this is beginning of the end!

other side of grief

a false god that has no name
the pain which no longer stings
picture this: 22 hours, steam room and high on wine

bleeding through boundaries
embracing shadows
entwined hearts

miles apart 
lips sealed, unknown magic
death beckons
death of me, as i know... 

soul twin

My soul-twin is an impish dusky bipasha basu and kajol rolled into one girl by the name that literally means Wine!!
It was serendipity that we met when I was 5 and she was just a new-born and we connected immediately: she has a contagious laugh and a mischievous spirit that often bordered on gleeful nefariousness. She was always the wise one on the front with a hugely wicked side to her well concealed.
She dates young and elder, completely without apology, and from the get-go, we trusted each other with each other's most mortifying and sordid secrets - we were like teenage boys totally attuned to the debauchery of one another because we could see mirror images of ourselves in each other's eyes.
We wake up and laugh, or awaken and bury our heads. We wake up grinning, or we wake up feeling like shit. We wake up. This is a thing that we did together, daily for a total of 26 years.
Till I got married and missed to wish her birthday last year. This year, am trying to make amends when she is out having a blast with a bunch of admirers and friends!
She used hate the curfews I would try and put on her through her college and still has the gumption to dictate my hours!
She has always been there, through my fantastic steps and very very misguided ones. No judging, no questions. My barometer of fashion and fun. She finished her education of fragrance, books and those other lil good things of taste under me, though she disagrees.
She was the one who picked me from one of my worst times of my life, dusted me off and got me new shoes.
Mostly, we laughed together uncontrollably: innumerable scenes, zillions of moments, unable to breathe, convulsing with heaving laughter over a ridiculous scenario we'd concocted.
It is a thing we give each other, an act, an offering, a small choreography of solidarity between us—like the tremolo of a dancer’s fingers; or the way a leaf, caught in the lattice, always flutters with the wind.
At the age of 27! She is still like a teenager, one of those whom you envy in school... absolutely charming and smart! She is my mom’s pillar and perhaps the best aunt my son can wish for!
She is warm and beautiful and in her eyes is acceptance: she, maybe, knows me better than anyone else on the planet. She has seen every wart I've ever had, and still loves me. The value of that is indescribable
The moral of this rambling crap? I believe love can be prodded, created, fostered even in the midst of uncertainty. I do. And that, damn, also, I probably owe her a shot or two on her birthday, today!
Chaamuuuu, yeppy budde!

60 days of delight!

sleep deprivation and running schedule, ruckus for a house and am so much in love... i love to snuggle him, nurse him .... see him laughing with the angels in his sleep and call him names... coo gibberish in his ears, he cushions all the falls of the grown-up world!


full and then not enough

Today not enough sleep. Today not enough bandwidth. Today not enough peace. 

The dishes need to be done. Laundry is screaming to be ironed. Conversations begging to be finished. Visits to the spas, long lost dreams. Takes all my efforts to turn out decently groomed. Arriving at each day, mustering enough grace and humor to be a mother. Diapering, feeding, food all seems now to be a second nature. It always astounds me how life keeps coming back to these things. To bread and dishes. To sleep. To love.

Today I sit on the couch and press my nose into that warm place behind Nirvaan's tiny ear and whisper. I love you. I love you.

It's just that this now is such a blurry tender place. I curl up into the present on the couch, hold him, try to get words down. I listen to the way things hum and chatter in the house: the refrigerator, the birds, the fan. Sometimes I think about how this life, mine, has become so small. The circumference of it just circling this. 

Sometimes I feel guilty that it isn't bigger, flashier, more. Something. Guilty? Maybe that is the wrong word. But some days I feel the judgment, coming from somewhere. The world pressing up against the thin glycerin skin of this moment, fragile as it is.

I used to love watching clouds float up and away over in the clear blue summer sky. Of course they burst sometime or later or simply vaporized, but in my head I imagined them floating on and on, up, to Jupiter or to the fairyland. 

Such are the moments today. Tired. More tired. The nights still sometimes haphazard, but mostly soft with sleep and pillows, dreams right there, and even when he wakes up more, as he did last night, when the morning comes a small piece of me is grateful for the fitful night, for the broken moments of rest.

I love him so, small like this. Full of radiant smiles and frowns. Before words and sippy cups and defiance.
There is no field guide for this, for these moments, and yet I know I'll stumble through and be fifty before I am ready. So I keep putting the words down. Some kind of record. 

Now. More milk.


daggers in your heart for your own good

He is breathless with crying. Wailing with out punctuations, paragraphs of pathos, out. His first ever. And, though on autopilot, I coo and try to sooth; trying and failing miserably in protecting him from the pain. I watch, the mommy me, being a bundle of nerves; inching towards a colossal meltdown.

Giving birth is perhaps the single bravest thing on this planet. Putting your heart for the entire world to tread on; isn’t easy. Nirvaan is 6 weeks old. And, the world has already begun to plague him with pain. Vaccinations!

I feel a lump at the back of my throat when I write those words. When I think of him, the space inside my ribcage hardly feels big enough to contain the feeling I have for him: like a thousand rainbow helium balloons all lifting, lifting skyward.
I want to record every moment with him because every one is fleeting, but I haven’t. There are a few pictures, yes, and only a few quickly scribbled notes here and there that mark the passing of his babyhood —because the truth is this: I am greedy with my time with him.
I want the smell of him forever: soft, inexplicably sweet; the essence of these baby days when we’re curled together in the morning before the world wakes up and the day begins. I want to be able to forever feel the roundness of his soft darling belly, like a little fat moon when he stretches out.
This has been the gift of my son. He has allowed me to slow down and linger in these moments of early motherhood. I curl around him after I’ve scooped him up from a nap.
He nurses, then grins up or frowns and smacks his lips with satisfaction and I whisper to him, leaning close until my lips brush his babysoft cheek. I whisper about how I love him until he falls back asleep for a few perfect moments, a smile playing on his lips.
I have learned that the laundry can wait, and that the dishes and bowls and pots in the sink will return to their state of clean or dirty regardless of whether I do them first, or often, or last. What matters most are kisses.
He hardly cries or fusses, except when he is really hungry and he has given enough cry-less communications.

He is a thinker really. A deep faraway look in his eyes. Eyes which are dark and brooding, eyes with a midnight blue ring around his irises.

He sleeps for a while and when the pain sears through, a huge cry escapes. This intermittent sleep helps apart from his fav music – my heartbeat.


miracle month

Now it is night. The house windows show us ourselves. The light is orange.
Nirvaan is 30 days old. It is already dark outside, winter is finally here and our house is tucked into a snug blanket of silence, sprinkled with traffic noise and a certain peace.
He is beautiful, and when he smiles in his sleep his grin makes this tiny world of mine explode with sparklers.
I am delirious. There is a learning curve to all of this for both of us.
First week, first month home with a new babe, is such a fragile, isolating time. You wonder, invariably if anyone else goes through the same things: the stupendous heights of new baby love, and the rocky catapults to below low. I’ve always wondered what it is like for other people. I imagine, now that I am in the thick of it, the moments become wrapped in a protective bubble of forgetfulness.
I don’t want to forget.
I want to write even though the tiredness feels like an animal in the room with me: large and soft and voracious. I want to write so that I can remember what these moments are like: new, and precarious.
Nirvaan is asleep on the couch, tucked into a corner, dreaming. Even when he is being quiet, he stirs the air around him like an oar dipped into the smooth surface of a pond.
House was full for quite a while. Full with people I love. Full with people come to meet him. It was noisy and festive. All the noise startled me and him over and over again for few days, so that I was neither awake nor deeply asleep. Some internal tuning shifts with giving birth, so that every noise filters into my brain differently. I am always on the alert for his breathing, his slightest whimper, his smallest sigh. When I sleep next to him, I breathe in synch with his breath, and the rhythm of us breathing together is like the complex jazz score and anything else, any other sound, disrupts this and makes it harder to sleep.
Now all are gone and its still harder to sleep. The family portrait cozy together, is now looks empty.
It isn’t like I am just tired. This is a different kind of tired that originates in my organs, my muscle tissue, my sore, sore body. Everything hurts. And where adrenaline made the first day and the second a soporific rush of moments; the trauma of labor catches up. My body is stunned.
Outside there is traffic noise. I nurse Nirvaan, then bring him to the couch outside the bedroom and nestle him in the cradle next to me where he sleeps, his arms above his head. I love him. I love him unimaginably, and feel almost surprised by this sweetness and my love for him makes my heart flutter.
Every day is different. Wonderment, a thousand sighs and tears and laughs.
Happy 30th day, my son!


Nirvaan - the blessing!

Am in LOVE! Totally, absolutely smitten!

Motherhood is WORTH every ounce of everything one goes through. The new ness is still to settle in, about 15 days old!

This boy, this beautiful boy of mine, teaches me so much. He challenges me at every turn to grow, to become more organized, more intentional, more prepared. He is my mirror, revealing the fragile and haphazard parts of my being that dangle and drag like dropped stitches. Where I am weakest, this is where parenting him forces me to grow the most.
Every yawn, half smiles, every blink and all the attempts to cry and the actual wailings, the feeding and the bathing, the massage and the nappy changing; each of this and the bunch of seemingly inconsequential chores, inconsequential to the rising recession and inconsequential to the melting ice, now becomes the fulcrum. The axis on which my being rotates, he is the planet!

He is always full force, full throttle, determined. He is fragile. He is persistent. He exhausts me. And I’m starting to get it: this is perhaps the single most important thing of this life and this is totally exhilarating Nirvana!

Thank You, DH!


of october, osm and others ...

There is something about October light. The way the skies are balmy and wind with a hint of chill. The way V’s of birds look like embers against the sky as the sun sets. The way every leaf falls with a crunching sound.

October here in hometown somehow holds that special aura around it. Autumn here is festive. And, always reminds me of my adopted home, where each day was festive, happening and on the edge.

“Sneh Kamal”, the digs we moved in as a post grad students and then never moved out, till suddenly out of no where, one not so fine morning, I got up, got dressed, went out for the day and never went back ever since, at least not to stay. I the home-maker (of this particular place) became the visitor!

SK, has been home to this group, for almost a decade now. With two rooms and a make-do kitchen and a tiny little balcony, this place has been a witness to many a celebrations, innumerable all-nighters, zillion heart breaks and some 100s of friendships, friendships which were more than families, friendships which let us tide over some real absolute crisis. It has been cement to some very strong and lasting relationships – named and unnamed.

This place holds you, ties you to itself! Its not the place that would make the covers of Good Housekeeping, it hardly even has a bed! But it’s the coziest and most comfortable dwellings you could perhaps come across. And, all the house mates ever and even the visiting friends, would swear by it!

Each room, each corner, each of the make-do objects, even the coffee mugs have a story to tell. Story of human bondages and heartaches. Story of pride and of arrogance. Of silliness and of acceptance of who you are. Of tiding over no-cash days and of partying on full-wallet nights. Of movies on a borrowed PCs and laptops and of sharing on “thumbs up” bottle amongst 7! Story of how, it was a host to 3 set of parents and relatives at one go and of how the one person staying alone got scared and went and slept with the watchman. Of popping champagnes and rowdy crowd. Of fist fights and tearful hugs. Of discovering rock music and n over books, of debates on cricket, soccer and politics, of redefining fashion and trashing someone else heroes and of conversions to the fan hood of same, the next day! Of love and hate and love again!

I look up to see a commercial jet sailing through the overcast sky; the duet of synthetic and organic thunder that chases after a lonely speck moving across a sky marked with clouds and then assortment of feathers looking for a safe haven, few crows, bunch of mynahs, few squirrels darting across the terrace and I think of all those people who were ever a part of the SK cult and every day I am stunned by this: that we are all here together … so isolated and so well knit.

All of us with ribs and drawers of dreams and latched container hearts, beating secretively even while we occupy our lives with other things: motors and binary code and wonder. A fly alights on skin exposed; a shoelace drags; a tongue traces the contours of lips, dry and hesitant before a kiss, or waiting outside the Operation Theatre to hear the news, or in the first moment after a promise has been made or broken; and things fall apart or are held: a seam, a paper flour sack, the strings belonging to a dozen helium balloons clutched in a child’s sticky hand, a heart, a life.

This is the story, lot of which remains untold … unsung…, of home which still holds my heart; home here I dropped a piece of my soul forever!


the countdowns outta window, already!

hey internet, the storms on its way, am on my way to become a mommy, any day now.... and thats why the silence!!! wait for the full detailed version of my new avatar.... till then...

{awww excuse me... i still need that breathing break... someones trying to lodge themselves all in my ribs or is it liver or ...... aarghh god almighty!! whoever said this was fun... was an F $&^(**() idiot!}


i was 16!!

--> I was 16, obsessed with ramp, literature and getting the hell of out of the small town, had a novice eating disorder, was fixated on boys, and still a kid in a small secret pocket compartment of my heart. I read Dostoyevsky and Dante along with Mills&Boons, for pleasure, climbed trees; fist fought my brother and was very concerned with the fate of the world and my future.
I listened to Nirvana, tried not to eat, wore baggy jeans and high ponytails, and I hated my mother because she deferred to my father on everything that ever had anything to do with me. I wanted secretly to be a runway model. I kept a daily diary. I thought the “Died in your arms tonight” was the epitome of romance.
My father was the smartest man I had ever known and I adored discussing philosophy and religion with him. I’d perch on the couch in a circle of yellow lamplight, and we’d talk, sometimes for hours, about reincarnation and karma and the fate of the gods. He was also one of the most socially clueless men I have ever known, and had no idea how to parent a teenage girl. Aside from the good conversations, he responded to almost every one of my requests to do normal social teenage things with a “no.” Zero social time!
I learned how to lie. And, I learned how to survive, the innumerable horrors, heartbreaks, domestic violence, ugly insinuations, low self esteem. I learned to live in spite of things. I learned to collect the good times, the sit-down family meals, the infatuations and the admirations.
My best friend and I spent a lot of time together and it is because of her, and because of my younger sis I survived my life then. We spoke for hours on phone. Plastered our walls with pictures from Vogue, listened to Stevie Wonder and George Michael and strangely Jagjit Singh.
I loved being the center of attention, but was too awkward and earnest to really pull it off. I was fascinated with the attention that I got from boys, but was thoroughly confused as to why. I liked boys who were dangerous or daring, or at the very least, looked interesting. But never got involved; never more than a couple of “hellos” ( a BIGG move at that point of time in history!) This was after all, a small Indian town where boys followed you either on their bicycles or motorbikes (the more happening ones) and you were supposed to be un-interested or you could quickly follow the (in)fame’s path and all hell would break loose, if your family came to even as much as believe that you even as much as looked in their direction.
I was a freelance feature writer for a local print of a national daily. Graduated from children’s page in high school to a regular feature contributor in college! And, believed myself to be more refined, erudite and literary then my contemporaries; hiding a huge anti-social misfit who did-try-hard-and-then-gave-up-fitting-in; beneath it all.
I imagined running away. I imagined being famous. I imagined I was important enough to change the world. I imagined growing up to be an astrophysicist cum writer. I loved to sketch and wrote reams of poetry. I went to all the book fairs and managed to get a membership for British Council Library, unheard of for undergrads then. I briefly flirted with Occult and moved into meditation techniques which I hardly understood, a flirtation that lasted until one day suddenly I found myself some place brown and orange with a splitting headache and absolutely terrified. I was as much a contradiction as possible. I was 16.


what is it with posterity? we always seem to sing our heroes as an afterthought? delayed realization? individuals who refused to conform to the pop? subversion has always been applauded and celebrated, always on a later date.... even centuries/half a century later!
why is it that we always, always ... almost always feel the importance of things when they move to the "bygone" filings? its either the past or the future, why is present so boring? unless of course, we are out getting drunk/laid ... oh, even then... the mind is preoccupied with not the "now" .... we completely absolutely waste it... always!


artificial reality

i want to make things up, kind of alternate reality... the one which is safely inside my mind; so that i can capture those beautiful memories for that quintessential trip down the lane... sometimes, your own version of reality is not even congruent with the one you technically breathe in... somethings not going right... i keep slipping off these edges into pits of dissatisfaction ... with myself.


re-inventing self

its time for a new look around here and after 4.5 years.... from "life and all that jazz" to "tango" to the intricacies of ballet; of life..... which by the way seems to flow and glide if you are the audience ....

revamped the others as well... go figure! :)


would-be-mom, window-dressing, wifey-evolution

These are days of thunder-less clouds, of quivering rain-soaked leaves, of things starting out one way and ending another. Expectations are for fools: the bright shiny bits of tinfoil that trick the crows with their dark feathers and bright eyes to plummet towards the ground.

Assortment of birds, small feathered creatures, hopping on the front porch; they keep swooping back and forth across the road; wings like sudden shadows lifting free from the foliage, everything so green it almost aches.

The damp air is sweet with the fragrance of bloom and fruit and soil. The air is so humid it feels like we are drinking water as we breathe our skin slick and salty, feet skimming the gravel. We have hardly been doing things together. No walks, hardly any talks, not even meals! And, I just cannot get my head around the fact … and somehow, its stupid that it frustrates me so much! Solitary! Is what I know of doing things, on my own! Everything, well almost everything … alone. Then why this? The uneven terrain of marriage, breathing hard, sometimes quiet, sometimes telling each other little things.

Sustaining has been the one thing that has held this summer. Even when everything else is at a loss: words, money, time, we’ve had sustaining. Even when things have been endless: rain, worry, self doubt, there has been blood thrumming through the capillaries in our lungs, our rib bones rising and falling hard like the hulls of little boats pitching on a storm tossed sea.

It is something to sustain everyday without expectation. Day in, day out… to “just get onto the boat, do your job” … just go, and gradually mark a difference. I am trying to learn this: to expect nothing and persist.

To wipe sticky cheeks, to weep, to read stories, kiss good morning and nights, experiment with age old recipes, gather words, gather four leaf clovers, gather hope, drink lemonade, drink butter milk, put words on the page, hit the delete key, hit the wall, dig in the dirt, remember, recycle, rinse the plates, stay up late, write… click pictures, collage out of glossies.

Some days it takes everything just to show up for the day. To get out of bed after a night that turned into a wind-whipped laundry line of hours.

I’ll be honest. Some mornings I wake up wanting to put my fist through a wall. There are mornings when I hate the sound of crows in the trees. Mornings where my thoughts are black and jagged and tea seems like a weak substitute for all the hours unslept and torn into fragments by the urgent primal demands of my baby.

And its on those days that perseverance of sustaining matters most. That time on the road has become the footing that makes it possible to go forwards in my life. And look! I can run faster than I ever have.

Some days it is only the only thing saves me: if I can just breathe and I can write. If I can write, I can live. If I can live, I can mother.

It is the hardest thing, this: to turn towards a new day with empty palms, ready to let it be whatever it is, and still to persist stubbornly.

the rides bumpy but fun...

In the pale crook of a birch a robin threading its song through the fluttering green of newly furled leaves makes my heart tremble. Things are up in the air, and I’m holding my breath waiting for unrecognized brilliance. It’s like I’m occupying the thin space between air and water in a drinking glass, where the whole world is reflected in a line.

I spend whole days skimming, flitting, careening. In my moleskin I’ve started writing again, finger bones gripping in quiet concert, the lead becoming a rush of loopy js and ys, answering the same questions each morning: what do I feel? What do I want?

The thing about being married is that it tricks you into the slow, sedate delusion that you actually know the human being you are married to. Because I wake up next to him every morning, heck, I should know my husband like the back of my hand, right? (Although when I think about it, I’m not sure I could describe the back of my hand to anyone without actually LOOKING at it either.) For granted are two words that come into play here, with their accompanying ache and grayness, each syllable painted the color of the rain heavy sky.

And the thing is, for quite some time you can slip into a groove with another person. A routine gets built around you like a Lego fortress, and you’re there inside it, contentedly going about the brightly colored bits of your day. Tea together in the morning, maybe. An easy push-pull exchange of laundry and dishes and getting things done. Then something happens and within hours, seconds, days, whatever, you’re standing facing each other with hot cheeks and fingers clenched wondering who the hell the other person is.

And yet with this baby curveball we’ve got going on, it is something we’re both into. Something that’s made us feel like a unit, a family beyond what we are right now, and we plunged into the long month of July eager with plans and complacent with delight.

I spend much of the day curled like a cat, now, dozing. My dreams are surreal and technicolored and sexy. My stomach is in a constant state of upheaval, the word nausea hardly encompasses the scope of queasy that I feel. It is a perpetual all day thing, indigestion, bloating, every single food suspect.

I turn my nose up at foods I have always loved; I become obsessed with certain food and then suddenly, irrationally, cannot stand them. The kitchen and the refrigerator are a dangerous place. I can hardly stand to open the door. My sense of smell has gone from acute, which it has always been, to hyper sensitive. I can smell onions across the room. Garlic makes me dry heave.

It’s a weird state to have suddenly slipped into. Pregnancy has forced rest upon me. It’s been a long time since I sat in a lawn chair on the grass and did nothing. I sit and watch clouds get tangled at the horizon; swallowtails land on the yellow roses by the door

Even as I feel fiercely protective of my tender belly, where this unexpected miraculous handful of cells is multiplying and growing: tiny arm buds, eyelids, it’s heartbeat like the fluttering wings of birds.

I turn away so he cannot see my eyes, suddenly hot with tears.


cocktail hangover

Day after day the rain comes in the evening, the windowsills wet. I eat an extra cookie, the chocolate melting bitter and sweet and sticky on my tongue, crumbs on the couch for sure, and put try and read, amidst all the home-maker stuff! A rookie home-maker!

So, I’ve been moody with this rain, the humidity making my hair curl and my skin stick. I have 10 tabs open in my internet browser and I’m on the verge of tears, right on the cusp of everything as usual. It’s so terrifying to contemplate doing more than whatever it is I’m doing right now.

As in: trying to get work, figuring more things out, putting my heart out there in thin lines of Trebuchet MS double spaced and waiting for whatever.

It’s terrifying to sit here on our art leather couch with all sorts of aches and bloated feelings contemplating what else could be a reality soon, or never, or maybe. What if I make it?

Sometimes that question is almost as confounding and daunting as What if I don’t?

Here are the things I suck at: networking, time lines and deadlines. Here are the things I am good at: sentences, earnestness, heart, metaphors, and dreaming.

Between those two columns are the three words that Nike made so very famous: just do it. Sometimes that feels impossibly hard. Sometimes I don’t even know what that looks like, doing it, going for it: where to begin?

Breath. I come back to that. And then I go back to my browser with it’s ten open tabs and try to make sense of my life.

And: Which is more terrifying: attempting success and failing, or failing to attempt success? Ha!


coffee-stained clarity

My hair is frizzy, one of the telltale effects of hormones raging above baseline in pregnancy, and I find it everywhere: on my clothes, in the bristles of my honey colored brush, on the bed.

Outside it is gray and cold and drizzling. There is dirt on the floor. Around the lip of the clay pots that holds the assortment of plants, dust, thick enough to write my name.

Last night I was up, squirming around, uncomfortable most of the night. The sultriness of the day spills much into the nights. This morning it’s the same - uncomfortable, here in this thin skin, ready to cry.

Everything is always a risk. Loving. Trying to put down roots. Giving birth. Going out the front door. Getting on a plane to somewhere, and having it crash out in the ocean. Can you imagine? Waiting out there, with your terror, for death?

Of course I know nothing of terror, and yet. It’s scary here too some days. Here has its own kind of heartbreak: our financial situation sucks and it’s quite possible we could mess things up, have nothing, throw in the towel, go. To where? To what? Even when there are cyclamens, and stretching, and good poems there is always this. A shake up, a heartache, a fight, an empty bank account, a splinter under your fingernail, a bitten tongue.

And some days its hard to see that there is anything more than this: hormones and exhaustion and possible loss. Ostrich days, where all I want is to burry my head in deep and wait for moments that are better, sweeter, less filled with tears.

And then there was this: inside stretching, I picked up Paulo Coelho’s newest “the winner stands alone”, and a box of Moroccan Rose. Reading, and felt as though I was breaking off chunks of bread to feed my hungry soul, sunlight on the floor, my muscles limber in repose. I looked up to see the lush pink of the cyclamens on the windowsill blooming, and things stopped for an instant. I was just there, air in my lungs, the fuchsia petals on the sill glowing with afternoon light.

And suddenly I was full. That single slender moment, utterly perfect. Whole.

And in the end, this is what I live for: to find myself again and again in these moments, to locate myself here. While today rain pelts down, and the green leaves of the sassafras trees whip about, and the stock market dips and rises and does unpredictable things and nothing is ever secure, yesterday there was that.

Yesterday there were those few breaths on the floor, words humming in my heart, my spine bending towards my knees, my slender wrists resting on the bones of my ankles, reaching, stretching. Those few moments before everything picked up and carried on: roti and potatoes for dinner, laundry, packing, reading stories, conversations with the un-born.

What is this life for, if not to live in it moment by moment? What is success, if not to experience sometimes and again irrefutable joy in this right now? And to hold that joy with the same hands that rinse the dirty dishes the sink; the same hands that write and love; the same ones that carried the little ones to the loo in the dark, and the ones that supported friends and family and also the ones which threw things in blind rage; the hands that cupped my own face streaming with tears, tiredness eating the marrow of my bones.

What is success, if not this, this hunger to be alive right now? To be here, loving, dreaming, running hard down the road?



June is one of my favorite months: cloud-torn skies, hail, thunderstorms, and sudden rainbows above the wet curled ferns. Its easy to be grateful in June, to watch the poplars bend and bend and bend in the wind without breaking, and to feel glad. It’s easy to want to be something in June, to want to be alive, and to be living also: to want to push past whatever was holding things back. Tiredness matters less when the clear air is full of swallowtails and the scent of hyacinth.

June, and the mercury is still playing strong, the temperature flirting with cool, barely. Above us, flying in wide swooping arcs that make my heart ache with pleasure, bluebirds, streaks of summer sky.

But the heat is a killer, a convict … untouched!


June: reading more short stories, getting more words off the page. With a book or two of some sort.

This June is a little changed. This June, “Shivaansh” is 20 weeks and running. He kicks but mostly sleeps, I guess! Great Kid, eh?

And, I begin to look like “boa constrictor who swallowed an elephant” (Linda Goodman, anyone??)

June: And its his birth month … imagine, him being born on the most powerful day of Wicca, on Summer Solstice!

And, imagine … me with him! Somethings are just waiting to be happened!



cool mornings,
billowing white sails on the river
sturdy, irregular boats dancing on them,
a tango of rippling images on the water.


i sit there, on the fence... now young, now mature
now glee, now gloomy...
i sit there, outside myself
images come in deluge, high tides

riding those surfs high above is ... me
now drowning, now seizing eddies...
wrapped in a warped time
mind - has the future bearings

heart - the past

the whirlpool rises...

have you noticed, there's always a void at the center of these whirlpools
its the void that runs them, its the void that runs the universe

as the dusk dawns, slowly, steadily, eventlessly ...
its an event.
the sky technicolor from violet to purple to deepest indigo and then the fire-gold descends...
streaks of amethyst flushing the crimson
- the fading of greyness hangs with the giant smoke screens of cirrus

caught unawares, i stand in the rain ... drenched, staring at the unseen place in
the water...
the sea was angry and the infinity of white caps had replaced the graceful white sails.

gust of wind chill
i shudder, this time with cold.

minutes to hours... its pitter-patter,clear sky
water no longer there
only the salt in the breeze

No Reflections!

A distant thunder, minds still frozen
night fell...
galaxies say hello
the un-synched - harmonious


nights like tonight...

Tonight I feel like a piece sky blue ribbon caught in a snarl of twigs. Unraveled, scattered, tired. My heart beating in my temples. Trying to learn what recuperating means, as I realize that instead of rest I’ve been holding everything else together these past few days. Doing nothing. Hard not to.

I haven’t learned yet how to protect my energy without being selfish. How to take care of myself without hoarding my time. Is there a way to balance this? The filament feels so flimsy between me and the world tonight. The sky is ashy and gray.

I press my palms to my face. My heart feels like a small bird caught in the high wires. Tonight, optimism is ash. I am on my knees.

Even after the fire’s heat is evident and my face is flushed I linger, kneeling, whispering a silent prayer. Wind keeps whistling. Night gathers in the wet branches of trees beyond the glass. Tonight there is no chin-up positive attitude. No sunny outlook. Just pure exhaustion and the simple slim hope that tomorrow will be better than today.


all things new, all at once

You feel like words don’t reach the dark, strange, heat drenched places your mind goes. If hormones were tangible, you’d be drenched in waves, and when you dream, it is of high school, of people you’ve long forgotten, and the place where you grew up. You watch the waves break below you, standing at a seawall, the foam churning. When you wake up, you lie stunned, rain pelting the glass, sleep almost a figment.

Your hands shake, your back hurts. There’s silence all around … typical Dublin silence. The silence makes you feel like you are falling under water. You are terrified of this, of sinking, of being dragged under in water where you cannot breathe or hold on to anything.

When you lie on your back and fall into sleep you feel this way: like you are passing out, like you are falling, being pulled under. You startle awake, roll to your side.

Today you try to take a nap and you listen to the wind hug the house in some sort of wild embrace. Rain spatters the glass. Birds tilt in the sky. The snow is melting. The thermometer reads fifty.

You lie on clean sheets, your body engulfed in tiredness. You cannot sleep. You sit and face the wall. You stare at it until the color blue glows orange behind your closed eyelids. Desperation is this color. Pastel and weak, but still the color of fire. You begin to sob. You pull a fleece over your tank top, suddenly cold. You walk out of the room, down the hall, down the stairs.

The lamp on the dresser is still on. The green lampshade, illuminated this way in daylight, is the color of new leaves. You suddenly feel yourself begging silently for spring. For days where when the crying and the tiredness make you rock like this, you can go outdoors and suck in sweet air and sit on a grassy hill and feel gravity holding you.

You will pull the pillows up over your head. You will bury yourself from sound. You will let yourself cry until you feel your cheeks are wet and tear slicked. Then you will wait for sleep.

You feel it coming like creature, its long shadow snaking out ahead of it, reaching you first. Your mind bifurcates, fractures. You begin to see a slideshow of random images, not just from your day, but from your life.

You are four, twirling among cornstalks higher than your head. You are clutching a brown velvet covered horse. It flies from your hand, lands out of sight. You cannot find it.

You are looking at a colander. The holes are punched in star patterns. Light shines through. It reminds you of your mother rinsing lettuce, and then spinning it in a plastic bag, the centrifugal force collecting the water at the bottom of the bag.

You are asleep, and then awake again. An hour and a half has passed. The ocean is fresh in your memory. You can taste the salt air. You long for sand. For the sound of the waves.

You want to be patient. You want to be present and calm. You want to be able to remember these fierce moments. Yet tiredness is eating away at you like hungry moths, until you are nothing but a fragile filigree, an outline of your former self.

You will clean relentlessly. It is the only thing you can do that makes you feel sane. Forks here. Knives there. You will wipe the counters, unload laundry, start a fire in the wood stove.

You kneel to coax the fire into flame and you watch the flames lick at the glass, the door slightly ajar, the air from the room being sucked in by the heat, and swallowed by the chimney. Your throat aches. Your shoulders slouch. You crouch in front of the fire, words no longer rising in you head. Instead you are filled with the sound of images and premonitions. The sound blots out everything else, and yet you are above it, beyond it, as though you are dreaming about waking up, but cannot wake up because you are not actually awake.

It is irrational the way your mind circles and you know this. In your head you are preparing to stand, to turn, to get to the bathroom or the kitchen, but you don’t. You just sit there, waiting, thinking … million thoughts. And, then it makes a picture perfect image… bouncing bundle of joy.

You can feel your heart thudding in wonder. Wonder that is breathless and grateful. It brings you to the cusp of tears, but the tears are sweet. You take a breath.

This is the end of the eighth week with your yet to be born child. And it is the beginning, the remarkably small miraculous beginning of a new life!