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 🙂
This is to wish happy anniversary to my mom n dad. Not sure how big it is elsewhere but from whenever I remember we have always celebrated this day as a holiday. These guys are total goofballs with a terrific sense of humour towards life and a tenacity to face the many hurdles that came their way. They got married in 1978 after 9 years of dating with a lot of opposition. Even today I have friends who do not have the liberty to choose their own partners. Imagine fighting for that some 40 odd years ago.. Here’s wishing them many more happy ones to come!
PS: If you are wondering about the Chanel bit, Dad got a little 5ml No.5 bottle from Paris a couple of months before their wedding. The cardboard cover is all yellowed and in tatters. The perfume is long gone but I kid you not, that bottle still has fragrance as if new, after 33 years. I will prove it to you if you meet me. Anywho, that signifies their relationship to me. Timeless and uniquely fragrant.
Hope to find that someday for myself.
When you part ways..
with someone you loved
for years and years..
where does the love go?
I always wonder..
is there a place somewhere
where it all gets collected
to then be distributed
to those who don’t get any
because you cannot destroy matter
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?
..someone who’d rather do nothing with me than anything with anyone else..
(I stole that line from somewhere..wish I remembered where. But it’s just right .. yeah)
It was a struggle every time..
not to touch you
being insanely attracted to you
and insanely scared of being rejected
No..sure of being rejected
i never knew
why you never left..
a long time ago..
it was me who was blinded by love..
you never were
and in the space
between your nonchalance
and my desire spent grief
i’m still hanging…
to release my breath.
In other stories, they hung this exit sign outside my apartment door, facing a window, for the sole person who lives on the floor.. moi. go figure!
A random stranger who came to buy my sofa asked me “and you WANT to go back to India?” ..The surprise in her tone and the tiniest bit of shock took me aback. But what surprised me most was my own reaction. Without skipping a beat and with a lightness of heart that I hadn’t felt in a long time, I replied ‘Yes!’. And that re-ignited something in me. Something that I had suppressed all these years. My innate Indianness, if you will. Not the patriotic kinds nor the derogatory kind. Just the quality that allows us to live life by the gut. We love from there, hate from there, make big decisions using its signals. We literally speak and sing from the gut too.(No really! Try singing any Indian song. You WILL feel the vibrations in your tummy!). We are an emotional people. Its never about black or white but nor is it grey. Its about colors. All of them. Too many to identify. There are no rights and wrongs. There is only a feeling of the moment. We are cheaters but we are honest. We are lazy and sincere. We are black, brown, beige and white. We love free food but we are killer cooks. There’s poverty and pollution and traffic jams. But there are festivals and food and joy. There’s corruption and blackouts and no water. But there’s family and friends and home.There’s too many people. Privacy is almost impossible. But so is loneliness. We hate each other but will leave everything when someone we care about is in trouble. We will kick each other today and go back to being best friends tomorrow. We nod to say yes and we nod the same way to say no.
The rules are fuzzy. But the love is absolute.
And I for one… cannot wait to be back 🙂
him : It isn’t that you don’t stand by your convictions. It’s just that your convictions are multi-dimensional and prone to several interpretations at the same time.
him: its endearing and exasperating…
her: i read an intriguing statement…its been hovering around me
her: there are two types of bird lovers..those who catch the bird..put it in a golden cage and are happy to see it at their will.
her: And then there are those who will walk through slush and mud ..and spend hours waiting in the forest just to catch a glimpse of the bird in flight..
him: hmm..so I’m guessing you are trying to place yourself in one of the categories and while wanting to be the second, find yourself to be closer to the first and that’s killing u
her: hate u
him: love u
her: you HAD to end the conversation.
him: what do I say when I’m executed without a trial
her: I’m too old for this..
her: besides I’ve heard it all before. It’s rarely from the heart
him: so you’ll use a precedent and never open yourself to possibility
her: i don’t know. i’m a weak girl with too many battles to fight…cant really afford to lose the limited supply of strength.
her: plus you are a guy. you’ll forget me once you see a prettier skirt
her: talk to you later
him: take care..
It’s 7 years since I left my real home.. since the first job which included running to the opening shift at 5.30 in the wee hours of the day.. since my first day of graduate classes ..of being on my own after never having left the safety of home for 23 years.. I have moved a bunch of times since then. I don’t know if I ever want to go back to Philly..but I will always love this dear old dirty city.
Do you have a place other than home that you think of as home?
You always look a wee bit sad..
As if light is too far away..
But sometimes a little breeze drives up the alley..messing your hair..the sunshine caresses your face..makes those angles look sharper..
the smell of smoke and perfume and the salty ocean fills the air..a heady mix..
that lights a smile.. the dimples appear in a game of hide and seek..
in that fleeting second.. the day pays its debt.