Such slashing-sloshing wetness that the roads can’t take it. Such a dense grey blanket overhead that the light-switch needs to be flicked on before brushing my teeth, early in the morning. So windy that the umbrellas are bending and twisting into funky shapes, not fit for purpose. This has happened before.
Leaves starting to morph into colourful blades, beginning the descent of their curtains from clean pristine branches high up in the air down to the messy wet Earth, departing the very same points from where, not so long ago, they had sprung. This has happened before.
Some globules of rain clinging to the outside of the window pane, a crescent of heaviness at their lower edges. Quite still. Others making a dash down to the ground with quick wiggly lines disappearing behind them. The glass pane, an alive fashionable frosted sheet of artistic dots and lines, dancing. This has happened before.
This planet, tilted to perfection on its axis, keeping precisely to its orbit in accordance with the laws of creation. Doing what it was made to do. Billions of clumps of matter scattered all over the limitless expanse of space, each on its own path, own trajectory, appearing out of nothingness and then sparkling out of existence, unnoticed. This has happened many times before.
The tenth month is here again, at the cusp of two seasons. A climate of colours and shadows. Its steep, slanting sheets of light illuminating the trees in their sheer nakedness, foreshadowing the arrival of the dark. This too has happened before.
Time is a scaffolding. Not the real thing. A construct. A transactional entity. An illusion. A convenience. A cage.
The Time is always Now.
Right now I hear Si pottering in the kitchen downstairs.
Michael, his friend is waiting in his car outside the front door. The engine is whirring, parked slightly to the left of the middle of the road with just enough space for passing cars to slide past.
My second cup of tea is waiting. Steaming.
The sunshine had penetrated many curtains to reach the park across the road.
The wind is gently encouraging the trees to wake up and dance.
The indoor plants watered this morning are feeling fresh. A large green Poinsettia (from last Christmas) on my left and a pink orchid on my right.
The ‘to-do’ list is staring at me from the far side of my table, feeling left-out. My Mind is pulling hard at me, trying to get me out of writing, into ‘doing stuff’. I am watching it. It looks like a toddler yanking at her Mum’s dupatta pleading for attention.
Black and green bins are lined up in tidy rows on the pavement along both sides of our street, waiting to be emptied. Five years ago, when the bin-collection day changed from Tuesday to Friday, I immediately thought I must tell Saagar. Then I remembered. Now, I think of him when I see the bins. I recall us putting the bins out together. In the Now. I feel that memory become a twinge in my chest. Sometimes, it becomes a cloud in both my eyes.
Now, I hold him in my heart on Fridays and every other day. He lives in me. Speaks through me. Sees the world and keeps me calm.
The neighbour’s son’s school bus stops at the same spot every day. He boards it wearing his yellow anorak every day. He sits at the same seat every day – by the window on the left, second row from behind.
The world goes on and I go on with it, carrying you in me. Loving you. Keeping you alive.
After a long wait, we can watch it. Not in a cinema but on the largest screens available in our homes. You might know that a few years ago we set out to make a short documentary on the life of Saagar and our lives after him. I am so happy that it can now be watched at the link below by clicking on the box that reads 1000 days and entering the password as suggested: hiddenFF2021
Presently this film is available through the Hidden Film Festival website but in time it will be a resource to increase the understanding of suicide and bereavement by suicide and the value of kindness. I hope it will generate constructive, life-affirming and healing conversations. It is 20 minutes long and is available till Friday, the 4th of June. At present it is doing the rounds of international film festivals and has been selected for 7 major ones. Thank you for holding Saagar in your hearts the way you do. For shouting out love and hope.
Cast: Freddie, Hugo, Seb, Sam, Bex, Rosie, Azin, Simon, Saagar and I.
Filmed and produced by the magical duo Jeanette Rourke and Ron Bambridge.
What some people have said:
“I cannot get the film out of my head (in a good way!). I am really impressed with the professional job done on the filming and opening drone shots of where you live etc.”
“It is beautifully made and the editing done with such sensitivity. I also loved the music – definitely sounded like a professional music for film composer.”
“Thank you so much for the film and it really brought me a lot of comfort especially in a rough week like today when I have grief burst. I am grateful to have to know you in this difficult journey and what you have been sharing about your beautiful Sagaar, your thoughts and your journey milestones has helped me tremendously.One thing I learnt from 1000 days is that the hope of surviving this unsurvivable pain which you gave me through your story. Thank you so much Sangeeta.”
Thank you all for funding this film. For illuminating this world in your own special way!
It was your 27th birthday, last Thursday. You would have been 27 years old. You were 27. You are 27. Which one is it? None of the above? All the above?
You were a Presence eons before you were born as Saagar and you will be one for ever more. You are Awareness, beyond form and name. I am the same. There is no separation between us – both ageless, placeless and traceless. Untouchable. Unknowable.
Didn’t take that day off work this year. Woke up and thanked the blessed day for you, your life. On the beautiful bike ride to work, the heart overflowed with love and gratitude. Had a full productive day at work and another lovely bike ride home. Sat on your bench in the evening under the circle of trees bathed in the slanting rays of the setting sun. Felt the love.
Thank you for bringing me the true experience of love.
“When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
… Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.”
PS: Please like and retweet the link below if you can. That will give a media presence to this short documentary film, ‘1000 days’, which is based on this blog and has been made with the intention of bringing us all closer together in love, kindness and understanding so that no one reaches a point where they can’t find a way to live another day. You will be able to see the film in late summer, once it has done the rounds of a few film festivals across the globe. Thank you very much.
In July, looking for inspiration to think and write beautifully, I spent an hour on 3 consecutive Sundays listening to David Whyte, a wise and warm poet of English/ Irish origin who speaks and writes, seemingly from his spirit. I thought he was some kind of a magician as I felt mesmerized, awakened and soothed by his presence and his words.
He described the simple involuntary act of breathing as a life-sustaining exchange for the planet – inhaling is receiving and exhaling is giving. Generosity and gratitude – reciprocity in every moment. Last Sunday he spoke on the seasonal subject of ‘giving’ and I can’t help but share the synopsis of his talk in his own words here.
The foundational understanding that giving is not just a logistical act of transferring something from one person to another, but an art form to be practiced. Like all art forms, practicing it takes time and spaciousness and the ability to create a relationship with the unknown, the invisible and the unspoken.
To learn to give is often the simple, heart-breaking act of giving again.
Giving is an essence of relationship. To stop giving is often to call an end to relationship.
Giving asks us to have a close relationship with both time and timelessness. All gifts change with the maturation of both the giver and the receiver.
Giving is an imaginative journey into another’s life with all the implications accompanying that journey.
Giving can be a form of blessing, a way of empowering another life. The blessing is made through giving what a person does not even know they need themselves.
Giving, in the words of Shakespeare, is ‘Twice Blessed’. Through exploring the edges of our own generosity, we come to understand where we have trouble receiving ourselves; and this teaches us to ask for what we ourselves might not feel we deserve. In the enriched relationship, giving becomes a reciprocal harvest where giver and receiver are not so easily distinguished.
(PS: On 3 Sundays in January 2021, he speaks about resolutions for new beginnings. Recordings and written resources available if you are able/unable to attend the live event)