Of things unremembered



“That is my face”, said Rhoda, “in the looking-glass behind Susan’s shoulder – that face is my face. But I will duck behind her to hide it, for I am not here. I have no face.Other people have faces; Susan and Jinny have faces;they are here. Their world is the real world. The things they lift are heavy. They say Yes, they say No, whereas  I shift and change and am seen through in a second.”

As I read these lines from 20 years ago or more, I am struck by a force that is physical. These lines, copied from a story long ago and forgotten… If anyone out there knows the book, the author where this came from, please bring back the memory to me.(A.J. Cronin  maybe? ) For now, I am just grateful to have this fragment of my old self back..except that is is not really just  my old self, it is myself today and probably for as long as I am. That’s the thing with these things, they distill into them an essence of you, of what you were and are, even when you have forgotten and buried it.

There is a reason of course why those words resonate so deeply.The anchors that bind us to our mortal lives, our bodies, hands and limbs, the earth we live on, these anchors are made of different things for different people. For many they are strong, dependable, certain, and for some they flicker, fade in and out. Many a time I long for the certainty  with  which other people live their lives and occupy the space and time they inhabit.

Coming back to certainty,  yes I found my diary , that’s where I found those lines. And I found a lot more in this diary.  It definitely does not have  all the answers I needed,  but it returned to me many things unremembered and for that I am grateful. I found newspaper cuttings tucked way in its pages, letters and cards exchanged, hand-written snippets copied from books, a couple of poems and passages written years ago. Most of all, it opened the floodgates of time, let some of the existence of years ago be unforgotten. And I am so thankful that once upon a time, one Daddei urged his daughter to keep a diary, asked  from time to time if she added anything new to it,  reminded her to “capture the fleetingness  of time in them and one day you will be not feel so helpless in it’s face”, and I am thankful that at least that one advice, she listened to (kind of..). Even though as I said, it is kind of a paltry excuse of a diary, I never once jotted down anything real from my everyday life that happened to me or the feelings they evoked. But maybe I can change that now.



*Confession : This post above was started and mostly completed in late 2015. Why the world did I take so long to post it? I posted my first article on my blog Aug,31st 2015 and it took me almost 14 months to post the 2nd one, it’s inexcusable so I won’t try. But just for the record, the actual “finding” of the so called diary and the sentiments described above are already abt 11 months old. 



How do I begin..

For years I have thought, I need to do this.

What is “this” though…I don’t fully know that.  But I guess I have to begin…to let go of the ramblings in the head, to let the voice be spoken, to be uttered, even if it just dissipates in empty space with no air to carry it through..

So there I begin, except that I have no clue where to start. So I go back and try to hunt down my diary, which does not have a single entry of any real tangible personal experience, but it’s still my diary.  When words first started to mean something more than words to me, when some phrases and lines would leave their place in books and poems and songs and stay awhile with me, I started jotting them down, even managed to capture a few childish poems in them. Except that I could not find this diary. I trust it is somewhere in the material jungle of existence and I will devote a  weekend or two to hunt it down and find it but for now I am back to not knowing where to start (yes, that paltry excuse of a diary had all the answers)

Then I turned to the digital jungle of existence  and sure enough I find something. It’s a poem I had probably written about 15 years ago. It was the first time I think I wrote a poem without any structure without trying to find words that rhyme or sound good next to each other. I found myself often cringing and sometimes choked up as I read the poem after all these years. I tried hard to stop myself from changing words here and there, coloring it with my present self but I managed some restraint.

So there it is.

Real Illusions

Moonlight ripples on crystal waters, there’s a million stars tonight
Down here below this dark lonely bridge, I watch
Distant lights of the city melt into soughing woods,
A lonesome light on some faraway ship
Shrouded against the horizon, slowly fading into oblivion
I turn my head, a soft sigh escapes me…
There are two intimate shadows on the shore
A warm wind gently wraps them close
Two liquid forms melting into one
Something painful stirs in my heart
I turn away
Want to pen down a few lines swimming in my head,
Maybe they would like some poetry
Lovers believe, you know…and I turn to call out
But there is no one there
Just the waves lapping at the shore
Maybe they went away, I think…or
Maybe they were just ghost memories
Rising restless from their graves
I shrug my shoulders, turn away
The moment was probably not so beautiful after all
I turn back, there’s a waif child sitting on a rock
Legs dangling over water, whistling a familiar tune.
I close my eye, not wanting to open them again
For they disappear…..everything disappears
It only takes a blink of an eye
For things to stop existing
My eyes are stinging
I close my eyes again and I see
Moon-tipped waters once more
Rushing of waves in my ears
They make you hope.
There’s something about moon-tipped waters,
The rustling of trees, the whisperings of souls
Something about a waif child’s untroubled eyes
Some things that make you hope, so hopelessly
I turn back …have to return
To the World
We live in so many of these worlds
Only sometimes, I wish
I could just cross from one to another
And burn the bridges behind me
Where is the rock of reality to hold onto?
When did it turn into this fluid thing?
I start walking back wearily
The magic of the night fades away
Some questions are best left unanswered.