The days are warmer here in Bangalore. A gentle reminder of the change to come. The change that is already here.
I looked at the date – it’s supposed to be a holiday here – and couldn’t believe that it is almost the end of the first month of this year. My last post was almost 40 days ago.
This is my personal reply to all of you who have written to me. Please bear with me until I find in myself the strength to respond.
I look at your emails, and I want to respond. Believe me, I do. But I feel paralyzed.
I have been away from emails, chats, WhatsApp, even physical meetings, gripped by a malaise of terror – terror at this life that seems to be shrinking, fear that I am somehow not being kind to myself or anyone, and that worst syndrome of all: hopelessness at the relentless parade of pain. I know I am not alone in any of this – all of us are struggling. Some of you with the remnants of trauma. Some of you with grief. Some of you with health. Some of you with your relationships. Some of you with work. Some with anger, despair, hurt, and anxiety. And almost all of us are dealing with pain – emotional, physical, or mental. I hear you. I hear all that you have shared, and I am so grateful you chose to share that with me.
In December, when my Dad fell down again and was hospitalized, I felt I was thrown back again into the horror of the Covid battles I went through in April/May/June. I retch when I visit hospitals. I spent 7 days there, taking care of my father as he underwent surgery for his shoulder. I watch him now, stooped and bent, and I am reminded how age creeps up, slyly, cunning in its stealth, parading its victory over our loved ones. I once wrote a short story on how I wanted to throw away the walking stick my Dad was using. Now, I watch helplessly as he can’t take a step without a human crutch to guide him; watch as someone gives him a bath, and look away at the wrinkled, broken, bleeding skin of his arms. Look away from all that I am seeing: this is my father, all of my 42 years, and I know this time is so precious, and I want to cry and rage and hug this beautiful life all at the same time. Mostly, I cry and rage. Meanwhile, my sister struggles with her husband’s recent cancer diagnosis, and what do we do in this short, precious life when it mocks us thus?
Every time I want to talk, the words freeze in me. I realized that I am not making sense to anyone, that I am simply unable to offer myself in any capacity to anyone while I struggle with my mind and everything around me.
All the therapy sessions I am going through bring up things long buried. I choke on the bile of the past and spit the present out in morsels of rage. I am learning to set boundaries, recognize toxicity, and slowly, as slowly as the spider draws its web, unravel the people who didn’t offer that respect, kindness, care, or compassion out of my life.
I am not here. Yet. But I will be. Because that’s the gift you all gave me with your kindness. I will live a life that’s shatteringly Buddha-ful, and I will take you all along on that journey.
That beautiful woman, KJ, told me something recently that somehow made me less broken and more whole, and her message is what I want to share (hopefully, she won’t mind).
I take some of her words and make those mine to share with you until I am back and I am here, fully present, engaged, and ready to build on our connections again:
You give me too much kindness. I promise you I will work hard to at least try to be deserving, if not actually get to that point. Thank you for holding space for me in your life, thank you for being so selfless and kind as to look in on me during these vulnerable times. I wish that you all nourish and take care of your inner child.❤️ May every mote of stardust making you YOU be filled with the vibrant energy of healing and may all that has, does, and may ever bring you pain be diminished.
I send you all my light. I thank you for your patience. I promise you I will be back with a larger, more compassionate, spacious heart. I will not let you down. Please continue to share anything you wish with me. I will respond when I am here again. And know that I will always have you all in my mind, even if it seems I don’t respond to messages or emails as soon as I want to.
May you all be well. May you take care of yourself. Honor, nourish, and be kind.