life finds a way

Yes, I start with a cliche.

Ive been surrounded by sobering moments the past few weeks. There’s just been so much news both in the outside world and in the world that I am a constant part of, where things are coming to a full circle. The circle of life as they say. There is sadness, sickness, death, and loss of hope. News that can make you sit up straight and pay attention to yourself, to the ones around you. From the various calamities across the globe, to the targeted puncturing of lives, intentionally and otherwise, poof, a life is gone and we are just left with whatever we can make of the moment passed.

I just saw the sister of Deah Barakat, hold such a strong reserve while speaking with Anderson Cooper and I broke down. I see the ailing grandfather succumbing to a ruthless body slam and I am shocked. I hear increasingly vitriolic words, accusations and actions based on assumptions and their own insecurities that reaches through the bytes and hurt us. I see it all. With an air of resignation.

I try hard to smile. I swore I would make a difference to myself, and I would make a difference to just one person a day, nothing huge, but if am able to offer comfort, a smile, or a squeeze of the palm, maybe, just maybe I would make a difference to them. Maybe they will find the strength within them to battle and hold fort as the harsh winds blow over them and yet, they remain steadfast and un-affected.

I hope.

a shoot

I see a few new emails in my inbox.

My heart soars.

It soars because of their content.

A woman who admits the attention she gets from another adult is flattering. She enjoys it. Revels in it. It’s a beginning of a love story. All love stories don’t need an ending, but there is an path, a journey and it’s the smile through the journey that counts.

Another young woman offers me a smile and a perspective. She herself is bogged down plenty and she has killed more demons than the whack-a-mole game can throw at us in one play. She smiles. A broad smile. Rich in happiness, as she takes stock of what’s left and the choices she has made.

A young man writes to say he finds the writings are inspirational. That he enjoys what I serve here. He writes too, of love and everything else that surrounds it.

My little girl has diligently made 26 bracelets to hand to her classmates for Valentine’s day tomorrow. Out of those painful small rubber bands. Silly bands. It took her a couple of hours, but she toiled. She wanted to do it and she was perfectly at peace with her classmates who “may not wear it much, but no, they wouldn’t throw it away!”

I see the President of the US, make faces in the mirror, pretend to be 007, take selfie with a GoPro/Selfie stick and I see him sketch his crush. I see him NOT take life seriously, even if for the shoot. Nothing about the grin and the jaunt is for the camera, he looks like he is enjoying himself.

I see an email, every day, from a friend who sends me quotes. I am now used to them, and I don’t always reply. Some are extremely cliched. Some strike a chord. Again, it’s not the words, but what they stand for and when they reach me. It’s all about the timing we are all governed by.  Today’s was “Don’t watch the clock, do what it does, keep going” by Sam Levinson. It came when I was floundering with words and the page looked ominously white. I had to keep going.

Another young man reaches through the words and offers a hug. No words, just a hug. I am thankful.

I see hope.

I am shown that through the pall that will weigh us at every point, there is that tiny ray of hope that’s fighting to break through it to reach us. It’s there for you to see, reach out and grasp it and use it to break free.

Life does go on.

Though to go on, one must live, mourn, rejoice and feel the day, and then rise. Rise above the pettiness and the incompatibilities, the classes and the groups and the incredible hate that exists between us, to rise to a point that the murky waters are far below us and all we see and hear is love, and the beauty of being with each other.

Love and Kindness.

Hope we can remember them when we forget.

Happy Valentine’s :-)

 

of this and that

It’s been a few crazy weeks. A good question at this point should be “when is it not?”

True that. It’s just different levels or phases of crazy that we console or condone ourselves with. Days fly by, and one fine day we are sitting in a rocking chair wondering which hair dye we should use for the upcoming Senior citizen evening of Bingo. Or maybe the Thyagaraja Aradhana festival at the end of the street, and which maami  will be talking about which of her grandkids’ arangetrams. 

Same difference. Life blinks by too fast when you are making plans and doing nothing about those plans. Like am doing now with this post.

Anyways, through all this craziness, one wonders and if you haven’t, then you must wonder now, on the whole purpose of this craziness we put ourselves through every single minute/day of our existence.

To gain knowledge, to one-up the guy in the next cube or the neighbor, to go on that vacation we were enticed with because some ass got to go, to send our kid to the best college in town so he can get the best education and then join the rest of them on Wall Street, and earn millions to just repeat it all over again with a slightly tangential goal for his progeny.

It’s that wash, rinse, repeat routine. If it works for clothes, it should probably work for our lives. The soul is of course on a different hopefully higher circle of the same, the important word being same.

I got back on twitter recently and for the most part just sit there watching my timeline scroll at furious speeds with so much information flying at me. I click a Slate article and by the time I reach the end of the first paragraph, there comes a Boston.com with pictures, an HDR tutorial, the cute little pandas, then the lame jokes that get retweeted endlessly, just coz of who told it. Sometimes the creator becomes God. As true as that sounds, it can only really apply to very few.

Ephemeral. Our days are counted by the wisps of information on this highway. To indulge in banter and widening that network with every tweet. Don’t get me wrong, the place is and was fantastic and I was once part of that awe that delivers whatever it is that you are looking for. There are various fixes within: The let’s-have-some-fun-funsters, we-all-love-each-other-and-are-best-buddies, the holier-than-thou cliques, information junkies, i’ll-endorse-you-if-you-show-me-some-love-back ones, the endorsements, acceptances and even some masochism. All in a few 140 characters.

It’s a living, breathing creature; one that comes as close as one can get to real life social network. In all ways you can imagine.

  • Some days its like you walk into a block party during happy hour, everyone’s pleasant and embracing you.
  • Sometimes it’s an awkward moment, like you walked into a heated argument between a couple and they really don’t want you there.
  • Sometimes it’s like being back in high school, reminding you of the snobbish cliques that will frown on your long braid and buck teeth, regardless of your grade or the intellectual questions that halo around you.
  • At times it’s like walking into a food network and your channel is stuck and refuses to play anything else remotely interesting.
  • Sometimes its therapeutic. You aren’t alone in your whines and happiness is really having someone tweet back “u ok?” .
  • Sometimes it’s like being the most unfortunate shortest basketball player on team of 6 footers. You can dunk, u can dribble all the way and heck you are the best re-bounder on the court, but you are so far below that none of the giants can see you. The heights don’t match up.
  • Sometimes its a carnival. No one knows anyone, and everyone’s talking at the same time, all happy and immersed and entrenched in their own lives.
  • Yet again, there are days when you’ve walked into a hostile environment. Everyone’s angry and in an outrage over something. Hoping their tweets would create a dent in whatever it was that upset their day and lives. Sometimes, it really does.
  • At times it’s a stage. A pedestal with a personality atop. The rest doing what they have to do below.
  • Sometimes it’s a madhouse. Everyone is talking but no one really cares.
  • Sometimes it’s really just a trumpet. Blowing loud and raw, no holds barred.
  • At times it’s like being hit with a gazillion bits of information. Each vying to get two minutes of your attention, to entice you enough so you could pass it along, worthy of a laugh and shared yet again. It’s wildfire!
  • For a noob, it’s like this:
(No more inertia to snip yet again, so please wear your plus powered lenses and read that. It’s worth it. In fact, Doghousediaries.com is a cool site. Not as hi-brow intellectual-oh-crap-am-not-smart-enough-to-get-that-joke-everyone;s-laughing-about at XKCD.com, but good and fair enough.)

It’s survival. It’s about clout. It’s about whom you know, and who follow you. As I was told in plain words “It’s all about follower count”. Am quite sure the young man spoke in jest, but he did make a point.

It’s power.

Remember though:

Everyone has an agenda. Everyone. It’s uncanny when you stop to think about it, but they are like opinions. Mine can be paltry compared to yours, but I do own one. Yes, agendas are ubiquitous.

The question I believe is: Does it align with yours? If it does, bingo, you are in. If it doesn’t too bad, keep moving.

That should be the way the real world works, after all, its the same people behind the tweets,  except that somehow it doesn’t. Not always. No sir, not for me and a bunch of others who happen to be in my real social network. Maybe we are a disconnected lot.

****

This is really a post about nothing. Just like Seinfeld or the pilot that George brewed up for NBC, except that perhaps it isn’t very funny. Or maybe it is. I don’t quite know how to measure the folks these days.

There was a time when humor was ubiquitous. We lived in a land of plenty. I guess we still do just a different kind of plenty. In case that was not clear, it surely doesn’t seem like my kind. Not to sound pretentious, but they were good times. The people continue on, the ghosts of their past laughs laden heavily on their weighted shoulders, fitting in with the present times, uncaring for the morphs theyve become.

Or maybe I’ve just grown apart. Differently, and most definitely slightly older. Not in my head or body, maybe just veered off in a different direction.

Seems slightly ridiculous even saying it, but there it is. By no means, I am not suggesting I’ve lost my sense of humor, but it seems to have morphed. It’s all good.

***

After Borders shut down, it’s been real hard to skip to a bookstore. Barnes and Noble that is. For one, it’s a bit further and these days I have made a conscious and strict rule on the miles I drive. If a destination is not within a 5 mine radius, am not going. End of story. Unless it’s my son’s school. Now that, I do not have a choice. Rest,no sir,not driving.

So the reason am ranting on this is that I still have to get that chosen Calvin and Hobbes book to make its journey around the world. I’ve had some really sweet folks mail me their addresses and am crushed with guilt on delaying this for so long. But I have a target. Monday, the book will leave my home. So if any of you book trailers are still reading this, don’t lose hope on me yet. Mama Rads is getting there slowly but surely! :)

In other news, everyone please do some Yoga. Serious request.

Second serious request: Adopt a pet. A pup. From a SHELTER. NOT a breeder. Seriously serious request. There are so many out there who could use a home. Not convinced? See this?

She’s a Border Collie and Norwegian Elkhound mix. Takes after the dad a lot in the way she looks. Can crouch, lasso the tail, lick you silly and even hug you. I do not kid. Except that she is a wild one when she sees a squirrel. None of us recognize her then. Provides much entertainment to our neighborhood.

That’s her crouching on the road NOT moving, coz she spotted a squirrel dart across!

We picked her up when she was 8 weeks old, she is 9 months old now. She was my birthday gift and *I* am supposedly the one who wanted her and husband threatened to move and live in the basement if we did bring a pet in. These days, she condescendingly wags her tail at me if her highness wants, but the husband and she have been found many a time walking into the sunset despite the rains. Go figure!

Isn’t she a doll? :-)