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.
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)
Writing is a friend. It sustains. It slowly pushes open the rusted, jammed doors of many hearts and allows for the gaping wounds in there to heal. Over the last few weeks it’s clear that it is not just possible but fun, to attend and host meetings remotely. Despite challenges, it can be enriching. A wise man/woman has identified 3 things one needs, to get through a day :
Someone to love.
Something to do.
Something to look forward to.
No wonder people are gardening, baking, embroidering and doing various things, spending time or connecting in creative ways with people they love. We have been setting one episode of ‘The Crown’ as our carrot, to look forward to at the end of a long ‘working from home’ day. I have been writing some poetry and dreaming of putting a book together and getting it published some day. There goes my Ego …. again!
This seems like a good time to do something new. I would like to invite you to write with me. To connect with your hearts and bring a blank page to life. To find your own expression and share other people’s worlds through their words and prose. We would call ourselves “Freedom on a page”. In this time of partial captivity, this title seemed appropriate. If you have other suggestions, please bring them to the group. We would meet every Tuesday morning for an hour and a half – between 9 and 10.30 am on Zoom. We would write as much as we like during the week but have 200-300 words to read out to the group. If you would much rather only listen, that’s fine too. Join in. Don’t think so hard that you talk yourself out of it. You have done that before. Haven’t you? 😉
If you would like to join, please
(1) e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org by Saturday, the 23rd of May. If you’d like more time to decide, take that time and send me the e-mail when you are ready.
(2) familiarise yourself with Zoom (https://zoom.us/) and download it on your computer/phone. It is free and easy. You can switch the video off if you don’t want to be seen. You can participate by writing on the ‘chat’ if you don’t want to speak.
I will send you an invite by e-mail on Monday, the 25th. I will start the meeting 15 minutes before 9 am, UK time (GMT+1) on Tuesday, the 26th of May and wait for you. Then we’ll see what happens. I have never done this before so I am a little bit nervous too. Shall we write about what ‘Freedom’ means to you? Feel free to pick any other subject. I look forward to this adventure. Depending on how you feel, we can continue to ‘meet-up’ every Tuesday.
Try it. Magic happens when the naked tip of a pen meets a nude blank page. The fingers holding that pen are deeply connected to the real you. So are the fingers typing on your keyboard.