Tag Archives: Letting go
I have thrown away your memories
I have erased your name
From my poetry, my notebooks,
My life is now almost the same
Now my hands reach for strangers
Shake firm, my touch free of residue
Just the merest hint of a tremor
That no one would know was you
Every breath is a leap of faith.
Letting go of air
it won’t come back.
So take a deep breath and jump anyway.
Let it all out,
let it go away
Something will come back.
You had me tied up in knots
turning over your every word
twisting each smile,
into shapes of affection
ideas of attention
That I threaded into my cells
Now, you’re saying goodbye
but tell me, how will you reclaim
these parts of you
that I have turned into art
by tattooing them into my being?
There’s a knot you’ll never unravel.
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I am saying goodbye to two people this week. It hurts so much my eyelids are blurring into my cheekbones. Luckily Adi is in town and close at hand with a hug. And Reema is back. I am so grateful for life’s big mercies.
Truly, these are mercies. Not a solution but mercy.
I have been considering vulnerability recently. Holding the thought in my head, examining my own experiences of it, watching how I behave with it and how it sits in my psyche. I have not enjoyed vulnerability, haven’t welcomed it. I’ve treated it like it’s weakness, like it must be covered or hidden or toughened in some way. If I’ve treated my vulnerability this way, I have probably been cruel on the vulnerability of other people. But I’ll think about that in a bit. First, me.
A curious thing happened. For a change, I didn’t respond with rage or force. I didn’t hurtle into working harder, talking faster (which are my ways of aggressively running away from problems). I stayed. And I said, “I’m hurting.”
Immediately, I received a phone call. And then tweets. They were all gentle, solicitous, asking if I was okay. I didn’t use my default deflection tactics. But I said,
“No, I’m not. I don’t want to talk about it. Is that okay?”
When I put the phone down, one of the two people I was saying goodbye to, fumbled, perhaps seeing some clarity through the things weighing down on her. She said,
“I’ll write you a mail. You can choose to read it or delete it.”
I opened my mouth but before I could even say a word I saw her flinch. And I realized she just couldn’t see or hear me. There was too much clouding her judgement. Anything I said or did would only be distorted by the voices in her head.
I told her I would not delete a mail from her without reading. But that this whole thing, us, was just becoming one more thing weighing in on her. “Deal with what you have to deal with,” I said, “and just cut out the me part of your life.” I don’t know if she understands what I mean by that but I really don’t want this ending between us to become one more reason she feels victimised by the world.
I know what that feels like. I have reacted to most things, notably to disappointment, with blind pain. I’ve raged I’M HURTING HURTING HURTING HURTING so much I can’t hear or see people around me who love me, offering support or hurting too. I’ve been there. It’s delicious and heady, that burning, that pain.
Perhaps she will resurrect from that place. But I fear I do not have it in me to take people back. I don’t. It doesn’t come from vengeful anger. But I can’t bear to let people back in once they’ve broken me by putting barriers of self-obsession, delusion, disrespect or betrayal between us. Yes, it’s probably true that I hold people up to very high standards. But it’s not judgement that comes between us; it’s the walls. Weakness brings up the walls. Walls hurt. I guess I don’t like boundaries either.
Someone else who discarded me last year is trying to come back into my life. I don’t want him to. It hurt so much when he left as if I meant nothing at all. I’ve built my life back into a place that feels complete without him. There’s no room for him in it now. And any room he makes will drill a hole in a nicely created life and what if he decides to cut loose again? I’m tired of walking around with gaping holes created by people who leave on whim. One hole, one time per person is all I am willing to give the world.
I felt a lot better after I went for a walk in the beach. Sad, very sad, but not weighed down anymore. Maybe it’s this generation, maybe it’s this city, maybe it’s us. Our lives are too burdened by fears and pain collapsing in on us that we lose sight of the things and the people that matter. I cannot judge anyone for that and punishing the people I love for getting lost – is neither love nor fruitful. Perhaps vulnerability doesn’t make me weak. It makes it possible for me to see human nature as just what it is; not the universe conspiring to wound me. Acknowledging my vulnerability makes me acknowledge it other people too. And it makes it possible to accept it and move ahead without being ripped apart by the ties of pain.
Maybe goodbyes are safety valves for this very reason. Once I accepted that there’s nothing else to do but say goodbye, something odd happened. I’m awash in a very strange sense of relief. A big part of my life just opened up again. Who knows what or who will sit in it next?
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Here’s a piece that has been germinating since January this year. A letter, a poem, a truth. This is D for April 2015 A to Z Challenge.
Dear Once Upon A Time Woman,
We learnt a long time ago
that our most complicated relationship
would not be with men
but with each other
See, you were my person once
and I, yours
We’ve been so many things to each other
full of each other’s painful memories
wrapped up in soft cotton hankies
and favorite teeshirts with tear stains
Tucked away in the other person cupboard
Locked with keys that
no family, lover or friend has ever held
We’re blank sheets of paper
in each other’s hands
holding words that we never get to say
to the people who wound us
to those whose lives build our walls and our ceilings
These blueprints of ourselves,
painted in ugly thoughts and unsavoury words
on those untidy sheets of paper
That you and I are to each other
We told other people our secrets
But we gave each other
bits and parts of ourselves
that didn’t fit
into your handbag
the corners of the desk that we shared
my pockets are bulging
with uncategorisable ends of you
Your forgotten guilt is
poisoning my food
It’s making me ill
While your mind
it’s a whipping wind
of stray ideas
and words that I adopted
You’re tired of babysitting them,
you have your own children to care for
My once upon a time person
it must be a once upon a time thing
Or we’ll be trapped in an eternal echo chamber
endless reflections in parallel mirrors
Memory and future, fantasy and life
muddying each other
Let us not be labels anymore?
Not Best Friends
Or Karmic connections
Let us just be
you and me
discovering what that is
needs us to go down different paths
You take left
I’ll check right
And we’ll find each other
When we figure out how to be
when there isn’t a place
to hide the things we don’t like about ourselves
Farewell, my other self
Till we meet again.
Follow the April 2015 AtoZ HERE.
Not a good time. Not a good mood. December always gets me down. Even though the fabulousness of my life must make me seem like a crank for complaining. It’s too many people, too many expectations, too much to consider and keep track of.
They say a man (person) is known by the company he keeps. Personally I always thought that was a tad unfair. After all, I enjoy the company of a wide variety of people, across age and interest groups. What does that say about me? That I’m fickle? Or that I like variety? But I realised when I was screaming my heart out this week, what that really came to. There’s warmth in this friendship, genuine warmth, at least I thought so. And yet, more than once I’ve had a chance to be pained by the people she hangs out with. Are some people natural filth-magnets? I surely don’t want to be part of such a circle. And so I resign. Even though I have no problem with her as such, I certainly have a problem with the riff-raff she chooses to hang out with and forces me to rub shoulders with, at every conceivable social occasion.
Goodbye dear friend, I’m sorry for running away this way but your ugly world scares me.
Another adage – a man is alive so long as he is remembered.
The Best Friend is moving overseas, the visa approval finally having come through. Somehow I feel like a part of me is drifting away forever. The last connection I have to my distant past, the person I used to be before this cynicism and visibility. The person I was before the fractured dreams, before those dreams were even conceived…all of them go with her. If there’s no one who remembers what you really sound like, do you have a voice anymore?
Goodbye dear friend, carry my cherished self with you. I know you’ll take care of it well. This is not a world for that gentleness anymore.
I snapped at another friend for calling me a name I didn’t like and I told him not to pick on me in my rare moment of emotion. He replied,
This isn’t a rare moment of emotion for you. Its a rare moment of this particular emotion of helplessness. And, I’m not enjoying you feeling so.
You know why that was striking? Because he pinned down the exact thing that’s bringing me so much agony. I hate this, hate, hate this feeling. Helplessness is not a place I’ve ever been comfortable in.
What am I doing? The writing is not going well, not at all, I’m afraid. I don’t want to know that I’m good, all I care about is that I’m not good enough. It may just be a matter of time but I’m afraid I don’t have that time. Or perhaps I do but I don’t think I can live on these shifting sands for much longer. I need terra firma beneath my feet and if that means I bury my dreams and sell out, I probably will.
Goodbye dreamer-girl, there’s no place for you in this gritty world. Your wings are no substitute for the strong legs I need to stay put. I’m going back.