not one and the same

Papery leaf. © Saara Punjani 2014.
Papery leaf. © Saara Punjani 2014.

Oh, you’ve let me go,
says papery leaf, for a while miserable in the dampening mud.

Tree knows not the leaf
so tree discards the leaf;
they are not one and the same.

Leaf says,
Eventually I will return to you
in a way that you cannot refuse!

I will become you.

Leaf cries for the ground to take him in;
begs for the rain to dissolve him.

~

A story inspired during the autumn, but held back until an appropriate time.

Sometimes we don’t recognize ourselves in one another and it is difficult to appreciate our commonalities, what we share. Then again, we come from one source.

How can we adapt ourselves so that others will recognize us, and in so doing, embrace us as they would the known, the familiar?

shukhar

Image source: http://imgur.com/gallery/49Pgl
Image source: http://imgur.com/gallery/49Pgl

Some news begins to settle,
quietly,
in the places where disbelief has left its footprint

~

you’ve gone, but in leaving you’ve taken me
one, maybe two steps further along in this life

i think i understand why they say,
shukhar,

thanks

~

i knew you, once upon a time,
or at least,
i thought i knew you a little bit

and now,
but now,

i understand there is little that was what it seemed

~

it’s like a single thread unravelling from a sweater;
one minute, it’s fine, and the next, there’s a gaping hole

except that the hole i feel isn’t in me,
it’s in the fabric of life itself
and life is coursing through,
pulling me upwards in its path

one thing comes over and again to mind:

koi aapse agar kuch maange,
to usse dedo,
aakhir, yehi to hai zindagi

if someone asks you for something,
then give it,
after all, this. is. life.

this is life,
this is life,

the one time we can love, and breathe, and aspire

the one time we can rise above our human selves
to fulfil the hopes and desires of another being

the one time we can ourselves be
compassionate; merciful

~

what did i give you,
you, who suffered
unknown to me?

what did i shower on you then,
that i now deserve to pick like fruit
the truth of your hard-lived example?

~

someone suffered, deeply, quietly,
but we did not know his mind

someone struggled, beautifully,
and we are uplifted with admiration
that we thought we knew him, even for a day.

* * *

A childhood friend has passed away. This piece is a reflection on life, death, and everything in between. Shukhar (among other things) is often said upon a person’s death, by those who follow the Shia Imami Nizari Ismaili tariqa (interpretation) of Islam (and by others Muslims well).

presence / presentation

Image source: http://www.polyvore.com/ballet_dancer_silhouette_17_24h/thing?id=66665898
Image source: http://www.polyvore.com/ballet_dancer_silhouette_17_24h/thing?id=66665898

At times it becomes apparent to me,
that I occupy quite a lot of space.

I may start out of medium size,
with longish limbs and a short torso,
and a tendency to keep these wrapped up around each other.

But if you ask me to speak, to say, to perform,
then slowly, I begin to unfold,
one gesture at a time, into a circling kind of dance;
my range of movement evolving into one higher.

Slowly, I start to take up more space,
my limbs, stretching,
my hands, talking,
my posture, lengthening,
my eyes, brightening,
my voice, burgeoning.

I start to feel what I am saying,
I start to become those words.
I start to live these concepts I describe;
I see myself unfolding as a story told.

Tell me, when I unfold this way,
do you see me; do you feel my enhanced frame?

Does my size make you want to unfold too, to join me,
or do I make you want to shrink back into your space?

~

What kind of presence do you have, and how does that presence become enhanced when you are doing things you enjoy?

Do you ever feel that someone is “in your space”, or that you need more space in order to really be you?

Do you worry that your presence could unintentionally encroach on that of others, preventing them from fully expressing themselves?

eulogy

when i think of her, i remember that:

my happiness, was her happiness

that she never wanted to stagnate,
but she tried not to control things too much

when inspiration came, she flowed with it,
and allowed it to flow into her

and when it didn’t appear,
she didn’t worry about chasing it

she tried her best to have faith in the little things,
and the big,

and to remember that her life,
was not the end.

~

How often do we think about how we want to be remembered once we are gone? What kind of people do we aspire to be, and who are we, when all is said and done? This is an unedited response to a “create your eulogy” exercise that I was fortunate enough to participate in, presented by a colleague and friend.