Tributes

Chameleons

Ok Viking.

Exactly what part of you is it that gets kicks off turning up to my ends and feeding me salted peanuts and ‘something like Vailima?’ and then pissing off to assume responsibility elsewhere?!

How very unfair. Guess you better start searching hard for that psychedelic Dutch field in which you’re going to make up for this.

Thank goodness for you and your very long hair and your very long beard and your very intriguing spirals of thought that send us both into some mind blowing abyss that leaves us entirely stunned and  changes us in increments, every single fucking time.

Interesting isn’t it? The way a shared human experience just renders such fondness and affection and love with a certain tenderness for another person? And for us that experience was being on an island where it felt like there were just two of us there in a realm of sea and sun and suffocation. Chameleons eating custard pies.

I have just slouched down on my sofa in my very cold house and I can still feel the meaning of our last encounter on platform 5B, streaming through my lonely consciousness, soaked in… well, ‘something like Vailima’.

There’s a certain longing for a note unread and a domain uncharted, words unspoken and conversation yet to be had. That’ll keep us going until next time.

And even in bleak hunger, you must remember how wonderful I think you are and that I really do care for you so much and then think about what madness might have consumed me enough to need to write (for you truly know the meaning of that) and remember, you must keep going because you are a total fountain of infectious joy and there will always be a next time. There’s some certainty you can revel in.

I already miss you but the warmth and comfort of this friendship that’s recent but deeply familiar envelopes me. And I throw it all down in solid form so that long after this feeling passes, I still remember this cocktail of emotion with substantial clarity.

Don’t you forget.

Yours lovingly,

The girl whose chakras you totally opened x

Tributes

S.

It’s not often you worry about a friend dying.

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Sure… you worry you should’ve stayed in touch with someone more, perhaps attended their birthday party even though it meant taking a train somewhere or called them a little more often when you convinced yourself you were busy although ‘busy’ is feeble- but you never really worry that if you don’t do the little things they might not only slip through your fingers but the fingers of the Earth.

I, for one, had a terrible habit of ignoring those worries because if I told them to be quiet, for long enough, then they found a way to bury themselves in the distant abyss of wasted thought. Sometimes I would make a quick phonecall if I hadn’t heard from you in a while and D at reception would say ‘Oh Gowri! How lovely to hear from you, he’s upstairs, shall I put you through?’

And I would say ‘D, I’m so sorry, I’m actually in the middle of something but I’ll get back to him later’.

And most times I did. And sometimes I didn’t. And I’m sorry for the times where I didn’t.

I love you, S. I’ve never said that outright to you, but I know you see it in the way I look at you. You truly are one of the most special friends I’ve ever had. And in our 6 bright and brilliant years of knowing each other you’ve told me things I know you’ve never told anyone else and you’ve kept some of my most bizarre secrets too. You’ve seen me stressed for exams, crying over idiots from the past who’ve hurt me (all of whom you’ve hated with admirable vengeance since) and celebrated my every achievement, every happiness. You’ve watched me grow. Maybe you’ve even grown with me. I always muse that you think too highly of me… and if the whole world were to see me with the eyes that you see me with then I would be glorified a bit too much but also loved with a certain blindness.

Few things have changed in those 6 years. You’ve lost some weight. You recall with the utmost clarity the exact place and time where we met and how I used to spread marmite onto the inside of my tuc biscuits… but you do forget whether the heating is still set at number 3 even though we checked it 15 minutes ago. You can’t escort me downstairs in the lift to say bye anymore, and I know I make the filter coffee for you now rather than it being the other way.

But we haven’t changed. Our friendship hasn’t changed. We’ve always had something special and it’s as special today as it was 6 years ago.

And for a man who fought in the Great War and didn’t think he would make it to 24, you’ve done damn well to make it to 94.

You’re not a grandfather figure to me. You’re just my friend. I don’t see you because I have to. I see you because I love to. And just like with all my other friends, sometimes I forget to call. Sometimes I tell myself I’m busy although busy is feeble.

And it wasn’t until today when you held my hand as you lay in bed and squeezed it and asked me, for the first time ever, not to leave your side that I realised that you’ve gotten a bit old and maybe it’s time soon but I don’t want you to leave my side either.

It’s not often you worry about a friend dying.

And S, I don’t worry for you (because we both know that if there’s a hell, you’re going straight there and I’m joining you shortly) but for me. You say I keep you going… have you ever thought that you might keep me going too? That over this time, you’ve become one of the most important people in my life and that when your time is up there will be an S shaped hole in my heart too?

But I don’t want to think about that. I know that this existence is getting a little frustrating for you. As you edge closer and closer to that day, whenever that day may be, I’ll edge closer and closer to that peaceful point of acceptance and none of it will matter anymore.

Because even though I might worry about my friend dying I have never once had that worry about our friendship.

Because no matter where you go, friendships like ours are moulded by the universe and last for eternity.

 

 

Tributes

I know you’re there.

I know you’re there.

I don’t know what your name is and I don’t know what you look like, but sheer faith in my own intuition tells me that I will recognise you, in that impeccably timed moment that the universe thrusts you into my forcefield.

You will breezily emulate every quality I dream of with gentle, effortless ease.

I imagine you to be the calm sea to my ever-brewing storm. I imagine kindness and compassion to be the foundation of every thought and action, embedded so deeply into your essence that it mirrors my own, unrivalled. I believe this means that we will understand each other on a fundamental level.

I want you to challenge me, push me past the realms of fear and stare at vision boards with me with not a hint of misunderstanding. I want you to be in awe at the fire I bring to the table. I anticipate solid, unwavering support when that fire quietly diminishes into burning embers through the frosty cold winds of life… while we reap the fruits of its re-ignition when it brightens up again.

You’re so confident. I love that about you. You’re so secure in who you are that you respect me on every level for who I am. I love the way you handle my presence but don’t hesitate to shoot me down when I need it. I love how honest you are.

Our every heated argument rages with the healthiest kind of anger… but never resentment.

You make me laugh in a way that borders on indulgent.

You talk about your family the same way I talk about mine.

The period where we are lost in each other means far less to me than the endless stretch of time beyond that where soulful companionship is what gives us integrity. We are more than sweeping passion and less than lazy comfort. We personify balance.

I am already craving you… because all other bitter disappointments from the past will lead up to the moment of sheer clarity where I will just know.

I know you are there. I don’t miss you. I’m not even waiting for you. I’m just enjoying this period of discovery that is about to lead me to you, in exactly the right time.

Tributes

We are the heart wearers.

This is dedicated to MC, my kindred spirit, soul sister and real sister on the other side of the world. Thank you for making me realise that being the person I am is not just okay, but a cause for celebration. I love you more than any form of writing could possibly convey.

We are the heart wearers.
That is to say we are the men and women of this earth whose bare souls live not in an enclosed space, firmly anchored within our chest walls, but on our sleeves, exposed only too heavily to the all too cold breath of the world.
When we love, we love with a passion so overwhelming that it drowns those who dive in it… And drenches those who dip a toe in it.
Either way, no one leaves unaffected.
When we laugh, it is a laughter so full bodied that it rolls up from the pits of our stomachs and washes over our every cell.
When we feel, we do it with an authenticity that too few can comprehend, let alone emulate.
We are, by nature… writers. Painters. Not always musicians, but composers. To create, for us, is to bypass existence and truly live.
We are the humans who force ourselves to engage in a meditation practice because the force of our thoughts sweeps our minds to places woefully far from the present.
Consequently; we are the ones who forget if we’ve shampooed our hair every time we take a shower.
Human connection is both our Achilles heel and our almighty strength. We crave conversation like a drug, we seek knowledge like a scientist, we pretend to hate drama but we know the world is our theatre.
Through the nib of a pen or the click of a keyboard, we will pour our every feeling onto scraps of paper, corners of napkins, volumes of diaries and plaster them all over the Internet.
Our families will forever roll their eyes at us in pure exasperation, questioning why the universe had to lump them with such emotional creatures.
People call us idealists because compassion is the foundation of all we think and all we do.
People call us suggestible because we know how to let ourselves be swept off our feet.
People call us wonderful because when we are happy, we throw it around like no one’s business.
Sometimes, we fear ourselves. We fear how huge we are. We seek to control our surroundings because we are such free spirits that we shiver at the thought of just letting it all go.
We are the heart wearers.
And because of our openness, our honesty, our intensity of feeling and our readiness to confess our deepest musings, you fear you might break us. You fear you might hurt us.
You fear that our depth of feeling makes us ever so vulnerable.
But we don’t break. You can rip our hearts off our sleeves and crush them, yet each time you do, we inevitably rise from the dust- healed, whole and ever ready to love again.
In all the ways we did before… and more.
We live in a world where we are conditioned not to expose ourselves in the way that we do. In a society that equates strength of character to nonchalance, we fail in every respect.
Yet the bright day eventually dawns upon us with a fresh realisation that our strength of character lies in the the trait most instinctive to us: to love, without all that much fear.
We are the heart wearers.
Let us stop denying ourselves.
If the world is our theatre, let us fill ourselves with liquid sunshine, take centre stage and infect the earth with our near-sickening enthusiasm for life.
Fade to black.
muthu
Tributes

On Waking Up.

My thoughts are spinning around in such a whirlwind that I can barely contain myself. The desperation to pour and spill and write and analyse and try, just relentlessly try to make sense of what just happened is crashing through my entire system with a force I haven’t felt so strongly in years.

How did you do that? How did you wake me up like that? What did you do? How did you, in the space of seven hours, challenge my perceptions of myself, of my life, of my values, beliefs and ideas? How did you create such a space where I felt such blissful freedom and clarity and intensity all at once? Is this what it feels to connect? Why have I never experienced it so effortlessly before?

I thought I knew myself so well. I thought I knew what it was to listen to my intuition and to be in touch with whatever naturally flows within me. Was I wrong? Have I become so comfortable with the thought that I know myself that I have stopped questioning it? Have I stopped challenging myself and pushing myself to achieve what you have made me realise I am capable of? What did you do? You looked right into me and with little or no coercion, my deepest thoughts, fears, passions, insecurities and questions swam to the surface.

I have not yet met a person who can out-think me. But you did.

What do I feel right now? The most prominent emotion, sitting right at the centre of my chest is shock. My eyes are abnormally widened today. I feel buzzed… like I’ve drank eight cups of coffee and I have this burning ball of energy inside me that I need to release. It’s only beginning.

Next, lies the curiosity. I long to understand the shift that took place in my mind last night. The intensity of shock will die down before long. I am able to sense that. But the curiosity won’t die down. Herein, lies a deep and true desire to learn what it was that made you make me open myself up to you like that.

I have so much to learn from you. What we have just embarked on in something that is so far from conventional. It’s raw and authentic and it terrifies me. It terrifies me that the way you challenge me will have me exposing every one of my vulnerabilities like a deck of cards splayed recklessly across the table of my current existence. The amount of time we have spent together, counted in mere hours is irrelevant. The energy shift is what I am focusing on. You could change me.

You will grow out of me. I already know that. I already know this will be something we explore and exhaust. It will throw more obstacles at me than it will at you. Because you’re worldly and wise and you understand things that I don’t and won’t understand yet. I can sense already, that I am so much more profoundly affected by all of this than you are, or will be. Hence, you’ll grow out of me. Because that’s the reality you’ve chosen for yourself. You will, however, leave a lasting imprint on my life and I won’t forget the things you will make me teach myself.

No one I speak to could dream of comprehending the depth of the shift I felt yesterday. Except you. No one who reads this right now will understand what I’m talking about, because it just looks like words. Except you. Even I might not understand this in a few weeks or months time when this feeling dulls. But you will continue to understand it because you just do.

And then look at you, telling me to process it and slow down? I thought that was going to be my line.

You told me that anything we feel and see in others is a projection of something internal. If that is the case… I just realised that I had these fixed beliefs on what happens between two people and you have thoroughly shaken them. I realised that I still go through life, largely thinking I’m not good enough. From the rock bottom place I once came from, I’ve moved onwards and upwards but you made me realise that I have further yet to go. I realised that despite not wanting to, I still try to conform to so many conventional societal or cultural values and it is limiting. You’re on this plane where you are increasingly coming from a place of limitlessness. I can tell. If you continue on this trajectory, no-one can or will hold you back.

I feel calmer now. The energy ball has cooled. But ‘normality’ is kicking in too, in the form of embarrassment that keeps following every honest confession I make in that space you created inside me.

I’ve had nothing more than a mere glimpse of what it is to open my eyes and wake up a little. Something inside me tells me I’m about to hit a period of accelerated growth soon. Life doesn’t care about whether I’m ready for it or not.

To be continued.

Tributes

Life.

Hi. My name is Gowri. I’m 21 years old, I live in the UK and I have spent the last 3 and a half years of my life studying Medicine. Sometimes, I dabble in a bit of writing on this blog here.

For those of you who do read my writing regularly, you’ll know that it rarely revolves around huge, worldly political issues. Now, don’t think for a second that that’s because I detach myself from it, or I’m not interested or because I simply don’t have an opinion. The real reason is because I often think I’m a bit simple minded, not very knowledgeable or don’t understand politics or history well enough to make any fleeting statements or to publish my opinion on the internet. Even now, as I type this, I don’t claim to know very much at all- but this time, the feeling inside me is so strong that I cannot suppress the need to say something.

Today I am writing about life.

Humans are born with two primal instincts- to survive and reproduce. There is a deep rooted, raw and unconditioned desire within most of us to live. It seems so basic. Or is it not? Am I missing something?

The majority of world religions condemn killing because they give due importance to the sacredness of life.

I have never understood the point of war. Like… what reason do we have to do something that means killing anyone, ever? Of course there are problems out there that can’t be resolved by having an amicable chat around a table but I have never really understood why war breaks out to begin with. Like everyone, I crammed it for GCSE history, ‘Moroccan Crises… assassination at Sarajevo… multifactorial etc.’ Doesn’t mean I truly understood why war happened. Because in my head, if nothing is more important than life, then how can we do anything to take it away from people unnecessarily? I always told myself that I must be missing something here, perhaps I ‘just don’t really get it’. The reason I never understood war or any sort of crime against humanity is because I have spent my whole existence thinking, whether it be right or wrong, that life is the most amazing, beautiful, sacred gift we have. Over the years, I have grown to think that this doesn’t just mean human life, but all life (I can’t even kill a spider… and recently not even the enticing smell of sizzling bacon can make me want to eat it).

I am a medical student, and every day, I come across doctors. Doctors come in all shapes and sizes with different kinds of egos and complexes and different kinds of interests but there’s one thing they all have in common. In in one way or another, they are trying to improve the quality of people’s lives. Even patient treatment is often decided depending on ‘Quality of Life’ measures. Because life is everything.

Forget healthcare professionals, I only write about it because it’s what I know. Why do we ever do things for other people even when we don’t need to? Why do we seek comfort? Why do we chase happiness, goals, job satisfaction, life satisfaction and love? Why do we collapse on the sofa on a Friday night after a long week and breathe a sigh of relief? Ultimately because all these things enrich our lives and enrich other people’s lives.

Life. Is. Everything.

Wait. But am I thick? Am I too simplistic? I’m not being sarcastic or rhetorical… there is honestly a sinking feeling in my chest that mutters ‘no, Gowri, it’s not like that, you just don’t really get it’- as I sit here and type. But is that sinking feeling right or am I right? Is it me or is there something really wrong when life- fine, human life, stops being put on a pedestal as the most important thing we have? What kind of hypocrisy is it when healthcare professionals keep trying to save lives using every single resource possible, pushing the government to squeeze more funds into this and that, when taking it away on the whim of, let’s say, a 10 hour debate is somehow acceptable? How is that justifiable?

This may well be a gross generalisation but if you are reading this from a computer screen, a tablet or a smartphone somewhere, I’m going to hazard a guess that you are somewhat comfortable financially and socially. You might have a home, a job, friends and a family. Imagine suddenly that you’re dramatically uprooted from that comfortable stability. You’re sitting on the sofa with a cup of tea watching ‘I’m a celebrity’ when, for the third time that day, you hear air raid sirens blaring in the distance. Your world, you can sense, is plummeting in front of you and you can’t do a damn thing. Your thoughts start running wild. Fear kicks into motion inside you, your hands are clammy, your heart is thumping inside your chest. You can’t sleep at night. There is a permanent, deep, unsettling fear gushing through you in every waking moment, of your home, your workplace and your loved ones getting blown up to shreds. You need to do what you can to escape but you don’t even know what options you have because really, what are the chances of you being able to go somewhere else that isn’t torn to pieces by bombs? Could you flee to another country? But what if their systems are too rigid on who they can let in? Would you even make it two steps outside let alone across some border? Of course you might have to… you may have no choice but to move your entire comfortable life that you’ve worked so hard at to become nothing but a number amongst thousands of others, making do in a tiny tent in the middle of a refugee camp somewhere that is so far away from your home, dreaming of the time where you used to be able to crash in front of your TV with your cup of tea. And that’s only if you’re one of the lucky ones.

These are people. Real people like you and me and your best friend and your mum. People… who suffer so deeply and unfairly because some 500 politicians made some decisions indirectly about your life and what happens to your country in a building somewhere far away, in another country far away.

Who cares whether they are in Syria or Iraq or here?! Isn’t the value of human life equal wherever we are in the world?

When I watched BBC news live from Wesminster yesterday and heard that verdict, I physically crawled into bed and cried relentlessly. Cried at the state of humanity, of the world, of a total lack of assigning value to life.

Then I texted a friend of mine who shares the same opinion as me but is far more level headed than I am (thank you ever so much if you are reading this), and he replied with the words ‘We have got to keep faith because we’ll have to deal with the consequences regardless’. I knew he was right.

This post here was not written to generate a political debate as to what our government has decided. It wasn’t even written so I could indulge myself in a bit of public government bashing. There’s plenty of that on Facebook already as far as I can see. According to my morals, even the 397 MPs who voted for airstrikes in Syria are humans whose lives should be respected as much as anyone else’s.

The reason I wrote this is because I want you, lovely person who stayed until the bitter end of the post, to read it and reflect on life. In the face of the crisis that is humanity at this point in time, it has become more essential than ever to remind ourselves of how valued and important life is. There is a line of Buddhist thinking known as ‘The Human Revolution’. I believe this to mean a process of inner development or transformation, where we ditch our egos and complexes that we hold so closely to us and think and behave in a more altruistic, caring and compassionate way towards all living things around us. This is the most vital revolution in humanity, and we can light that very fire inside us. I think this is the only thing that will actually aid progress amongst humankind. We can achieve it only by feeling constant gratitude for this life we have, recognising its value, recognising the value of everyone else’s lives and extending that love, care and compassion to all those around us, regardless of who they are or what they mean to us. Every single one of us has the capacity to do this.

I would be lying if I said my faith in humanity is totally intact… it isn’t. But I intend on building it up again and doing everything in my own power to spread as much love and happiness as possible, because I believe that right now, our world needs it more than ever.

Take care of your wonderful selves,

Gowri xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx