Monday, 15 October 2012

Been a bit sick .. but two pieces in mind so hope to get at least one done sometime tomorrow! Bear with me :-)

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Behind the front door.

Fear that I will and fear that I won't.
Fear that I can't.
Fear that I can, but never will.
Fear that I might and fear that that I mustn't.
Fear of what I do, and what I don't.
Just being alive
is fear
but fortunately so is
the concept of suicide,
and so I live on,
behind the front door.


#

I wrote this on Dec 23rd, 2005. Ah yes, those were yukkier days.

I had originally titled it "Tension" but I thought the poem summed up agoraphobia and anxiety so well, so I added that last line just now and also made it the title.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

A love lesson from Paulo Coelho.

"The heart decides, and that it decides is all that really matters ... 
Those who are truly enlightened, those whose souls are illuminated 
by love, have been able to overcome all the inhibitions and 
preconceptions of their era. ... They have been joyful - because 
those who love conquer the world and have no fear of loss. 
True love is an act of total surrender ... One doesn't love in order 
to do what is good to help or to protect someone. If we act that way, 
we are perceiving the other as a simple object, and we are seeing 
ourselves as wise and generous persons. This has nothing to do 
with love. To love is to be in communion with the other and to discover 
in that other the spark of God"

These quotes are from one of my favourite writers' books -
By the River Piedra   I Sat Down and Wept. I am in awe of
Paulo Coelho and his skill at weaving words together. 

I must confess when I first read this - more than ten years ago,
I think - I thought it was purely about romantic love:  the mushy stuff.
And/or the sweaty stuff. Back then, that's what I thought love was.
I suspect that I must have looked to these words for relationship
tips, and then proceeded to be a perfect doormat for
the most imperfect lovers.

As I read through these words today, they mean so much more.
I look at these lines now and feel that he is talking about compassion
and respect and acceptance. They are about that thing which will
ultimately save the world. Without necessarily having to be
mushy and/or sweaty.

So that's what love is! Good to know. At last.

It's time for me to take that book down off my bookshelf
and read it once again, to find out if he meant what I felt.
Because as far as I remember, it was a love story (the mushy
kind, don't recall any sweaty stuff in there). But I doubt Mr Coelho
could disappoint me. I'm sure it was all there and I just didn't have
the awareness to notice it. When I read it this time, I'll see
the other stuff. The stuff I missed first time around.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Freedom at midnight?

While the city sleeps
the sky weeps. Independence
creeps in, unnoticed.

We often wonder, don't we, what would Mahatma Gandhi make of India if he could see it now. Mostly, we think he would look at us with despair and disappointment.

Because we've not just forgotten. We simply don't get it. We are like the rich children of poor fathers. We cannot understand the price of tomatoes, let alone that of freedom.

And like the best fathers, Gandhiji might very well feel some despair and disappointment, if he was still here to see us. But he would also be looking at us with love and hope.

#

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was given the title "Mahatma" (great soul) and is also called the Father of the Nation for his unique role in the quest for Indian independence from British rule. Today is the anniversary of his birth. It is a national holiday, Gandhi Jayanti, and it is now also celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence.


(I originally wrote the haiku some years ago on August 15th, at the start of a silent and rainy Independence Day.)

Monday, 1 October 2012

How I know.


A little girl with curly hair.
In tears. With fears
like mine, as I’d waited to go into the principal’s office.

Other people’s crimes had brought us to this point in time.
Thirty-five years later, I can see why 
it was one of the defining moments in my life.

We transformed a dusty playground 
into a magical place where treasure could be found.
We sat in a fortress of musty books and learned how to travel the world.

We laughed. We imagined. We dreamed.
We wrote long, long letters during the holidays.
We never ran out of things to say.

I can’t remember the exact day
When I let her down and turned away.
I don’t quite remember why or how but it still shames me now.

I don’t know what happened in that time apart.
I don’t know how deeply I might have hurt her heart.
I only know that one day we were friends again. 

She has never once reminded me of this. 
She has never hurt me back or spoken harsh words. 
She can make me wonder if it ever really happened.  

She transforms a polluted city
into a safe place where comfort can be found.
I sit at her dining table and learn about grace. 

We laugh. We imagine. We dream. 
We Like each other on Facebook. 
We never run out of things to say. 

This is how I know she is my best friend.

(for J, written 30/9/12)