“That my complicated life could be made so simple was astounding.”
— Cheryl Strayed
My thoughts were dark, when I asked Mother, “I am going to turn 30 next week. What have I done with my life, amma?” Mother nodded, and looked pensive. She was turning my question in her head. “I don’t know too,” she offered. I sighed.
Words were too tangled, emotions too loud. So, we shared a moment of silence.
After that brief conversation with Mother, the Eeyore in me reminded me of everything that went wrong in my life. Relationships which were sabotaged. Jobs which I ruined. Bank balance that laughed at me. Harrowing memories which raided my dreams. And a soul that was battered.
I saw the shards of my life; I let out a muffled cry.
Then Eeyore plonked himself in a corner. His eyes, which carried years and years of sadness, were trained on me, and posed a question quietly.
“What have you done at all?”
I wanted my room to swallow me. I wanted to sleep forever. I wanted to slip into the oblivion.
The ancient darkness slithered into my room. And I surrendered again.
Today, I turn 30. Before I blew the candle out at 12 AM, I made a wish.
The darkness might always seem to inch toward me. But I desire to float in a pool of light all my life.
After all that life has shared with me, I realise that darkness cannot be dispelled. But, I have begun to try befriending the melancholy. To create space in my head, I tell the demons, “Fine! You all can be here. But allow me to collect the shards, and hold them against the light.”
The demons smile at me. Quite benignly. They are not that bad after all.
When they grin, and move aside a bit, I bask in light — the light that takes many forms.
Anu Boo’s wordless dialogues.
Father’s thoughtful messages on Whatsapp.
My pregnant bookshelf.
Mother’s dreams about my life.
Sister’s love-hate love.
The sea of sweat I shed after workouts.
My two-wheeled Calvin who loves the roads.
An insane, and ridiculously kind soul whom I call my home.
Friends who understand when I withdraw. Friends who bring me out of my burrow.
A non-judgemental journal, and an empty doodle-pad.
Butterflies, and feathers. Dead leaves, and fallen flowers.
Sun-tinged clouds, and starry skies.
Waves that rise and crash. Pebbles that sleep in my pocket.
And all the lucky charms that shield me.
Light. Light. Light
When they are tired of burning bright, the demons pirouette in my head. I watch their arrogant performance. They think that the darkness will stay young forever.
Just when their performance reaches its crescendo, a tiny spark flares up, driving away all the darkness with a humble ray of light. Then the demons rest, and tend to their tired feet.
Like a cat, I curl up in the light. I preen and purr.
That moment, I live for eternity.
That moment, I live for all the beings.
That moment, the scars smile.
That moment, the soul sings.
And that moment, the cosmos winks.