Thursday, December 13, 2012

The daily round

Thursday, December 13, 2012



There lay certitude; there, in the daily round. All the rest hung on mere threads and trivial contingencies; you couldn't waste your time on it. The thing was to do your job as it should be done.

~ Albert Camus, The Plague, 1948

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fading

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Each time I sit down and try to write about this, my eyes well up with tears.   Thinking about it makes my heart feel as if it’s being wrung out. Putting such sorrow into words is almost unbearable, but I feel that I need to.

My grandmother, the person who single-handedly brought us up and taught us the most valuable lessons in life, is fading away from us. That fiery, cantankerous woman of abrasive opinions and imperious wisdom, the parent I grew up with, is rapidly, painfully disappearing, leaving only a silhouette of who she was. Her abrupt mental and physical decline came as a surprise to us.  Perfectly fine just a couple of months ago, she’s now altered and beyond our reach.

I knew that she’s changed when she stopped nagging me about my leaving the fold. She’s grown so thin and frail and her memory is almost completely gone. She doesn’t even recognize me if I don’t introduce myself. Whenever I visit her at my mother’s place, she tells me how she hates it there and begs me to accompany her to travel back home to Baguio.  I try to explain to her that she can no longer live alone.  Imploring her to continue living with my mother so she’ll be surrounded with family and taken care of has become a mournful litany that falls on deaf, uncomprehending ears.

For the past few years we paid her a visit only once or twice a year. Every time I give her a call she never fails to ask me when our next visit will be. Now I regret all those years that we, wrapped up in our own lives, have taken her for granted. Why didn’t I spend more time with her before? Why didn’t I talk to her when my words could still have left some meaning in her mind?  It is a sad, horrible truth that she’d be gone from us shortly. And I wish that through that haze of confusion, she’d recognize us, her grandchildren who have failed so miserably in showing her how much we love her.     

Monday, December 10, 2012

Best Moments in India and Nepal

Monday, December 10, 2012

3. Reveling in the unexpected quiet that enfolded an exquisite temple complex in Jaipur




4. Joining in on the jubilation and devotion of pilgrims at the Golden Temple in Amritsar



6. The uphill hike to the World Peace Pagoda



7. Spinning prayer wheels at the Dalai Lama temple




9. The terrifying 20-minute Guna Air flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara


  
10. First morning in Delhi, waking up to the sound of D arriving from his flight

Monday, December 3, 2012

When being in love has burned away

Monday, December 3, 2012

Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don't blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being "in love", which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.

~ Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, 1994
 
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