes and images rushed through my mind, until suddenly I heard Kuthumi’s voice again. “Let it go! This is where it hurts; not in your heart but in all those memories of your life and so many lifetimes. Adamus has told you hundreds of times that it’s not yours. Let it go! It’s not about Amir or anybody else acting badly towards you. You – and he – are much grander than those stories. You are sovereign, you are the Master.”
I felt a glimmer of light flicker in the heart I thought had been broken as Kuthumi continued. “Don’t you see, Master G, that all things change? They must change, for change is life. Old ties have to be untied, old bonds let go, old friendships and relationships dissolved so they can be re-created from a new place. It’s in the re-discovery, the re-creation and the re-experience that the human heart finds true joy. My dear friend, do you think you are the only one who was hurt? The only one with terrible things spoken to him? I assure you not. There is enough pain to drown the world if that’s all you see. But look!” he said, pointing toward the curtain where a faint light could be seen. “A new dawn always come, the shadows of the night are always erased, and the Master has become just a little bit wiser.”
Suddenly I felt a hand on my arm, someone shaking me. I opened my eyes and saw Einat’s face close to mine. “Did you have a bad dream?” she asked. “You were shouting ‘Let it go, let it go!’”
“Oh, yes. I was having a dream, a very weird dream, but a good dream,” I replied. It was still night, with a little more time for sleep. As I gathered her into my arms and drifted back to dreamland, I heard the rumble of a truck driving away, and the sound of someone belting out a lewd Bollywood tune fading into the distance.
Gerhard has worked with Geoff, Linda, Tobias, Adamus and Kuthumi many times over the years, producing many beautiful collaborations plus his own music CDs. For more information, click here.