Long after you left…
Your pointed words stayed with me
Often acting as effective antidotes
To the excesses of my own mind
All of my wild leaps of imagination
Swiftly cut down to size
By your pre-emptive acts of concern
Had it not been for you
I may’ve been lying fallen somewhere
Ditched by default of my own design
Yes, the credit for my salvation
Must be rightly accorded to you
And to the corrective power of sarcasm
For what could’ve otherwise been brutal
And left me hurt and wounded
Is now only a persistent dull ache…
I continue to exist- corrected, but wronged
Alive, but dead; breathing in a coffin
Shrouded in a symbolic spotless white.
Your heart, I sense
Is a changeling
I shall have to learn how to love.
He speaks with conviction
In words certain
With belief, meaning and purpose
While she dwells in doubt
Her words sitting on the fence
Of belief, meaning and purpose
He knows what he sees
And sees what he knows
She overlooks what she sees
And oversees what she knows
He travels to distant lands
In search of industry, wealth and love
Carrying with him
Proof of accomplishment
Proof of wealth and
Proof of love
He’s driven by desire
To own and possess
She knows that to own
Is to be possessed
While he speaks of his dreams
Of bringing her all of heaven and earth
She wonders why he won’t see
That all of heaven
Is right here, right now
In her hearth
He works odd hours
He says it brings the bread home
She cooks for two
But dines alone.
He says he’s free like the wind
And will not be tied down
And yet like a gentle night breeze
That’s destined to fill in a calm
He fills into her arms
His defenses down.
We are all in a sense blind
Understanding doesn’t follow the rhythm
Of day and night
And its own dawn comes after
Many troubled nights.
I walk on the earth
A soul tormented
By thoughts that are the machinations
Of an untruthful mind.
I know that I need saving
But don’t know who else can save me
This is the first time
I stand face to no-face
To speak my truth
Or remain forever silent.
This is the first time
I wish to see myself defeated
By a higher truth.
For in that I know
Lies my return to a place that
I’m trying to create for myself
In an imaginary world.
My hands join in prayer
And a tear rolls down my cheek
Today I pray for silence
So that I may rest
And so that no thought
Can come in between me and myself.
It’s not about you
There is no ‘you’
There are only circumstances
So that desires may act
And through action
Be liberated from binding thought
But who do these desires belong to?
…They belong to me
‘Me’ is only a thought
A rather persistent one
It’s actually a misnomer…
There is no ‘me;’ but there is ‘am-ness.’
Sound, space and light
In their tireless play create
A world of forms, words and meanings
And become the experiences
Describes as ‘mine’
In repeatedly describing experiences as ‘mine’
It condenses into an identity
A limited being
For an abundance
That pretentious language has hidden away.
You and I
Can trace our ancestry to thought
The remnants of an inaccurate language
That didn’t have the words
Thank you for joining us here to celebrate mom and dad’s fiftieth anniversary! Fifty years is a long time for two people to be together! Leave alone fifty years, we suffer so many little pinpricks in the course of our everyday lives that turning away from, and shutting off to our loved ones have become our default reactions. Life’s journey is a story of small disappointments intertwined with small joys, big losses compensated by relatively small gains and delusional, fanciful ideas that have little or no conversation with ‘REALITY.’ How then, when we all seem to be destined for a life of sorrow, do some people still manage to rise above these sorrows and live celebratory lives?
Here’s a list of things I’ve noted in my forty-two years with mum and dad:
- Learn to trivialize the seemingly ‘big’ problems and celebrate every small joy!
- When you lose something or someone, never allow yourself to get bitter.
- When one speaks the other must listen. Otherwise, when both speak, the neighbors will listen!
- Give each other support and care. That’s all we need to receive and that’s all we are expected to give.
- Respect each other. Respect the differences.
- Trust each other and have faith that there’s a grace over and above what seems to be. Learn to wait, watch and listen.
A newly married couple went to a zen master and asked: “How do we make our love endure?”
He replied: Love each other, but more importantly, love together-something, someone other than yourselves.
- In the case of mum and dad, they devoted their lives to us- their kids. Evenings were spent taking us for short drives or long walks; vacations were not an escape ‘from’ the kids, but an escape ‘with’ the kids. Now too, when I go to spend an evening with them at least once a week, I’m sure they argue for at least fifteen minutes about what ‘they think’ I’d like to eat!
- Retain some of your quirks in your relationships. I’ve seen mum’s incorrigible forgetfulness stand in sharp contrast to dad’s memory of the tiniest details, and her impulsiveness challenge his meticulous ways. And then, mom can cook blindfolded (if she had to) and dad carefully calibrates the proportion of milk to water when making tea.
- He organizes her medicines and sits up till late reading about alternative therapies for her aches and pains. And when he stresses about a health condition, she flippantly tells him to chuck his worries in the Fuck it bucket!
- Be dependable, not dependent. Be that one person your partner can always count on.
- Mend the broken. Discard neither objects nor relationships if there’s a minor chip. If it can be fixed, please fix it. And lastly,
- Have faith. When things go wrong, express gratitude for everything that is still so right. A marriage is not a set of vows you make to each other, it’s a set of vows you make to yourself.
For Suri and I too, tomorrow will mark our nineteenth wedding anniversary. And even as we live through our journey, with its highs and lows, for me, it’s the memory of mum and dad’s marriage that allows me to sustain the bad times and celebrate the good. And that to me is the greatest gift of all!
The true end of things
Is always at the beginning.
One day I shall cease to exist
Simply because I never did
to begin with.