…..'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'…..

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menopratall [men-oh-prat-all]; yabbering and jibbering and all that...

You'd think, after last week's general update post, that I might now move forward in some organised manner with the MacHistory. ...You might think that... I know better. Remember, I am here writing all this gumph because of one major change in life. THE 'change'. The change which every female (and possibly man) must face at the end of reproductive years - whether or not she (or he) bought into the whole reproduction thing at all.

It will take a while to wend my way through various parts of the menomoir. Only fitting, since it took a while to live the life it attempts to describe. I caught myself out a bit though. I could just write and write and write.... but let's face it that would bore the bejiggers off everyone. Illustrations are a must in such things.

That is when, sitting down to write this, I realised that I had a lot of photographs still to be scanned - at least for the 'areas' I had intended wandering earlier rather than later. Tsk.  Rethink.

The symptom brought forth its own answer though; for, as noted last week, whilst there are one or two very darling patient ones amongst my readers, the majority are new enough to not know the background to the blogging and that is as good a place to start as any.  For, you see, I was once rather a non-believer. Being a computer nerd I was very familiar with the internal networks and university protocols which were the precursor to emailing, the internet and such. One of the tools of said systems, particularly in the among the sciences, was 'web logging'; a Local Area Networked open comms system in the form of a journal so that researchers could keep tabs on each other. (Of course, I am being my usual pared down and vaguely sarcastic self here - it was very advanced stuff for the 1970s/80s and the onset of the discrete desktop computing machines only encouraged more of this; it is a huge history all of its own and not to be related here...)

On the whole, web logging, as mentioned, was for the researchers and ivory tower scientists and the rest of the world saw it as being just another nerd thing.  Even me.  I had better things to do than be spending my days hooked into a keyboard... 8*}

The more the internet grew, the more I withdrew from it. I could see no good coming from the whole world knowing everything on demand.

In the mid 1990s was when I became aware of a few mates talking about 'blogging'... turned out that web-logging had suffered the inevitable contraction and that it had escaped from universities. It was corporations who took up this method of keeping an eye on everyone's work. Due to it being something I instinctively distrusted, as well as it all kind of firing off at a point in my life when a good deal else was happening, the revolution rather passed me by.  At that time it was mainly the realm of professionals - one good pal, a journalist, mentioned it a few times but gave up on me when I simply showed no interest.

I am not entirely sure at what point it became a mass media thing. All and sundry hanging out their thinking in public. It was rough and tumble, I think, in those toddler days. Within the space of a decade it became necessary to start developing 'netiquette' (and even now that is still developing). The whole social media thing sprouted as tendrils from that original source - none, that I could see, any better and on the whole, considerably worse. Worse in the sense that nothing is held sacred, private and it all seems to drag out the basest instincts in the human species.

That was the background stuff.

I landed up in India, in an intense situation of study and spiritual practice. It will be written, eventually. The important point here today, though, is that about half way through that period of time, I realised that I needed a  mental safety valve.

Not only was the nature of the experience deep and shifting but I was dealing with the 'eye of the storm'. The absolute point of the menopolyxinaemia. (For the uninitiated, that is one of the terms permitted one who suffers it - do not consult your medical dictionaries, but the Menoctionary instead!) It had just clicked over into 2013 and permission had been given for this senior student to take an internet 'peg' in order to at least be able to email family and friends and release a little steam.

One of the things that was bubbling away under the hood was the writing bug.  I have been a 'writer' since school days, so on one of the many many many(.........>>>>) insomnia nights, I started trawling for writers forums and info on e-publishing; not with serious intent, but serious curiosity.

This landed me on a blog. It took me a while to understand what was happening. However, that blogger was a writer and I purchased her books and they were delightful, (Blogvillagers take note). Seeing a blog which was not all rant and rave and grinding axes had me wondering. I clicked one of the links on the right of the page... and so it began. I very quickly found my way to several blogs which I just could not stop visiting, such was the quality on offer there. Writing and content.

It took two months.  Two months and I thought, 'well I  have all these photos and no way to show my pals really, so why not a photoblog? That won't do any harm...'


It took exactly three days before My Take Too got built, with intention of only sharing my small creative writings.  (Which continued until it reached 2nd b'day - now merging those files onto this one.) After all, I was up to eyeballs in PhD spiritual researches. No time for anything else.

But the nights were long. The work got done. The meditation got done. The contemplations got done.... within a fortnight of the TAKE blog, YAMandala and My Take MENO were under way. The mandalas were getting created as part of the meditational process anyway; the blog was just a storage space for them. The insomnia which was to blame for the whole surrender to this previously pilloried pastime needed its own outlet; and the cause of the insomnia (other than ashram hours)? Yup. THE change. I needed to extract my'self' from it - make an object of it. The blog did this, as did the 'menolinguo' which revealed itself so readily as we went along.

The idea that blogging could lead to genuine connections had seemed a foreign idea. Before I left Mumbai, however, one of my first followers (and continues a dear pal) was Deepak of Mumbai Daily Blog and ...... what is more..... his pawmate, Bozo, who posts on Sundays at Pets Forever (find them on the blogroll), invited me to visit them!!!  I have since connected with other blogpals - not least among them being Mara and of course darling Bertie and Miss Gail. I do hope there will be more!

I have rationalised the blogs, as you know, because I also began my teaching blog (Aatmaavrajanam) last August and, really, three bloggies on a daily posting schedule is quite enough...bordering on the masochistic... yet, now I have added in RedBubbling and I am again immersed in creating designs, this time for printing and selling. It is veryveryery time consuming, but in a most happy way. For, you see, ashram hours and menopolyxinaemia, whilst receded, have left a legacy.  I will have as many as three or four insomnia nights per week. After prayers, readings, meditations and posts, my hours are now filled with bubbles. The time passes unnoticed. Chanting can be done during this work - indeed it is starting to show its presence in the designs, to some extent. Sleep?  Who needs it..?

Mind you. An average of 70 hours work a week seems excessive for $20/month return; but hey - it's keeping me out of mischief.

Thus, dear reader, you have the low-down on my come-down and realising that blogging, in fact, can lift one up. It is the reason we are here together. ... and am even getting some actual writing done...


  1. How interesting to learn of your journey! Mom also enjoys writing. She started a book and got just over 20,000 words into it when me and Stanley came along. She never went back to it. She said that we made up for what was missing so she didn't need the book anymore. Of course the book was about a woman who got a dog BOL! Maybe she just lived the book! Maintaining several blogs takes a lot of time, especially if you put heart in them. And we know you do!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley & Chunky (not really) mom

    1. Hari Om
      Oh I know how it is, having words begun yet not finding their end...but surely they will, one day! Huggies, Yxx

  2. My grasp on the ether is very tenuous. I have no idea what is going on, and I certainly have no idea how you stay lucid with so little sleep and write so many interesting and thought inducing posts.
    But, as I was saying, I have no idea what the youngsters are blogging about, or are they all doing tweets and texts? They certainly don't answer their phones or emails any more. I only stumble into blogs and then stumble on if I'm not fascinated. I wonder when blogger will dump us. Then, like the square, I'll have to find all of you in a new kind of reality. "Oh, bother," as Christopher Robin would say.

    1. Hari OM
      This whole ether revolution is a double-edged sword, in social terms. Folk (and it is not always 'the young 'uns') want to know all the gossip and they want to know it NOW... Everyone decries the state of the world... but it really is not so different from what has been for ever and ever... it's just that now we KNOW about it due to instant access. It has bred a level of impatience and short hand language... But even dear old Pooh was heard to mutter "bit over rated, this writing business, if you ask me..." Yxx

  3. Very interesting to find out what gets others blogging. I too was initially wary of the whole idea and I honestly can't remember exactly what changed to make me give it a go, other than that I needed a release from the restrictions of writing my PhD thesis in the dry style expected of 'serious' scientists. Anyway, that was nearly seven years ago.
    I remember reading a discussion about why people blog, on another blog, and one common thread was that many of us were already compulsive diarists. (For me, the daily journal habit goes back over two decades).
    Anyway, long may you continue blogging away happily at your wonderful blog.
    I tell myself that if it ever becomes a chore then I'll stop.
    Cheers! Gail.

    1. Hari OM
      Yes I think study at that level does engender a need for 'relief' but dropping back into 'the ordinary' and that is perhaps the initiation... but I agree wholeheartedly about the diarists theory - I kept a journal from the age of seven years, when my grandmother gave me a lockable diary!!! Yxx

  4. As a TEACHER our mom refers to READING and WRITING as Decoding and Encoding....and if you love ONE you GOTTA Love the OTHER...
    They are BOTH addictive... and Blogging Takes care of BOTH addictions... With MANY MANY Hidden PERKS.... Like the FRIENDSHIPS and such... RIGHT?

    1. Hari Om
      Now I L O V E that 'take' on it!!! Yxx

  5. Blogging is great... I wish I had more time to read more blogs...but if the time flies, that's a sign that we enjoy efurry minute, right?
    easy rider

  6. My sister got me into blogging. And even though she has long since stopped, thinking her life is quite boring, I never did. In fact, I thrive on it. Plus the bonus of occasionally meeting fellow bloggers is fantastic of course!


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