Ah, there you are.
I remember you.
I see you. Past your swollen, bloodshot eyes and your despair, I see you. Where have you been hiding? Wait. Let me guess. Under a pile of papers well, in this case, google documents, am I right? I knew it. Come, sit and write with me for awhile. It’s been a long time coming, this post. I agree the rain is not helping. But welcome back. You look like hell but I know you are glad to feel your limbs, your face, your fingers typing again. It’s been too long. So tell me, what’s up? How have you been?
You feel displaced, misplaced, and out of sorts, like a bathtub in the middle of an arabica farm. Hhhmm…how in the world did you end up here, like this? Spent. Barely breathing. Lost. Repentant.
I have an idea…
This happens when you’re not paying attention. When you work too much. When you tunnel vision and ignore the best parts of you, the people you love, the people who love you, those who matter most, things that make you happy and whole. When you don’t listen to the throbbing on your right temple, which makes you unkind. The exact same one you now have from weeping all day. The throbbing that tells you stop. Tells you take a break. Look around. To see who you are loving? Hurting? Neglecting? Nurturing? Whose hand do you have to/need to hold right then and there? Even in the dark, it’s good to reach for it. To let him know, you are still there. And there for him. Completely. Even if it’s lifeless from the waiting and the frustration. Hold it. Hold it tight and don’t let go. Because it’s the most important thing to you. It’s the hand you were born to hold. It’s his hand that you were built for. Have been waiting patiently, expectantly for. Don’t let go. If you’re lucky enough that it ever reaches for you again, don’t ever let it go.
It also happens when you don’t take pictures with your big camera, or pick up a pen or write a post about what you’re grateful for. When you stay in the city too long. When you don’t commune with the ocean. When you are not creating. When you don’t talk to family. The worst of it is when you can hear what he is saying but you don’t listen to the aching of his heart. When all he wanted was love and all you could see was the hazy mist of your fatigue. The same fatigue that has put your relationship in the ringer. The same one that beat the life out of you and the most important thing to you. The exhaustion that’s been recently lifted leaving you with a desperate prayer and a remorseful heart. Hurtful words have escaped the darkest recesses of everything that makes you broken and flawed, spoiled and selfish. And now you’re sorry. You yell this to the air in the silence of your apartment. And the universe and your neighbors now know just how sorry you are. You weep. Loudly. You did this to yourself, you know that right? And now you are a bathtub in the middle of a coffee farm. Alone.
Then there are the old scripts. It’s when you fall into old scripts that don’t serve you. That don’t belong to you anymore. That don’t define you. But you default into those spaces because they are familiar, which in the end act as some sort of defibrillator that wakes you back up into this new reality.
CLEAR. thathumpthathump your heart is beating again. Thumping evenly to the beat of this remembering. Of a now that you can embrace because you are still alive.
This authentic now that you honor with instagram shots everyday because your heart is bursting with gratitude and joy. This real life that tells you every single moment that you don’t fit into that old mold anymore. That you’re new. That the you that you have fought hard for, prayed for, the part of you where you can offer something good, life giving, loving to everything and everyone, exists. The you you have to stop abandoning. Forgetting. The best you that can only come from a space of love and honesty and acceptance. The you that’s anchored by something bigger and greater than yourself. Which has brought us here. Already a special space that you momentarily forgot you already had. Still have. The one he recognized. The one He made. The one you deserve. The one you and I remember today.
So yeah, I remember you.
Glad to have you back. Even if you look like shit and feel like hell.
So what are you waiting for? Go get your ice pack. Place it on your tired eyes. The swelling will subside. Your heart will heal as you learn from this. As you suck it up. As you grow up. You’ll learn to forgive yourself. You’ll learn to be better. You’ll know how to love stronger, fiercer. You’ll keep praying because you know you can’t do this alone. And we both know that, love and writing always save the day.
And your kids. Don’t forget the 128 kids who need you to be solid and strong.
And his heart…listen to his heart as you place it next to yours. Don’t ever lose sight of its beating again.
grateful slice: remembering
[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]
“People think dreams aren’t real just because they aren’t made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes.” – John Dee , in SANDMAN #6:“24 Hours”
Sometimes it takes another trip to a completely different but familiar place, and for some time to pass, to wedge the distance necessary to write about the experience of other people’s culture, space and rituals unfamiliar. This is what I have been telling myself the past two weeks upon arriving from India, of course. Needless to say, Mumbai’s intensity left me breathless and overflowing with rainbow colored stories and tastes, I wrote at length about the futility of knowing where or how to begin while I was still there. So I let my photos speak for me, swirling then in the ennui of leaving for the second time. I’ve been home for awhile now though, and so far, I’ve worn my kurtas and my bangles, rings, told many stories, gave away my presents and uploaded a thousand pictures, and have gone to the beach and back. But still no three part post.
And just like the overzealous disclosure of a lucid dream, the specific details and the emotions and the logic, even the order of events, are slowly slipping away with every imperfect description, inadequate word said, and funny tale told. Which brings me here…EAT! Finally, the first installment of my three-part India post because I am deathly afraid of forgetting. So, here goes…
Let me begin by saying, OMG, I love Indian food. Full stop.
Anything anyone suggested I try or quickly pop into my mouth, I willingly did, without hesitation or remorse. I loved how chicken tikka and palak paneer melted as I ate one spoonful after another, loved how chana’s textures and flavors exploded in perfect harmony leaving my palette never the same again, and appreciated how warm naan with a bazillion different dips and sauces in little containers to choose from something that suited my eating style. All my hosts and hostesses, whether in Ahmedabad or Mumbai, would watch me furtively at first, each time I stuffed myself with whatever they gave me but all anxiety disappeared as I oohed and aahed at the different flavors assaulting and devirginizing my taste buds. I told myself that my “diet” would need to take a backseat and start when I got home because there was no way I was going to deprive myself of the food ecstasy extravaganza. Thinking about it now, I have absolutely no regrets, even if I had to be bikini clad just a week upon my return. Fact is, I lost like four pounds even if I thought I had gained yes, a bazillion. Please don’t ask me how that happened because I ate everything I could while I was in India. Must be G’s grace. LOL.
Anyway, I did have a couple of things going for me from the get go which made me an easy India foodie, 1. I am an adventurous eater, 2. Except, I don’t eat red meat or pork, 3. I love spicy food. I am also very good at listening to locals’ advice regarding street food, so I waited until my last day (with Kinneri in Juhu Beach) to try some. Again, no regrets and no infamous India tummy ache soon after or the next day.
Wow. Right now, I am longing for the many choices, the different smells and the firecracker flavors. Since coming home though, I’ve had every single meal made more spicy than usual or just made spicy even if it’s not meant to be. 🙂 I do miss a lot of things about India and the food and surprise attack flavors, some of the most. 🙂 Of course, I also miss eating out with my sis, Sacha, having tea and comparing photos with her at the end of a long day, and gushing about just how lucky we both are. Boy, would I kill for half a serving of kulfi right now. Think you can do something about that, G?
Anyway, enjoy the food snaps. There are plenty to make your mouth water and lips smack.
Drooling is allowed.
Until part two, friends: India 2.0 Pray (2/3), have an amazing day full of gratitude and love love love.
grateful slice: Indian food, the nature of dreams and cliches like, ‘Better late than Never.”