Death and what it takes away

Over the last ten years, I have seen more deaths than most people my age. Barring my husband who went through one before we met due to which his count is more than mine. Probably why we ended up together. But that’s a different story for another time.

When I first saw someone die, I saw people around them clamor for their belongings in a way that disgusted me. I ranted about it in my head and decided that I hadn’t seen such cheap people in my life before. Little did I know that the most common weed I had suddenly stumbled on was something that grew in everyone’s backyard.

If anything, my head wraps itself around loss with a feeling of profound humility.

That this is all it amounts to.

I remember the famous lines from the book called ‘Doctors’.

“What then does death take away?

Hard nosed scientists would call it electric pulses. religious men might say a body spirit but I am a humanist and what I saw today I took to be the absence of his soul”

I have struggled with the polar extremes of attachment and detachment all my life. Death challenged it on a completely different plane. I was very preoccupied with what the dead person might have wanted to do with what they left behind. I felt this compelling need to do their bidding. The idea of right and wrong danced in front of my already disturbed mind that was waiting to pounce on something to channelize the irrational anger I felt over loss however secondary it was to me.

However after a lot of will power, and absolutely no choice, I learnt to let go. I still remember how liberating it felt.

To understand that the material losses did not matter to the dead person.

To realize that it was my sadness over the loss that permeated into such feelings due to the sheer magnitude of its helplessness.

Now, I see the weed at a larger scale on TV. I recognize it so well. But what I am so relieved at is how I have learnt to disregard this preoccupation with it. And realize that whoever gets Poes Garden only gets walls, a garden and some money. The energy that flowed in its windows has left for greener pastures. I do not say this with even an iota of cynicism. Neither am I a saint who thinks money isn’t necessary in life. I say this as someone who has learnt to prioritize angst. You need a lot of practice to assort your feelings into boxes they sometimes do not fit into.  So I say this with the quiet confidence of someone who has learnt some kind of lesson from events I am an unwilling witness to.

So what then does death take away? Nothing actually.

Their energy is all around us. It is up to us to absorb what we want. However the ability to process loss into something one can learn from is a privilege I have come to value.

RIP. Peace.

 

 

 

 

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Flights of fancy

I need to read a lot to be sane. When I was a child, it was classics. Then it became popular fiction. For a while, it was the intellectual non fiction I found satisfying. I am a little petulant to admit that nowadays, it is blog posts, profiles and articles online.

I keep telling myself I am wasting my time and that I should get to the ever growing stack of stuff I mean to read when I am free. But I read an article here about a woman in Harvard and then another there about Jayalalitha. Keeps me mulling over many things in my head. Till the next fancy catches me.

So I shall read my books when I am free. But when am I ever free? I tell myself I will blog after I finish my work at night. But there is always an article pending. A site to be designed. A draft I HAVE to pen down before the idea falls outside my head.

But for now, I am thankful to have the time to keep my mind busy, my heart intrigued and my soul quite satisfied. So long then. How have you all been?

Life

Have I ever told you how happy I feel around anything that is growing? I have a plant just behind my computer and watch it sprout leaves everyday. It is very beautiful and special for me. A sign that the world is breathing softly telling us that life goes on whether we notice it or not. A reminder that we should tread carefully with a lot of respect for the abundance of life around us.

Simple joys

Counting one’s blessings

I had recently left a comment on a blog I read that I ought to do a post on my blessings. But not for the same reasons as her. I have never needed to remind myself of my blessings because those are what keep me going. But over the years, what I consider a blessing has changed and that’s interesting.

When I was really small, I had this intense connection with the sky. I was one of those bright eyed kids who was very curious about the weather and played many games with myself on when it would rain. Over time, when I found myself dealing with stuff I couldn’t possibly expect my frail shoulders to take, I leaned on my imagination to help me out.  Even now, I find myself looking up at the sky whenever I feel the out of place in the world. And I imagine flying far away.  So.. yeah! I am thankful for the sky and always have been.

I am thankful for fate which has simultaneously been incredibly cruel to me and amazingly generous. I am happy and grateful for gifts I received without asking for them. Like my daughter. She is my greatest learning, my hardest mountain and the sweetest reward.

And saving the best one for the end.

I am very thankful for my faith which has become stronger with every year. It has come to play a bigger part in my life with every passing day. And I turn to it like you would to your mother when you are happy or wounded or simply confused. And I am humbled by my own journey which is so personal, so incredible and I sometimes wonder what I did to deserve it.

 

 

There is an angst that rises in all of us when we face unpleasant situations,people or problems. This angst is full of raw emotion and I realize that this is something I can never do away with.

However there is one amazing thing that I know. Feeling something and acting upon it are two different things. Everyday I find myself pushing my emotions aside and dealing with the present. The mundane.

 

And what a gloriously healing journey it has been. Once you get over your initial frustration that your time is no longer yours to brood and cry over , you accept this and get into a habit of being able to set aside your emotion for a later time

This is like doing push-ups. So the more you practice, the easier it gets. Till a time when you know that everything passes. The situation. The emotion. The angst. And nothing really matters.

What a liberating feeling.

Here’s to many more lessons from my dear daughter.

 

 

 

In the quiet of the night

Every day, in the quiet stillness of the night, I find myself wide awake. Searching. I watch random videos online while quietly editing pages of content. What I watch depends on what inspired me that day. It could be an ad I loved or something else that annoyed me. But I know I walk a certain distance everyday. I do not know my destination. Neither my purpose. But I do know this. I walk. Everyday.

Small steps.Big thoughts.Happy dreams.

 

Entangled.

For every question you scream into the void

A voice somewhere answers you

And the energy reverberates through space

Reaching you like the end of a soft ripple

 

Faint and far away

But so close.

So very close

 

 

The question and the answer

cannot exist without each other.

 

 

I keep telling myself that I have to get back to blogging. I even open wordpress and wander amidst the cobwebs that have gathered here. But never once have I come wanting to write something. The desire to update the blog doesnt manifest in something to write. Atleast for me.

But today I came because I was thinking about something. I have this conflict raging in my head about whether I am this social butterfly or the nerdy introvert. Some days I feel like the former and other days like the latter.

Slowly I began to realize that like updating this blog, I only want to be social for the sake of being social. To be considered normal. After that I began to accept that quantity can never come at the cost of compromising on quality.

Today I had an epiphany. There was an interesting video I saw on Facebook. A fish was beating all odds and finally landed into water. I was so fascinated by the video and watched it a few times. Then I felt like talking to the fish

I am not interested in small talk. I do not want to know about your diamonds. Or your bank balance. I do not want to be asked about my daughter or whether she is potty trained.

If I can talk to you and forget who I am, you have me hooked. Tell me what makes you twist and turn at night, keeping you awake. Tell me how you survived. More importantly, tell me WHY you survived. I am in love with people who have a purpose. The purpose could be inane like wanting to be happy. It could be a passion. But tell me what is it that makes you want to wake up everyday. And why that is so important.

As for the small talk, the mommy talk and the rest. When I look dazed and start talking about the weather, you know I am not listening. I probably never will.

 

There is a litt…

There is a little dot inside all of us. The dot we can never get rid of. On some days, everything else other than the dot dissolves and all you are… is just a little dot. Easy to lose… difficult to find.. lost inside the magnitude of what the little dot can mean.

The dot is quiet and forgotten on good days but stands in front of the eyes on not so good ones. Crosses its arms and asks you questions you dont want to answer. Questions whose answers you have always known but ignore. Questions that weigh a million dots…

The dot that makes you lose the battles you fight within yourself. The dot that knows the behind the scenes story. The dot you dont want to believe you are. The dot that shows in your eyes when you wont want to see it. That dot is your secret and like i said.. it is too small to reveal.. too insignificant to notice.

Turn around

Whenever I attended weddings, it felt like that piece of jewellery you admire on someone’s neck. You sincerely compliment them about its beauty but know you will never wear it yourself. I would admire the decorations from a far away place in my mind always assuming that I would get married in a register office. I have even spent time wondering who my two witnesses would be.

I had an elaborate (in my opinion) wedding with a madisaar and a vadyar.

Every time there was a festival at home, like many young people, I would only concentrate on the food and God was just a person I went to for good marks and headache relief.

But slowly over time, especially after losing Amma, I have made a mash of all the relationships I crave for into a ball and put them into God in my head. So when I feel low, I think of God trying to cheer me up by a summer shower. When I feel confused, I think and wonder how God would want me to act in that situation.

Who God is, in my head is largely conceptualized from my favourite childhood book called ‘Little Women’ where Marmee tells her little girls that God is like her but ever so much kinder.

Somehow that stuck in my head permanently. God is like a parent but ever so much kinder. The parent I always wanted.

But what I am so surprised by and thankful for is how over the last few years, I seek stories of God in books and songs. Even more surprising is how much I mull over these ideas in my head.

God has slowly become that interesting blanket that covers me when I am cold, fascinates me when I am bored and grounds me when I am heady. And is always around me even when I am none of those things. I never was an atheist or an agnostic but I was never in love with God.

But the place I find myself in today does surprise me, but also makes me feel protected, loved, cherished and blessed.