One of my favorite bloggers, wrote a poignant post exploring the need for a ‘defined’ self. It reminded me of a poem which we learnt in school, the Pulley, which has always stuck with me. The possibility that restlessness, is a steady state for man.. Of others, I don’t know, but it holds true for me. I am not an extraordinary brain .. just your average Jane and yet I have never felt satisfied. With a good life, a great job, amazing family. Having everything that is considered a privileged life.
Its never about having more.
Its always about having ‘right’. and what is right, I don’t know ..yet. Not knowing what I want can become a major hurdle in getting it..sounds paradoxical..
but that’s what it is.. the constant longing of wanting to be in a place where I’m not. The constant desire to be at peace.. which I am told can only be found within me. It is in me that I can seek the answers to my questions. But the questions .. they are yet not complete..
When God at first made man,
Having a glass of blessings standing by;
Let us (said he) pour on him all we can:
Let the world’s riches, which dispersed lie,
Contract into a span.
So strength first made a way;
Then beauty flow’d, then wisdom, honour, pleasure:
When almost all was out, God made a stay,
Perceiving that alone of all his treasure
Rest in the bottom lay.
For if I should (said he)
Bestow this jewel also on my creature,
He would adore my gifts instead of me,
And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature:
So both should losers be.
Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlessness:
Let him be rich and weary, that at least,
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
May toss him to my breast.
— George Herbert
it gets easier..
the pain fades
the nicks and cuts disappear
as time flows .. the sharp edges smoothen..
but that’s just the surface, isn’t it?
All grimy cities have pretty facades..
that’s how it is these days..
changes that I can feel
but not see..
just a sense of motion
And as promised, while I slog away in the corporate world, you get to read the hope filled words of Ayushi who writes breathtaking poetry
When she emailed saying she wanted to write a poem on one of my photos, I was very pleased, not only because she is a great writer but also because she is my very first blog reader (apart from my dear sister) from the days when my stats used to say 0,0,0,1,0,5 in any given week. And I’m glad she has not stopped visiting even after 2 years 🙂
Give it up for her..
There’s this feeling you get
But always there
Just before you turn a corner
Just before you cross your doorstep
Just before jump off a cliff
Just before you take that leap of faith
Just before you step into the light
And out of that dark indecisiveness
That was holding you back.
Remember that feeling?
You hold in your breath,
You’re totally still
With a million thoughts running furiously around your head
The anticipation builds,
You slowly summon up the courage
You let out a whoosh of breath
You close your eyes
And then you leap.
Leaving the rest up to fate.
The adrenaline kicks in,
You feel exhilaration
Novelty, curiosity, lightness.
There’s the smell of freedom
All around you.
The sense of having stepped into
A new you?
A new life?
A new road?
A new day?
A new home?
A new love?
It is that one feeling
That helps you cross the threshold
And takes you into something new.
It is powerful
It is quite unlike any other.
It is what makes you take that blind leap of faith –
The anticipation of something new.
Remember the other day I had asked if anyone was willing to free write using my photos as prompt? Well Charlotte over at This path of Lilly’s volunteered to write and I’m so happy she did. Because she took this photo, that I took last week on the way home, and changed it into a whole new story with her fantastic perspective! Thank you SO much Charlotte!
What are you doing?
Oh, just looking at some pictures my friend in India sent me. I said I’d do a guest post on her blog and she sent three of her photos for me to use as writing prompts. She’s a photographer, by the way.
Ooh…exciting. I had no idea your fame had grown to the level of making guest appearances on others’ blogs.
(Laughing) I’m not famous! She’s one of four people who read my blog. Actually, I’m a little nervous and having a hard time coming up with something to write about. Pressure, ya know?
Oh come on. Since when have you been at a loss for words? (He pokes me in the side, teasingly.)
I laugh and click through the pictures again, waiting for a brilliant idea to hit me.
He watches as I contort my face into each one of my six different versions of ‘thinking face.’
He rolls onto his side and rests his head on his fist.
Oh wow! From this angle, that picture looks really cool! Overexposed or something.
I tilt my laptop to see what he’s seeing. The contrast has drastically increased, making the trees look as if they’ve been x-rayed and the sun, a defined circle of brightness with several outer rings, each growing darker the farther away from the sun they are.
Oh yeah, I like that. You know what it makes me think of? Ripples in a pond. Like someone tossed a stone into the sky.
See? Now you’re coming up with ideas. That’s my girl.
Yeah but I can’t write about that. Maybe a poem. I wrote a poem once that had to do with dreams and water and ripples…Lady of the Night, that was the title.
He gave me a funny, questioning look.
Lady of the night??
Not like that. A lady of the night is usually used in reference to a street walker, a prostitute. But she does her thing in the darkness of night because it’s a sin, forbidden- looked down on by society. The woman in the poem was similar because what she did at night was to think of someone other than the man she was lying beside.
Oh. So what does that have to do with ripples?
“intrusions upon tranquility
like a stone tossed in a lagoon
breed waking ripples of nostalgia
lapping at my mind”
The dreams she has at night ripple into the day, where they don’t belong. Where they should not be. But because when she chooses to throw the stone into the water at night, she must endure the consequences throughout the day.
I see. That’s why they say to be careful about your thoughts.
I suppose so. It’s like that quote I loved from the movie, Inception. Remember? I had you pause the movie so I could write it down for my collection.
“What’s the most resilient parasite? A bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm?
An idea. Resilient…highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it’s almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed- fully understood- that sticks, right in there somewhere.”
So if the sun was the place the stone, or idea, was tossed and the “rings” radiating outward, lighting up the entire sky are the result of that idea, what the hell was the thought that created the sun and who would have had such an enormous idea?
I think it’s the same cumulative thought or idea by millions of people.
And what would that be, Dear?
Easy. What was my poem really about? What did she dare to dream of at night when it was safe to dream? What was her deepest desire?
PS: If you would like to write similar guest posts, do email me 🙂
Beauty is everywhere.
It is all real.
It is all there.
It is the wrinkles in grandma’s hand.
It is the twinkle in the eyes of the little lad.
It is the starkness of Death valley.
It is the tear stained stories of a street alley.
It is the glass of water on a hot day.
It is the torn soles of a construction worker.
It is the sweat on Dad’s forehead.
It is the pat on the back.
It is the encouraging smile of a kindly boss.
It is the rain after a long summer.
It is the warm day after a biting winter.
It is the sound of bells in a temple.
It is the quiet breaths of a church.
It is the path seldom followed.
It is the road to the city where everyone goes.
It is the dimple of the girl next door.
It is the laughter of the guys on the road.
It is the angst ridden poem of a teenager.
It is the contented sigh of a mother.
It is the scream of ecstacy of a lover.
It is the spilt blood of a soldier.
It is the soft skin of a baby.
It is the purr of a kitten.
It is the roar of a lion.
It is the eeriness of the forest at night.
It is the calm of the sea at low tide.
Beauty is you.
Beauty is me.
** Written as a part of the Dove and Yahoo Real Beauty Contest at Indiblogger. To vote and read other views on Real Beauty, go here. Usually paranoid about my creative abilities, this was one more step in overcoming that fear. Your comments, suggestions and critique is really appreciated.
Also check out Yahoo! Real Beauty, the one stop shop for all things beautiful and related to making yourself beautiful 🙂
Happy women’s day to all you fabulous women out there!
I’m not usually one to celebrate ‘days’. I always get flak for forgetting birthdays and anniversaries so the media endorsed ones are farther away. But women’s day is a different case. Not because I’m a bra-burning feminist but because I have experienced how hard it is being a woman even in the 21st century. Seeing all the great women around me having to struggle on a daily basis for simple joys makes me want to say something. If tomorrow, all women unite and refuse to give birth, it would be an interesting day for the human race.
The woman who makes me feel proud of being a woman is my mother. Because being our mother is not her only identity. She and my dad had a love marriage 30 odd years ago and they have been together now for almost 41 years. If you know India, you can imagine that is a pretty big rebellion for a woman in those times. Her parents-in-law never really accepted her but she made sure she took care of them till their last breath. She used to act in theatre as a young woman. She wanted to study law. But she fell in love and chose her family instead. She does not regret that at all but it gives me a pang of sadness sometimes thinking what might have been.
So today’s day is for my mom.
A woman who has stood by her family in good and tough times.
Who has weathered the many setbacks her health has thrown to her with a smiling face and a grit I have never seen in anyone else.
Who supported her husband’s dream of building a business by making sure that the family was taken care of.. financially and emotionally.
Who is always there for anyone who wants her time.
Who is an avid reader and thinker.
Who actually reads my blog, comments and gives me feedback. Again, knowing some of the other women from her generation, it’s a huge deal that she is internet savvy.
Who is nearing 60 and yet doesn’t look a day over 40.
Who has a sense of humor and her childlike wonder intact.
Who always makes sure she is well dressed every time she steps out.
Who after 41 years can still laugh with her husband.
Who has a kind encouraging word for me every time.
Who has stood by me in all the disappointments I have caused her.
She is my woman of substance.
Tell me about yours..
honest to goodness reality is rare in life.
i crave that.
a real connection.
without the safety nets.
without the worries of judgement.
they say judge a man on how he behaves,
when no one is watching.
but when he believes in fooling himself?
then his own reality is make believe.
how is he to forge a connection.
when he is disconnected from himself?
I find symbols fascinating.. Mainly because they tell you so much about the culture and history of the people..
This plate includes the common ingredients needed for a usual worship ritual of Hindus..and all of them are somehow tied to the social, economic and cultural lives in this part of the world..
I could probably write a 1000 word essay just on turmeric. Its the most commonly used spice, an antiseptic, its a beautifying agent, its grows easily…. Its yellow color provides it importance in traditional rituals since saffron/yellow/orange are all holy colors for Hindus, Buddhists and Jains.
The red mercuric sulphide powder or Vermillion is the ‘bindi’ or the red dot you would see on the foreheads of Indian women mostly and even men. It’s supposed to be a protecting energy to the women and their husbands.
Rice is the pulse of south east asian agricultural economies. Without rice we would be a very different people. Hence its offered to the Gods. A symbol of prosperity and wealth, rice has been used in ancient Greek culture as well as offering to appease the deities.
And flowers of course are a symbol of purity in almost all cultures.
And this was just one plate. We had a ‘pooja’ or a worship ritual done for the new house to bring the home or ‘vaastu’ peace and harmony. Not being a devoutly religious person I was still intrigued by the countless little symbols used throughout the ceremony. I’ll post about them as and when I get a chance because with modernization we are losing all these stories of our heritage.
These are links that tie us to our history and ancestors and if I were given the option of time travel I know I’d choose traveling to the past rather than the future..