Thursday, March 8


Today is my mother’s 59th birthday, had she been alive. I have stood back long enough to realize that probably she would have wanted to see a different me today, a child she once saw living in the outskirts of the city, in the little town of sum-ag, in a house along the street where you can find a chockful of tangerine santans, and a tiny girl with a great love for music, poetry, and her family.

My childhood wasn’t one fit for a fairy tale book. It was an ordinary childhood, but up until the day my mother died, all I could remember was that the sun was always shining amply on my side of the world. I was a happy child, full of life, and ebullient in many ways .We weren’t rich, but it was scarcely necessary to ever feel poor or wanting, what with everyone in a jovial mood, helpful with each other, sharing in many things, even though there wasn’t that much to begin with. It was a life bursting with friendships, and laughter, and an extensive amount of love. It was quite impossible for me to have felt so guarded with everything that we had or didn’t have. I didn’t care about wealth as I was remarkably ignorant of the practical side of life. For me, it was just a happy and simple existence.

But when my mother died when I was fifteen, I realized that life wasn’t so easy, that in fact, we were indeed quite poor, and that the wretchedness of being an orphan was more than I had previously been prepared to acknowledge. I changed almost instantaneously. I was just too upset by the travesty of her death, and the fact that my brothers and I were in no second rendered motherless, and ironically almost fatherless (as my father, too, needed time to deal with the blow all by his lonesome). It left us anguished, but I think I must have felt it the most, being the eldest child. Pretty soon we were coerced into making decisions, about who goes with whom, realities to face that my mother’s illness and death had left the family almost penniless, and that we had to survive, or strike out aimlessly toward an unknown future and fail. I think we have overcome all that, but the sadness had lingered, and stayed for a long time .

It was for me a start of a ceaseless struggle against despair and emptiness. Being at an age where my feelings were in their most defenseless and overwrought, I felt like life had conspired against me, taking away the only reason that could espouse all my aspirations and dreams whilst I was growing up, and clinching my solitary all the more when my father and brothers were separated from me. Sure, I did go on with my life, never had a major clash with people in my environs, or with their accepted morality. In short, I was normal. But the pain never really fled from me. I was always afraid that a little enactment of high emotions would make me flinch and run away from myself or from people who would show sudden leaps of sympathy towards my circumstances.

But I don’t think I ever did.I embraced human pathos and divergence, I learned to love people and empathize with them in spite of myself, but I am sorely disappointed that up until now I could not swerve against my high-flown rantings and come to terms with my loneliness, and be damn crazy happy for once.

What I am is what I call a savage pilgrimage—a person trying painstakingly to be in the swing of regular life, trying not to feel different and alone amidst a throng of a thousand other souls who suffer alone, or are insufferably slow to realize their aloneness. One moment I urge myself to be free and embrace my destiny, but in another breath, I hold back, afraid of the crosscurrents that may take me to an unsafe place because of the wrong choices I might make. And I rail against all these suppressed conflicts inside me. I realized that I am fixated on something almost unachievable.

But it’s not, at all. I think that being a mother has offered a saving grace on the other hand, a form of deliverance. Some nice person once said that maybe creating something can offer a kind of redemption, although it may not always work. But hey, it does. Not always effectively, but sure it does. The passion that I may have withdrawn from many things because of my lost childhood had been conveyed incessantly to my two kids in a show of motherly devotion. I am emotionally in thrall to them, from the moment they wake up in the morning, until they close their eyes at night. Yet I do not ask that they be anything, but only be happy and full of love. The things and people that I see, that I photograph, that I write about on my blog or in my head, they provide me a valuable measure from whence I can tell that my happiness is growing, or glowing, or can even blaze across like the sun I’ve always known to shine amply on my side of the world. I might smile a little now. For my mother at least.
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