Memories…. Written in January 2016
Many times in life I have asked myself what it means to live. And often I have found myself without answers. I have tried to look for it in places, people and career, and yet, the answer was always at home. I have always said that I don’t remember much about my past life and in some ways, it is true. However, it turned out to be not as true as I had thought. As I walked down the streets of my hometown in India, everything seemed as if it had remained exactly where it was. The places we had gone, the houses we had visited, the paths we had taken. They all appeared instantly from the books of unforgotten, yet not remembered memories. I recognized the things there were missing, things that had now changed, the roads we use to take and even the stops we used to make. How could something come back so suddenly? I don’t really like walking into the past to be honest because it is a time that is no longer here but what do you do when it suddenly appears in front of you out of absolutely nowhere? That too, as clear as the waters of the Caribbean. What do you do then? As a child, I didn’t know much about the people we used to visit or how they were related to us at all. We simply followed our parents everywhere for every occasion. It was weird how it all came back. Memories.
Sometimes in life we rip our memories into pieces and put them away as if they never existed and keep living. And sometimes we think it’s all gone and a new chapter has begun but they appear out of nowhere, taking you back in time. Was it really possible to go back into the past? Was it possible to find out who you really were? Perhaps not. But these flashbacks are important. They are remnants of what you desperately tried to put away all of your life. But when they come back, you really wonder: “Why exactly?”
There was nothing painful in any of these memories. They were happy moments and yet, why did I want to put away a complete chapter of my life? What was my state of my mind that I failed to feel and see all the good things in front of me?
I learned something recently …that nothing is ever good or bad. It’s the way you see it that makes it good or bad. It is an awakening of how something so good in your life can start feeling totally terrible just because of the way you feel in general. But these too are lessons of life. They aren’t really good or bad happenings.
This lesson hit home when my grandfather left this world. Was it bad? Was it terrible? It definitely felt so. How can someone who loves you so much leave? It’s devastating and simply scary. But then again, so is Life. So is Life.
Aside from the memories however, I wanted to write about the purpose of life. With this sudden departure, some things became quite clear. Especially the fact that everything and simply everything is going exactly the way it is written. If it is hurting you today, it was meant to. And if it is leaving you miserable and teary, it was meant to too. Nothing ever really goes wrong. Our mind, however, might argue differently. It is for us to believe it or not. As I shut down the concerns, worries, attacks derived from my mind, I felt better. Someone was gone and I was still alive. Breathing. Like a completely alive human being. And that realization was all it took to snap back into the today – the ultimate reality of life. As I observed myself I realized, I was at least eating you know. I don’t usually don’t do that when something bad happens. In fact, I saw myself becoming more and more hungry. To Live. So I tried to eat as much as possible to at least keep up my depleting levels of energy spent mostly on thinking about the loss. I have always believed that if, at the end of each day, you can get up from your couch and manage to make food for yourself or at least go out to get something to eat, it’s good enough. It means that you at least have the minimum amount of energy you need to walk out of your situation. And I did that successfully. And everywhere I went, people were supportive. That was nice.
Memories it went back to though. The few words exchanged. The sight of him. The silence. The words. And the nods in the silence. If you need a reason to laugh today and you can’t find it in the present, walk back into the times there was laughter in and find out how you used to think about the world at that time. Maybe you’ll find an answer. Memories of him today are simply images in my mind, some from a long long time ago and some from a recent future. But I can see myself creating more of them with him right beside me. Although far and invisible, I can see him emerging in the way I will live my life and in my works. And I think, somehow I have this feeling that he sees it too. He sees in me the kindness, the love and the care that he instilled in me and he sees me spreading it to the rest of the world. This is my source of strength, my ultimate reality. And this is what I will take into different corners of the world to spread countless smiles and endless joy. And if more us of live with that purpose, perhaps the world will become at least a little better than before. The joy is what’s missing in today’s lives regardless of people’s overloading possessions and joy is what we must generate and spread in our homes, our relationships and our communities. Today, my family members are spread across 4 different countries and 3 different continents. Each of whom will interpret this departure differently and apply it to their life differently. But if you can manage to step away from your pain and your falling tears, maybe just maybe, you will see how you are meant to live. The answer will always just be home. Don’t forget that. For me, it’ll be in a life spent in giving. Not donating, no. But giving.
May God be with you.