Monday, September 26, 2005

The Rebel and Prayer

Sculpture& poem- Ronda Larue


International Peace Day: Stand up in silence and pray.

I did stand up, but could not pray.

This had been an year of disaster, many have reached out to the ones who lost everything in natural calamity, many have comfortably stayed back too. We have no dearth of theoreticians who dwell in a blissful oblivion of thought experiments and of late I too seem have got swirled into their gravitating pull.

I realized it today.

Standing in silence, with increasing heaviness piling up with, trying to counterpoise myself between the pulling triads of what have i done, what is being done and what needs to be done, i found myself ruminating on these lines from "The Paradox of our Times" by George Carlin:

"These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare..."

One minute over, i asked myself. i failed to pray, but is that significant in any way?...Would it have made much difference. I could have prayed if i really wanted to. But then, one can pray only from the depths of one's being, with intense longing for collective well being. Mere whispering of a chosen prayer like a robot will only add more noise. The fact is that i just did not feel like praying.

In a way, i am glad that I did not stage a prayerful composure.

But i am disturbed. Prayer , after all, can’t do any harm.

There must have been thousands who really prayed whole heartedly all across the globe. Yes, here is this embodied soul in this corner of the universe, occupying a precise geometrical coordinate in space and time who failed to contribute.

In 1981 the United Nations General Assembly passed resolution declaring September 21 as International Day of Peace.

I had to reckon with this imperious reality of being a defaulter with a resolve to actively participate than to passively observe.

Another long walk...that’s what i do when i need to work on myself. Thanks to Deepakji who gave me his copy of 'Sufi Poetry of Hafiz" titled "The Gift". I was flipping through the pages as I walked along...and at one instant I just stood still.

I found my signboard, a passage read:

"Fear is the cheapest room in the house.
I would like to see you living
In better conditions...

I should not make any promises right now,
But I know if you
Somewhere in this world-
Something good will happen! "

I fervently wish this prayerfulness lingers with me unto my last.

I woke up humming the tune of “Losing my Religion” by REM … starting off with my favourite lines :

“ Life is bigger
It's bigger than you
And you are not me
The lengths that I will go to...

That's me in the corner
That,s me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don't know if I can do it
Oh no I've said too much
I haven't said enough...

Every whisper
Of every waking hour I'm
Choosing my confessions....”

Am just reminded of what Deepakji told me , his haiku-like summary of instructions from his yoga teacher at Berkeley:

“Shut Up, Stop it, Sit up!”


How true, for it is the moment of prayer

Rather than working towards peace, i guess much could be done if one could work in peace…and therein resounds and echoes what Khalil Gibran spoke of work :

“Your work is your love made visible”

… Wow, it was worth having the day beginning with REMian delusion that rolled into aftoornoon's disillusion cumlinating in HAFIZian moorings.

( Note to those who noticed a typital syntactical error: I did a queer experiment. A close friend had recently passed a general comment that "don't you think upper case 'I' needs to be abolished except when it features at the beginning of a sentence?". I just tried doing it, just to see what it feels like.Went through every bit of this piece and made all "I" to "i". The moment I got done with it, the first thing I felt was "wow.."I" did it!" and then yes, I realised one more thing...the "I"ness was more fixatedly evident to myself when I started hunting for "I"s which was hardly there when I typed it out first. I guess it is better to follow the rules, and wish some one amends it to "no need for capital letters even in the beginning of the sentance", then it will be a joy to type out, that to type cast.and when we can hardly do anything about our own "I"ness , why poke into other's "I"ness? But any way with one less capital letter itself it feels good. I am sure with no capital letters it should feel far better.

Strange enough, Ozymandias hails from the very land that invented 'Hieroglyphics'!