Intimacy


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Some decades into the past….

That was a science class

And my teacher was lecturing animatedly.

I was skeptical about it when he said:

All life sprang from inanimate objects some millennia before.

I could not put myself together

To reconcile to that idea however much I tried.

When my child made a hue and cry over

His dilapidated tricycle I left behind when we changed house

And looked possessed when I returned it to him

That unusable piece of metal, rather the scrap of it.

I wondered what elated him and what for.

But the first seeds of doubt

That inanimate objects, perhaps,

Could exercise some influence on life… were sown.

Once when we embarked upon a long tour of south

My brother-in-law proffered his old model car

Which he so covetously maintains at unviable cost.

I warned him of the amount of risk

We would be taking by going in his car.

He laughed away my fears putting his hand over the car,

Just as a jockey would on his pet pony, and said confidently:

“My darling won’t put me to any inconvenience”

And strangely indeed, it did not trouble us

Until after we had completed our tour.

I wondered if the inanimate

Respond as reflexively as living things would.

It is not until I had to leave my present house for the new,

Where my children came of age

I realized that, in truth,

There are wavelengths at which

Living and nonliving may communicate with one another.

The walls that sheltered me,

The floor that cured many of my backaches,

The door through which I entered with my newborn babe,

And through which the same babe walked out

With her choice husband;

The window with traces of eager looks

Still hanging on to it

That sent many searching looks for the postman

To deliver a letter from my son.

Today, when I touch them

There seems to flow a strange feeling of oneness with them

Into me.

Just as I lived with them all these years,

They put up with me all these years.

The peels of paint that drop off suddenly

Seem more like my tears that come down inadvertently.

I am convinced:

It may seem queer, strange or even stupid.

Yet, not all manifestations of life

Are within our ken.


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2 Comments

  1. Well done, Sunamu. You have put into words what have often felt in my subconscious mind and pushed aside, refusing to acknowledge it as a sort of superstitious feeling. Beautifully said. I especially liked: ‘…he window with traces of eager looks Still hanging on to it…’

  2. You are absolutely right Denise. They are no doubt superstitions that are not amenable to any kind of logic. Nature always tests … and that too mercilessly… presenting wonderful sets of contradictions like God and Satan, Good and Evil, Love and Hatred, lofty character next to meanness… animate and inanimate, beast and beast living in harmony. We have not yet fully understood her to say the last word.
    Thank you so much.

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