Monday, April 25, 2011

Hitch a Ride on the Noodle Express

It hasn't quite been a week since my last post and I just couldn't take not writing about myself (since I tried to stay focused on Karma in my last one). 

I'm having knee surgery on Wednesday. Nothing major. It's arthroscopic (little camera) in an outpatient clinic and they're just cutting a loose piece of cartilage away from under my knee cap. My roommates are out of town and my mom has a lot of  work in VA, so Karma is going to be my nurse. I've been joking that I'll be eating Tibetan-style noodle soup until I can stand long enough to cook for myself, but he's assured me that this will not be the case. I'm interested to see how he handles being "in charge", per se. I'm sure I'm exaggerating (what's new), but it could be quite entertaining. Bonus that we have the new bed and it's unbelievably comfortable!

While I was cooking tonight I asked Karma to clean. He swept upstairs and then, apparently, felt like he was finished, so I asked, "Are you going to mop?" He said it's a Tibetan custom not to clean at night...I thought that was fairly convenient and we got a good laugh. Then, as he walked away, I shouted, "What about the toilet?" He came back to the kitchen and asked if I was serious about him cleaning it....I half grunted, half chuckled and said, "No." Then, he came out with this little gem......
"This is a Tibetan saying: If one mouth speaks two different meanings, then two farts will come from one butt."
He can't be making this up, but it's sometimes hard to believe. Tibetan parables are sometimes really raunchy, I have a book of them. I appreciate that a simple, nomadic culture has such great senses of humor. For my more prudish readers, this may be a good time to stop reading this post...I think things are going to head south (figuratively) from here (due to recent conversations that occurred regarding sex).

Karma told me this story over the weekend about his friend who is a Tibetan monk that was out shopping with a Tibetan guy (not a monk) and they wandered into a sex toy shop. The monk was wearing his monkly attire and felt deeply ashamed to be in there, mostly because the owner was Indian and kept calling him "Guru-ji," which is a very respectful way to address a spiritual teacher. As Karma was telling me this, I realized from his tone and disbelief of the situation that he had NO idea that sex toy shops were common. Nor did he realize that many people from a wide array of backgrounds patron said shops. (I, in fact, used to fill in work at one in Austin from time to time that my friend owned.)

Anyways, I figured that that was as good a time as any to show him my "stash."

[Now my mom reads this blog, along with various other family & community members, so I feel I'm walking a fine line between being boldly honest (I'm holding back here a bit) and being somewhat modest (I'd say that Karma would be mortified if he knew I was "publicly" sharing about this particular story, but he just walked in and read this so I'm in the clear, in fact, he says we might become famous if we write a books together, lol.)

Back to the "stash." (Which isn't much, I might add.)  I thought my husband was going to have a heart attack. He began laughing so hard, which, in turn, caused me to as well. He asked if these were common to have and I said that most of my female friends do. He just laughed and laughed. I told him I used to work at a store that sold similar items and he asked if it was all women coming in alone. I explained that many couples came in shopping together, but sometimes people shopped alone.

I think I blew his mind.

I'm baffled by how much there is for him to learn after being here for 6 months, although, he's been here about as long as I was in India when I met him, which gives me perspective. Catching the bus there was a nightmare since I don't read (or speak) Hindi, not to mention the countless other things I needed my hand held through in order to function. Karma's doing great. He was laughing the other day and saying that there needs to be a class for ex-monks to learn how to be "regular" (married) guys (I'm thinking "Hitch" but more about marriage than dating.)  He's learning more than just our culture & language, that's for sure. Although I agreed with him that it would be beneficial for Tibetan, ex-monks, I'm sure some American-born dudes might benefit, too.

I'll check in post-knee surgery and let you know how the noodles are.....

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Time Stole the Blanket on this Blog (or Why My Feet are Smiling)'s been just over 2 months since I last wrote. I think writing is like going to the gym, it's really hard to begin again once you've stopped! I've been keeping my laptop off more at night, which has been part of the reason, but mainly, I lost motivation.

Instead of recapping the play-by-play of the last two months, let's just pick up from the most recent of news. It's much less daunting.

We went to Austin, Texas, a few weekends ago, where I lived from (roughly) '05-'07. I wanted to see my wonderful friends and introduce them to Karma. I saw it as an integration of sorts...a balancing of past and present. It was invigorating and I wished we'd had more time there. Karma also really like the city itself and my friends, so I have a feeling it wasn't our last trip there together.

I really want to bring the focus of this post to Karma and less on me and my ever-changing thoughts. Really, I'd intended for this blog (as an entity) to be more about him than me, but let's face it, I'm WAY to vain for that. It's also easier to report what's going on for me (duh) and, of course, what I observe about my husband is still second-hand information, even if he's telling me things directly, so it should be taken with a grain of salt.

Karma is still studying English, but he's been throwing around the idea of "what's next?" more and more. He's now been here 6 months and with his school being closed for the summer beginning in June, well, he's wondering what that will mean for him. We're still waiting for his work permit to come, but we all know (but perhaps don't agree with this) that you don't always need one of those in the U.S. to be employed. It's been a point of contention with us (sometimes) because he's starting from ground zero and I don't always feel like holding his hand through things. Patience is not always my strong suit and after 6 months, well, I think I have set my expectations unrealistically high for him. Anyways, he really wants me to (basically) tell him what his options are for work and I (basically) want him to tell me what he's looking for. Judging by the way things have gone thus far, I will come to my senses and just help him. I can be so freakin' stubborn (and lazy!).

He's decided that no matter how his other work (if at all) transpires, he plans on teaching the Dharma. I definitely support him on this, although I have NO idea how/where to even help him get started with it. Surprisingly, he began with something that I would begin with (and wouldn't necessarily expect him to): his outfit. He found a Tibetan tailer in the area and we bought some fabric, so he'll be looking dapper and fit the part of a Tibetan Lama. I guess I shouldn't say he "began" with his clothes...he has been training & studying for 15 years. That counts for something, doesn't it? I'm curious to how this will all unfold.

In other news, we bought a new bed! Hallelujah!! Can I just tell ya'll how happy my little feet will be not to hang off the end of our full-size?? Actually, can I just tell you how happy Karma will be when I'm not invading his side of the bed all night? He's such a ham--he yells, "Free Tibet! China out!" whenever I get too carried away with taking over the bed or the blankets (or both). He'll make me feel how little room he has, in an attempt to prove a point, but I always pretend like he's got tons of room and shouldn't be complaining...that I'm the one suffering of lack of space. Seriously, we role play this every night. It's always funny, but there's definitely an edge of seriousness because we're two big people in one small bed. Thursday, and that queen-size bed, can't come soon enough!

Bed shopping was a trip. He'd never experienced trying out beds in a huge room full of them. His suggestion was that we each buy two yoga mats (for the floor)...I was ready for the California King, organic, pillow-top, extravagance. We compromised and bought a firm (but not rock hard) bed. He's worried his body will get so used to sleeping on a soft bed that he'll be "ruined" for trips back to Asia (or camping). He's got a good point, but that would never sway me to sleep on the wood floor of our bedroom full-time. Absolutely not.

While in Texas I acquired a new hair-do with bangs. Karma's taken to calling me his "16-year-old" wife and will call me and ask, "Is this the sixteen-year-old girl?" He tickles himself over it and starts laughing, which always gets me laughing. Another thing we laugh about are his impressions. He's taken to doing little skits of his classmates--I swear, it's actually really funny. He'd die before he'd ever let me videotape him doing one, but don't think that idea hasn't crossed my mind.

I'm learning daily from this marriage and from Karma and surprise myself with how open I can be (and also how closed). Really, I'm seeing firsthand how awakening to the Truth through an intimate relationship is a rich, challenging and expansive journey.