We had to go out, we got our permit complete with ID card. This was going to be alright I said. Jeff isnt the worrying kind so he says nothing. I hate this mask, it feels like I’m dying in it. Never mind. Once inside car, who’s going to be harmed just in case we are Carriers? And who is going to infect us anyway? Raise glass, seat belt on. Jeff grins hard. He knows how terrified I am of this… not Covid but the fact that we’re driving across the city, and will meet Blockades and Security Officers. In any case we weren’t ‘willing carriers of Illness‘; we had no recent record of foreign travel, we hadn’t harvested forest animals, there wasn’t even a hint of sniffle between us, not a purr in lung…. nothing. We would not willingly trip into Containment Red Zones. What’s to worry. Though, there’s been incidents of incurring Security ill will…
We take a turn we shouldn’t have taken, we see the back of a Cop, oh no.
We take a detour, another, and get in a lane where we’re now driving straight at the Cop whose back we fled from. He’s waiting for us with ATTITUDE, with Traffic Offender- Catcher- Sass… Aha. There you are the two of you!
I sit straight, fix mask, reach for ID and Papers. Jeff casually drives closer, the Cop is not moving, his gaze steady. Closer. Please God, not in a mood for this? My heart whams in my ears. Closer still. The Cop isnt wearing mask? His glassy stare looks through us. Jeff lets out a contained roar of laughter. You don’t say! It’s not a real Cop, it’s a Dummy.
We laughed so hard that evening, when we were finally stopped two hours later on our way back, and another Cop asked me to please go in the back seat ma’am we need a certain distance between two….. that was so funny too. I gave him my best smile, mask and all. He glared at my cheer: what’s with her? We’re in a Pandemic. Silly woman wants to be happy.
This Post is for anyone celebrating their birthday today, (and everyone else) I have this urge to celebrate you, and offer a tiny prayer too from my son who’s incredible gift is prayer. If you’ve been following posts you’ll know he’s not just blind but recovering from a series of disturbing issues, but this isn’t about him;
whichever part of the world you’re in: what a ride this is, and yet we are still the same people we were born as…
Was my birthday couple of days ago: “..no fuss,” I warned them, but there they were @ midnight, cake and candles, hushed whispers: in the morning among mysteriously bought gifts, was a Heart full of blue crystal stars from Kitsy, and Perfume from our eldest, my first name ‘Diella‘ hand- crafted in with scores of words like “Light”. (I got that name in a dream, after a long crazy illness. While I healed, there was a dream: it had my name written on a white stone. Diella means Worshipper);
mid- birthday joy, now there was announcement of national 21 day curfew; our entire street & surrounding areas went quiet, no bustle of traffic or twitter from Myna in trees running between our home and army acres across.
Within our walls, my family had strung out little lights, there was music and the smells of great cooking,
(I have officially surrendered cooking baton to second daughter Kitsy, who is master chef! (On left is how she used to be), now 👇….sigh, they grow so fast.
D’you sometimes feel guilty to feel happy? You know it’s a mess out here with virus and anxiety attacks, but now and then there’s a celebration,
so here’s the thing: we were going thru’ all our pics, and my Jeff he rounded off everyone’s words with, “Ray, you are … you are… unique….” ….words that make me stare at everyone else now…..
that, there is no one like you either!
No matter the news, nothing changes who you are, your essence is unique, novel! Yes they say ‘novel‘ for all kinds of things, but here we are, citizens and strangers and basic people born to mothers and families and lives that can change in the twinkling of an eye. We been warned of all that, but when it arrives it’s a thief in the night, it’s a touch between life and death…
We got two bone chilling letters from people we love, one from our precious nephew in a hospital in Germany, he’s a doctor; and the other from a very dear friend in the U.S. They wrote loving notes, asking family to pay attention to how deadly this Covid thing is, the pace at which it mutates, its silent stealth. These precious ones lives are at risk because of their professions: I can’t tell you enough what it felt like, to be gazing at/ celebrating life in all its hues: to hug across the miles, and cry tears of love and pain;
to know that we 7 billion are strong and yet we are this vulnerable. We are beloved and fragile, our life is like grass, and yet we are one-of-a- kind- each, Designer made, no matter that our breath can be whisked away; we are phenomenal, a Force to reckon with. The day we were born, people paused or clapped, kissed? …. wept.
We can die, and even that occasion is phenomenal. It causes chaos / maddening grief, because humans as a race cannot be ignored. If one of us is attacked in any unusual ordeal it is News. The entire planet of us under siege is another thing altogether, nothing competes with the vastness of that: the fact that we are under this kind of common indefinable, insurmountable distress is totally New.
If we survive this, and many will, there will be the aftermath of it and it may be unlike anything recorded in the history of mankind: I don’t want to go much there: this one is about birthdays and how it feels to celebrate humans, mid- international crisis; it feels strange and provocative -beautiful and Quiet.
This morning I woke up feeling different, younger and older, like I had more in my 206 bones. It’s an awareness… of what? The immortality of life, or its brevity? I’m staring at books we used to read, it’s like from another life: movies, talks. Some Quotes feel more right than before. Oh, bouquets and birds, they don’t change, they are like paintings and classical music; they have Eternity in them. But our conversation…. it is halved in a new way.
Birthday hugs: they are tighter.
Gazes and strummed guitar, candle lights and the clink of glasses… they say new things. I can’t say what, just new. And old. And somethings we never knew before. We thought we knew it all. Our parents and grandparents taught us how to say Grace and say please, thankyou and sorry. As we grew we thought we understood things a little more than yesterday. It felt sweet, sometimes sour.
Now, I don’t know… and that is a New Thing. It reminds me of how little we all truly know about each other as humans. You are a person with feelings and heart and we must care deeply for each others’ well being, must pray for one another’s lives/ souls…
this is more than birthdays: you can see this Post hovers around that word and how I want to wish you a beautiful life without sounding patronizing, even if it’s not birthday zone. Even if life’s not short and we’ll survive this and other wars.
Our daughter Vi does these Videos and I’d love for you to listen to this one. She’s a lot like me and feels deeply about things;
then our son walks in on her recording (he cannot bear closed doors), but the moment turns around, he prays and brings you right into our room facing palm trees on it’s right, with my large painting in the back drop. It is called DaySpring, and I wish you that Inner Spring of Light and Life.
Vi does her own take on Michael W. Smith’s Agnus Dei; we looked up those words and it means “Emblem: a Lamb bearing the Cross of Christ.”
All sounds so serious. D’you get the feeling life is way more than mortal detail? That there’s more besides thinking on Cures and everyday bread/ rice/ health… that oneday we might all be someplace else besides this planet?
And that we matter incredibly more than we suspect…
This is another one I’ve no clue how to wrap. Do have a blessed day.
I’m not a morning newspaper person, but today’s header> ‘TomTom Traffic Index Special declaring our city Bangalore as with highest traffic congestion, globally…’ <got me gagging!
‘B’luru‘ is (if you’re looking at attached pic), the abbreviation of my renamed city ‘Bengaluru’, the renaming of which made our Traditional Linguists feel better about everyday conversations and other hazards. ‘B’luru‘ though!🙄
About Rush-hour & motor dioxide….are we surprised? No.
The fine print says we could’ve listened to Lennon’s Imagine 4673 times, cooked 7,033 pancakes, baked 11,702 cookies, watched 139 soccer matches & 215 Game of Thrones, completed 49 Jigsaws and planted 244 trees??…all in the 243 extra hours, a regular Commuter might lose just sitting out traffic jams in a year. That’s a loss of ten days annually, check the math, I’m no pundit there.
Still, we were getting used to things the way they were. It made even kidnapping hard to get away with.
Last year in Delhi, I think? A two AM Traffic jam gave Cops pursuing those kidnappers ample time and space to track the vehicle, with Zero advantage to some people trying to escape crime scene. Kidnappee got back home in time for breakfast…😂isn’t that the best??
Too, these days I’m a muchhhh better pillion rider/ car mate within city limits, for all the crawling congestion! Not that much woe about ankles being scraped while on bike, or head on collisions due to Speed, or being raced by auto rickshaw on one side, local bus on the other, …
no one’s going anyplace that fast, not with the ‘jam!
So, this works for me in an odd way,
(ACH, you wouldn’t want to drive over 80 with me in tow). Ask my husband- any speedometer kissing 100 mph, and I need Oxygen.
It must be hard to live with my high -inaudible almost- shriek at something coming at us from the opposite direction, or family of sudden goats a bleat away from front wheel….this happens so easy on NH4 past Golden Amoon resort an hour away from here, those breathe easy wide open routes via village and some amount of pasture land, never mind industrial advances.
So, there’s all that. Why make a noise? Felt good to say some things about all the trees we could’ve planted while waiting …
Bangalore population = 2,327,000
x 244 trees = 3007788000 trees? It is that many trees we could’ve planted while sitting out traffic jam, right? (I google calculated ofcourse..)
Did Tomtom also meanwhile work out all that about Throne games we could’ve watched, and Soccer? I’m no Soccer/ Throne Room enthusiast, but I love my city, it’s traffic lanes crowding with hawkers selling bike mirror & windshield cleaners, key chain, funny faced hand puppets with rolled in red tongues that squawk out at you,
That aside, am wishing for better days on the road,
Some of us should shift to villages, some get helipads, more of us share cabs and go buses, go metro. Tough. Someday sometime we shall overcome. Was that daddy Luther or Gandhiji Bapu? It is Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniv today…
No, Sir Bapu. We best not lose faith in us all…
our spaces and time crowding with kinds of Hawkers, Traffickers! ‘Thrones…’
and oh this ..
where will Transport go with lesser affordable petrol….who can tell?
In honour of today’s post I’m thinking on planting the Lemon seeds I have+ Orange and Desert Flower from Oman. How will they bless anything? Unsure.
Sometimes you just go do what smiles at the moment.
On a different note,
our girls with an impromptu cover👇… 👸is all the ‘Throne” I have space for….