Thursday, November 28, 2013

Terrace survey

So fatigued by my social network timelines, the various issues, the stridency and the hullabaloo. Have we become even more chronically agitated than we used to be a decade ago? It feels that way.

Tired of being cooped up, I went upstairs to my terrace just now, hoping to spot the golden oriole that comes to sit on the cotton tree some evenings. It didn't put in an appearance but a shikra gave me the fly-by, and I saw green bee-eaters do that winter thing they do.

Overhead, I sensed small whirrs, and saw two shiny kites amicably whizzing about. Being held on a roof somewhere two or three houses to our right. I was glad it was two and not one - flying a kite by oneself is such a lonely business.

The coconuts are doing well. The tree drops one or two at judicious intervals (and considerately, when no one is underneath). Happily, the next crop is being readied too. We had two coconut trees at one time and when they did nothing interesting at all, someone decided they needed a fillip. Some fertiliser was introduced and they both reacted rather drastically. One died and the other shot up by a few feet in a month.

As I looked down to see if there were any lemons on the shrub that I'd missed from ground level, a frond of jasmine put its tentacles on my arm in the most friendly way. No buds or flowers at this time, but you know, just saying hello.

Then the mosquitoes came out and I came down. That's all.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New days

I have made a few resolutions these past weeks – a promise to behave better. To break patterns, to haul myself out of ruts, to be aware... to consciously break habits, to be more alive than I let myself be.

It is not easy. You see, I like ruts. Warm, cosy places. So deep, so reliable, so always. The force needed to affect this inertia is substantial, often more than I’m willing to apply. But it must be done. The rut is not my home. I refuse to die there. Absolutely refuse to do that. So I must move. Keep moving till I come to a stillness.

So I try again every day. Some days are better than others. Some days are worse. But it will not do to exult or despair. There is no point in wasting time on such reactions. There is nothing to do but keep at it. But over time a trend will emerge, I think. More better days than worse ones. And THAT will become a habit, then second-nature. But in calling it second-nature, I make the mistake of taking it for acquired behaviour – such consciousness is, in fact, a return to my first-nature. Chidananda roopah shivo’ham shivo’ham...

So to replace Ann K Schwader’s seasonal haiku...
slow rain —
losing myself in
birdbath circles

...I put up Cynthia Puntil’s hopeful one:
another sunrise
a chance to do the things
I could have done before