Sunday, June 19, 2011

Easy Dreams

The last couple of months have been fraught with much to do, much that seemed important to do at the time, much that I can remember nothing about. I spent weeks chasing chores that never ended, tried to meet schedules that seemed downright perverse and mercurial, and often sighed that the hours should be so short and unreasonable. This ado of daily routines pervaded over my waking hours and clouded my dream times. There have been times in the past weeks, when even as I knew I slept, I thought about tired solutions, worried knots that tangled my waking worlds, and even in sleep, reached nothing, knew no answers, only longed and waited.

Finally, it is all over: my quarter is squared away, my child is off on her summer adventure, the thunderstorm has passed, and the dishwasher is humming. I've also enjoyed almost a week filled with family, friends, and food, and the cats' contented napping is the very concrete image of my internal landscape.

I know I shall not remember today, just like I don't remember all the times when I have realized that I was happy. So I hope that this post shall remind me in my less contented moods, that I have known this wonderfully perfect, wet afternoon, which passed, and so shall my discontent. It feels important, then, to examine to what I owe this sense of well-being.

After all, it is Father's Day, and I should be missing my father. But I've just spent two days acutely aware of his absence as we celebrated his oldest grand child's graduation, an occasion woven with much joy and pride. So even though I am thinking of and paying homage to my father, I am not missing him: how can I, when I am surrounded with the poetry he loved, the stories he told me, and many of the books he treasured?

I should also be missing my child whom I won't see for days yet. But I missed her more at her cousin's graduation than now: every one I met, I wanted my child to meet; every step her cousin took towards her diploma, I wanted my child to savor; every picture I took with her cousin, I wanted my child to feature in. But today, I do not miss her: she is in one of my favorite cities in the world and she has promised to sprinkle thoughts of me all over its stones, museums, pillars, cross roads, and street corners. Hopefully, this city, then, shall dream of me tonight.

It would seem that I have my niece's graduation to thank for this ease I feel today. It has been a catharsis of sorts, but unlike other necessary, painful catharsis, this one has been a joyful one. In fact, I have found myself smiling as I remember the coffees we shared, the new and old conversational dances we partook of, and smile wider as I go over, yet again, the pictures from the day I spent with the clan. Of course, my niece's graduation has not been my first graduation by any means, even though I didn't attend any of mine. But I was struck anew at the significance of the ritual connected with this rite of passage, as every bit of that pomp and circumstance seemed to ring with fresh promise and all things bright.

Today, it seems my cup has exhausted itself with overflowing and is content to lie on its side, unable to hold much within. My television talks at me in familiar, lilting cadences of the many Hindis the serials and programs use, demanding nothing from me, not even attention. Maybe later today, I shall catch an old Hindi movie and my dreams will weave the well-known characters, music, plots, colors into their terrains and fabrics, until the very world of sleeping, like a city I have loved for long decades, shall dream of me.