Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Tucson, AZ: Temporary Home #1

Ashram, Tucson, Arizona. March 2019.

I'm not an ashram kinda gal, but it gave me pleasure to tell people that I was staying at an ashram. Made me feel very exotic, and also mischievous, as it might insert a little nibble of uncertainty in the minds of friends and family elsewhere. Ashram? She's staying in an ashram? Is she on drugs? Did she fall under the spell of some scoundrel with a spiritual shtick? She's not going to try to convert us, is she? Or, worse, ask us for money? Maybe I should call her and see if she's OK. No, maybe it's better not to call.

Although I'm not an ashram kinda gal, I am a pragmatic kinda gal. This retreat space met my budgetary and technological needs. In addition, it is in a bang-up good location in Midtown-ish. (I don't have all of the Tucson neighborhoods down.)

Although the exterior of my room was uninspired (hah, get it?), and there was zero view from my room, the inside of my room was sweet. Sunlight soaked the room during the day via a skylight in the ceiling.

My temporary home, ashram, Tucson, Arizona. March 2019.

There was a work desk and an office chair! Once some challenges got ironed out, the wifi was just about good enough for me to work. Thoughtfully placed hooks lined the wall across from the utilitarian bathroom. The tile floor shined with clean good health, mostly due, I'm sure, to the request for guests to remove their shoes before walking into the room.

My temporary home, ashram, Tucson, Arizona. March 2019.

My temporary home, ashram, Tucson, Arizona. March 2019.

I wasn't the only woman new to Tucson, looking for sort-of-permanent digs, staying at the ashram until the hunt produces fruit.

One woman has sought a long-term home for some time. Because of financial constraints, she alternates between what she referred to as "car camping" and a once-or-twice weekly overnight at the ashram. She does volunteer work at the ashram, as well, in exchange for a free meal at the ashram's vegetarian restaurant.

Another woman, an artist, had just found an apartment, but it won't be ready until May. From her I learned that the cleanliness of the ashram rooms is no sure thing. I encountered her on the grounds one morning with a broom in her hand.  She reported that she was working on the third layer of grime in her room. This startled me, as my room was immaculate.

People come and go at the ashram. My experience was that when I had a question about the location of something on the grounds or about when something opened or closed or otherwise ashram-related, and I'd ask an individual who was engaged in a work activity there, more often than not, my question was met with gentle befuddlement, a shake of the head, and an "I don't know; I'm just ..." and the answer would sort of trail off.

But there were two or three, no, let's stick with two, individuals who generally knew what was what, so I just learned to ask one of them.

A slide show of the grounds below:

Tucson ashram

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