04 November 2005

I Didn't Mean Share EVERYTHING

The other 'creative non-fiction' book that Claire lent me was My Life in Orange by Tim Guest.

The back cover reads:
"Imagine growing up with 200 mothers and 200 fathers.

What would it feel like to dress entirely in orange?

What would it be like to grow up in a commune with daily chants, meditation and muesli on the menu?

What would it be like to swap your mother for a whole new orange family?

At the age of six, Tim Guest was taken by his mother to a commune in a small village in Suffolk.

It was modelled on the teachings of a famous Indian 'guru', Bhagwan, who preached an eclectic doctrine of Eastern mysticism, chaotic therapy, and sexual freedom.

Both were given Sanskrit names, dressed entirely in orange, and encouraged to surrender themselves into their new family.

Tim -- or Yogesh, as he was now known -- spent the rest of his childhood in Bhagwan's various communes in England, Oregon, Pune and Cologne.

While his mother meditated and chanted in her quest for perfect freedom and perfect delight, Yogesh lived a life of unsupervised freedom, occasionally catching glimpses of the strange behaviour of the adults around him.

In an extraordinary memoir, by turns deft, humorous and poignant, Tim Guest reclaims a lost moment of madness in the recent cultural history of the West.

He chronicles the hilarious and heart-breaking plight of being left alone on earth while his parents hunted heaven."
When I said 'share everything', I really did not mean that I wanted to share EVERYTHING.

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