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Poetry from the 3:15 Experiment– Aug. 11, 2009: Celebrating Lord Ganesha’s Birthday

August 17, 2009

Ganesha in bicycleAugust 11, 2009 3:15am
a poem from the 3:15 experiment

I’ve been reading up about
Lord Ganesha especially since he
came for a visit last week.

No wonder he showed up
people were praying to him
to protect them on the
eve of the third lunar
eclipse of the lunar cycle.

An eclipse signals momentous change
and not always good change.
Three eclipses indicates massive
changes afoot –terrible ones.
Best to pray to Lord Ganesh–
one of the most powerful
deities around possibly the one
most prayed to on the planet.

Not only do Hindus pray to
Lord Ganesh but so do
Tibetan Buddhists and
other orders.

In two weeks it will be
time again to pray to
Lord Ganesha–it will be his
birthday celebration.

Four days after the new moon
it starts: devotees place a
clay depiction of Lord Ganesh
in their homes. People used to
make these themselves out of
clay near their homes but now
most people buy one prepared by
someone else of Plaster of Paris.

Then for the next 10 Days
you express your love & devotion
to Lord Ganesh–turning
it into a beloved treasure.
You dance & sing & pray for 10 Days.
On the eve of the full moon
or on the day of the full moon
I’m not sure which —
you take your beloved Ganesh
and immerse him in the nearest large body of water
set him off on his journey home to
Mt Kailish symbolizing
creation and destruction.

In the old days, the clay
dissolved back to the earth
from which it came–showing
the cycle of life.

But now the multitude of toxic Plaster of Paris
Lord Ganeshas covered in yet
more toxic paints of
red cadmiums & other heavy metals
pollute the waters — a direct
affront to Lord Ganesh & his
principles of living to harm no one.

It is time for us to go back
to the old ways of making
Ganesh by hand using clay
from near our homes which will
easily return again to the land.

Or else to immerse a durable Lord Ganesh
symbolically & then to save him
for use another year.

A week ago was the fool moon.
Two more weeks now until the new moon.
Time to start making
Lord Ganesh out of clay.

c. Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator

Obviously, I’ve been reading a lot about Lord Ganesh to have written all this verbatim at 3:15am! Whether it’s poetry not, well…I do know that since I wrote this Lynne Okun of the ArtBarn and I have hatched a plan to honor Lord Ganesh on his birthday by making him from clay after the new moon, following in the old tradition.

The night I wrote this 3:15, I found a website devoted to drawings of Lord Ganesh and emailed the artist to ask if he had any of Ganesha on a bike. He sent me this and another drawing also which we’re going to use to promote cycling locally and at Burning Man by silkscreening the image onto the bandanas we tie-dyed. One day, I hope to do a show of his work around here; I think they’d be a popular item! I’ll add the link to his site ASAP.

For more poetry, ride the Monday Poetry Train!

One last thing: today, Monday, is the last day of my summer subscription! please subscribe today–or anytime! Thank you for subscribing! I look forward to receiving your pledges–and your comments!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 18, 2009 8:48 am

    This is something which i was unaware of thanks for the article and i hope everyone makes their Ganesha out of clay.

  2. August 18, 2009 1:53 pm

    I’ve been in India for a number of Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations and they are just incredible. Once I was taken on a tour of the hidden lanes of Chennai where every separate neighborhood had its shrine to Lord Ganesha, some of them stories high with the effigy covered with rupi notes – mostly hundreds, a days wage for many- applied very artfully to make mandalas of money. In Chennai the line to immerse your Ganesha is miles long, and wends and winds throughout the day. In Hyderabad, evening celebrations were raucous affairs, lots of music and street dancing, lots of alcohol, and as in all public displays, all men – the woman stood on the sidewalks, the men took to the streets.

    If you have Lord Ganesha in your home, make sure he’s facing a window or door – I’m told he hates being too enclosed.

    Thanks for the memories!

  3. August 18, 2009 3:43 pm

    Thanks Justin, for your comment, and thanks Richard for sharing your stories and experiences! How fortunate for you to have had this experience multiple times!

    And, Yes, I know what you mean about Lord Ganesh not wanting to be “boxed” in! In my house Lord Ganesh sits in one of two window sills; another faces the room on a bureau with a mirror at his back. Thanks for the reminder to folks who decide to make an altar for him this year.

  4. August 19, 2009 9:00 am

    What do I say about this? That you touched me? You did.

    this journey started the right way

  5. nanditaprabhu permalink
    August 22, 2009 3:15 am

    Very nicely written. Love your blog

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