Life Responding to Life. ~ Kathryn Ashworth

Via on Oct 4, 2013


“What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.”

~ Crowfoot

Last December I visited an Ashram in Portugal—it was the wet season so it rained often.

I can imagine it now, the rain thump, dribble, drop, drizzling—sliding along surfaces. I would often sit underneath a green tent covering the kitchen where we shared our lunch, breakfast, dinners and even Satsangs.

It was good just to be there—just to listen.

Somehow I was beginning to lose the idea of experiencing an experiencer, but how do I explain it?

The guru said to be where you are and nowhere else because that’s the only place you ever could be. In this where-there-that-is-here place, things were just happening.

A rush of some emotion would come but not hold. Leaves would rustle into and through life movements, like daily chores.

Sometimes I would wash dishes in the sink near the window and the light would melt the pots and pans into everything and nothing.

People would walk by and they too were that melting light; what I was I could not say.

Somehow no one was moving at all, just appearing.

I would breathe and the air would purify me like a mantra. I would laugh not knowing where the laughter came from. I would cry and someone I’d never seen before would hold me. It didn’t scare me. It felt like it was just a part of all the ‘could be.’

We didn’t discuss personal histories—it would have distracted us from getting to know one another. We just met as we were, and are.

There was Arjuna. I admired his accent and knowledge of art and cooking. It seemed he could do anything.

He played music. He knew some Leonard Cohen. He carried around a journal flooded with images of his wondering and wandering. Some were from Satsang. Others were from somewhere else. But wherever it was, it was surely with God.

He gave his life away to the stars.

There was also Janaki. She and I would walk for miles just to the places where we would garden. We fell into the forgetting, digging our shovels in, unearthing; hitting hard rocks.

There were times when I wanted to give up. It was too tough and the earth wouldn’t move. But I watched her as she kept going, little by little, pebble by pebble—shifting stones.

Possibilities were inherent to this earth, and magic was alive. The lake we circled in our walking towards the garden path had been built on intuition. Someone told me the guru knew that water would be there, and it was.

Who knew what was next?

One day among my noticing, I noticed Karuna (his name means love). All he ever seemed to do was stand alone, even when he was with others.

He was constantly absorbed in the Self.

Sometimes I wondered where a person like him could possibly come from, and then I remembered—nowhere.

But sometimes I was tired of being with him, and them, in that nowhere. Sometimes I wanted to be a person again and forget the forgetting. Sometimes being as a being let too many things in. But we were learning to be like the sky, and I knew somehow that all these appearances, and happenings, were only clouds; just passing by.

And there was Parvati. I watched her become an enlightened being right before my eyes.

We shared the same dorm and early one morning, as the window began flooding that same light which melts us into the everywhere, she turned to me in exhalation; “I have been running my whole life trying to understand what’s already here!”

 “Look” she said, eyes wandering into the unseen; “Its life responding to life.”

And I was there, sitting in a pile of laundry and folding my socks. She looked upon me from such great heights, and with the kind of eyes that asked if I understood. They had the rain in them.

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Ed: Bryonie Wise

About Kathryn Ashworth

Kathryn Ashworth lives in Richmond, Virginia with her cat Johfrit (the littlest knight).  When she’s not writing and daydreaming, she’s grounding herself on the yoga mat. She believes in the transformative power of art and spirituality. Currently she’s studying to become a certified yoga instructor. She welcomes new friends. You can find her on Facebook.


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6 Responses to “Life Responding to Life. ~ Kathryn Ashworth”

  1. Jheremy says:

    Beautiful images– thanks for sharing! <3

  2. daniela says:

    rain in my eyes! beautiful.

  3. bneal817 says:

    This is one of the most beautiful articles I've ever read. I know that place… and I feel it in your words.

    ~ Ben

  4. janewillenbrink says:

    Beautiful and inspiring, Kathryn!! love.

  5. SanjaJCJ says:

    this. is. glorious.

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