First Belonging

I do not know who I am anymore.

I thought I did, all this time. I thought I had peeled back and laid bare the many layers of my self. From character to personality, learned traits, preferences, triggers and addictions… I thought I had been thorough in my analyses, cutting in my judgement. I believed — worse, ‘knew’ — what I had uncovered to be the truth.

But here I am, a mystery to myself once more; a stranger in my own home.

Take me back.

I was brought into this strange world, and have been dyed by its colours and the bright spectacles it puts up…yet part of me remains foreign and calls to what once was. It seeks to unite again with the Source of all matter.

Always, in every one of the soul’s actions, in every yearning is this desire laying dormant, to return to the place of first belonging — the Place Before. Before the rushing tunnel of lights, Before the shower of stars searing soundlessly into the silent universe, Before the brief all-encompassing obscurity that lasted a billion years, Before it all exploded into red-hot life, pulsating, throbbing, crying —Before it scattered us all about, our names wiped, our memories vanished but still there, everywhere inside of us, haunting our every move, colouring even the most benign choices of our existences until our very end.

There is a void in me that calls for You. This is no simple emptiness. It is no random gaping hole. Only Your names will do. Only the truth of millennia past will ever calm my soul.

Take me back; free me from myself.


Note: So I’ve been immersed in worldly life a lot lately. I (arrogantly) thought it was not something that could happen to me, yet lo and behold I’d lost touch with my spirituality without even knowing it. And then, no amount of information or psychoanalysing or introspection could help. Even now I feel like I do not know myself. It’s strange to have lived 26 (26!!) years thinking you know yourself and then it turns out you don’t really. Welp.

Anyway, to distract myself I’m trying to say “Before the shower of stars searing soundlessly into the silent universe” fast 10 times. Maybe it’ll help (it probably won’t but at least it’s entertaining).

The Things Meant For Us

About a month ago, I lost the hide and seek game with Covid, ending a near two-year winning streak. In my fever-induced haze and struggling with the reality of being imprisoned in my body by sickness, a compartment of my mind sought distraction, something with which to pass the time and the haunting of night. I did not want to be with myself through the sickness, the dropping blood pressure, the sandpaper throat. All unpleasantness. All helplessness.

My restless eyes caught onto something on the back of the many crinkly pill packets (throat lozenges, pain relief, vitamin C, antibiotics and whatnot) I had been given: a manufacturing date going back two years. 20 Aug 2020.

All this time since, this particular packet had been lying in wait for me. For two years, before I was even close to any illness, a pill that would help me through my infection had already been made in a lab somewhere in India and was bidding its time in storage until Fate would call it forward to fulfill its purpose — to help me.

When I reflect on this, I wonder: what illusion of control are we still holding on to? What iron hand do we insist on wrenching around our lives, thinking it will make a difference? Why do we try so had to hold onto people and positions when there are greater powers at work than our own desperation? The things that are meant for us are meant for us. Regardless of fear or happiness, deservingness or undeservingness.

“Relax your hands around the wheel. Don’t grip; it won’t fall away from you. Touch the wheel, go with the movement of the car and the car will go along with yours. Easy, right?” That’s what my driving instructor says. Such a phenomenon, this woman.

Gripping harder does not help exert more control. Dedicating all our life’s energy to one purpose, to preventing one loss — none of it helps. We can never stand for too long against the currents of Life and Fate.

What is meant to happen, will.

The good, the bad, the surprising, the inconsequential, the in-between, the “What the hell was that for?!”, the “too good to be true” and so much more. So release the tension. Steer the wheel, but let Life take you places, too.


What a year! (I say, barely 4 months into it). I saw my sister after 3 years, quit my job, got covid, went freelance, am in the works to open my own baby business, started learning how to drive and, well, other sadder things, too. But whew, what a year. Each day I grow into someone I can’t recognise, and I’m still deciding whether I like that or not. Oh well. I hope you’re doing well, and that life also has its moments of craziness for you.

All your kind words.

Art by: Titsay

I will take all of your kind words and keep them in a book. Every acknowledgement and encouragement, every advice and well-intended remark ⁠— every word, every word, I gather close to me like a fragrant bouquet on a summer’s day. I feel it as I feel the sunlight on my skin, the warmth of a star light-years away.

All your words have left an imprint on me, similar to a pattern left behind by a pressed flower.

An imprint like a touch of sweetness. Something to say that I was there and you were there and our lives crossed in the gentlest of ways.


Note: Thank you 💚

Her.

I imagine this is what she would have looked like.

The purified, wispy white hair of later old age peeking out from behind her headscarf, loosely arranged around her rosy face. The same kind eyes and gentleness. Except, she would have had strength even then – that brilliant liveliness and loudness, the same sense of humour that so boldly painted her personality.

It’s been 10 years, my Mother reminds me.

How could it have been? Life has grown around the wound, the hollowness that was left once she was snatched away. The pain has dwarfed in comparison to 10 years of life. But it never fully went away. It never will. Grief is the mark Love leaves behind, it is where we pour all of our feelings, our care and frustration, our anger, our despair once there is no one to receive it.

Seeing her always triggers a back and forth between tears and hope. Tears because they look too similar – it’s like seeing her, hearing her, feeling her again.

And hope, gratitude that something of her survives.

How many people get that? How many people get to have such vivid recollections? As though the person was truly there again, for just a second. Who gets that? I do.

It is a kindness. It hurts but it is a kindness all the same.

I’m always a little shaken after these encounters. We all are. My sisters burst into tears as soon as they saw her. She understands, they all do. They know the pain of loss, how tender it leaves you in places, even if it’s been 10 or 20 or 50 years.

I’m 25 and well, I want to tell her. Life is long at 25; everything has both changed and remained the same. I think of you even now.

For now, these thoughts will keep falling in the timeless space of grief. But someday, someday…