Rescued from a photo I’d mentally marked as “trash,” this vista of generic sea and sky begins my blog. Endings frame any beginning. Even a birth is the end of an 8 month swelling of the body. From any place in the world, this horizon is merely an anonymous mating of sea and sky. “In my end is my beginning,” T.S. Eliot whispers from across my troubled teens, through the lines of “The Collected Poems” from Faber & Faber press, that my mother had ordered specially for my 16th birthday. Mum’s been dead, and gone, for over ten years. My Dad’s been dead and buried for over 30 years now. Then, follows my god, my Merlin–who died two years ago. I live through this Holy trinity, my tutors for living, my best compadrés, my ghosts, my loves.
The death of a god impels a personal beginning after 20 years of sitting still in an ashram, the defiance of writing again. I tumbled into this world, out of my mother’s belly (symbolically speaking), right into the waiting arms of my Swami. I exist under his ironic gaze, a spiritual punk, a court jester amid the serious seekers of god. And still do, though Merlin be dead and departed, consecrated in a marble tomb. The online dictionary defines an “ashram” as “a religious retreat or community where a Hindu holy man lives.” The stress on the male gender is ironically appropriate as most holy societies, all over the world, revere their men. Women here live swathed in scarves and saris, though bosoms do peep and distract those very holy guys, rule makers and power brokers, who continue in the reflected glory of its founder.
Unclassifiable, indescribable–a being more non-human than human, ethereal but feral, unconfined by a body of clay, a composite paradox, Swami is the catalyst for my writing, and my living. Without his presence, institutions (colleges, hospitals, social projects) wither into bureaucracy, the unpredictability of a living god dwindles into social ritual, almost cult in its restrictions.
I want this blog to be a ‘between’ space, going neither here nor there, seriously but trashily writing lines, between reflection and anecdote. So the nameless horizon is apt. And I at fifty-two, stumble around, fat and brown, a strange tattooed single sight in the midst of the Goan tourist scene. (Yes, I ran away for a breather, wanting the breadth of the sea, to Goa.) Those tattoos attest that a lean, mean, fighting machine resides within, capable of issuing forth without warning. Amid all the white bodies sporting on the beach, lying on the sunbeds, and jogging/ bicycling by, I bumble along. The domestic browns are all in couples, the women never in swimsuits, and mostly surrounded by their children. A single brown woman who drives up, alone in an electric blue Honda is an unusual sight.
I am not in search of company, at least human, though, of course, company comes by, clumsy convivial collisions of the human race. Often, I lie awake at night, feeling the dead hang by invisible threads from my fingers. I trail them around with me, they inflect my actions, italicize my thoughts, frame my dreams. But, the living determine my actions, I stumble into them, humans, dogs, cats, fish; I hurt them, heed them, and, yes, love the clumsy collisions of these different beings and my silly self. In these random collisions of the dead and living, I search through my grief and will perhaps find my Merlin stretching out those delicate fingers to me again, beckoning, “come, come, let us go….”
- A dance through death (quiescentbeing.wordpress.com)
- Only waving, not drowning (quiescentbeing.wordpress.com)
- Spiritual Punk 2 (quiescentbeing.wordpress.com)
- Wake up bell (quiescentbeing.wordpress.com)
- Spiritual punk (Part 1) (quiescentbeing.wordpress.com)
- Ambassador of life (quiescentbeing.wordpress.com)
- The Play of Providence… (wanderingfeetblog.wordpress.com)