Monday, September 26, 2011

this whole blog thing

Taking another sip of tea and listening to She Keeps Bees, I can say the following as a recap.

It's been about 6 or 7 years since I started this blog. I was pretty religious about it when I started and while I was at Harvard but since then I have had a few lapses in the regularity.

Really there are a few reasons: This started off as a kind of outlet for poetry and also a place to air my response papers and get some intellectual feedback as well as having a gripe about what's happening in the world and my world, mainly my love life.

Now my love life has been up and down like a fucking roller coaster since the time I finished Harvard, but other things changed: working took up a lot of my brain, though I still managed to write a little poetry in here, especially trying out the Ghazal form, which I highly recommend for poets who want to stretch themselves a bit.

Obviously the intellectual stuff went for a bit of a nose-dive: I didn't get stupid or anything, but I wasn't reading nearly so much theory...

I became a Sikh about 2 1/2 years ago, which has been hugely helpful and a really good process.

Now, however, in case anybody's listening, I'm starting my PhD at Oxford University after an absence from academia of about 5 years. AND if that weren't daunting enough, I'm facing my 30th birthday in just a few days. Actually that doesn't bother me much at all frankly. At least not consciously.

And I also got married this year to a lovely man. Which is causing me both joy and pain, I must admit. Mostly joy.

So that's where things stand. I'm going to be checking in more, and like before it will be a combination of intellectual spewings, poetry and some intimate details that you didn't really want to know. I still have my food blog, Les Madeleines du Memoir. I also have a new blog about Contemporary Sikh Identity which is basically a platform for a project I'm doing with a few friends.

There's the trouble though, I guess, about getting a little older, working and constructing your identity...You have to be careful what you say.

I feel like Allen Ginsberg when I say: I want to be frank with you but, America, I don't know how. (that goes for the UK and any other country too). We'll see what I can come up with.



Ghazal of Seven Lifetimes

(for Tarun and Swaroopa on their Wedding Day)

Your steps now, toe by toe, in this spiral called love
Are light but sure. Your feet face forward, your shadow stained the colour of love.
Now hand in hand, holding tight to the newness of each other you
Are undiscovered countries, frontier land lush jungles of love.

What will you find?

Mountains, rivers, valleys, caves and peaks of love,
White water and black. The stirrings of wings, birds of love
Their nests the breadth of your chest. Your heart is pure: do not
Be nervous now, because today begins an adventure like no other.

Now begins your life of love: a sutra of pain and pleasure.

You should know: lovers live in each other, their kingdom Love -
I have seen the roses grow wild by its roadside. In love,
They shine with heat and glory; their fragrance, so sweet and light
Saturates the air as incense fills a shaft of sun. Rain upon them love.

Remember: the house of the world is built of love
Within its walls we bless, fret, sigh and whisper love
We sit by its hearth and open its windows. Beware:
You sow your soul, when your feet stir the alta at its threshold.

What shall you reap?

You can but reap this truth:
Two souls made one cannot be separated
As love from love, cannot be divided,
nor counted, nor weighed;
As you cannot be without yourself.

See that: You are your own future in love.
What you build is yours in the province of Love.
Let it be strong and selfless, passionate and yielding
Let it be full to overflowing, green and vibrant as a grove.

Says the Saint, “Who will unite me with my love?
To him I will give all I own, my very head in this game of love.”
When you hold within your arms the soft skin of your beloved
You hold the world, you hold the Almighty, all pervading, all love.

So hold carefully, and tight. And be blessed in this lifetime, and the next.