Monday, May 25, 2009

Something Rich and Strange

I remain amazed at how much of my life is run over by the agenda and priorities of my child. I try to involve myself with her life because at my back I always hear, time's winged chariot hurrying near. Never have I felt this press of rushing hours than when I have waited for my child to finish whatever has swallowed her up, whether it is homework, friends, hobbies, or other terrains I can never chart or follow her through.

I spend a large part of my waiting time trying to find spaces that would let us share an experience, spaces that are free from other worlds and lingering moods that hang over us when she emerges from them.

Yesterday, I found one of these spaces. My temple hosted a lecture / demonstration of Bharatnatyam. My child and I had spent the morning trying to be civil to each other, trying to be patient, she, perhaps more than I. I was also afraid that once we reach the temple, she'd again lose herself among a horde of friends, as is her wont.

But we were just late enough to have to sit by ourselves in the back of the hall, and most of her friends were participating in the event, and so unavailable.

It was one of the best couple of hours we've spent in the last few weeks. As is our wont, we spent the time whispering comments to each other, comparing dancers, costumes, color combinations. But most of all, we shared the undying tales being spun before us. She'd tap me to tell me she recognized the stories being depicted, or that she remembered the basic hand gestures, or to confirm a deity being invoked. I'd lean over to her to tell her unfamiliar stories, or explain the lyrics, or point out various gestures representative of specific characters and events.

Even though we had cell phones with us, we forgot about them. Even though she had a project due, I didn't worry her about it. Even though I'd not let her sleep over at a friend's the previous night, she didn't sulk over it.

It was the love of the Story that brought us together. There is no substitute for a good tale, and even though yesterday's story tellers ranged from very good to confusing, from seven year olds to twenty-somethings, the tales themselves transcended all those details, reached across millenia, languages, geography, generations, and enthralled us so we are more aware of who and what we are, not so much bound by where and when we are.

For now, we have buried our hatchets, and hopefully, the demanding pace of our routines will ensure those hatchets stay buried, full fathom five!

Sometimes, when the number of trivial resentments pile up, the best cure is an hour stolen out of time, to live together an endless tale, so that the harmonies are restored.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful post! Ah, we are people of narrative, aren't we?