tuesday 27 july 02004 9:56am
the broadway tunnel

in the darkness, she sings and waits for the light

this morning, as i biked through the broadway tunnel at 7:30am, i was chanting, softly, as i very often do when i'm biking. today i was chanting donna de lory's hey ma durga , like this:

hey hey ma hey ma durga
hey ma durga jai jai ma jai jai ma
hey ma durga jai jai ma jai jai ma
jai jai ma jai ja ma jai ma jai jai ma
jai jai ma jai jai ma jai jai ma

hey ma durga
i want to feel what you feel
hey ma durga
i want to see what you see
hey ma durga
i want see beyond this illusion
to what is real.

the sanskrit part means "ah mother, ah mother durga, praise/victory to the mother of the universe."

durga is often depicted wearing a red sari and riding a white tiger; she is, among other things, the slayer of the ego. more here:

quickly

in great detail

anyway, the traffic was a little heavier than usual this morning for the hour, and i noticed that i couldn't hear myself singing, so i sang louder. the tunnel is a light downhill grade in the direction i was going, and i was at the beginning of my ride, so i had lots of breath. i thought "you know, these cars all have their windows closed, so what the heck." and i started belting it out at the top of my lungs, flying down the narrow tiled path at the edge of the road, coasting, howling; i could still not hear well, and in bits where the traffic died down i'd hear that i was out of tune, and i was cracking up and chanting SO loud and so so happy. as i came out of the tunnel i let the song go, and i was laughing and giggling to myself. as i looked over my right shoulder to check for traffic before i popped through the turn from the tunnel to the street, i saw another wheel come out of the tunnel.

there was someone behind me the whole time, just a couple feet back.
and i laughed and laughed as i flew down broadway to the embarcadero, where the fog was wrapping the bridge, and the commuters were just getting off their ferries, and the air was clean.