they meet us here,
and there in our trips around the sun.
Here we start again.
they meet us here,
and there in our trips around the sun.
Here we start again.
Beautiful terrible ring in the sky, I spy you through a glass darkly,
among other things I do not understand but grasp at.
Once upon a time there was this one roomed house with a thatched roof, and it was a nice house to a nice couple. They were happy people with enough peace and joy to go around this season and the next. Farmer Jose and wife grew potatoes and onions, they were not rich they were not poor, but they had enough to go around for visitors and neighbours.
Oneday thieves broke in; the thatched roofing fell in as four local young men stole through their well worn box of coins and notes.
Farmer Jose and wife asked the boys why they hadn’t told them they were coming, they could’ve cooked them a warm meal, they said. It was nearing midnight but the old man took out some fruit and offered it to the young men.
“Keep the coins,” Jose said as the men left their home. “And do come back tomorrow if you can. We are lonely for company, and our sons live far away.”
The four young men returned to fix the roof, and would return to the Joses’ whenever they could.
This is a true story, I just don’t remember the names.
Great perils have this beauty, that they bring to light the fraternity of strangers. – Victor Hugo.
I called this one Street Prayers after a recent Haiku Jam starter, “Corner of the Street,” but maybe it was inspired by a visit few evenings ago, a visit by a little face in a shop window. The face of a small child, not 10 years old, he had these sweet eyes and half smile almost apologetic but steady. Any prayer of mine could be futile. I was staring at Humanity, and It’s hunger was staring back at me.
We were strangers in a month that’s all for shopping, fun, food, laughter. I stood there with my heart load of trouble but the kid in the street looking at me couldn’t see it. And yet if I hadn’t had trouble of my own, with my own sick child, I probably wouldn’t/ couldn’t have felt a twinge for this child with his cheeks muddied, burnt in the sun. When we came out of the shop he wasn’t there. Now I had guilt. I should’ve told him to stay right there, got him at least a meal. Looked everywhere, but he wasn’t there, not anywhere. What was his name? Did he have a home? Will I ever know? Will a prayer do?
A few years ago while at a street school in Mumbai, I met another little child, his name was Raju. We learnt how to draw and skip rope, brush our teeth and hop. He taught me how to walk through the tiny spaces between the shacks that were his colony. He taught me how to smile and laugh and forget that I’d had a fever for three years, he helped me heal. Raju wouldn’t talk to anyone, he was known as a kid that disrupted the hours at the two roomed house that also served as school for construction worker kids. When he drew, he did black circles. I don’t know how we got talking maybe it was during games and skip rope. I wasn’t great at it, he found it hilarious. That stint there changed me from an ambition driven ‘writer’ to an observer. And I’ve been watching the things that make us more human: here’s my finding. Need, shared or personal, it changes the way we respond to each other. Shared need, the need for acceptance, ah that one can start a revolution. And sometimes we pray for one another, and that’s the most powered place between Spheres that Humanity will ever experience. It changes me everytime I pray for another. (My Psychology lecturer in college would have a fit if he read this post).
Provoked by a heartbreaking post I read today in another blog.
No alarm bell, no burst of glory. It tiptoed in ‘neath my gate. It wouldn’t hold my hand, It couldn’t. I was cold cold cold, every leaf in my garden shrivelled, ashed; Ivy & dust layered the ground and walls of my address.
When Healing came It bled into me. It Crossed boundaries I had built. It broke Itself like Bread over my hunger and poured Itself out like Water over my drought. New metaphors crowd my space. This had been desert with no oasis. Now, this Healing-
growing me into things I do not want to recognize:
a Garden of Shadows where a Lone One prays. Prays as if for me. What’s this. He breaks on two planks where He hangs, I hate this like a personal wound. I’m screaming words with no decibel: He’s saying it for me. Two words, three- I will never forget. “IT IS FINISHED.” He said, smiling stars in His eyes as if we were in Paradise being made over again.
wait. He takes my buried memoirs of habits of pain.
But I can’t have them back, He says. Healing takes it all away. I’m blinded by an emotion with no name, Its a Light falling careful in my blind eyes. It grabs my poison ivy with new strong Vine: It inhales me, slamming my dying dead inside, don’t ask how. I have no Theory, no Words wise or pretty. All I know, when Healing came to me I was dead blind, now I see:
I see Scars, Its Body broken. Healing has scars, you get this? I don’t and maybe never will, not till we go Face to Face past that proverbial Glass darkly in the way. Now I peer through Reason, Logic, Theories, Rule. Oneday when we have crossed our rules, we will see the host of things that see us now. Oneday we will break through gravity bound toes: on that day we will see what we question these days. Oh when Healing came It broke Its news gentle to me. It knew I’d be suspicious,afraid,disbelieving…
When Healing walked into me, It spoke things I believed I couldn’t know…..
that gain came in via loss, true I knew, but what else could a human fight for? We needed this. This War for Survival was our one socially acceptable behaviour; it united man and woman and child and nations and bazaars and gangsters and priests, it fed global talks and need. If I didn’t do Survival what tell aunty Maya I was doing ? Or Pastor Sahil. Or neighbour Bishhy. Or Karu Harben my brilliant corporate cousin. What tell Didi Grey my mentor..or art collaborators… that I didn’t care anymore how I’m being received;
who could I be, what of my ‘me‘?
When Healing came It talked into me – sacred syllables of the Father Son and Holy spirit, groans not uttered by the carnal 5 senses: we are heart and mind and spirit soul, beyond flesh and sensor. I had territory within that must heal first*, my Healer said, it began in the acres acres acres (deep in my core where we live or die, there we heal, there we host our virus, our sickle cells, our warrants of life, our predictions of peace. If we die there, how could we survive in the peripheries?) ..
Healing took me to an impossibly narrow dizzy path. When I began to heal- one tiny step at a time, It unleashed me to run my feet like a deer’s in cliff edge sheer mountain. Fear rose bitter gall in my throat and I killed it like a beast is killed with bare hands: something I’d tried an entire lifetime, now it happened with one rapid wish;
here was this desire to thank every mean thing that had ever come my way, hey yes those nasties I’d crumpled over? Them. They were my helpmate, they now proved my brick and mortar needed to build foundation of this impossible route. “Forgive. Go on higher,” The Healer pled with eyes of deathless Love, and the Light of that gaze scorched my last defense, over and over like with birth pangs. How could I have known this detail if I hadn’t needed healing ?
Why haven’t You been here earlier- how much went in wasteland of my nothing. My Healer replied as if I had spoken, He said,”You are more than all this. In these deserts more Gardens could grow, if you go. “
Say what, why? There’s more folk like me, why would I care, but now I did.
When Healing came to me It rained and Its Tear whetted my thirst for Its fact. I used to think with Healing I would be strong again to return to old strengths, I’d be a pillar of fortune, a wheel of Change. Oh look- see how nice healing is, but that is not Its way. It told me things I couldn’t know.
When Healing began I leaned my core on Its Strength. No more great burden of goodness to bear! I was still a torn leaf garden but with new shoot- as if I had wing, the Healer said,”Never mind your Self. Rise..”
When Healing came It did not give me wings, that’d have scared us all.
It is much more than we show and tell, it’s in the way grass grows o’er and o’er and wise men die and babies born will oneday grow to know more than you or I confess. When Healing can, It will come to you and the Light you see will be outside of our incapacities, then perhaps you too will say to another, “…how else could I have known…?*”
Inspired by our son(& little brother Joh) as he heals.
Sometimes I ask myself, “Why am I here?” And sometimes the answer asks me,”Why not?”