Life is fickle.
In a split second, everything can change, in the first cry of a baby, in a last breath.
I’d like to think there’s a reason.
A method to the madness.
That every winding path is meant for a destination.
But I don’t know. I don’t know anything.
I guess that’s why they call it hope.
And not truth.
In life, there is intense happiness, intense warmth, intense love.
There is also intense sadness, intense anger, intense pain.
It makes up the balance of the universe.
We cannot have one without the other.
Sometimes, I think I’d rather not have either side.
That I’d rather live in the middle.
But now, I know that that is not living.
Because in every intense moment of pain, there is a newfound appreciation of every intense moment of love.
In every intense moment of fear, there is a new reason for hope.
So yes, I do believe there’s a reason. No matter how small or how large.
There is a method to the madness.
The complex simplicity in her smile.
The shattered wholeness in her eyes.
Her intense heat surges in flames only to leave my heart in ashes.
I am drowned in her vastness; her soft fears turning, forming currents ‘neath the surface.
I feel them
Pushing, pulling, tugging …harder, stronger
Surging and yet under the surface, it remains
Leaving her feeling empty inside.
Her sea is raging, surging.
Strong and powerful
With a potential which is currently unknown to the world.
With a view that may never be seen.
Racking the shore desperately breaking
Screaming with a burning desire to be freed
But no matter how loud, her screams are not heard
They are blended with the subtle sounds of the waves but roar no less
She roars, wanting terribly to allow herself to be freed but
She has trained herself to hold back.
She dares not even dream of her freedom out of the fear of waking up.
I am drowned in her fear which stirs in a vast sea.
Rages, rages beneath in flames.
Touching the surface only to subside as the currents flood it.
But I feel as if they are reaching out to me
Grazing my skin enough to make known its presence
But not enough to burn
Thank God for the little things;
The little things which keep us all on our toes;
For the little goosebumps in life that leave us besides ourselves in wonder.
Thank God for the sunrise;
Giving hope to a brand new day;
A brand new beginning.
Thank God for the big things;
When a normal day on the surface turns into something magnificent;
Something that reminds us what it is to be alive.
Thank God for tears;
Tears of joy of sadness of relief which allow us to feel;
To feel what sits in the depths of our souls as it bursts out like water through a dam,
With power; with truth.
Thank God for moments;
A moment, fleeting in its value, but precious no less;
The way subtle beauty in life reveals itself in the most uncanny of circumstances.
Thank God for the unknown;
That which stirs curiosity in us and leaves us looking for what all remains a mystery in life.
And even though we always are seeking, we will never discover all the mysteries,
Because they are meant to stay hidden.
Thank God for the clarity found in the dark;
The way the path we think is the bumpiest
Ends up taking us farther than we ever thought we’d go;
The way even in hard times, we are able to have faith in God because God will never let us down or give us more than you know we could handle.
Thank God for the hidden truths;
Truths which are so pure of thought and feeling that they cannot be expressed in the simplicity of language;
Truths which make us so entirely in awe of all the power held in life.
Thank God for this journey;
This endless quest of knowledge, of truth, of ourselves which we embark on together.
Together we climb to a peak we cannot see but we have no doubt that the view will be breathtaking.
We climb for the truth, we climb for ourselves, and we climb for each other.
Joy is relative. Different for everyone it beholds. It’s unique in its own way, neither right nor wrong, hot nor cold, sweet nor bitter.
Joy is personal. It’s something you have to feel for yourself; nobody can feel it for you and nobody can give you theirs.
Joy is bold. Makes the rules as it goes, bows to no one. It is an exotic creature in itself with mysterious ways. The moment you stop trying to understand it, only then will it open up to you. You are submissive to it. You cannot hold it in chains; you must set it free. Let it reveal to you its ability and it’s potential.
Joy is power. it’s a glorious flame which flourishes and flows in complete synch. Every subtle, smooth movement with a larger purpose. it can be harnessed but never controlled. It pulls you into its current.
Joy is harmony. it exists in the moments where everything fits together in a perfect click and everything in the dark remains unknown but you make peace with this and can bask the warm light above.
Joy is everywhere, eternal, everlasting, encompassing. In the deepest depths of distorting darkness, lies a microscopic spark of blinding light… joy is hope. Joy is the tunnel transporting at the speed of light out of the pit in which you lie to a brighter more beautiful paradise.
Joy is fickle, its momentary. Held in a minute, second, millisecond of intense warmth and serenity.
Joy is slippery, slipping through your fingers like a firefly, in your hands so small so tender. Lying in your palm. Vulnerable yet powerful. Its light streams through your fingers and no matter how hard you try, you cant conceal it.
As my skis tilt toward the slopes, anxiety builds up inside and I feel awkwardly quenched from the thirst of freedom. I take a deep breath as I let go of any sight of flat land and soar. I am alone; me and my skis. I have always been scared of loneliness, but, awkwardly, this time I kind of like it. As the wind slaps me across my face, I feel a wonderful sensation never felt this way before. The sun beats down on my face and I want nothing more than to feel, smell, taste and even hear that freedom in which is bouncing inside me. I let all my troubles slip away like a slippery soap bar. All my thoughts whither. I feel as light and free as a snowflake as it floats its way down to the ground. But I feel as if the warmth of the sun has melted me letting me fall now as rain knowing that once I reach the ground, I will splash having to taste the damask soil. I don’t care… I live in the moment… I forget everything I ever knew about worry, sadness, and anger; I just let go. I know that before I knew it, they would be creeping back banging on my door to destroy my brain little by little, but my heart knows that this moment is for me. As my hair becomes one with the wind and my heart becomes on with my skis, I find myself relaxed. I hear nothing but my skis slicing the snow beneath my feet. Suddenly, I hear nothing; feel nothing… I open my eyes. I have made it to the bottom.
As I turned the corner, the smells of dung, trash, sewer water, and anything you would find in a dumpster slapped me across my face. The lack of fresh air made my eyes water, and the smell stung my nostrils. I could hear cars honking, babies crying, and rowdy discussions in the distance. The filthy, polluted sidewalks filled with sewage and trash scattered into the narrow gray streets.
As I looked up from the ground, I saw a young grime covered girl tugging at my water bottle. Her needy, desperate, deep, brown eyes tore at my heart. It was all I could do not to cry. As I looked away from her face, I could see many other dirt covered children. Their hollow eyes followed me with questions and pleading. Some took resigned sips of the dirty gutter water. Their clothing resembled filthy rags and barely covered their bodies and some adults on the streets had deformed body parts. I could feel rough platforms and deep holes in the walls lacking bricks or cement. Sharp corners of litter poked the bare feet of children. It was a complete wasteland. This was my startling introduction to my mother’s birthplace, India.
As I looked longingly at the poor children, I saw a woman hoist a dirty and obviously malnourished toddle onto her hip. He whimpered quietly as snot dripped down his upper lip. The child was no more than two years of age and sat his bare bottom in this lady’s arms. The woman wore baggy pants, a brown worn out shirt with flowers, and a dapatta, the Indian scarf, tied loosely around her neck. She was bare- footed; carefully placing her feeble feet on the ground in order to prevent getting hurt on the sharp cobbles. As I looked up to her face, I saw her troubled eyes—eyes filled with pain, wisdom, but also strength and determination. As she looked at my mother, she attempted to mimic the motion of drawing food to her mouth trying to imply that she and her child were obviously famished. She repeated the action and nodded hopefully toward my mother. Her pleading eyes questioned, longed and hoped.
For my mother, the sight of the woman instantly sucked the life right out of her. When the woman came up to us, she asked if we could buy some rice for her and her baby. She motioned to the small stall like store a few feet away. She kept asking and pleading; desperation and fear mixed with her cries. My mother was obviously troubled. After one glance backwards at my brother and me, my mother nodded toward the sad woman and motioned toward the store. So the woman followed her to the store shuffling a few feet behind us clutching the bare-bottomed baby and smoothing his grimy hair. My mom pointed to a bag of rice, quickly paid the shop owner, and placed the package in the woman’s other arm. Clutching the squirming toddler in one hand and the rice in the other, the tears in the woman’s eyes wouldn’t stop flowing. She told my mom that this would feed her and her baby for a long time. With a grateful nod and the first glimmer of a smile, she left us and went on her way.
When she was gone, my mom turned around and smiled at me; I smiled back. Experiencing that moment showed me one of the most important lessons of my life. Life should not be filled with judgment and prejudice; it was not meant to be a cold selfish place. A simple of act of kindness and compassion is what ties us all together as human beings and makes us dance with one beat. Poverty and hardship may not be able ever be overcome entirely, but a simple act of generosity in a moment of desperation reveals how important a kind and giving heart is. My heart hurt for the desperation of the poor I saw, but that’s what motivates me to try harder to help them. I learned that things we take for granted—clean clothes, a full belly, a comfortable home and loving family– seem like an impossible dream to many people. We can’t help everyone, but we CAN help someone. And we did.