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Bad Meinberg, Germany, 2006

by Jaya Ashmore

Cold-winter-colorless April
East Germany:
Cheap ice cream,
bakery white buns, women’s hair nets white aprons, harsh look soft bread
Johanna on roller blades, slipper logs, bicycle;

6-week-old daughter, the youngest retreatant, only 2 or 3 peeps all week.
Her mother a tango dancer with black hair to hips
Her father (not by blood) a philosopher who loves books

People felt: trust body, not should, connect even if nurse on duty.

Spring sprang, daffodil dappled—the nests in bare trees disappeared
Behind blooms, buds, bursts
Down the corridor from our orange, carpeted “Ganesh Raum”
A sign on the wall: Internet for all guests.
Also down the hall, furniture scraping, Ayurvedic massage, the shop,
Elevators to all 7 floors of this largest yoga center in Europe—
Not silent, and the food...especially made to produce the most possible intestinal volcanic gas.
Our last half-hour evening meditation: spring air in windows,
Ganesh Raum still, full. Silence.
A short blast of Irish-world music. Silence.
Again music, this time not short: 20 minutes. Upstairs women belting out German words, stomping on their wooden floor
Above our silent heads.

After retreat. Druid stones, primordial carved stone altar, craggy monuments
transformation caves
carved outside with later Christian bas-relief embroidery

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