And Then It Was a Peacock

Meditation was late in the day today and I think it wasn’t easier. I think when I get to it later in the day my back acts funnier than when I get to it earlier in the day. Meditation comes from the word meditor or that which means to remedy. I’m not sure what I’m remedying here but its practice takes me places that while I know to exist are not necessarily obvious or top of mind.

About empathy – While it is important and I realize it’s required it should not be apparent at every moment. Sometimes the object of my empathy might feel relegated to the depths of despair because of my manner. However, I wonder what is more – my concern or my attempt to remedy.

When one is thinking about thinking it is not hard to get distracted in visions of thoughts. My mother’s feet then turn into the edge of a chair that should be right in front of me yet I realize that I have not looked at it the whole day. It could be easy to read into these things but I know these are only consequences of neurons firing and trying to observe the action of themselves firing. At some level it will not be possible for the subject to become the object even if the subject realizes this all the while. Does it then mean something specific when my thoughts turn into a peacock and run away from me? What I was left with was the image of its behind with a wrapped up plumage taking those long steps with the hind of its legs visible and surprisingly resembling those of an ostrich. Perhaps I’m just making that last part up. Perhaps not.

If The Modern Heraclitus Went Gentle Into That Good Night

Poem 1
This poem was written by a great person who appreciates life in all it’s fine details. It was a pleasure to read it the first time and every single time thereafter.
1. Warm sun drenches my face
And the smell of turmeric and cinnamon
Fleets across my nose,
As a calloused hand brushes the hair away from my face
The menacing footsteps of my father’s leather slippers
Makes the wooden floor tremble
The mischievous laughter of my brothers and sisters
Dances with dandelions in the summer wind
“look”, my mother whispers, as a shy little woodpecker perches on a
Plum tree outside
I wear my dreary grey socks and begin to tread the frowning road to
The frowning road merges into rock and stone and changes form
To a frowning cliff so determined in its Solitude.

2. As I contemplate about the death of me
fragments of my childhood memories
Run wild before my glistening eyes
So welled up with all that has transpired
My childhood blossoming into a
Painfully aware adolescence, maturing into
A confused adulthood, so much more intriguing
I had hopes and dreams
And desires still that beat inside that restless heart of mine
I dreamt of my own starry night
That rivals Van Gogh’s ever still
I imagined my quiet paradise
With a tender love
Only a mother can fathom
Alas! My hopes , my dreams , my aspirations
All came crashing to the ground
Their lofty citadels turning to dust

3. For the sad lack of elements
that make everything possible
My efforts all burnt to ashes
And as my father breathed his last
His eyes is now cloudy and senile
His robust, jaunty frame reduced to a cadaver
The stiffness of his corpse filled me with an unearthly terror,
I was in the throes of madness, thinking about this man whose warmth
Pervaded my childhood, but lay cold and lifeless now
My failure so exacerbated by my loss
And the despair of my sick mother
My incompetence and failure still haunted me like a phantom
As I left my abode to search for better means, my dear angel of a mother
Turned blind with grief …and tears still stained her bony cheeks and deep
furrows lined her
Divinely smiling visage
Her crumpled tattered sari wrapped around her like a chrysalis
And as the ruthless wind
Blew out the waning light of the dying candle,
So did my lovely mother waste away
In those pitiable circumstances

4. I wandered and loathed and wandered some more
Until my body was home to a thousand plagues
And my mind so numb, it seemed lost somewhere
I lost it in the slums I think, beside the baby sleeping in the drain
Beside woman with hollow eyes selling herself for bread
Beside the wailing, crippled beggar…
Or the stray dog howling in pain
I sit here like a wandering fool, an insane bard
Singing of my misery to a frowning cliff-
So determined- in its solitude
The air now feels calm and clean so high above
So determined in its solitude
I felt uneasy and was raving mad
Now an unusual deadness pervades my being
As my mind knows what follows
The agony of my existence
The big black hole of sadness
Gnaws at my soul
And creeps through my nightmares
I don’t have an inclination to live
I don’t have any happiness to give
Despair and black grief follow me
I stand up and breathe in, I look around
And taste the air
The smell of the earth wet from dew,
And the fragrance of the gum oozing from the trees
The crows cawing among the cool branches
I hear a tiny scratch
And look down to see a silvery yellow clump on the rock
It frets and trembles and rolls down a pebble
The Sun begins to rise from behind the hills
The cold, morning blue sky
Now scattered with red and orange
And the trees all glistening like gold
I am surprised how shadows and light frolic on the visage of the frowning
And the frightful frown turns mild
It seems the cliff has a weary smile
I look at the ground again
And out of the silvery clump crawls out a beautiful orange butterfly
It writhes and flaps
Lovely orange wings to take flight in the cool morning air

5. So content in its solitude
My tempestuous mind is calm
And I feel hope and contentment in my tired heart
It warms me up inside
Like my mother’s hands
Smelling of cinnamon and turmeric
I know what this is
With unabated mirth I know what this is….!
This is a story about a sad hopeless man on a cliff
A modern Heraclitus
So desperate in his solitude
So dismal and pathetic
And weary of life
But this would be just another story he would tell his grandchildren about
With a copy of Treasure Island and a pipe
A story of a spectacular comeback
In a world where it is so difficult to be You, without dying
Or killing a part of you

Poem 2
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Poem 3

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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