Go to the Limits of Your Longing –  Rainer Maria Rilke 

As I witnessed magic twice today, I’m convinced God speaks to us. I’m convinced he spoke to me. Is it happenstance it’s today, a year to the date Papi first got news of being ill? Is it him whose been showing up in purple rays and rainbowish concentric haze in the evening sky today? If so, thanks Papi! You’ll be relieved to see I’m a happier more grounded version of me. 

When i think of what i witnessed today, I’m reminded of Krista’s interview with Joanna Macey and Her translation of Rilke’s beautiful poem “go to the limits of your longing” . Its beautiful and i want to share it with everyone that cares to know 🙂

Here it is – 
God speaks to each of us as he makes us, 

then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,

go to the limits of your longing.

Embody me.

Flare up like a flame

and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.

Just keep going. No feeling is final.

Don’t let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.

You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.

Book of Hours, I 59


If I’ve caught your attention and you’re curious about Krista Tippett,  Joanna Macey, their lovely interview on Onbeing you can nurture your curiosity by clicking on the link below. If you do go there and explore do return and share a bit of your wanderings with me via a message or a comment.


https://onbeing.org/blog/go-limits-longing/



The Telephone

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The Telephone –
Such a key life instrument it was back in the day
and even more so today, only in more nuanced ways?
Back in the day we went over to the neighbor’s
To receive important phone calls,
Mostly family trying to reach us with news of sorts.

The Telephone –
Growing up it was about connecting with other’s living in far away places…
Now as times have changed, more of us have Telephones than not;
We live next door and yet we use our Telephone to communicate.
Hold up though – Telephones meant hearing voices, animated voices…
Now our Telephones do a lot more than share our vocals;
We now text and message and tweet more than we speak.

The Telephone –
Continues to be the bearer of news,
Good, bad, mundane…
When Telephones were still owned by the privileged few
and we were moving on past the stage of telegrams,
We’d hear about wedding news or the transitions of loved ones.

The Telephone –
Today continues to play
Important roles in our every day…
The Telephone is a fabric of our living experience now.
These days,
I have my Telephone on silent most times.
I have come to learn and expect the patterns of family and friends’
call times;
and at those times I just consciously
and more often unconsciously
know to be aware of my Telephone ringing…
and in the rare instance i missed a call,
That tiny blue light begins to blink.
It could mean many things –
a text, a comment on social media, an email or in rare instances a missed Telephone call!

The Telephone –
We all have Telephone memories, right?
Think back to big events in your life
and the sharing of those…
The Telephone was likely instrumental.
Getting the news out – to a few or many?
Are you remembering…
Your most profound Telephone memory?
I know I have many…
But for days leading up to today
I’m only able to think of these 4 Telephone calls of 2016.

They say events, days and dates in the first year take on a new meaning.
They all become anniversaries of sorts, of moments and events
We begin to experience time physically, viscerally…
Sometimes ever so subtly disconnected from our minds!
What your mind doesn’t think, your body will certainly feel.

The weekend of April 9th, 2016
My ma and I were having the time of our lives
Least I was…
Exploring the beautiful Okanagan with friends.
It was a road trip, a girls get-away,
Driving along scenic Canadian country roads
I laughed so hard that weekend of April 9th
The photos tell the stories if I dare forget
Thinking back there’s a sadness I now feel.

But back to The Telephone –
Monday morning, April 11th, 2016.
As I was getting ready to head out for work,
The Telephone rang,
I would say at an unexpected moment.
On the other line on my Telephone was my brother from India.
and on the line on my mother’s Telephone was my father from Malaysia.
Thinking back now, the odds of our Telephones ringing at the exact same moment
Suggests they had just discussed their intention to call us.
The details escape me
The urgency in the tone remains – even a year later.
So in the sequence of the 4 most profound Telephone calls I received in 2016,
This first one was to intimate us –
Ma and I – that Papi is very sick;
That my brother will catch the next flight to Malaysia,
and catch the next flight back escorting Papi to India.
Yes, for anyone and everyone that lives away from their loved ones
Which seems more the norm these days than not,
Such a phone call is our worst nightmare – least so I thought!

The Telephone –
Became paramount in my life in a whole new way!
I was continents apart
I was restless and the most anxious I have ever been
I needed the vocal and visual connection with my Papi and my family & friends
Every day
More than once a day
I used my Telephone – visually for video chats and texts
and emails followed by more
To grab every moment with Papi
and on days I felt scared
I called my brother on his Telephone,
for rational, logical wisdom.
I flew over to be with papi in May 2016.
He was to undergo a lung lobectomy
We were all so afraid and unprepared.
The surgeon came out far too early
and told us this frightening cancer story!
And once again,
The Telephone!
is what he used to show us a video of papi’s cancerous tumors
One big ALIVE camp these tumors had set up in his lung!

The Telephone –
Continued to be the heart instrument
Of our family and our friends, and
The lifeline between my Papi and me.
Everyday since April 11th, 2016…
Until 29 some weeks later
Rather 207 precise days after,
On November 4th, 2016
I received 3 more phone calls.
The details for these too seem to pass me
The urgency is almost of a different sort.

The Telephone –
Rang the first time
Early Friday morning
Ma & I were packing Papi’s day’s meals and drinks
To leave for the hospital
My brother said only a few words –
To leave and rush,
Papi was moved to the ICU.
We hardly even had the chance to rush
The Uber had barely moved
and my Telephone rang a second time –
My brother on the other side – few words again:
Papi has stopped breathing on his own,
He’s now on a ventilator.
For those living in India
We know the roads there
In times like these,
It’s a guaranteed nightmare!

It was only early morning
But it already felt like
The day was slipping out of our hands.
In a way, for Papi it literally was…
ICUs in India are nothing like an ICU in America or Canada
No waiting rooms for families to stay close & connected with their loved ones
My dear brother, our family’s only other male
He offered to stay and ma and I left to come back in a couple of hours

This time, we MISSED a Telephone call – likely the biggest one yet I’ve missed.
Some time later, tired, weary and mostly still in shock
Mom and I headed back for the hospital.

My Telephone rang for the 4th time!
We were only a 1/2 kilometer away from the hospital entrance
Stuck in traffic barely moving
My brother on the other side –
The exact words escape me.
There was a dissonance
An urgency and yet in that moment
of being stuck in traffic
A helplessness to be so close but not there
I urged the uber driver to rush out of sheer desperation
But there’s no way through the chaos
And as mom would say
It doesn’t matter anyway, Papi’s already gone far away…
Just like that we sat silently, hands held tight, stuck in traffic
Half a km away, so close and so afar!

The Telephone
Had remained
Such a major communicator
In the minutes, hours, weeks, months there after
Initially with high frequency
and then with time gradually fading away
To where we are today –
A celebration of Siblings Day in America
and the marking of a year
To the day I received the first Telephone call.
All four from my dear brother –
The bearer of the news to his little sister
He’s only a year and a half older
But he’s a replica of our father
He now is my father in so many ways
Thank you dear brother for stepping into to Papi’s role
You’ve taken on so much my bhai
I can’t imagine what it must be for you
to make all those Telephone calls to me & Ma
May you grieve and feel some release
On this marking of a year
Is it happenstance…
You’re at Harmandir Sahib today?
Our father’s spirituality was strong
Perhaps it’s what’s strung you along
To this holiest of holy spaces
I hope you met him at the Gurdwara today
I hope you begin to feel peace today

The Telephone –
I hope one day in 2017
It will ring again
You my dear bhai
Will be on the line
To tell me something fine.
You know exactly what I have in mind!

Until then, Happy Siblings Day,
From one lucky sister
To one incredible brother.

The Humans in my Life : Gratitude Project – The giving and receiving of love.

The giving and receiving of love
Seems to delicately tie together
Relationships we share
With one and another

I fought you till the night before
Until I realized the stubbornness in you
Wasn’t going to subside
We’re more alike
Only you’re a few doses stronger
A few years wiser
And you know
Much too well
How to quell
My tears and fears

And what a tale
I’ll l get to tell
Of a bond between two girlfriends
You making the long hike west
To make me look my best

It wasn’t a wedding
Or an engagement
Nor a graduation
Simply an early celebration
To kick off my last birthday
Of this decade

We spent the afternoon
Pulling out suitcases
Digging out mom’s saris
I liked this one
You liked that one
In the end
It was hues of peacock blue

You ironed my sari too
And I strut around the house
In my navy blue skirt n blouse
You draped my sari
With tender care and attentiveness
Like a big sister and a dear friend

Yes I did surrender
To you giving love
And me receiving it
You had fun loving me
I had so much fun
Being the loved one

Living on our own
Teaches us harsh independence
The vulnerability
Of love one day here
Next day gone
Has gotten us so weary

I hardly dare
To pose and play
But yesterday
You showed me the way
To have fun and play
Thank you for making
Yesterday such a fun day

You’re right
You’ve taken me on such fun flight
Yes my dear
It does make me fear
For the time may come
When you’ll close this chapter
For another one

I’m finally settling in
Making this place my home
With you and others
That help me comb
Through life’s wrestles
And joys

So thank you again
For the fun and play
The other day
And today
And on so many other days

Fierce blooms

Spring is here!
It’s obvious –
The 50 shades of pink
Spell we’re under.
The occasional Magnolias,
And the endless elegance of our Cherry Blossoms
Sprucing up our streets,
With all sorts of sweets!

Because we’ve all been patiently awaiting,
This annual grand show…
I panicked over the forecast of rain all week!
I asked my self the question –
Will the same elements that have
Brought us this show …
Snatch it away before we really get to soak in the display?

So after days of rain,
I went out to witness the pain.
I was pleasantly surprised !
These pretty petite delicate elegant flowers
Are all that and fierce bloomers!
Rain and wind have come and stayed
These beauties have swayed,
But haven’t fallen or felt betrayed!

It made me think of us humans;
We sometimes see a tiny petite being
And speculate their ability to sustain
Life’s elements …
And sure they sway this way and that
And yet they come back
To center ground!

My thought of the day:
Pretty petite delicate elegant
Can handle every element!

Spring time

Soaking in all this spring 

Shades of white and gray 

Dusky sun fighting it’s way 

Noticing the shapes and shades of pinks 

Cherry blossoms magnolias roses 

The air smells sweet

Just come a little closer 

To a magnolia blossom

And You’ll smell 

The sweetness I smell

You’ll sense my sense!

On this 4th day of April 

5 months to the day
That’s how long it’s been
Since I’ve heard you
Seen you
Felt you
But then again
Thank you pa
for stopping by the other night

and because I miss you
my dear papi
I spent my evening
Celebrating you

You’ll be proud
10 whole parathas
Each speaks a story
Of your love for good food
And your love for feeding
I cooked up a storm
The kitchen’s a disaster
Just like you’d leave it

I made sure to put
An extra bit of ghee
In each and every one of these
Just as you’d taught me –
The more the oil
The more you spoil 🙂

Tonight’s food
Is about you papi
Its you who taught me
My love for good food
And ma
Who patiently teaches me
Every thing I need to know
That you can’t show
And i think you know

I miss you so…

❤❤❤

Papi, remember making these chicken parathas and fish tikkas? Circa: January 2013, Melacca, Malaysia


They leave, and we must g(r)o(w) …

I still remember that spring of 2014
What felt like a slow start
really picked up speed
For months and then a year even
Our lives became quickly intertwined
We were still on our way
To being engaged
Hoping to be married some day

Until suddenly one fall day
You said to me
you had stopped feeling the same way
You said you forget those feelings
that glued us in the past
You no longer see the sparks
and then that day
You said to me
You no longer love me
like lovers do
in that forever sort of way
And just like that
I went from shiny glitter gleam
to dull blue heartache
But with pain there can be gain
and I have searched
and regained a stronger me
I know you’d be proud to see
I knew I lost my best mate then
but what I know now
in over a year past our break is –
the heart never stops to ache

She stood there teary eyed
2 decades of marriage,
3 children, and
countless relocations
spanning continents later

Wondering
about that one spring day in 2016
He woke up to tell her
he wants to go his separate way
Left there on the curbside of life
Shocked hurt and uncertain
She picked up the pieces of her life
and her self respect
and now almost a year later
As she embarks another spring season
She’s built herself back up
and she wishes her best mate of 2 decades
Could bear witness and celebrate
this renewed her
From circumstances he created
But alas she stands alone
Asking the question :
Is he really happy now?
The lover in her cares to know
The injured in her
brushes off her curiosity
with mild indignation

They were married
5 weeks short of 4 decades
They were clearly best friends
Neither had thought about leaving
They both fought their hardest
to stay together
But this time
Nature forced him away
Like a feather
He took flight heaven bound
She is left on this earthly ground
She too is growing in brand new ways
Wishes she had been this way
Long before that fall day
When god took him away
She wanted him to know
She can learn and grow
And stretch and reach new heights

And in the end
We’ll all be leaving
Aching hearts will remain
So will the indignant ones
Only difference is
Some pick up and leave
Others are gone by a force of nature
And most of all
Life is one big teacher!

Transistor Radio by Cloud Cult

listen to the song here :

And if the lyrics have you curious :

Transistor Radio
I heard my Grandpa on my transistor radio, though he turned in his bones 20
years ago. He said, “Kid, there’s something that I’d like to show you. Get
your things, it’s time for us to go.”
So I grabbed my backpack, my flashlight, and a bag of caramel corn. I got
my bicycle and the radio, and I headed on the road. I said, “I’m ready for
what I’m about to see.”
We headed north until rain had turned to snow, through rusty towns and
dusty gravel road. And I said, “Grandpa, where is this thing you wanted to
show me?” He said, “Kid, you got a long way to go.”
So I went through canyons, caves and catacombs. I sailed on bicycle boats. I
slept in chapels and brothels (I met the nicest folks). I said, “I’m ready for
what I’m about to see.”
I heard Grandpa on my transistor radio. He said, “Kid, it’s time for me to go,
and I know that there was something that I wanted to show you, but it’s
time for you to find it on your own.”
Let me tell you about rage, when his signal died that day. There’s nothing
out there, and I don’t care if they take my life away. I’m not ready, and I
don’t want to see.
It’s been years since I’ve heard my transistor radio. Yet I keep going to
where it seems I’m meant to go. And I finally realize what he wanted to show
me… where I am and where I’ve been is the show.

 

And if you’re still curious checkout this particular segment – Craig Minowa being interviewed on Onbeing by Krista Tippett:

http://onbeing.org/programs/craig-minowa-music-and-the-ritual-of-performance/

Only it was a dream

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There you were
Doing your nightly ritual
Stopping by my bedroom
To see me
Your child alas an adult
Through the passage of time
No catheter around your side
Upto a litre full of bloody mucus
Was going to stop you
From your paternal instinct
I was your child
And you –
The leader of our pack
Unsure what you’d be thinking
in that moment standing by the door
But I know it was loving and gentle
Grateful the day ended well
And your child is safe and sound a asleep
It was dark so you couldn’t tell
I’d be awake many a times
I’d know by your footsteps
And kiss on my forehead
If I was awake you’d tell me
I’m your jaan and ask I go to sleep

You showed up today
Only it was a dream
Now I lay here
In the loudness of the night’s dark silence
Hearing and feeling every breath
Inhaled and exhaled
I’m back at the hospital
The night before you left us forever
The only memories that surface
Are from those last few days
Tonight I remembered feeding you
It would be your last dinner
If I’d known
I’d arrange for it to be a feast.

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