On the plane from Varanasi to Khajuraho, a town famous for its ancient erotic temples, I still struggled with what that goat meant when it spoke to me my last day in Varanasi. (For those of you who may have missed the story – I was walking along the ghat when a goat on the roof of a small temple neighed at me in an old woman’s stutter, “Never.”) Why a goat would single me out to speak its first word was a great puzzler. If it was God (whose, Christian or Hindu, I don’t care) speaking through the goat, then the word struck me as rather pessimistic. I mean, there’s always a possibility, no? Thinking about it though, perhaps at that moment on the ghat, as I sidestepped cow poo and buffalo giant poo, I was asking in my heart for God to speak to me, to which he replied through the goat “Never.” But the fact that he said something to me answered my prayer. But was it his intent? I just wish he’d said something more promising, like “Hang in there, Ray. There’s always a chance.” Now if it was the Hindu God speaking and not the Christian God, there are more ways to look at “Never.” Because Hinduism teaches that all things are temporary and what is “Never” today could be “Forever” tomorrow. So that would be OK – in the future God and I may have wonderful chats about creation, even laugh over that one time on the ghat at Varanasi when he had the goat tell me “Never.” Or perhaps I misunderstood the goat? Perhaps he wasn’t even speaking English? But let’s move on, the plane has landed. Khajuraho is a small town with its own airport for the tourists, who flock from France mostly (of course) to see the erotic carvings on the outside of 1000 year old temples. Yes while the French were busy building the impressive Christian vaults of Notre Dame around the year 1000, the Indians were busy building and carving impressive Hindu temples with a few erotic carvings thrown in for some good reason that no one knows anymore.
Now if you think I am going to show you anything more than PG13 statues, no, I have little ones that view my blog – below is the most risque we will get.
I like the way the lovers seem frozen in time. Note their lips never touch.
Seduction is a key element in life. Right up there with creation and destruction. In fact seduction often comes before the others. For now I will let myself be seduced by the architecture of the temples. The intricacy and yet the shear weight.
And then I will tour town, eat homemade peanut brickle from a pushcart, capture the image of a girl and her goats.
And then I will watch a folk dance, admire the gestures and hip snaps that seduce with the rhythm of the music, music whose lyrics I can’t understand. Much like my life.