Looking For Me

Looking for me“What I was looking for was, indeed, also looking for me. Phew! – reedited from Rumi”

If he could only explain to the whole world how much and how madly he loved her, how she possessed him, how he was nothing but her and how fully united he felt even though they had never actually met in person. How he could possibly tear his heart open and let the whole world see what her mere presence, her mere name, her mere thought did to his entire being – he came alive in a kind of way that the sufi’s would call junoon, or Gracious madness, that nothing seemed impossible on this earth to him anymore, that he would scale high mountains and dive deep seas and yet it would only be her and only her in every breathe he took.

That he could never get to see her but her name will forever resonate in his being, in everything he spoke, in everything he did or the world made out of him. Nothing, simply nothing could kill him, nothing would stop him from being his one true self, now that he had somehow got access to that part of him. Now that he was fully alive, now in that kind of union, in that kind of peace, rested.

“In doing so, one day, he recalled, kneading and shaping the clay he heard old voices of pain and despair in his head, voices of abandonment and fear, of dread and panic. For a moment he wanted to run away just like the hundred times before because he knew so well that they brought alive in him pain the kind he could do nothing about but the clay held his hands and the soil his feet. It was safe NOW to just listen to these voices for they were just that – voices.”

Then one day he sat down to think and reflect on why this had never occurred before with all the many loves and passions that albeit had infused him from time to time. Yet, this, now was so utterly whole and complete beyond his wildest imagination. That love of this kind he had not accounted for even in his dreams. That he had given up having any ability to be in love like this. And consoled himself to retire in the thought that perhaps he was a freak of nature and had thus given up this possibility long long ago.

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He reflected deeply on why now was he bestowed with such magnanimity and power of a love that was not even reciprocated yet in the conventional ways and still so fully complete in him that didn’t leave a trace of expectation or desire in him.

He recalled how he had been drawn to similar people, men and women from time to time across the 4 decades of his life. To be seen and held in their gaze, at least be able to sit in their presence and soak in that enigma, he had no name for at that time.

About the time when 3 or 4 times he did meet the same passion and need in another and was madly drawn to them and held in the same madness that came from beyond each other and yet it was so fleeting and did not last long. And he would come crashing down to the reality of being just human, just ordinary, just incomplete and flap along on the island of life waiting…waiting for another ray of that sunshine, hungering in spirit to bask just one more time in that warmth of someone like that again, just once… and it never happened like this until now.

What changed – he asked himself. He scanned his whole life again and again and again to look for a clue. What had altered the course of his destiny so powerfully that he was unable to recognise himself any more. That his destiny stood at his doorstep asking of him to dictate what it wanted of him. That the gods of life and love bowed to his every whim and fancy and he, he stood there just empty, bereft of any need any desire, just stood there so complete, so merged and united in the power of love, he knew came from beyond her and yet it was her, yet it was her that invoked this occurrence in him. How could he make sense of his dichotomy at all.

Once again, he knew for certain that he had encountered just the similar kind of people before and the similar presences he had sensed and been drawn to but why is this so much more whole and complete unlike the others before. Why o why?

“He recalled how he had been drawn to similar people, men and women from time to time across the 4 decades of his life. To be seen and held in their gaze, at least be able to sit in their presence and soak in that enigma, he had no name for at that time.”

Finally, in the faint light of the dusk lamp he saw a flicker of what had changed – possibly, in the last 2 years. That’s when exasperated and broken he had given up all pursuit outside of him, he had shut out everything that was not feeling true to his senses, thrown away all the books and all the influences, stopped meeting all the people and family that were seducing him, reducing him and his mind. After much turmoil and hard work within himself he had traversed through the treacherous waters of old shadows within him and finally just a few months back he had met something that seemed like his own true reflection.

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In the last few months he had taken to his old job of farming and sculpting just for the joy of it. Not to make money, or recognition or be seen or be held by anyone out there. He would get up each dawn and go out to his fields and till the soil, with tears plant and water the crop, tend to it like a mother does a babe and in the noons sit to sculpt something from clay. Anything, he would just allow his fingers to search the body of the lump of clay and let the clay lead him into shapes that soothed him, calmed him, rejoiced in his body, and consoled his bleeding heart.

In doing so, one day, he recalled, kneading and shaping the clay he heard old voices of pain and despair in his head, voices of abandonment and fear, of dread and panic. For a moment he wanted to run away just like the hundred times before because he knew so well that they brought alive in him pain the kind he could do nothing about but the clay held his hands and the soil his feet. It was safe NOW to just listen to these voices for they were just that – voices. And like all voices, all ghosts of the past maybe, just maybe they wanted to be heard and held by him.

He carried on, went each day to the field and then to his table where the clay lay waiting for him. The voices returned, after the initial crying, complaining and tantrums they began to tell their real stories. Began to show him parts of himself that he had not learnt or known how to love, how to accept, how to hold and make space for within him. The broken unloved boy of his childhood – the lost and scared teenager, the helpless and misunderstood adult, the unfaithful and unloved husband, the failed and forgotten father, the confused and deranged artist. They spoke to him, sang to him , made him weep and rage and finally one night – they whispered to him secret wisdom , so unexpectedly, they whispered to him about who he really was. What was he born for – What were his true gifts – What was his and only his unique ability – What was his unique job on this planet – Only he and only he was meant to learn all this.

He stood still…entirely and utterly still…when he heard that his whole life with each and every moment of pain and glory now stood fully explained. He could not see how anything could have been more perfect then what it already was. Everything was exactly as it was meant to be. And now, in that moment he knew fully well that whatever happened here on would also be just as perfect as all else. He found there was no need in him to go anywhere any more, be anything anymore, do anything anymore and yet everything that life asked of him, whether to broom the streets the rest of his life or to mine the mines he would do it all just as well without asking why or expecting anything in return. That every breath he would take would be only cause he was asked to do so by the force that brought him that breathe and for nothing more.

That moment in time brought him the only person he had ever needed – him self.

If he hadn’t taken the courage to continue when the voices where tormenting him that night with clay in hand, if he hadn’t had faith to return to the table and be patient with himself, he would have not seen this day.

He recalled now that perhaps and for sure this unexpected grand gift of love like this, that seemed to emanate from within and beyond him all at once was a fruit of that which he had aligned within himself first.

Now and finally he was in a relationship with himself and hence came the beautiful maiden with kohl eyes and music in her voice who swept him off his feet by just mentioning that “she was looking for him all her life too and would do anything to serve his existence – love him, leave him, live for him, die in him, bear his children and dance each step of the way no matter how hard it would get.”

And here he sat thinking what had he done to deserve such love such devotion…

Then came knocking at his door, many others who swore their living breathe to him and all he could do was embrace them all and let them all know that – “I don’t need you as much as you need your own self. And I still love you even if you can’t find a way to love yourself.”

Deepali Parmar

Deepali – an artist and writer by default. She has always found a calling in a range of expressions from theater, dance to painting, music, poetry and literature. A natural with children, she has engaged with creative ways in education over 3 decades. Living in Pune as an independent parent raising a young son, helps in building a community for creative transference and creates alternate spaces of expression and listening through creative means.
www.sonnyspace.com

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