This post is a memory, an apology and a hope. All woven into one wish.
My time in my home is coming to an end, at least for now. Happily, our family will be all together for some days, including the newest member! This is both exciting and sad. Such is just the way most of life’s events are; or at least the few ones worth a keep. As in, one needs both happiness and sadness to make a real life’s emotion & memory — the ones which defines us and forms our core. This also churns interesting types of ideas and memories from the past. For this time, I have been going back and forth to a time/place when I endured, along with an upstanding and altogether lovely partner, an unprecedented time in our life. This post, therefore, is a reflection of that.
It was brief — in terms of time. It was long — in term of thoughts, feelings, ideas, self-reflection etc. When they say what constitutes “life in moments” and not “moments in life,” I think this time would qualify for the first one. This was also a time when, for once, I ventured into the possibility of what could have been and I wasn’t alone.
A life of more than just one or two. And that was more than just thoughts and ideas. It was real and we were equal participants. I admit also that it was tense and pressured situation. It was unplanned but never unpleasant. It was full on confusion and clarity at the same time. Clarity because we knew what were the rational choices. And confusion because no matter how much I could tell myself that I am doing the right thing, somehow my heart wasn’t at peace.
Despite the finality of the situation, it was a nice happy life imagination of a Marin or an Amina. These were talks of whose eyes they should have and whose brains they could do better with. Simple and just. A conversation over a road trip. A pizza in a restaurant. An enviable night’s sky and flickering moon. An endless ocean, both blue, yellow and overall majestic. It was peaceful and away from the mundane everyday worries. This was serenity. This was comfort in chaos.
I cooked, most of the time and failed almost every time in making something edible. Such were just the peculiarities and demands. In a lot of ways, it was still perfect. Unlike the ostrich that digs its head in the sand when it feels fear, she and I dared to face the situation together. We needed calm and peace. And we found it together. Amidst the rainstorms and the shambles of life defining realities. Sure, the focus was somewhere else and I tried my hardest to provide comfort, as we navigated uncharted terrains of life. I caressed as needed, cleaned as demanded and oftentimes, freaked out myself because even I was unsure of what to do… I am only human. One undeniable fact remains that we cared with all our hearts and worried with all our mind. And if that isn’t love, then what is?
At the same time, it was a very learning experience. Primarily and perhaps most importantly, was the realization that she with whom this brief existence came about can make a home. She cares. I once read that real test of a person is not when they are all comforted and times are easy. But when all basics of a comfortable life are taken away because then they have to rely on (and inadvertently reveal) their truest character strength. I learnt then what togetherness and teamwork can be. And what the very essence of being a partner for one another means. Because despite all the odds, we were one.
Inside my heart was also a volcano erupting. I went outside for a run, right next to the ocean. Blue was the color, again, and then there were colorless rains. I jumped in the water to feel the cold because after the initial discomfort, when the body is adjusted with the water around it, all feels awesome. During the run, I marveled at what I saw; felt stupid at how careless I could have been. At this point when I look back, I don’t think it was stupid, really. If it was stupid then it was for my ending up with throngs everywhere in my palm, during a hike. Otherwise, it was peaceful for all the long talks, walks, hugs, cares, kisses and times spent. And I feel sorry for when I couldn’t love, care or comfort more. Perhaps if I had, then today’s reality wouldn’t be this.
These are memories. Memories of a time which tested the tenacity of beliefs and shook us and made us question what matters more, togetherness in times and life or individuals in the world. At this point in time, it does feel that perhaps I wasn’t ready then. I also can’t help but wonder whoever is ever ready for what life gives us?
When I look at my friends and family’s stories, I think again about the rationale which then guided our thoughts. And what becomes clearer is that there are really only two ways to go about life, as we progress in it. One is to “arrange” everything else first and then birth love. And second is to birth love and let everything arrange itself. So far, I have tried the first method or some mixture. And despite the momentary success, it’s peaceful in a different way. What I have seen happen naturally and countless times is that the second way — although harder at first — suits life better. Love first and life will arrange itself. That will anyway be peaceful, at least for those for whom this matters.
When we know and understand that life gives us strange times and often puts us in situations we don’t know jack about, then perhaps arranging everything to guard ourselves isn’t such a sustainable course. Sure, one must have enough guards, plans and insurances in place. This isn’t a means to an end, though. Because life overall is strange, kuku and has its own ideas and ways of doing things. One can only plan and control to an extent.
I understand the comfort structured movements bring about. Those who meditate in Asanas, however, can relate that as they are digging into the iceberg which is inside the water, the hardest thing there to do is to stay focused and guide your thoughts. Because meditation is not structured. In fact, all the real exercise in Yoga isn’t structured. I remember when I used to practice this, our teacher would ask us to close our eyes, concentrate our thoughts and focus right in-between the eyes and imagine falling into a deep endless pit or ocean or well (whichever adjusted to our understanding). This was his way of telling us to find calm when all is unknown.
This takes practice and courage and time.
In terms of classifying, I would say one is Pomalo and the other is structured. One is organic and the other is planned. One is natural and the other is… Artificial.
And I choose that which suits life better. I choose the natural. An Armina, so to speak. Because that forms the core of our hearts and partnership and, in the end, a representation of the love we hold.