Sunday, September 17, 2017

It's early in the morning

And I woke up before dawn, as happens when I sleep at a decent hour, unfortunately. I thought I'd work but instead I stayed up listening to music and wondering, for millionth time, why things that should fill me with joy make me sad.

It saddens me to watch the boys grow. There was a time when I couldn't wait for Rahul to grow older, easier, less demanding, and now that he is, I fight the urge to cling on to him for my own selfish reasons. I get fed up that Beni needs me... but when he's playing quietly by himself I go find him and make my presence felt. When they come to tell me they love me, I revel in it, knowing it's vanishing even as I do.

I've been looking at my world as though it might vanish at any moment, hating it fiercely for existing so differently from how I'd wanted it, and holding on desperately to every part of it because I built it and it's mine.

Now I'll go watch the unrelenting rain. My thoughts can remain in my head. Not everything always needs to be written down.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Love letter

This summer I learnt to love, all over again.

If you were to ask me (please don't ask) I'd have to admit that love scares me.

So every day of my life I crush my pride and tell people they matter to me.

This summer I learnt to let the last vestiges of pride go.

My little one, you come knocking to my door and ask me when I will have time for you. Not the daughter I longed for, but ever so infinitely precious. With your coming I was gifted an insight into the depths of my heart. I learnt to understand my father's heart.

And my firstborn, that keeps me awake each night petrified with fear because the world will hurt him, but the world will also welcome him and celebrate him, because that's his blessing, you make me confront every childhood demon, every maternal fear, and show me my love is bigger than my parenting shortcomings.

If you ask me (please don't ask) I'd tell you this summer I learnt to love. Without pride, without reservation, without hesitation. If you call, I'll come running. Call me and see.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

I was looking back

at who I once was, and I felt this ridiculous urge to hold myself close and feel safe and comforted. For a girl who got so lucky, I was quite unaware of my riches and quite miserable.

So, I want to tell her, it's ok. I turned out all right. A little messed up, patched up, cracked up, but I still have my spark somewhere inside me that apparently nothing can douse.

Spark reminds me of an excerpt I once painstakingly typed out from my copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover
“…So they won’t be able to blow out my wanting you, nor the little glow that is between you and me. We’ll be together next year. And though I’m frightened, I believe in your being with me. A man has to fend …for the best, and then trust in something beyond himself. You can’t insure against the future, except by really believing in the best bit of you, and in the power beyond it… So I believe in the little flame between us. For me now, it’s the only thing in the world…Only you. And now the little flame is all I care about in my life. That’s what I abide by, and will abide by…  
“…That’s why I don’t like to start thinking about you actually. It only tortures me, and does you no good. I don’t want you to be away from me. But if I start fretting it wastes something… I stick to my little…flame, and have some peace. And I won’t let the breath of people blow it out… We fucked a flame into being. Even the flowers are fucked into being between the sun and the earth. But it’s a delicate thing, and takes patience and the long pause.  
“So I love chastity now, because it is the peace that comes of fucking. I love being chaste now… when the drawing together comes, then we can fuck the little flame brilliant and yellow, brilliant. But not now, not yet! Now is the time to be chaste, it is so good to be chaste, like a river of cool water in my soul. 
“Well, so many words because I can’t touch you. If I could sleep with my arms around you, the ink could stay in the bottle… But we have to be separate for a while, and I suppose it really is the wiser way. If only one were sure.  
“Never mind, never mind, we won’t get worked up. We really trust in the little flame, and in the unnamed god that shields it from being blown out. There’s so much of you here with me, really, that it’s a pity you aren’t all here.
Sometimes I miss the girl who would be so blown away by the writing that she would sit and type out entire excerpts. Sometimes I wonder if I've forgotten how to be so moved. But I haven't, of course. It's just that time is touching me and I don't yet know how the changes will be.

Over a dozen years ago, on a pensive afternoon, thinking of the sea at Vizag, I wrote this

For A~, with love

On an unaccustomedly sunny day
You think of the man of your dreams
-- Not all he was cut out to be --
And it seems
As though you’ll have to make it do
And you never thought that you
Would be satisfied with that.

With the sea-breeze in your face
You will never be lonely again
The pain
Of it is now an old memory.

You will wish you had been more specific
When you’d asked, made a more complete list
But this
Is what you’ve got.
And it’s good.
So it must do.

In the unaccountable sun,
As the wind makes love to your hair,
Somewhere (not very far away)
As you think of what you once felt
I’ll be thinking of you
-- With love --
And you can consider yourself held.

So, yes, at 4 in the morning today, I shall consider myself held. Thank you for reaching out over the years.