This journal is about the life of Katalin Koda, founder of the rubybleu foundation. It includes new information regarding the foundation and the work she is doing in South India.


Thursday, March 31, 2005

Horizon’s Edge

Spring Equinox has come and gone, when the day and night hang together in equal balance and the sun shines directly over the Earth’s equator. This day Wiccans honor Ishtar, the Goddess of all Goddesses, opener of the womb, the Lightbringer who is thought by some to be the forbearer of today’s Christian Easter. Whether that is true or not, it is a time of balance between the light and dark as well as a time of play as Spring makes her soft way into the world again. Persephone returns from the underworld, eggs hatch new life, infants begin to run on sturdy legs.

Fittingly, Leon, Yoko and I flew to the Maldives on the Equinox, a small country that hovers on the equator. It consists of up to 12,000 tiny islands that group together to form 29 spectacular coral atolls. Long ago ancient volcanic mountains sunk into the sea as coral grew up around the mountain leaving behind magnificent coconut tree islands surrounded by brilliant white coral sand beaches, sparkling aqua water and, just beyond, the deep indigo sea. Their main economy is tourism and fish. Only two hundred of the islands are inhabited by local Maldivians and several uninhabited ones have fancy resorts that cost anywhere from 90 to 4000 dollars a night.

We spent a week waiting for Yoko’s five year India visa in the more affordable capital, Male which is only one kilometer long and two kilometers wide! The people are one hundred percent Muslim, having been converted by seafarers many hundreds of years ago. Although this tiny capital is in the middle of nowhere, it is still quite modern—more so than even our quaint, backwater capital of Kerala! At the equator the satellite dishes point straight up and the heat is tolerable because of constant ocean breezes.

We also spent two days on a tiny island called Kura Bandos, once a resort and now a picnic park for Maldivian youngsters. I was able to snorkel to my heart’s content, one of my favorite things to do in the entire world and it was the best I’ve seen so far. I circumvented the tiny island alongside the edge of the coral reef where the bright aqua shallow coral meets the deep dark indigo sea. There I saw hundreds of fish of every color imaginable: purple and yellow stripes, red smears, black and white polka dots, fluorescent pinks and greens. The angelfish, the wrasse, the Moorish idol crunched away on tasty gorgeous corals all against a backdrop of the blue abyss beyond. It was thrilling, delightful and a bit scary—the mind imagines so much when it is confronted with the blank blue of the void. That beauty, that intensity reminded me of the Goddess and her cosmic womb, the egg of Ishtar herself laden with possibility and the unknown. I was invigorated by the experience.

The week was our long overdue honeymoon with dear Yoko alongside. She grew so much this week: knows her name, rolls this way and that across the bed, chortles in delight, kicks in the water and communicates very clearly her delights and distastes. Her hair is starting to come in, her long legs stretch out across the bed, her fingers tapping playfully on our faces. What leaps babies take in the first few months of life!

I have written so little since giving birth to Yoko as my mind seems to have softened, become more like a smeared abstraction of poetic phrases. Like Yoko I am entranced with the interplay of color, light and form but even more so then before as I watch and experience the world through her delicate baby eyes. She is teaching me the power of Now and striding carefully from moment to moment allowing Life to grace us with subtle pleasures and powerful moods.

The first two months of Yoko’s life were quite a challenge. Breastfeeding wore me to the bone with its mental stresses, emotional swings and physical pain. I had sore nipples for weeks on end, she seemed to never want to stop feeding and I found very few people besides Leon to talk with about these hardships. It seems that breastfeeding is thought to be natural, easy and innate but I found it most certainly a learned technique that required an immense amount of time, patience and endurance. The Dalai Lama’s poem “Never Give Up” hangs in the room where I feed Yoko and those words have gotten me through many a night.

As my nipples healed and feeding became easier and more enjoyable, I was confronted with a serious bout of vertigo that lasted for about two months. That in itself was extremely trying but spending all my time with a tiny infant was excruciating at moments. Surrender was the word, once again and ultimately the ounces of patience that I gained since Yoko’s birth helped me to surf the bouts of dizziness that kept me from writing, emailing, cooking and doing yoga. Even watching television was hard at times. But I, we, managed and I am ever thankful for Leon’s endless, vast love and support that anchors me through my myriad of turbulent adventures. And now—I’m so much better! Of course in retrospect I can see all the lessons learned, the wisdoms gained and it’s easy to say that which doesn’t kill me makes me stronger, but I never want to spin like that again!

Being Mother

And I am Mother, Mama to little Yoko and it is quite a journey. I wanted to write about it in this mail to you all but am finding it hard to pinpoint words as it is such a vast undertaking, a powerful state of being and yet so natural, so utterly dependent on the subtleties of understanding simple human nature while applying it within this complex world. I feel so completely different yet so utterly the same, as if the very notion of me, myself has been stripped away to reveal the raw, quivering nakedness of endless, archaic love that wells up inside as I hold Yoko, absorb her lovebeams from her light green eyes, am spellbound by her devotion, frantic at her cries, overjoyed by her laughter. It is a love so rich, so real, so pure that it makes me feel all jumbly inside just to think of my own Mother reverberating those feelings inside of her, back and back through my blood to hers, and back and back to my grandmothers and back and back, all those women, those women pouring their wisdom through gentle hands, caressing cares and drying tears, patting bums and telling stories as the generations spin onward and outward across the world. It makes me shudder with the immenseness of it all, makes me tremble at the deprivation of honor that still exists for motherhood today, makes me quiver with rapt, fierce determination to honor those women who have come before me, my mother who has guided me and all those who continue to commit to motherhood in the future. So, there it is, my best shot at the beginnings of expressing this powerful state of motherhood, this gift of a daughter who guides even the darkest parts of my soul which feel they are coming forward in humbled awareness.

And So On…

Our little family continues to make plans. This summer, during our monsoon time, we will be heading to Kodaikanal up in the mountains for Yoga and Reiki retreats in July and August. The weather is gorgeous in the hills that time of year and I’m excited to teach Reiki and Yoga on a lovely organic coffee farm on 22 acres, a rushing waterfall and dense ancient forest. If you or anyone you know will be coming to India this summer and is interested in learning from me, let me know. Also, I’ll be teaching a variety of workshops including Reiki, Chakra System, Moon Magic and Tarot next season (starting October 2005) at a friend’s retreat center, Yasmin India. See the attachments and
http://www.yasminindia.com/ for more details.

The rubybleu foundation is on slow burn at the moment as we are seeking new projects this summer. Unfortunately the micro loan did not succeed due to our first recipient becoming seriously ill and using the money for hospital bills instead of a replenishing, sustainable business. Micro loans are hard to maintain and although I felt we gave it our best shot, it wasn’t the best way to utilize our funds. I’ve decided to spend this summer interviewing five local women in Varkala of various standing on what they want, how they want their lives to change. I’ve realized that looking to the women themselves is the best way to come up with some new ideas and projects. I will be writing the commentary based on the information I glean concerning women’s issues and their worldview and what changes they and their daughters face in coming Westernization and globalization.

The rubybleu house is looking all the more lovely as the garden climbs high into the sky now with Leon’s passion fruit vines spiraling up and up. Last December we had a lovely Winter Solstice celebration with a giant nest, many candles and fierce intentions and we will plan another one this year. A bigger nest with more lovely people I hope to spread their joy and love and wisdom across the Universe. I’m inviting you all to come on over and experience the beauty of Varkala, the magick of India and the power of Now.

I love you all!
Keep smiling and dancing for me across this wide and gorgeous Earth.

Peace, Katalin


Wednesday, March 09, 2005

a poem 

yoko smiles

effervescence hinges the high notes
while dreamy eyes blink
slow light
as fishes float lilac blue;

vermillion wonder flashing
fierce mother-Love through my fatal heart,
piercing the
foggy, breathless dreams.

i hold her softness with
careful memory:
golden glowing baubles,
aquatic gestures, when!

a sudden beam
smashes bittersweet tears
into the ache of Time
(a dilated sigh)

she, my yoko, smiles!

slipping silvery sands
cross my round belly,
over moony breasts;

through the untouched guise
i drift on the magick spell
of yoko’s newborn eyes.

katalin december, 2004

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