this blog turned one a few days ago.
i never dreamed it would last this long or affect so many...
i'd like to celebrate this amazing little birthday by reprinting my favourite post from last year. it was nominated for a Blog mela and it's a piece that means the world to me (not to mention that it's a welcome respite from recent writings):
"JUST LIKE HEAVEN"
Originally posted on September 26, 2003
darling philip daniel,
late last night, i was uploading pictures of you to my flog, imagining witty replies on your behalf, that were worthy of your gorgeous expressiveness.
an apparition loomed in the distant corner of the family room. it was your mother, my beautiful best friend Fides, alabaster skin aglow, looking at me. she beckoned, "come, come!" and i threw down my precious vaio, without care to how it bounced on my coffee table. "what's wrong?" my heart ended up in my throat, a place it has grown accustomed to being, since you came in to my life. my heart raced and i was by her side in a flash..."what!"
she smiled that serene sweetness that made me think of my favourite statue of the blessed virgin and took me by the hand in to the guest room. "come watch him sleep." my heart dropped back in to its rightful place and i happily walked around the Rice Bed to peer at you, nestled between my pillows snugly. my white down comforter floated above your perfect legs like a cloud; how apposite, considering you are our little angel baby. one of your pudgy hands grasped the seam of my comforter so fiercely, baby nails digging in to feather, your delectable knuckles reduced to pindots on the back of your luxurious little hand. i was lost in those dimples, one, two, three, four.
you are four months old, and yet your grip on my comforter, my finger or the neckline of my dress is ferocious. where does all of that strength come from, angel baby? you weigh all of 15 pounds, my little pudgesicle, and yet four of the tiniest fingers i've ever seen can grip my heart like a vise. i find it so poignant that though you are tiny and helpless, you are able to pull up blankets when you need warmth; i take this as validation of your sublime potential...already you are fending for yourself, in a small way, in this big world.
your other arm stretches out like the hand of God on its way to David, and my breath catches on the elegance of your finger, pointing at what darling? what do you dream of that makes your lips pout and then round to a perfect shocked "O". you are kicking your cloud, but it loves you and like all of us, wants to be near you, so it hovers, as all good goose down comforting clouds should, over your delicious legs. i smile a wide smile and murmur, "that's my boy." and your mother looks up at me, eyes round and filled with love for you..."what's that?" she whispers, and i pull away your cloud, temporarily. your timing is perfect, godson, for as soon as i do, your right leg unfurls a mighty kick that makes your entire body shake. i grow smug and i grab your flawless ankle.
"he has a FOOT. this one is playing soccer. for sure."
she smiles at me indulgently and laughs as she points to her successful midsection, and i remember how when you were inside her, i thought you were the thing from alien, what with the way you made her body move from all your kicking. how could i have been so weirded out by that, when it was the very ankle i was holding last night that was causing such commotion? i shake my head at my own stupidity.
you turn your head, and your abundant cheek smashes against the mattress, an ample pillow for your blessed face. your lips are made in to a rosebud by this, and i am simply overwhelmed. you don't seem real. you are too amazing, too powerful, surely you are divine. your body looks as if you were cast in marble, your skin gives off such an eternal sort of glow. i am mesmerized again by your arm, so white against my red sheets. red is the colour of fortune, i remind myself, and the next time i blink, i briefly ask God to shower you with every good and perfect thing you obviously deserve.
the velocity of your dream is too much for you to bear and your head whips over, your arms stretch out and up, and your legs kick out froggily. i am using every cell in my body to refrain from grabbing you and clutching you to me, to comfort you and protect you from the monsters in your dreams. your legs extend completely, toes pointed, every muscle clenched, and your arms wave aimlessly. how it aches to not snatch you up, in your dream you are searching for one of us to hold you and we both are here...but you need your sleep angel baby. i think my heart is going to break. your eyelids flutter and i will you back to the land of nod. the fury has passed; your arms drop, slack, and your legs bend back to their natural curve. you are spent, and you exhale to emphasize it.
i have just noticed how you breathe. my zen instructors would hold you up as a model of proper breathing, little one. you fill your little buddha tummy with air and send it out completely. your precious, amazing stomach is so plump and it grows plumper with every breath you take. your pale, daffodil-coloured onesie stretches with your exertion, and i can't help myself. i rest my right hand on your tummy, to feel you breathe. you are radiating heat. this is what i love most about you. you get so hot when you sleep, "sweaty boy!" your mom forever exclaims...but i am transported to another time, another bed, and another sweaty baby who is not a boy.
i am four, and she is six months old. she is sleeping. i poke her. she stirs. i poke her again. our mom wearily tells me to stop bothering her. "my sister," i murmur, and give her a serious poke. veena, you are such a fat, pudge-alicious kid, your stomach begs for pillsburys. your eyes fly open, and as they commonly do, they cross for a moment before you focus properly and see me. your lips curl up, and you smile your liquid fuschia smile as your damp hair frames your face in steamy curls. i notice this, that every time you sleep, you blush and get so hot, and your head gets all sweaty. years later, you will come home from high school at Rio, and you will be exhausted from being one of the most popular girls at school, you will be drained after running meetings and playing tennis, and you will pass out on the family room floor, in front of the TV. cheeks still fat and flushed, i kneel down and peer over your shoulder at your peachy face. your hair no longer curls, but when i touch my index finger to your cheek it still burns. "stop bothering your sister", our mom will admonish. and i will get up, and feel foolish. i once took a picture of you sleeping, on the floor like that, face serene, in perfect repose. you are 16, and forever frozen in your dream. the picture is tucked in to my mirror, on my dresser upstairs.
this memory is almost more than i can stand, and i suddenly love my godson with an intensity that fills every crack in my tattered, worn out old heart. when i watch this baby sleep, my life, my worries recede completely. i don't dwell on the horror of the current administration, i don't worry about whether or not i should go to law school, i don't pine for world peace. when i watch this baby sleep, the world quiets to a blissful stillness and there is nothing but love, everywhere, touching everything. it doesn't matter that my life has sucked, or that someone broke my heart last year. in fact, as i notice how old and tired my tanned summer hand looks on your delicate chest, the epiphany washes over me, that he, before he broke my heart, he was a baby just like this. that his mother looked at him with even more tenderness. that his hair also curled perfectly, his lips were also gentle curves of bliss, that his feet kicked just as powerfully, because indeed, he grew up to be quite a soccer player.
i gently remove my hand and trace a line from your heart to your "foot", which moves slightly because of my embrace. did she hold his foot like this, and marvel at his toenails, no bigger than glitter...did she know that those feet would grow, and flatten and wear the wrong shoes to play basketball in at basketball city. that they would run through central park, propel him across a tennis court, walk him to his office in Rock Plaza and then bring him back home to me. how could she have known, as she grasped his perfect little ankle, that it would later have tendonitis and that in another twenty-seven years, his then girlfriend would lovingly try to rub the pain away. suddenly i understand why mothers hate their son's partners. i don't want to lose my angel baby to another girl either...what if she doesn't love him enough? what if she casts a spell, what if she hurts him? the epiphany grows and fills my thoughts. i mentally forgive every mom who gave me dirty looks for dating their son. i understand, i nod. i get it.
my pudgesicle tries to kick again, away from the ankle bracelet of my right thumb and forefinger, and my thoughts float back to soccer. yes, you will play philip daniel, you and this "foot". you will play, and i will be there and my heart will crack from all the joy of watching this foot rocket a soccer ball past a goalie's grasping fingers.
i lean over, and kiss the sole of your foot, and with that brush of my lips, my own soul drops the painful shackles of regret over last year, over love stolen, over missed opportunities. we are all someone's baby. i must remember this lesson you have so graciously taught me, little buddha. someone gazed at him, in Connecticut twenty-seven years ago with the same liquid brown eyes i behold you with right now. the parallel is so powerful that i tremble from my realisation. she loved him the way i love you. he was perfection once too...
may you always have peace, and happiness and goodness. may your life be a thousand times better than mine. but i know deep down, that you will know your own pain, and your own regret. and as i kiss your cheek a final time, and let go of my own pain, i start a karmic circle that will guarantee forgiveness for you someday, for you will surely break hearts. i inhale the heavenly perfume of your curls, the way someone else did twenty seven years ago with another perfect little boy, and i want to cry tears of gratitude, for loving you has granted my soul true freedom.
i love you always,
this is so hard for me to type, but it is also so necessary.
it has come to this; i shall take a little break from this space, because i need one. i just don't write like that anymore. that's the plain truth, and the truth saddens me in a quiet, powerful way that gnaws at my heart. my heart has already suffered for plenty of other now-public reasons recently. i think that with time, my voice will be strong and clear again (as will the muscle i just mentioned twice).
i appreciate your forgiveness for my absence.
i will still post on Sepia Mutiny regularly (i.e. several times a week), because it's never personal there, and so it never hurts. i will update diary to a lesser extent, because that does sometimes hurt, and we're giving the middle of my chest a rest, aren't we?
do take care of yourselves, i'll miss you and this sacred space terribly.
see you soon...
note: i originally wrote this on august 30.
You: Alone, and then with friends, at a Saturday night Qawali and ensuing party in SF.
Me: Admirer from afar, "the" sardar, in disbelief that the person's whose blog I'd incidentally discovered and began reading was actually at the same place I was.
My apologies if I was gawking, though you caught me a few times. I was at first trying to figure out if it was really you, and then trying to decide if I should introduce myself, and simply ask if you were doing ok. But as the night continued on, I noticed you laughing and smiling with friends - it seemed as though you were - and I decided to not cross that line. You obviously have a lot of people who look after you, and it's probably best that I remained one of your many anonymous observers and admirers.
Basically, what I wanted to say in this, is that given what you're going through, it was nice to see you enjoying yourself - laughing, smiling and dancing, and for someone who I've never met, I was glad to see it.
Posted by: sardar | August 29, 2004 03:39 PM
if you read these disparate collections of words which comprise my "online empire", you know that i have a weakness for punjabi men. :) you add fuel to that fire, dear sir. i sat down at this very computer last night and tried to write. then, i saw your comment and tears flooded my eyes as my fingers froze, curling uselessly right above this barely yielding keyboard.
i was overwhelmed by your words, and i had to walk away. i had to leave the bloodletting for another day.
YOU: the only "proper sardar" in the whitewashed, nyc-loft of a room, sitting on the middle couch, next to a girl who i assumed was your own...yes, i caught you, once or twice. but you had no idea what i was thinking, what i interpreted those sideways glances to mean. such a strange sensation, looking at you...i wanted to recognise you. i don't lie. there was something about you. somewhere, in a realm that is surreal and not governed by logic, i recognised that you were recognising me...
ME: alone. consummately, pathetically alone. so scared that i was looking around for anyone, even an enemy to recognise, to anchor myself to, to locate myself with...i noticed you immediately, b/c my ottaman was almost across from your couch. i didn't inwardly castigate you for looking at me. after all, i was the freak show. "i bring this upon myself," i thought. "to come to a desi event alone is to ask for scrutiny...gawd, anna...what is WRONG w/you?" i averted my eyes at your gaze, took a deep breath, and told myself that i had a right to be there, in the middle of the empty hardwood floor, the only human there...alone. honestly? going to that club was the most terrifying thing i've done in a long time.
"I noticed you laughing and smiling with friends - it seemed as though you were - and I decided to not cross that line. You obviously have a lot of people who look after you, and it's probably best that I remained one of your many anonymous observers and admirers"
friends. people who "look after me". you were right to have your "doubts" about my social life that night. :) i know what it must have looked like; i threw regret to the man-made wind, churning forth from those precious fans downstairs. on saturday, i just wanted to laugh. and dance. and live. even if i couldn't get a single soul to go to this obscenely fantastic event with me.
quite the opposite, darling sardar. quite the opposite. my "friends" were found that same night. would you believe that i made eye contact with YOU before any of them? the first "friend" came up to me b/c i was entranced by his skill with the sarod. he was gracious enough to make me so comfortable, everyone assumed that he was someone i had known for a while. as one of the organizers of the event, he was also the consummate host, stopping by throughout the evening to see if i was enjoying myself.
the second "friend" recognised me from my fotolog (!). i was floored when he appraised me for a moment, and then point-blank asked, "are you anna?" he was bemused by my shock at being noticed, until i told him that he was the first person to ever approach me in public in such a way.
i took a deep breath before emptying my mind; "i write or create these sites and i don't expect anyone to really pay attention or care. i don't walk around wondering if i'm going to get recognised-- the possibility for such things leaves me incredulous". he asked about the email debacle and my love life in a forthright, pretense-free way that had me reeling with mixed emotions internally. externally, i stayed calm.
for the very first time, i was experiencing the repercussions of my candor. i knew that i didn't have much right to be astonished at his "familiarity" with my "current events" b/c i wrote about them, but that didn't stop me from experiencing a massive sort of shock. this may inspire some of you to screech, "DUH!" at your monitors, but resist. it looks silly, and besides, i'm sincere when i share my dissonance with you. i never expected any of these things to happen.
he was genuinely surprised that i was there alone, but after a few moments of an almost uncomfortable silence, he seemed to understand that i was trying to survive the drama that has become my life. when i bid him farewell, i saw a kindness in his eyes that i relished like water on a scalding day. i was touched that this complete stranger gave a damn about me.
"i hope it works out, after all" he said, before i walked away. his heartfelt good wishes and obvious concern were what i chose to focus on, and after a while, i forgot how startled i had initially felt when he first asked me about my relationship. the only thing i can compare that moment to is the mild terror one feels when in a public bathroom, and someone succeeds in opening the door while you are in a stall.
the third "friend" was the ultimate sort of random; he liked my diesel jeans. surprise, surprise...he was wearing a pair himself. i had been dancing and letting go of a lot of ickiness when he stopped me to make chit-chat. i learned his name and age before he asked how old i was. "almost 30," i replied, certain that mischief was written all over my face. i love the shock people display when they realise i'm way older than they thought. "NO! i thought you were 23 like me! no way. 30..." he stunned me by grabbing my left hand before announcing, "not married? you're getting a bit old to be single, aren't you?" i looked at him blankly before smiling slightly and excusing myself. i wasn't going to ruin my precious and much-needed good time on such bullshit. i remember being pleased that in my peripheral vision, i could see that his smirk had faded.
as you now know, not really. maybe two of them will be friends, one day...i'll take all the allies i can get, thank you. i don't know what role any of these people is meant to play in my strange life. i don't know anything anymore. but i'm figuring some of it out, verrrry slowly.
sardar, i will never be able to convey to you what your sentiments meant to me, at the exact moment when i read them yesterday. you taught me that even when i am at my most despondent, vulnerable, absolutely tormented worst, i am never alone.
it's hard for me to imagine that the man i locked eyes with that night recognised me, thought such kind things about me, and felt a small sort of happiness that i was trying to survive. though that is a difficult concept to chew on, it is a delicious one, and i am grateful for the welcome, unexpected treat.
thank you a thousand times for writing to me, for forcing my breath to catch in my throat, for proving that the infinite universe really does fit in baby krishna's mouth.
5pm and it was still so hot that merely sitting by the window felt like stupidity. never underestimate my inertia. i stayed put, glued to this cursed Vaio, feeling the white wire that might as well be an umbilical cord to my mother/interweb graze my freshly-shaved leg. one of you might send me GMail. someone i crave might sign in to AIM. the troubling blog post that is burbling up from deep within might FINALLY come out, and leave a grateful, lighter me.
i would like to feel lighter. this heavy, leaden feeling that is haunting me for some reason is a very painful sensation, akin to what one might feel like after a greedy thanksgiving meal. i'm uncomfortably and uncharacteristically full. despite that, whatever is bothering me is not ready to come out.
i'll ignore it.
but just in case it does decide to depart, a typepad window is open and i am on high-alert. emotional terror level red, if you will. the terrorism of memory is always something i fear.
my mom was making tea. i watched her take several cardamom pods and crush them under a pestle. this is a modern amreekan home with a special tap that delivers water at 190 degrees, so that you needn't trouble yourself by even boiling some in a pot...and there she was with a stainless steel set of tools that probably trace their origins to the stone age. she didn't know that i was watching her. my mother spends most of her time at home in a state of semi-oblivion. i'm quite a lot to live with, and her work is never done.
a horrendous computer-y noise startled me as i spied and i felt bewildered. oh, right. veena bought my mom some ridiculous new home phone for mother's day...all the venerable black sony cordless models that have played a role in every short story i ever wrote (an unintended easter egg that was never found...most of you focus on a certain vocabulary word instead...) have been supplanted with these sleek gunmetal-grey pods that now dot almost every room in the house. that is a damned lie. they dot four rooms. still, they are unsettling. my attempt at exaggeration feels warranted.
mummy answered the phone, looked at me quickly and immediately walked outside, softly securing the front door behind her. whenever she does this, i frown. "you are talking about me," i murmur. orange flashes register in my spectacular peripheral vision and i forget potential treachery b/c one of you AIMs me.
shiraz. i opened a bottle of shiraz. what does that tell you, gentle readers? did a uniform shudder ripple through your collective shoulders? that was not a rhetorical question; it should have.
it should have.
i'm dazed. 75 wpm is an easy pace for me to rain down my thoughts upon you, but my laptop is balanced precariously on another dining room chair, with two cushions jerry-stacked underneath it, in a vain attempt to alleviate the profound discomfort this set-up ensures...the power cord to my Vaio no longer works properly. it is an arbitrary and capricious piece of shit, and it is so temperamental it makes me look like a person who owns the word equanimity. when it magically shifts to a position where the little "plug" icon appears in my taskbar (this has become the holy grail of my sad fucking existence), i gasp and then take massive pains NOT to move or jar the computer in ANY way, lest i knock it out of whatever mystical angle that is enabling me to keep the damned thing on. i'm sitting in another dining room chair, facing this fiasco. i have developed chronic back pains and am well on my way to carpal tunnel. fanfuckingtastic. i'm massaging my beleaguered wrists, lost in the drama of one of your lives, trying to carefully word the advice you've asked me for, when moms comes back inside. her eyes are wide and she looks worried. she is looking at me like she can see more than flesh and hair. she is looking at me like she can see my soul, my thoughts, my fate.
"who was that?" is a question i always ask, even if she doesn't wander outside for privacy. i am the worst sort of child EVER. i take great pleasure in yanking my mom out of meetings at work, so that i can ask her where the new box of berry berry kix is, or so that i may shriek about something that has upset me. i especially did the latter when i was 3000 miles away. G-d damn your career mother, i fucking *need* you. you are not here. be here now. in short, i am obnoxious for the same reason i do just about everything in life that makes most of you shoot me incredulous looks or spew vituperative hate; merely because i can. as i write this, upon reflection, is it any business of mine to ask who she was just on the phone with? logical anna says, "no". anna balks and says, "i lived in her for nine months and have tolerated her occasionally shite advice and influence for the last 3 decades. my father is no longer around to annoy her. OBVIOUSLY this necessary duty has passed to me, the sole heir to all things daddy."
i never said i made sense. honestly, if i did? you wouldn't come.
articles like this one make me happy. if that isn't a profound comment about what kind of nerd i publicly once was and secretly still am, i don't know what is...
i pay attention to details like this.
i love the backstory to something that most people will hardly care about or notice. the choice of all uppercase vs lowercase is something that matters to sad, swooning me. i swoon b/c i'm someone who is never happy with her font, i'm always looking for shapes and images that better fit me and the words i attempt to cobble together with all the charm and offense of an amateur.
part of me is calmly vindicated regarding my occasionally challenged devotion to new york. the font that i desperately seek like susan looks EXACTLY like the one chosen above. i am pleased to realise that the eras that inspired it also inspire me. what else inspired it? something very close to my heart...well, something whose location is...the letters that clearly declare "PORT AUTHORITY BUS TERMINAL" were the starting point for the font "GOTHAM", and i cannot count how many times i walked by and noticed those words, as well as how they were graphically designed. during that one ephemeral, shining moment i spent in manhattan, i was located on eighth avenue, too. beyond that memory, subtly, secretly, subconsciously, my eyes and ADDled mind have craved "gotham" forever and i hold that sublime truth in my heart.
but i digress, and i do so almost disrespectfully (dilettante, remember?).
the article linked above is from the new york times. it discusses a very significant font, chosen to chisel a far more significant piece of native-strength from the adirondacks; the cornerstone for the architectural phoenix that will rise from the sorrowful ashes of the WTC is lettered and worded just so, and i am gratified that so much thought was invested in something so worthy of effort and intention. gotham. it's apposite. i am quietly happy.
if you REALLY want to blog, there won't be a laptop in sight.
indian restaurants WILL sell you chai "to go!" as if they were starbucks, virushini.
if you loved a song years ago, but the moment wasn't right, the moment will eventually be...right.
anonymity encourages the worst in people.
when cuddly four-year olds sit in your lap it's sweetness incarnate; when they do so while wearing a miniature lengha and flowers in their hair, it feeds your soul.
there are no such things as indian values. there are only good values.
when you stop swimming against the tide of the great ocean known as life, you float. perfectly.
i painstakingly spent the last hour+ writing the rest of "100 things"...fucking technical issues...it disappeared...mid-keystroke...wtf is THAT? i'm so irritated right now...i had typed so much my WRISTS hurt, and it was all for naught. gah.
Why hasn't somebody come up with a decent client side blogging tool yet?
100. i have no desire to try hot and sour soup; that is what RASAM is for...
99. if i were trapped on a deserted island, and i was only allowed one book, i think i'd take wikram seth's "a suitable boy"
--- are bells going off in some of your heads right about now? "oh, so THAT'S why she-" yeah. exactly. ---
b/c it's such a long book and i've never read the legislative parts (have mercy!) in their entirety. i'm always reading it. i first read it when it came out, years ago, and then i closed it, sighed, started to feel bereft that it was over...and so i opened it again minutes later. it stayed on my nightstand for several years, and i'd read it every night before going to bed. i've been through it four times. suddenly i wonder if my insomnia in CA is related to the fact that my "suitable" book is in nyc...w/the rest of my
98. the only sport i've ever played was indoor futbol.
97. the trouble with kittens is that they end up as cats. blech.
96. i'm an amazing catholic even though i'm not. and despite the fact that my father's fam is RABIDLY anti-catholic.
90. i prefer haagen-dazs pista kulfi to jen and berry's
89. my father chose all of my library books when i was four or five and he chose damn fucking well:
- the nightingale
- whatever else he picked.
88. my soccer sandals are the original blue and white adidas...and they've been mine since '93
87. i'm allergic to small furry worthless housepe(s)ts: cats, hamsters, rodents, chinchillas, gerbils, ferrets, rabbits...etc etc.
86. i keep kosher, for the most part. i was better at it back east.
80. i prefer decaf and so do you (for me). trust me.
79. when i was a small girl and my parents wanted to really fuck my shit up, they'd ground me by taking away my library card. since i read (on average) about three dozen books a week, i'd weep and beg for a beating instead. every parent should aspire to THAT level of absolute nerdiness in their offspring; "no, daddy, PLEASE...ANYTHING but my books...please don't take my books..."
78. i hope and PRAY i marry an ex-footballer...have mercy them boys is foyne.
77. my puppy rani, had a slightly older brother named raja...they were littermates. he died in '02.
76. i don't get these huge arena churches or churches that use rock and roll in their ministry. and i will NEVER wear a pair of pants to sunday services. ugh. fucking barbarians. i like formal.
70. i don't drink coffee or tea w/o CREAM. fuck that herbal shit.
69. when i worked at barnes and noble in college, i spent almost exactly as much as i made.
68. if i can't have a soccer player, then someone who was on the swim team will do.
67. my first puppy was a german shepherd/wolf hybrid and he was flawless, gorgeous, brilliant and pure sweetness. his paws were as big as your face.
66. my family is vegetarian for religious reasons, so don't try and fuck with that. (i.e. comment derisively, try to convince me it's wrong etc).
60. i've been vegetarian since conception-- mom's pregnancy was fueled by green grapes and strawberry ice cream and our household was viciously veggie.
59. when i ask someone what the last book they've read is, and they ask "do magazines count, b/c all i read is Maxim. Cosmo. Pneumatic Retards Monthly."... i feel like throttling them and saying "NO YOU SAD MOTHERFUCKER, MAGAZINES MOST CERTAINLY DO *NOT* COUNT!!!! WHAT ARE YOU, A BLOW-ADDICTED FERRET WITH ADD???"
58. my dad used to get my doctor to write me a note excusing me from PE a year at a time...he was terrified i'd get hurt.
57. my wolf puppy used to jump up to kiss my uncle on the nose, resting his paws on my uncles shoulders...my uncle is 6'1.
56. the zen class i took last year changed my life. mindfulness. that's the answer to EVERYTHING.
50. i don't drink soda unless it's vintage, glass bottled-coke and it's going in my WHISKEY.
49. once, when on a date with an adorable indian boy who had eyes you could melt in...i asked "what is your favourite book?" he said. "oh. i don't read. books suck." i smiled sweetly, excused myself, and LEFT.
48. thanks to my congenitally fucked up knees, i can't run for shit. that's why i interval train.
47. my wolf puppy died in '96. :( RIP... R.M. Singh.
40. yes, i CAN taste the difference between evian and other waters. fuck you if that bothers you.
39. when i read a book, you can't tell that i have; i don't bend pages, scratch the cover or otherwise leave it molested. when someone borrows one of my books and they return it looking shitty, i'm livid. words are sacred, you philistines.
38. i don't know how to swim. i'm serious. i'm not pressed though...that shit fucks with your hair.
37. my dogs have always been outside doggies. moms and veena are deathly allergic.
36. there's never been a moment of my life when i DIDN'T believe in G-d.
30. black and coke is good. gold and coke is better than french kissing.
29. i went through a phase where i read nothing but stephen king. what's amusing about this is how i was so terrified; every night, before i went to bed i'd rush outside my room, drop the book WAY out in the hallway, and then run hastily back to my bedroom as if cujo himself was nipping at my cowardly heels. i refused to sleep in the same room with his books. :( haven't read him in well over a decade. i'm a fraidy cat and PROUD of it. :)
28. baseball is the sport i like the least. p.s. bowling and golf are not sports as far as i'm concerned. go fuck yourself if you disagree. i don't think F-1 is really a sport either, as much as a pastime of the Gods.
27. if i don't have dogs, i have fish. that's it for pets for Anna. i LOVE fishies though. :)
26. when i was little, i wanted to be a nun.
20. i go through these bizarre appetite-free periods in life where i am sustained solely on liquids; when i was two, it was similac. when i was 20 it was whole milk. ever since 27, it's been chocolate BOOST.
19. anastasia krupnik. beezus and ramona. deenie.
18. my daddy loved playing footie. i wish he had taught me when i was little. he sent me to tennis lessons, which ended prematurely, instead.
17. i kinda want an itty bitty doggie. like a yorkie. or a pug.
16. for the first two decades of my life, i NEVER missed church.
10. there are at least half a dozen types of cheese in my fridge at all times.
9. if i wrote a well-loved children's book, i'd consider it my greatest accomplishment EVER.
8. despite living a life that was free of athleticism, i want my kids to play assloads of sports.
7. i don't like pitts. or rotts. i obviously don't have issues with big dogs, my dogs all weigh(ed) around 100 lbs. originally, i was supposed to get a Mastiff.
6. i think G-d lives at St. Patrick's cathedral. to me, it's the holiest place on earth.
1. i love okra as much as i hate cooked onions; my favourite fruits are mango, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, tangerines, cherries, pineapple and kiwis, almost in that order. my favourite fruit masquerading as a wegetable is the tomato. i fucking love those things.
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i know, this isn't complete. i've been working on it...more soon.
i got my bloglet update and was inspired to check in on a blog with one of my favourite names ever-- "tiffinbox". i scrolled mindlessly through, preparing to delete when a certain item caught my eye. whenever i see the words "God's own country", i'm always interested to find out more...i clicked the hyperlink. i was surprised and later delighted to discover that the post that featured that phrase was an excerpt from an email/travelogue. just reading the posted e-missive made me smile, settle further in to my chair and send a silent thank you to heaven for making me Malayalee. and giving me big brown eyes. :)
"i can't even begin to explain how incredibly beautiful kerala is, but i will try because it is worth the attempt. people here call it "god's own country" and i see why they believe that. in the past several days we have seen amazing beaches, beautiful little temples, churches and mosques in the little surrounding villages, amazing sunsets, fields and fields of rice paddies, coconut and banana trees as far as the eye can see, the big white smiles of people, big brown eyes of the children, jungles, lagoons, and now forests. and added to all of that is all of our amazing experiences with the people here. they are so proud of their land, work so hard, crazy back-breaking work and all with their own two hands, they believe in the politics of their place (can you imagine that? i can't tell you how many communist flags we've seen proudly hanging in the villages with pictures of che everywhere!), and most amazing of all, they remain, truly in awe of the beauty of this place. it really has re-defined my perspective on peace, happiness, quality of life, so many things...."
If it's "G-d's own country", wouldn't it logically follow that its inhabitants are like angels? if only Malayalee people could be as lovely towards one another as our metaphorical counterparts are...that would be a fitting tribute to the earthly paradise that some of us are lucky enough to call home...
Dear Admirer (i feel awful typing that...yes, even shameless me blushes at some things),
i am still awe-struck that anyone turns to me, especially you. thank you for all the lovely things you say about my blog...and me. as for starting an advice column, no, i am not above such things! truthfully, you're the only one who's ever asked, so how about if i'm just *your* advice columnist? i promise i'm not even qualified to be that, and you're so kind to let me try. :)
you know, i do actually take this really seriously.
more than anyone i know, i'm keenly aware of the "human" butterfly effect...how what we do/say/choose can change other people's lives and vice versa. for example, thanks to meeting Side Angle Side for the first time, my photographs no longer SUCK. i answer a random blog-related email in late december and its author is now someone i chat with several times a DAY. (what's up, uncle?)
anyway. this is the letter that i received on january 27. yes, it's taken me all this time to even attempt a reply. what can i say? i'm spooked by responsibility.
I am befuddled. Why do I turn to you? Because, when I read your blogs I see not only passion and zest for life, but a hint of experience that is not so easily found in one so young.
So - would you like to start an advice column :)?
Just kidding. Perhaps you are above such things.
Anyway, my dilemma - although noone, not even wise men sent by God can solve my problem, I am seeking advice. A while ago I lost my love, someone who I know realize I want to have by my side for the remainder of my years. It was then that I stumbled upon your blog, saw the sincerity of your words, and the strenth in moving on and not making the pain disappear, but just trying to let go of the hauntingly unchangable past.
Now, some time has passed. I long for what I said no to in my innocence, in my confusion. And I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to get back what I let go of. BUT it comes with the stipulation that I must accept that things happened while my head was turned away. Things that can not be taken back. Things that disgust me profoundly. An act that I would not perhaps forgive in other people, but that I am willing to forgive in this case, out of love and out of either clarity in vision or cloudiness in eyesight - it is hard to say, because as clearheaded as I think I am, I wonder if love ever provides one with a clear vision.
I believe that when a relationship starts anew, we must put the past behind us. But these actions occurred post-knowing me.
I present this question now to you - Can such mistakes be forgiven? When someone hurts you not intentionally, but knowingly, is that forgivable? What do you think. A beloved friendship, possibly a relationship, rides on this.
what a pickle you're in, gentle blog-phile. the one excellent thing about your situation is that you actually answered your own question. what's even cooler than THAT is that the all-mighty-anna agrees with you. ;) i must confess, for the first 48 hours after i read your comment, i was consumed with compulsive conjecture; what on earth could the disgusting act be?? forgive me, but as a dilettante writer, my imagination is so fecund it's almost detrimental...
once i let go of all the scenario-creating my feverish brain was doing, i actually went and hid somewhere and thougth about you. took some painfully deep breaths. and then i did what i'm actually kinda good at. i pretended to be you.
i tried to imagine what i would do/choose/feel if i were you. then i substituted the very situation that inspired you to get in touch with me, and i tested my reactions there...same. i'm going to answer your actual question now, and then prattle on a bit. what say you? oh, like you can say anything. it's my blog. you're all just living in it. and destroying your productivity with it. ;)
I present this question now to you - Can such mistakes be forgiven? When someone hurts you not intentionally, but knowingly, is that forgivable? What do you think. A beloved friendship, possibly a relationship, rides on this.
yes. mistakes can be forgiven. especially if you love the sinner, then it's even easier to hate the sin. as for the sinner (oy vey, i know, i know...but i'm using it for lack of a better term...what can i do?) hurting you knowingly but not intentionally, that took me a little while to untangle...i think what you mean is, that the sinner didn't hurt you on purpose, or b/c they wanted to...but on some level they knew that their "sin" would upset you, if you ever found out...(geez that was convoluted...my apologies). despite all my verbal meandering, my answer remains unchanged. if it wasn't the sinner's intent to hurt you, then i think they just might merit forgiveness.
but hey, you're asking a bleeding heart christian. i've been conditioned since AD 52 to turn a rosy, chanel'd cheek whenever i get smacked down. ;)
...An act that I would not perhaps forgive in other people, but that I am willing to forgive in this case, out of love...
and there's your answer, darling admirer. ooooh, i love it when people agree with me. ;)
I believe that when a relationship starts anew, we must put the past behind us. But these actions occurred post-knowing me.
i know that they occurred after the "sinner" knew you, but if i may be so candidly new york about it, that doesn't matter. you still have to do what you initially said, and put the past behind you, where it belongs.
the greatest thing i got out of 2003 was the ability to be somewhat mindful. once you resist regret and becoming consumed with the past or anxious about the future, you can live, fully and truly. you can be present. i dated my college sweetheart a second time, in 1998. we had broken up in 1995...and there was a lot of pain, a lot of unresolved nastiness. all of that negativity was like a cancer on our relationship, the second time around. we couldn't let go of the past and it destroyed the gift of our "present". if you are honest with yourself, and you hear that tiny voice inside, and it confides that you truly *can't* let it (the sin) go...then you have your answer. don't hurt yourself by repeatedly dashing your fragile self against a brick wall called grudge. unless you can say goodbye to the past, commencing a new relationship is pointless.
at my very core, i am essentially an optimist. i think you can do anything you want, if you want it enough. i also think that if something is meant to be, then it will be, so it's not worth it to worry and fret, my pet. if you yearn for this person, if your heart is telling you "this is IT", then let go of your pride, fear and pain.
throw your arms around their neck and whisper "show me, show me, show me how you do that trick, the one that makes me scream," you'll say..."the one that makes me laugh", you'll say...
"Show me how you do it
And I promise you I promise that
I'll run away with you
I'll run away with you..."
the away message that has remained in my stable the longest is one of my favourite quotes of all time, and it's what i'll conclude with...
amor vincit omnia. ~virgil
...that means, love conquers ALL. :) now go find your heaven. and do tell me what happens...i'm all invested now. ;)