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January 9th, 2012



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Dear friends,

While current is scarce and more important things asked our attention, writing to you had to be put aside for a while.  Even so I could not but often think of you all 'out there' and mentally jotted down little notes and observations to later on share with you. Of course, I'm not a greenbelter and am not aware (yet) of all the damage that has been done.. I just want to share with you the way it hit me, when I explored our environment after the cyclone, quite stunned and taken aback..., feeling like an Alice in a strange but even so Wonderland..

Such as..:

= one wonders if a cyclone whips up the ozone layer or something, as it's suddenly so hot these days.. Just before Thane struck, temperatures were getting (blissfully) lower and we  were at times around 20 degrees Celsius.., - immediately after Thane we were back to almost 30... Without our green cover, our skins get quickly sun-burnt, we need sun shades and summer clothes.. Next hot season will be hotter than hot.

= the recent moon nights have been wide wide open and gave us a snow-white, silent Auroville.., with strange, broken and naked silhouettes quietly enhancing the off-planet atmosphere.

= for old-timers it's amazing to sometimes hear again the early morning drum-drum communication systems between the villages around us..; many things make us remember the olden days.., the silence, the wideness.., the openness... Thane's impact must have changed also something in all of us, in our society, in our ways of being together.. Can't wait to see those after-effects.. , terribly looking forward to sensing the first glimpses of  c h a n g e...

= it's difficult to get used to the (non)landscape presently around us.. To begin with, the rhythm is gone..., our proud green green world, always reaching upwards, sometimes swaying in the wind, always responding to the same currents, the same flow, is for the time being gone.., instead we see a cacophony of shapes around us, everywhere broken branches and entire trees down, sticking out in all kind of directions, contradicting each other, sometimes half broken trees still hanging in remnants of other  trees... The harmony is gone and it's quite disorienting at times.

= and the wood.., everywhere the wood..., everywhere piles and piles of wood, mountains of branches.. They first covered our roads completely, no more roads.. Quick teams of AVians armed with chainsaws transformed them into small paths, lined with walls of accumulated wood wood wood, everywhere, like the remnants of a big boat, a frigate, that was repeatedly smashed against the rocks, smashed into pieces... At times one doesn't recognise where one is, at all. At many places large uprooted trees offer up their roots, their insides, for us to see and sense the enormous power that made them grow and held them up.., it  feels quite intimate somehow.., awe-some and extremely beautiful.., natural artistry.., evoking respect and love.

(photo by Manohar)

= but of course, Auroville goes on, business as usual.. Another challenge? Okay, we'll go for it..., we'll clear up the thousands of trees, get the infra-structure together, repair the houses, schools, centres, buildings that were damaged, somehow evoke the resources and funds to do it. It will take ages but we'll do it.  "Persevere" says Sri Arawinda... "all life is yoga".. , and new green growth is already well on its way.. In this stance, we are immensely helped, and assured, by the knowledge that no lives were lost, not in Auroville, and not in the villages amidst whom the we're emerging.. This is a true blessing. Hare OM ~

= with the greenery falling away, we suddenly see each other's houses and buildings.., we become apparent to each other, there's literally no more cover-up..  Time to let the city emerge.. Sudden new vistas have opened up and, with the added different angle of light coming in, it's like a constant re-discovery of this place that we love so much..  It can be breath-takingly beautiful..

I'm sure that, in time, all data, facts & figures of the devastation will be made available to you. For now I just wanted to share with you these impressions and am happy I can finally send them off!

Always with love from the City of Dawn, and Jay MA..,

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