Sonic boom on a Yoga mat

The sound waves entered my neck..

…between the third and fourth cervical vertebra, ran down the spine, bounced off at the tailbone and came up, almost bursting my head. The seventh chakra – isn’t that what the enlightened call the crown of the skull? – reflected them once more and they raced towards my elbows. I feel goose bumps on my forearms, then my fingers begin to shake.


“Relax, relax!” I tell myself, “this will pass.”

Then another “BUONG”, the next audio-attack hits and brings all remaining sound waves within me in resonance.
This time it didn’t come as much of a surprise. My vibrating cells still remembered the first assault.
And what you remember won’t surprise, right?

I sense the acoustic shock running down and up and down again in my body.
This time I am curious, try to observe the reactions, sensations of my bones, nerves, muscles, skin.

Isn’t there a bit of warming in my hands? a strange feeling of ‘detachment’ in my feet?
Somebody with an alphorn running back and forth betweeen my ears?
And a gnome dancing on the tip of my nose?

Sounds weird? Well, the truth is: I don’t know how to describe it.
None of this feels unpleasant, it’s just that I’ve never experienced anything like that before.
Kind of a mix between sitting in the middle of the brass section of Big Band, on a wing of a departing Seven Forty Seven, next to the first cello in the Berliner Symphonie, in the cone of a sonic bang (or the Big Bang, for that matter), under a cloud of a million bees.

I’ve never been in any one of these places before, never mind in all of them at the same time.
And right now I’m lying on a Yoga mat, in the dark of Monica’s quincho.
I hear faint breathing, left and right, in front and behind. There are more people here. Are they experiencing the same?


There we go again.

This is not an echo, not the answer, it is the next question, the next command perhaps.

“Relax even more…”

I give up, let the sound waves wash over me.

And then I realize: I feel like I’m floating in a deep pool of warm water, in the Dead Sea perhaps, buoyed by its high salinity.

No effort needed to keep me from sinking.
All attention focused on the gentle surf lapping against my skin.
Waves caressing arms, legs, my entire body.
I can’t tell anymore what sort of waves they are – acoustic? liquid?

I’m afloat in those “BUONG’s” which massage my body, soothe my soul and seduce my mind to vivid imaginations.

I’m soaring, jumping from cloud to cloud, high above ragged peaks and deep valleys. Wild winds push me along, hissing in my ears.

When I glide out into a vast plane, there is suddenly calmth and silence. No wind, no hissing anymore.

It takes a while until I realize that there is no more “BUONG” either.
Slowly the vibrations within fade away.

Then I hear a soft voice.
Where am I?

I open my eyes. In the dim light I see Jorge.

Jorge? The mechanic who tried more than once to fix “Big Blue”, my first car here in San Martin?
Can’t be, I must still be hallucinating.

Cautiously I move my hands, my arms, then my legs. I blink. Am I really awake?

Jorge is still there.
In a calm voice he announces the date of his next performance, the next “Baño de Gong”


Do I trust what I see and hear?

Is this the Jorge Schnarwiler who once pointed to a photo on the wall of his tiny office and admitted: ” I would love to visit this place once in my life” (“this place” being a tiny village in the Kanton Luzern in Switzerland where his grandfather had lived) ?

Is this the Jorge who would always try to explain to me how it was “next to impossible” to find spare parts for my ailing truck – with an ironic wrinkle around his eyes, as if to say: “Welcome to Argentina, gringo” ?

Well, the face looks like him, the voice sounds like him, so I guess he must be him….

” Did you like it?” he asks as I get up and put the Yoga mat away.

” A different experience, isn’t it ? ” There it is again: the faint glimmer of irony.

Ah, I love the surprises San Martin can come up with…

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