Category Archives: reflections
I want first of all, to be at peace with myself.
I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life
that will enable me to carry out….obligations and activities as well as I can.
I want in fact – to borrow from the language of the Saints – to live “in grace”
as much of the time as possible.
-Anne Morrow Lindbergh
I must admit, the name of her husband Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr. was more familiar to me than she was. She was the first licensed woman glider pilot in the US. And I didn’t know that she writes until I encountered her inspirational and probably her best-known work, The Gift From The Sea, a small and hardbound volume which I enjoyed reading tremendously. It’s a book of essays which was first published in 1955. I was born a year after its publication and yet her book speaks for women of all ages – about life, love and marriage, peaceful solitude, and soul-searching. She writes with a poetic style that makes you savor every page because she is telling the world what you can’t verbalize yourself, that sort that gets into you and you can relate to it like it was your story too. And you wish that you would be brave enough to do the same, just waiting, waiting for a gift from the sea.
Oh my goodness, I was busy keeping my main site updated that I clearly forgot to visit this blog for quite a while. Shame on me.
I miss those times we used to go on road trips and discover places. I miss those days just driving around and seeing those beautiful and lovely views of the countryside. Since I got sick, my immunity has become a little low that I was afraid to go out in far places with so many people. I only go the malls when we do some grocery shopping and when I need to buy something for the family and for my grandson. I have to always wear a face mask when I go out because of pollution outside.
I miss places like this, rice fields as far as the eyes can see. It’s like a glimpse of heaven.
He walks –
And his feet lead to the green door
He sees familiar sites
The rose arbor, the trellis he made before
He knocks –
And waits patiently
He asks himself
When did I come here last?
He feels that sudden knot of fear
Regrets come late
Remorse is an even bitter pill to swallow
Am I late, he asks?
The door opens
And he sees a stranger.
I am…..he says
Come in, the stranger answers.
The decor has changed
And the pictures are gone
Is this…..he could not go on
She died a year ago.
The stranger says.
She could have waited.
If you said you were coming back.
She could have told you.
She has never forgotten.
A decade –
Days and months of waiting
Even a loving heart
Sometimes feel tired
Even a happy soul
And love, long after it’s neglected
Dies a natural death too.
He retraces his steps
A solitary man
Every time I see cloud formations like these, I am reminded of this wonderful quote from Rabindranath Tagore:
“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
Then I begin to sing;
♫♪♫♪See the clouds adrift so far below
Ever changing as they come and go;
Makes me wonder why I’m up so high
When really I am down so low
Of all the wonders I was one allowed
I think that I would always choose a cloud,
Always bring my feelings right out loud,
Whether I’m ashamed or proud.♪♫♫♫
It makes me wonder what life is all about. Took this shot in front of our house. You can view it in large format.
“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.” – Richard Bach
A friend said that this is one of my best shots. And I thought the composition was not good, I was only trying to capture the clouds rapidly changing course while passing through my lens. Then came this bird gliding rapidly, making itself framed inside the tie wires which we used as trellis at the back of the house. This is a raw shot and it reminds me of how it is to be free, unhampered by any extra baggage, reaching one’s destination by sheer determination and grace. It is the art of flying.
What could be more inspiring than waking up to the morning seeing nature at its best? Then you wish life could be this simple – seeing the beauty of a water droplet and deeper thoughts come to mind. And there is silence all around.
I love the freshness of an early morning after the rain. Although I hate the heavy downpour, it is always amazing to see greens all around. The tears of heaven cleanse the soul and it wash away the pain of feeling sad and alone.
A few years ago, a photographer friend introduced me to another writer, Naomi Shihab Nye. She was born to a Palestinian father and an American mother.
Let me quote some of her poems that really touched me:
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend. “
And here’s her thought on reading:
“I love the solitude of reading. I love the deep dive into someone else’s story, the delicious ache of a last page.”
I really could relate to her because when I read, I am transported to another world – a world of fantasy or make-belief, a world of triumph or defeat, a world of happiness or loneliness but despite all these, I am mesmerized, feeling as if I were there in one particular place, feeling as if the pain and hurts are my own and the triumphs are a joyous celebration of life.
And here’s another line I like:
“It is really hard to be lonely very long in a world of words. Even if you don’t have friends somewhere, you still have language, and it will find you and wrap its little syllables around you and suddenly there will be a story to live in. ”
A jumble of lovely thoughts that fills one’s mind and feeds one’s soul. Again I wish I could find some of her book of poems, one I could read again and again, one I could be friends with when I feel alone.