Thursday, March 17, 2011

Drop the mask

I am at a stage in life when I am comfortable dropping the mask. There never was any need for pretence, there is even less so now. On my evening walks around the nice little campus I stay in, people ask politely and cheerily, “Hi! How are you?” The standard response is, “Good! I’m doing well.”

How would they react I wonder sometimes, if I told the truth one day instead. If I said I was in pain and didn’t know why. That I felt lonely. That I did not feel as needed any more. That I was scared my bones were growing weaker. That I felt redundant. Obsolete. At times, anyway. That I lurched between the valley and the trough...wondering at the water that had flown under the bridge while I was busy with the business of living. That the kids have struck out on a path I need no longer follow them on. And how a lifetime seemed to have blinked by without my sensing the leak.

Of course, there is also this dawning of the fact that here is my chance to live for myself again... except that I do not completely recognize me anymore. Where is that gutsy, unafraid, buoyant young thing with a head full of dreams?

The cycle of life? A natural progression of events? I remind myself of John Donne’s words, “No man is an island.” It is indeed reassuring that there are these precious, silver, gossamer webs entangling us to others in our lives. They capture and they hold. They keep us going and hoping and loving.

The other day in the school basketball ground, a young colleague of mine was coming in to work across the field. As she drew into my vision, something tugged at my heart. Her six year old daughter was trailing her, hanging on to one corner of her dupatta. I wanted to call out to her to cherish these moments that will be gone in a blink.

Time for me too, to begin another journey. I was my daughters’ trusted parent until recently. I have to now try and be their trusted friend.


Kartik said...

Reconnecting with that gutsy, unafraid, and buoyant side of yourself could be really powerful and meaningful.

Honey Sangha said...

Hello Follower One ! That is the general idea.