Last Deepavali I was in Vancouver. This Deepavali I am not.
Last October I was calmer, older and less forgiving of those who might want to drown their misery in overpriced vodka scramblers. This October, however, finds me more indulgent and less wary of Consequences. But, of course. There are days I am not sure that this is entirely a good thing: this delicate walking of a tightrope between trust and caution, with nothing beneath me to break my eventual fall.
Yet, the mostly effortless joys this year has brought along with it so far, have turned my eyes outward, not inward; made me less selfish with my time, more expansive with my affection. Safety, some solitary voice reminds my ear, is not a good enough substitute for Happiness.
So, sure. I'd agree with you. As of now, I'd say all switches in persona have been free and fair and made under management control.
Donne, Premise of 2nd Prebend Sermon delivered @ St. Paul's , early 1600's:
Situations don't change. Predestination ordains that what must happen to you will happen to you regardless of your struggles to break the tide. However what will change, and what can change for the better, if you have religious faith or spiritual discipline, is how you react to it.
Notice strikingly similarities between this and parts of Hindu philosophy. More suprising, considering level of awareness regarding Asian schools of thought at the time. Evidence that moral relativism is trash maybe, and that human beings all over the world have always come to similar conclusions about meaning of life and suffering at end of a long day's lennon?
Met Dunbar in hallway today after ages. Still teaching one 100-level class per semester. Still married. Still childless. Still doing PhD. Still poor, and Still no end in sight.
Made me think twice about pursuing higher education as academic.
Went over Bessie Head's A Woman Alone in Professor Morell's Commonwealth Literature lecture.
Found could not classify work as African or Feminist, but that Head was spectacularly talented in combining ideas from sources as diverse as Freud and Woolf into one explosive concept. Am immensely struck by how overwhelming Need to Write for an artist can overcome worst of circumstances: Head for example, was born in pre-Mandela S. Africa & struggled with debilitating mental illness, rotten childhood, lifelong poverty, exile etc; yet wrote novels and worked as journalist through it all.
Plus: TOMMORROW!! Celebrity-author-spotting at local library :D
Attended late afternoon seminar by Dr. Anitha Ramanna from the Indira Gandhi Institute for Development Research in Bombay about Intellectual Rights and the Indian Farmer. Mostly focused on Bio-piracy and patent right formulas in India; not particularly relevant to Canadian farming? However, v. informative about larger picture even if sketchy on specific details.
Snottynosed law school jerk in front row kept asking stupid questions and made poor woman squirm. Also, made me v.mad.
Worry, as any sensible woman is quick to point out, is about as useful as a bicycle is to a fish faced Irina Dunn. Sometimes, you shouldn't wait to worry and tease things through. You just have to throw out everything you assumed you knew for sure, and rework the fabric of your life.
Batter My Heart, as John Donne says in a Holy Sonnet addressed to his God, so that You can Fashion Me into Something New. Bind me to you with your Grace, so that I can truly be free. Ravish me, Lord, so that I can become Chaste.
But there are other times too. When all you need to do is switch on a lightbulb in some long forgotten holding room inside your head or participate in a conversation that runs between time and space. Change, you might find then, may be far less radical in nature, yet more significant in scope.
That said : What Change is missing from my world? What do I crave? What appears to be painfully far away? What do I have that I am not sure I possess? Why should history worry me? And me, with my never-enough affection and big words, so eager to read the worst of intentions in the best of people.
Funny how they always made it look so easy on television.
My mother told me last night about the son of an acquaintance, who just been admitted to an PhD program in Finance, at Columbia University in NY. After a working holiday at the ICICI Bank in Mumbai, an MBA from IIM and a BTech from IIT.
Hmm.. I mumbled, and swiftly managed to move on to talking about something less intimidating, like the probability of it raining in Vancouver over the weekend. The thing is, till very recently, I had always considered my time on earth to be an infinitely available resource. Or at least that's what it felt like. Clocks ran out on other people, not me.
But now, as fall prepares to turn into winter, and then into spring: all the things I have wanted to do before I turned 30 threaten to remain the foolish dreams one is forced to leave behind along with one's youth. And it almost hurts to take pleasure in the good fortune of another.
I wonder if my painfully overdrawn quarter life crisis is preparing me for life as an underprivileged washout after all. Because, as they never fail to remind me, Envy is apparently directly proportional to age, and inversely so, to one's achievements.
Early each morning, the elephant keepers, or mahouts, of the Punnathur Kotta elephant yard in Kerala, southern India, ready their big beasts for the new day. Chains are loosened from the elephants' feet, dust removed from their bodies and one batch will be taken to the great Hindu temple of Guruvayur, just along the road, for ceremonial duties.Among the mahouts caring for these 62 temple elephants, one stands out conspicuously.
Ilja Tromp, aged 25, is from the Netherlands and is one month into a half-year course that is training her in the art of elephant-keeping. She is one of the first women, and certainly the first foreign woman, to do this. Read More?
Note to Self: Why is this suprising? Other than the hippie-does-india routine? Because Guruvayur is one of the few prominent Hindu temples in India that still follows deliriously out of date religion, caste and gender based segregation rules in and around its premises.
who wrote among other things, The Mill on The Floss
"She is magnificently ugly--deliciously hideous...in this vast ugliness resides a most powerful beauty which, in a very few minutes steals forth with its charms, so that you end up, as I did, falling in love with her mind."
On dull hot chocolate-and-warm quilt evenings like these, father Time uncurls his great big fingers to draw lines across our lives. Lines that curl and curve across the fabric of our memories; lines that look like crab-legged photo images that sit with stolid determination in the sand, but eventually turn out to be far more mobile.
I think father does this to remind us of how we can only go so far, and then: No Further. And that his careful hands will eventually limit everything we hold close to our hearts: Grief. Despair. Even, Self Examination.