Archives for category: Musings

  
The light is right, always. It is just where we are, in relationship to it, that determines how well we are illumined. It’s quality is determined by what we have put between ourselves and the source. 

Lifting two stones from the pebbled path of a zen garden, these eyes chanced upon this incredible sight. 

 
Feathering across silently, focused, centred, and charged, this group of tiny pilgrims, flow down-stream like a hypnotic, gurgling, mountain river. Imagining them on their way to a sacred temple, as their high priestess, the queen ant, surrenders to her destiny. 

  

  
How random are the droplets upon the plantain leaf? One chooses in this world, to understand the science that explains how it happens. Another chooses to simply soak in the beauty of it, without the need to understand why. The philosopher may speculate on why it is so. Our responses to what we see, are as random, as the droplets on that leaf. 

  
Older than these roots is the light.

Watching a pod of Orca whales, upon the deck of a Cruise ship navigating the Gulf of Alaska, I heard the voice of a boy, under all the machine and nature sounds, even as the Captain spoke with his deep and compelling voice, about the habits of these whales, a rare sight for everyone on board. In response to a woman’s question, “Do you get sea sick?”, the boy said, “I’ve had five brain surgeries. Do you know the ‘Make a Wish Foundation’? I’m here because of them”. This boy will have a short life. I listen to him, watching these whales which will soon disappear. I may not see this boy, or, those whales ever again. Do I look at him, or, at those whales? I’m dying too. Am I going to sit down and take a good look at myself, or, am I just going to spend all my time, looking out at this world, which never ceases to elude my grasp, like that pod of Orca whales, and like that boy, who will soon be no more than a memory, even to those who loved him dearly.

 

Yesterday my family and I sat on top of the cool, soft, improbable sand dunes of Jockey Ridge State Park, NC, simultaneously overlooking the Atlantic ocean and the Roanoke Sound and making for a very intense experience. We were all moved by this unique space, the contrast of sand dunes (Zoya said we were almost in Egypt) and evergreen shrubbery, dotted with marsh land, beaches and vast expanses of oceans. And it was clear to me that we can always choose to be happy if we embrace all that seems improbable but just is.

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I’ve been where Earth meets the Sky and seen the love that’s between them.

  

The flame contemplates the wick wondering what it is that is burning up.

  

LET ME NOT DIE WHILE I’M STILL ALIVE

Last evening, I spent long hours circling a sacred Banyan tree. I walked barefoot upon the soft bed of wild grass beneath the canopy of its tall, truncated roots. Looking up, I saw LIFE surging through its dark, oily crevices. Its hollows were nests to a wide range of birds. A young bee-hive hung like an ornament from one of its graceful, extended branches. Squirrels sprinted above, busily biting off barks, gathering wild fruit and seeds. An orchestra of parrots could be heard, but I could see none! Their camouflage was impenetrable. Or so it seemed. Slowly my eyes softened their eager search, and my neck gently lowered to observe the hues of colours, strewn upon the rich earth, beneath my naked feet. In a distance, there lay a pair of pale, ash-grey-green, dried leaves, with a deep brown, central divide. As I picked up these leaves to observe their detail, I was surprised to feel their velvety softness. Closing my eyes, the tips of my fingers caressing the delicate veins of a leaf, I began to sense its textures, and those of the sea of fallen leaves. Most of them dry, yet having a peculiar, fine fur.

In the late hours of this morning, a friend brought me two, perfectly dried-up insects, found near the crevice of a window. He had a feeling that it may inspire me to paint, or, to write. I was delighted, and grateful for an opportunity, to observe the beauty of this furry haired insect with translucent wings, hard shells, and bulging eyes! I felt fear, caution, and hesitation, to receive it in my palms. The dark, black beetle, with exquisite electric blue metallic wings and not an appendage out of place, continued to look so alive! I was drawn to photograph it. I remembered the ash-grey-green, dead leaf of the Banyan tree, and brought it out. I observed that its colour had paled some more. Bringing it to my studio, I began to take pictures. Sometimes, these candid photographs work as free flowing sketches, for my larger canvases. In the humid outdoors, I took a series of photographs of the beetle, and the leaf. A sentence kept ringing through my head: ‘Still-life of Death.’ Or, was it ‘Life, still, in Death’?

Unable to select one image from the seven shots I had taken, I went into the coolness of our editing studio. I asked my friend to pick one, which spoke to him. Without hesitation, he picked one where the beetle appeared to be alive, as it brooded over the dead leaf. The image left me musing over this world of appearances, where we may indeed mistake the dead, for the living. And sometimes, the living, for the dead.