Time, I am

Dali pointed out the key thing about the persistence of memory–it bends the angles of incidence. Softly.

We are the children of Kronos, time our father and devourer. And once born, we take this clay and attempt to engender art, so that signs may remain of where we had wandered, and how. Rock carvings, pottery shards. And we say that they have achieved momentary victory over time. Rushing headlong down the chute, we fling out our ID’s, hoping to be followed by some other mind. Hope: projecting the maps of memory forward into the future, a pensive history we cannot know. Therefore, the only way is to pass on our selves…books, art, children, empires, houses, gifts. To be remembered–that which we crave and that which draws away our human peace.

We tell stories. And embroider them. The plot of desire wends its way among the crags of memory, a mountain road between village houses, hurrying into the sunshine and tourists with the sea in the distance. When light moves into the scenery we dreamed of. Our times are born, histories as we want them to be.

The eye of the needle

Strife is a desert wind that strips dunes to recurrent nothingness, its hot breath excavating the spaces between our ribs, making and mourning through time all changes that must be.
Time, which is our red line, our spindle.
"Who dreamed that beauty passes like a dream"?
I inhabit Draupadi, and pray that the tatters of this shroud should blow away to reveal the rock beneath my denudation.
Pass gently through this storm, stranger, for who knows when you touch me.

Of tombstones and totem poles

In ignorant night, we turn inward, to the lost spaces in the storerooms of the heart and the found things in the back rooms of the mind, to touch again and tell as beads that which we had shoved aside–the laborious marks, the snail-slime of our lives.
Those marks we make remain personal totem-poles, so that we say, so he lived, and so she died, and so shall we fetishize her paltry song. For the measure of that life was its passing.

“Aasha jaoar pother dhaarey”

Onek bochhor aagey o amay jigesh korechhilo,"Prem korchhish?"
Tokhon kichhu boltey parini.
Mon-er gol-maal theke shudhu berolo,"Na."
Aaj jigesh korley boltaam, "Prem keu korey na re, prem aashey."
[To my readers who are unfamiliar with the vernacular: Apologies for putting this in Bengali. There was no other way I could say it. ]

Postscript, tying together scraps: Notes on the Kama Sutra, Draupadi, and Caste

Just a note, to remind myself I was here, in thought. This is far from complete.
Reading and musing about Draupadi, Sita, the cult of feminine power in Indian tradition, and the interpretations of what is admirable. Have looked at the fiery mind of Draupadi, at the Bheel Mahabharata, at the meaning of Durga, at the worship of the Yoni and the lingam in Shaktism and the festival of Ambavachi in Assam, at the meaning of the depiction of Kali standing over her husband’s body, at the chhaya/maya Sita and Sita’s final refusal to undergo one more trial by fire to prove her purity, at Mahashweta Devi’s “Draupadi” in Breast Stories, at Sanatana Dharma as it is interpreted and driven through the green fuse of these women.And I am beginning to think that purity, dharma and virginity are not physical qualities or actions, they constitute quality of mind. Therefore can Draupadi become virgin after a year with each husband; therefore can one become a brahmana by tapas and prayer. Caste is honour, and purity of place. And its epithet is self-respect, as Tagore points out in _Ghare Baire_.

The mind, the self. How shall I play this, play with this….