Tuesday, June 14, 2016

One-for-Sorrow, Two-for-Joy

The other day, I blessed a couple of deities.

 It had been that sort of a day. It was overcast and even though I drove for over an hour each way, I could not find a couple birds I could find comfort in ("One for Sorrow, Two for Joy," you know). My poor sick dying cat has left my house, startled by my house cleaner and hasn't returned, despite my desperate calling. In the story I am writing, a storm had threatened, but since the story follows a snake's perspective, I was still unsure of what a storm would mean to a snake.

And I opened my computer for the day to the horror of the Orlando Shooting. Usually, I do not follow news and if I do, I am very good at not being affected, not letting it touch any of my inner realities. But somehow, the Orlando Shooting is different; I have been feeling the need to mourn, to weep copiously, I remember trying not to notice solitary birds, like faulty punctuation against a grey sky, trying not to wonder at the sorrows that make the world so incomprehensible.

Reports of senseless terrors and violence does that; they render the world incomprehensible. Such violence shakes the very foundations of the reality we are so confident of. There are more people at casinos, more people at restaurants and the movies, for what is the point of saving up for a mirage of tomorrows? How do I keep these reports from shaking my inner worlds? I find that I have to dig deep and expend a great deal of energy to feel actively angry with people who I imagined have wronged me. I cannot imagine the kind of all-pervasive hatred against an entire group of people one doesn't know, and the amount of energy required to fuel that, an anger so huge that it would make a person commit to an act of terror so monstrous that no civilized living being would own it as natural.

They say that rage hurts the person who feels it most. I wonder, then, that I still agonize over this rage that is not mine in any form or way, that I have not felt, that is so alien that I neither condone nor condemn it. All day, I had a toad in my throat I could not swallow. At the end of this day, I was exhausted by too much feeling and my insistence on letting the day be as normal as could be. I wasn't even sure what I was mourning, After all, I know none of the people involved in the tragedy even tangentially.

Then, I suspected that it had a lot to do with my missing feline friend. I remember thinking that in a world where such senseless violence is allowed to happen, what horrors may the malevolent act out on a sick, defenseless animal?

At the end of this unending day, I sat in my room, waiting for the dialysis machine to finish priming. Somehow, I must have clicked my Pinterest and suddenly, like Wordsworth's daffodils, I saw a Raagmala print of Krishna and Radha facing each other in a dark forest of flowers, with rain clouds gathering above. The sheer power of the print, the open joy on faces, the At-Last look in the deities' eyes, the colors, all of it stabbed me with the beauty of living. Here, at last, were my Two-for-Joy! And in an arrogance of gratitude, I blessed the deities, may the gods forgive me!

Why should one try to comprehend the world, after all? If there is unimaginable ugliness and terror, like the Orlando Shooting, there is also indescribable beauty and divine harmony. One only needs
to look around for the miracle of people getting on with each other normally and ordinarily, which makes acts of terror abnormal and extraordinary. We should keep those extraordinary; we should never accept them as some kind of a norm, or part of life; we should remain angry with monsters.

This post goes out in hope that we all work hard to remember the harmony of getting along rather than senseless acts of hatred. Let us all remember the fragrance of the earth and the beauty of love that only sharpens when pitted against thunder clouds, and that the skies keep changing.

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