human

rory-bjorkman-17135

Photo by Rory Björkman on Unsplash

~

O mankind !
Be careful of your duty to your Lord
Who created you from a single soul
and from it created its mate
and from them twain hath spread abroad
a multitude of men and women

Holy Qur’an 4:1

~

I don’t know who you are
nor do I need to know

but I do know what makes you alive,
what carries hope inside,

what hurts when there is pain,

what feels elation at the
sight of the beloved one.

~

Let us recognize each other,
not as the other

but as the mirror by which
we judge the degree to
which our own souls
can expect salvation.

~

When you cry, know that I do too,
if simply on the inside.

There is something undeniably natural
in coming together over what it means to
be human.

~

I don’t care for the past
or for memories gone,

but I do care for the
essence within me and within you,

which ultimately,
and most hopefully,
in all the deepest hope and truest dream

are going again to a shared plane,
where joys are evident, and love
is the air we breathe.

 

The place we last met

pexels-photo-316587

All a person wants is to be loved,

to be told that it will be difficult being apart from them.
That when push comes to shove, their presence matters most.

Life unfolds in the moments between being loved,
while waiting for the beloved to return to the place we last met.

~

Dearest,
do you know that I love you in every moment,
whether you are present with me there or not?

I would run unnecessary errands just to be with you,
give you my opinion on a great many things for which I do not care, simply to be in your conversation.

Your gratitude is welcome but what I really want is your hand, your uninterrupted gaze.

~

I would follow you to the end of your journey before undertaking my own,
for a few moments of love promised.

Are you coming to meet me soon?

Start over

field-thunderstorm-rainy-meadowImage source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/country-lane-field-meadow-puddles-1551/

Everything always comes to a head,
like gray clouds on a breezy summer afternoon.

They roll in suddenly, catching us unawares.

It rains

and there is relief
not for the ground, but for the tired sky.

There was a lot to hold on to
and now it has been let go.

Start over,
start again,
whatever that means to you.

life’s horse

whitesheet
Click here for image source.

I can’t say that I want to grab life by the horns.
I think I would rather watch it come together
with time like the soft creases of a baby’s smile.

I would rather lay life out like a sheet,
smoothing the wrinkles with my palms
and tugging here and there to make it fit.

I don’t care to iron first.

~

I want to watch a plastic beach ball rise and fall in the waves,
being carried here and there, appearing not to move
until some hours later when only a speck is visible in the distance.

I just want to see what will happen if I let go of the reins.

Do I believe that life’s horse will find its way home?

No artist

beachnight
Click here for image source.

 

Have you ever wanted to feel differently without changing who you are?

~

I am no artist.

I take what is known and repurpose it,
I take what can be deduced and write long sentences explaining how to get there

I justify my existence because I am asked to

because that is the way the world works.

~

When I was caught up in it all, I saw a glimpse of the core of the core of a diamond
Where a single particle of light entered and became a wave, reflecting ever internally without end.

I stopped breathing, then
My eyes were open, but unnecessary

And I heard the music.

~

When I was tired I lay down and slept like there was nothing else
When fed, I lamented having eaten

When I was cold I longed for summer sun
When warm, I threw open my cloak to embrace harsh air

When I was rich I was no different than when I was poor

When I worked out of fear, I came so far
When I overcame fear, I stalled, thinking where to go next

The push from the outside, the crack of a whip has always been stronger than
This inner master

~

I can do anything, if asked
I can make anything, if told to

I can warm your heart talking to you for a few moments, in a place where we can feel,
under the stars with coffee in hand

I can help you but I can’t help me.

 

path

Image source: http://www.forwallpaper.com/wallpaper/nature-nature-landscape-boards-timber-path-path-road-264461.html
Image source: http://www.forwallpaper.com/wallpaper/nature-nature-landscape-boards-timber-path-path-road-264461.html

Thank you for giving me the chance
to be the kind of person that I would like to think I am.

~

For some time we’ve known that our path would be unlike some others.

At times, we would look outwardly un-alive,
while our counterparts pledged to make the most of their precious time,
far away, on other continents.

There is a difference, between patience and complacence;
between passivity, and compassion.
If the difference is not apparent, an explanation will not help you.

We are, here and now, living for a day we cannot see
but we know is there.

We too, have a destiny,
and ours is one we trust was chosen for us, long ago.

If our days are spent moving even a grain of uncertainty off the pile
then over time, surely we will find what is buried underneath.

If our days are spent walking a single step at a time,
then we trust the destination will meet us halfway.

It is inevitable that we will go somewhere from here
and that we will know where we have been, when we leave.

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).

out of all of the unseen

Imaged sourced from http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141026.html.
Imaged sourced from http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141026.html.

The process by which we have
come to resolve ourselves,
is truth. There was nothing quite
so peculiar about the manner
in which we came to be.

It would seem only natural
that where one horizon ends,
another should appear.

Now, whether our realities
are stitched together with
seams, or whether they
are made of the same fabric,
we cannot say.

What matters, is what
we have chosen to give effect to,
out of all of the unseen.
What we have believed in,
has come back to seek us out.

What we want to be true,
never had two ways about it.

If we can influence the
making of the world with
our choices, then our choices
are the stuff of the world,
and ourselves, something
apart from it.

~

This piece was written shortly after watching Interstellar, a 2014 film directed by Christopher Nolan.

For those who know the language, Tere Ishq Mein, recorded on Season II of Nescafe Basement, is to my mind another way, of many ways, of accessing similar ideas.

the crispness of this season (2014)

Autumn, somewhere near Mont-Tremblant, QC.  © Asif Virani, 2014.
Autumn, somewhere near Mont-Tremblant, QC.
© Asif Virani, 2014.

the crispness of this season
asks to know both who we were
and who we are

~

the maple, the oak, watch over themselves with silent grace
as the leaves they laboured to produce,
and that kept them alive,
dry out and fall steadily away

 

what remains of our victories and defeats,
of our convictions and our epiphanies?

we have been able to keep nothing
material from our endeavours

 

who can say whether we leave the past
or if it leaves us;

whether we ourselves walked paths
or if they grew up beneath our feet?

 

we have had nothing
and nothing has been ours

and yet, we are not who we remember.

the colours of our progression (2014)

The colours of our progression, somewhere outside Montreal. © Saara Punjani 2014.
The colours of our progression, somewhere outside Montreal, QC. © Saara Punjani 2014.

they say time waits for no one

~

never has there been enough time
to cultivate a sense of fearlessness;

always too much time
to make idols of inspiration

we have remained too young
to say that we live our lives with any grace;
too old to say, this is the end of our allotment

~

after all the hands have been shaken,
all the pages turned, the bellies filled

after all the smiles are spent
and all the comforts acquired,

we sit by the window to watch the colours of our progression

~

some things live out their course
and pass on and away in the height of their glory

but some of us are always green

we wait our turn;
we wait, to turn,
to mature into our very own shade of sienna

~

they say, time waits for no one

but for some, it never comes at all

the world and places like it (2014)

The most beautiful thing. © Saara Punjani 2014.
The most beautiful thing. © Saara Punjani 2014.

dearest,

why do we go all around
the world and places like it?

why do you want to take me where you’ve been?

~

what makes you whole
makes me whole, too

the feeling you seek,
is my life

 

how long will we flit,
two bees on the same flower
returning home to tell stories
of the most beautiful thing?

 

what you love, is what i love too,
though i am not your bee

you needn’t see with my eyes,
you needn’t feel with my heart

to know how hundreds of fields
become one

sinking ship (2014)

years do not slowly shape this knowledge,
as waves tend to slowly shape shore

put us in a room of strangers aboard a slowly sinking ship,
and no one need explain what to do

~

if a man leaves a room, and we dislike him,
we paint that dislike onto his memory
so as not to have to dislike ourselves

but if a man leaves the world,
suddenly, all surfaces are occupied;
where now do we place our colours?

~

in a sinking ship, none are friends,
and yet, we know each other well

in my eyes, you can see your grief;
in your grief, i see all of me

never have we shared a meal
as candid as this one,

and today, i wear my face without paint.

i’ve found you, me (2014)

i like you, me

you may be my twin sister unrealized

 

are you in my pen or in the page?
am i holding a magnet, that you rearrange your essence to meet me?

 

i am fond of you, me

you may be my outlet,
the electric source of all my harmony

or perhaps my inlet,
a moonlit sanctuary where only the tide governs our mood

ha!
i’ve found you, me
and i am  not going to let you go!

~

you are exactly me, but better;
my counsel, my friend

your presence is better than a thousand praises to my name

give me hope! and keep me content

be my voice when all else is a confusing din

send it out! (2014)

dearest,

what does it mean to have a perfect moment,
when we do not know if the next moment will come?

these moments that you are living,
are the perfect moments

~

when love beats its fists on the walls of your throat,
let it out!

love,

at once the maestro of the universe
and the twinkle in the eye of the playful child

it wants to be known, it wants to flow

 

don’t let it sit in you, fermenting

send it out!