Everybody says I’m fine

Today I realised stillness is not something I can achieve. It’s not a thing that I can trap and make mine, captured in me forever. It’s fleeting, it’s constantly transforming, it’s constantly elusive. So much to my disappointment, I realised in therapy today that despite many past brushes with the virtues of stillness, it remains to be something I don’t quite know. It comes and it goes and when it goes it becomes something to win back again. It’s something to constantly aspire for.

I’m not very good at accepting these realities about myself. These dips, these realisations of the two steps back that we all have to take every now and then. Even now, despite all the work and movement, I hold myself to an unnaturally high expectation of constant upward movement, rarely giving myself a break (on this emotionally exhausting journey) even when body and mind are screaming for it.

To let go of that expectation, is to invite in the fear of crashing, of falling those 2, 3, 4, 5 steps back from where I’ll have to work my way up again. To let go, is to begin to wonder what a step back means. In some senses, in my head, to let go is to fail. And today, in therapy, I realised this is what I have been running from. This is why I have avoided being still.

It’s so much easier to say I’m fine. And maybe I am, but to acknowledge that small part of me that isn’t at this moment? Would that be such a bad thing? I don’t even know what it is like to acknowledge it without the riders and the disclaimers of being “largely okay”, that stem from my deeply hardcoded nature of emotional adjustment and flexibility that compel me to look on the bright side.

To let go of this expectation is the only way to move forward again. And so while I may pride myself in being emotionally agile, constantly flexible and finding the good/happy in me even when other parts are in distress, today I’m trying to just be still. To let go of this need to be okay constantly. To see what happens when I do.

One year ago: We’re up all night for good fun
Three years ago: Giving thanks

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Things that are shiny and new

right now. These events, these feelings are just so precious, I want to cradle them in my palms lined with baby blue cotton, so they’ll remain unbroken, yet fragile for long as I can help it.

So I don’t forget this little milestone:

  1. Vulnerability for precious vulnerability sake. Not as a tool for validation. Not even to measure my worth in my own eyes.
  2. Vulnerability with myself first — and how it is deeply linked with the most honest, authentic connection with my inner self.
  3. Laughing at myself and some of the rubbish narratives I’ve built and held for so long.
  4. Deeply honest conversations with VC, that are pushing the levels of empathy and understanding in me, showing me reserves that I didn’t know I had.
  5. Making a new kind of space for us, redefining our relationship.

One year ago: People say I should forget

Out there

I meant to post on the weekend, because so much happened that I want to mark and remember but I’ve been rather preoccupied, mentally. Too much happening, too many places to go to, some engagements, some recreation, a lot of busy-bodying around and barely any time spent at home at all. I’ve been very not inclined to sitting down to compose my thoughts and put them in coherent form here. I only realised last night that the corollary to this is that what I’ve been is inclined to distract myself.

I’ve been a little emotionally overwhelmed and scattered since getting back from Benaras. And this invariably makes me feel a bit disoriented/disconnected from myself, what I’m really feeling. It’s a bit of a catch-22. When I’m feeling disconnected and overwhelmed, the logical thing for me to do would be to slow down and sit still. But sitting still also means facing some of the emotions that have been bubbling up — the overwhelm of the trip that moved me, swinging straight into regular life and getting used to being minus VC all over again, settling back to the Bangalore groove again (which always takes time), constant preoccupation about the Bangalore-Goa conundrum, and the impending trip back there in about a month and all that I want to do here in the meantime — cumulatively this has occupied a lot of my mental bandwidth silently. Sitting still would mean facing it really, and fully. And that is what I have been running away from.

This past week instead of giving myself, and reconnecting with myself some time and space, I’ve felt drawn to frittering my time away outside the home. This should have been my first indicator of what was going on, but I guess I am that disconnected right now, that I didn’t pick up on it.

And that’s okay.

I’m currently straddling two worlds and trying to find a meaningful balance, between knowing and understanding my feelings, but also not going overboard and obsessing over every little up and down.

My outer world always mirrors my inner world. There was a lot of outward movement in my life, high activity, travelling long distances, long hours spent outdoors — to the coffee shop, ostensibly to work, but I’m getting done only a mere fraction of what I am otherwise capable of, catching what I thought would be a 1-2 hour lunch with a friend and having it turn into a 6-hour massive catch-up, I’ve watched two movies since I’ve come back, and my mum has had guests and rather uncharacteristically I offered to drive them around town and catch the few Bangalore meals they’ve had on their bucket list. I should have realised this is me moving away form myself.

It wasn’t until last evening (Sunday) that I realised I am unconsciously voiding being home. Avoiding being still. Because when I am still, invariably emotions become clear, seen.

I’m not sure what I am avoiding seeing right now. But I hope to regain some balance and connection this week and tune in some.

Three years ago: Abandon

I let you go, in peace

Another advantage of being away, physically, from regular programming is this opportunity to pull back and view otherwise emotionally-charged occurrences in life from a distance. And a little dispassionately.

Since coming here, I’ve realised with resounding reaffirmation that I’m possibly most alone right now, as I’ve been in a very, very long time. This is As far as people goes. The palpable difference is a visibly significant decrease in discomfort as I acknowledge and say this out loud. The ease with which the realisation struck really shocked me.

Even with all the coming and going of people over the years, at every point I’ve always had a handful of people to lean on. That base number is currently at the absolute lowest it’s been. And if I discount VC from it, it goes even lower. I mean this entirely dispassionately, and to be able to say it as it is is all kinds of freeing. By alone, I mean for the first time in a long time, I feel an significant absence of people. And it feels okay.

For years now the aspect of people coming and going has been a constant, but this is a first: there have been very few new entries in the recent past. There’s been the deliberate culling in some part, a natural withdrawal from some others, there is a morphing of certain relationships. This is the first time I haven’t rushed to fill the empty space that has been created as a result.

I’ve always looked at people who have that quiet confidence about themselves that makes them the kind of people who can spend entire days, day after day, peacefully by themselves, doing the things they want to do anyway even if they’re alone, with a sense of awe and admiration. As I’m thinking about the kind of person I’m talking about, S comes to mind. He’s probably the epitome of self-assured for me, in this aspect. Cooking for himself with as much gusto and enthusiasm as he would if he were with someone else. Cooking, plating it, garnish and all, and instagramming the shit out of his meals-for-one. Traveling alone. Getting high alone. It isn’t so much the activities, but the solidity of having fun even alone. This has been a new realisation and craving for me.

Suddenly, when I’m feeling this absence of people, I’ve done more of those things alone than I would do waiting for company.

Going to the beach.

Dancing in my living room.

Getting a drink because I felt like it.

I felt like it has rarely been a good enough reason without the Let’s see who else does addendum.

And you know what? For the first time in my life, it actually feels natural and like it needs almost no effort at all.

***

Through it all, S has been there for me like a rock. I have leaned on her like crazy, crazy. Exchanging long, long messages and voice notes as I process this in my head. Bombarding her with my thoughts as they come, even on days when she is unable to respond. I really appreciate the space we have, mostly free of obligatory, cursory responses, but wide openness to bring anything to it.

It’s helped immensely with not stewing in my own head about much of it. It’s helped stop my unnecessarily negative narratives. It’s brought much clarity.

***

I’ve been wondering what happens when friendships are well and truly over. What is that exact moment when we actually progress from lingering, to moving on. Is it a point, or a spectrum?

Does it happen when the hurt finally ends (also: wtf is that??)? Or is it when you go a certain number of days without reliving the anger and extreme annoyance you do whenever they come to your mind? Or does it happen when you’re able to finally accept it isn’t your story at all? Or does it happen when you do something as mundane as deleting said person from your phone book and do the thing you never imagined possible — block them?

D had a super apt post about releasing such attachment from our beings and I felt a deep resonance with it. Many of those movements have naturally occurred for me in multiple relationships of my life over the last couple of weeks. I fully understand now why some endings are harder than others, even when the ending feels right — there is the matter of reclaiming power. I sometimes feel robbed of that opportunity, and of late I’ve been feeling that weight of wanting to say things I couldn’t say, explain and clarify misunderstandings lifting off of me.

Not just that, I also feel a cutting away and releasing of an older way of being — with people, in relationships, within myself — also falling to the side. There’s something very fulfilling about this, even though it is an emptying out, so to speak.

I feel tantalisingly close to a milestone, like I’m on to something. And it comes with that breathtaking excitement about a new development, a surprise possibility of an altered way to be as a human, a promise of some peace. I’m not quite where I want to be, but the wheels keep turning, I keep moving, I’ll get there sooner than later.

One year ago: And the living is easy
Three years ago: Flying solo

Open

I sit with this fresh, new feeling
like my heart is in my hands
pulsating to a new beat
and like my soul is finding new shape
with every word I speak.

I’ve just sown some seeds of newness, gently
there. With love and care
and now it’s time I wait.

There’s no scraping this this up again.
No sewing up old crevices,
or digging in too deep
Now it’s time to just be.

And so, I wait.

For the sapling ripe with new life to burst forth
to grab a foothold, find new ground,
send tender little baby root deep within me
locking shoots with my bones,
digging deeper beneath the surface,
embracing that part tucked away within me,
gently nudging it to wake.

I wait.

For a season of springtime, of play to bloom
to be touched by the morning dew of mirth,
feeling the kiss of giggles and laughter
in the gentlest caress of the evening breeze.

For the tendrils of oneness and belonging
to twist around my little finger,
to keep me up.

For the bright green, baby leaves
of the child I used to be
to find space within this big old body
of the woman I am today.

We are the same after all.

I wait,
for this newfound comfort in the tenderness
fragility and delicateness of it all
to become me.

For when this spring comes,
with its fragrant freshness
it will take me,
sweep me up in its sweetness.
Filling the endless expanses of my being with
a seductive joy.

It will crack through my bones,
trickle through and beneath my skin,
erupt in loud lovesongs,
waft through in every breath that I exhale,
fill every square inch of my body with playfulness
smudge little bits of love on whatever I touch.

And so, I wait.

***

Still basking in the post-workshop glow, the desire to process, make sense, and even revisit everything has found this strange new quiet. I feel energetic, but the energy high seems contained. I find I’m not veering to my typical tendencies to either distract myself with a burst of activity, neither am I losing many hours to the deep, deep sleep that usually comes after I’e done a piece of this kind of work.

It has helped being alone here in Goa at this time. This is a nice kind of alone time. For a change, there is that familiar loneliness again, but this time unlike the usual why-me-why-now thoughts that come with it, there is an unusual, but very pleasant settling. Of just sitting with it. And to my surprise it hasn’t caused any eruptions, like it usually does.

Is it possible to feel this cut wide open, vulnerable, tender, yet free to leave it be, and yet also find a peaceful containment, like this?

I feel a ferocious urge to claim what has opened up for me at the workshop. But with it, is this deep, deep pause. To wait, not to act in impulse.

So, I sit, making space for these thoughts and feelings.

In some ways it’s like I’m meeting this part of me for the very first time.

One year ago: The race is long, and in the end it’s only with yourself

Notes on an island

It’s really hard to put into words what the past four days have been like for me. It’s one thing to be in a therapeutic, healing space. I’ve been in several of these workshops before now. But this time around, there was something about being on an island, something about leaving life as I know it behind for four days, setting off from the mainland, to go away (it’s not too far, but even so) and be surrounded by greenery and singing birds, waking up to misty mornings, spotting bright butterflies, a pair of wobbly ducks, the gentlest dog, and having the luxury of a pool to dunk into at the end of the day, hot wholesome home-cooked meals three times a day, and a big comfortable bed to retreat into at night, that made the experience so much more than just a workshop. I can’t emphasise how much being away added to my healing experience, this time around.

As such the air in Goa always feels so rich and laden with good vibes. I’ve said it before — things slow down within me, in the best way possible. Also, given everything that has been coming up at therapy in the run up to this trip, I felt like all roads were leading me here. It was time, and I couldn’t have been more ready for it. To physically take myself there, in a space, a bubble away from life as I know it, even here when I’m essentially on holiday, felt meta!

I actually also enjoyed the company of the people in the group. It was a small, intimate, but diverse group of people, of whom I knew only D. For a change, I mingled some, and actually felt drawn to some people. I guess this is what allowing for connection is like?

It was nice to be in the midst of folks who come from such different lives and backgrounds, but have that one thing in common that had brought us all together — a keen interest on working on ourselves. It’s sometimes all it takes to break walls and build bridges. I think I bonded more with this bunch than I have with the bunch I’ve shared a whole year of learning with.

It’s strange, but I woke up on Sunday in my bed at home actually missing walking into our workshop room.

I managed to wake up every morning and get a long walk in, and also run a little. The island is trapped in time. Every time that I visit it, I feel I need to live there at some point, and this time was no different. The people, the homes, the streets, the chai tapris, the church on top of the hill — everything feels otherworldly.

In the evenings I’d dive straight into the pool for a dip, which was so, so so needed every single day. I miss having access to a pool in my regular life, I realise.

The mornings were especially mind-boggling and stunning, and brought up overwhelming gratitude and a feeling of contentment for the opportunity it was. Golden kissed air, a low hum of calm and peace within, a slowness that forced me to be even more present than I thought was possible, or that I was capable of.

I’m usually bursting with words at the end of these experiences, but something has shut down that impulse in me off late. I’ve been feeling a lack of words. Not so much a difficulty with not finding the words, but a comfort and ease with not having to go into the words to make sense of it. I find myself soaking it in, feeling the small nudges and bubbling shifts within me. There is a new quietness about this that I am enjoying.

There were tears, so many tears, and so quick and easy to flow. It was different and liberating. There was also a palpable sense of completion, of finishing a part of something I had started over three years ago. There was a sense of having turned, of having moved forward, of seeing the same world with new eyes. It’s really hard for me to put into words what the past four days have been like for me. This time was different. This time felt complete.

One year ago: All my sweat, my blood runs weak
Two years ago: Ten reasons why I love the girls I’m in long distance relationships with
Three years ago: Travel

Like waking up again

Unlearning the ways of my adult mind and psyche has proven to be equal parts fascinating and frustrating. Trying and liberating. It has felt like a struggle and a joy. But every little bit that I go deeper, every step of the way, I know I am that much closer to my authentic self.

I came into this workshop with little idea of what specifically I wanted to address. It wasn’t so much a lack of clarity as it was an openness to whatever it may be that comes up for me. And I am so grateful that I have so unexpectedly chanced upon the idea of play. As something that is so simple at its core, yet has the capacity to profoundly change my life at this point.

The road ahead seems bright and open, rather than heavy and taxing like it does at times, even as I have been on the path to heal, integrate and look ahead.

***

E. A. T.

S. L. E. E. P.

C. O. N. N. E. C. T.

One year ago: Let it blow through you, don’t let it move you
Two years ago: Roads and Kingdoms
Three years ago: Playtime

Like coming home

It’s so nice to wake up before my alarm actually goes off and then will myself to stay in bed until the sun has come up enough for it to be light out.

I took myself for an hour-long walk/run around the island this morning. I already feel like it was the best thing I’ve done today. No map, no directions, no familiarity. Just out and about.

I am constantly overwhelmed by the beauty of divine timing and the ways in which everything happens in its own time. I have been feeling so very prepared for this workshop in a way that I know I wasn’t last year. This feels right. This feels like the time has come.

Been thinking a lot about my connection with Goa and how by unknown circumstances and by design, I find myself experiencing some of the really meaningful inflections in my life here. It feels like an old connection but a fresh one too.

***

P. L. A. Y.

F. E. E. L.

B. R. E. A. T. H. E.

One year ago: I hope you’re not lonely without me

Like seeing sunlight

I am so resourced.

I am stronger in ways I didn’t know.

***

S. T. A. Y.

H. E. A. L.

B. R. E. A. T. H. E.

One year ago: Stop this train, I want to get off and go home again

In-between

Bye, Bangalore.

Hi, Goa.

I don’t know if this feeling of landing up here and feeling right at home, especially now that there is a home to go to, will ever get old. It was so nice to come to a familiar space, sleep in a bed that’s mine and wake up and make myself coffee and eggs in a kitchen that’s mine.

Considering how much I have been enjoying Bangalore, and all the changing feelings I’ve been experiencing, it felt like an odd time to be going away. But I have been missing VC dearly. I suspect he has too. And, it’s always a good time for a Goa break. This time around I’m also looking forward to three days in a workshop, hopefully off the grid on the island I’m going off to.

Three years ago: Light and shadow

New eyes

Some days therapy is just about articulating feelings I don’t yet feel the full strength and capacity to feel outside, in my real life.

Some days it’s about crying freely, in the safety of the four walls and the company of my therapist who I have grown accustomed to, and know is capable of holding the full intensity of my emotion.

Some days it’s about just sitting quiet, allowing a light to be shined in, so I dig into my heart for things unseen, letting my brain build a path back out.

Some days it’s about just being. Just the way I am, no pretence, no masks, no effort to be anything else but the way I am. Broken some days. Tired others. Joyful some times. Celebratory others.

Some days it’s a lab, to stick myself, my psyche, my behaviour, thoughts and my quirks under a microscope and observe what’s happening. Who am I beneath it all? What lies underneath the veneer?

Some days it’s like falling back on the safety net, while I flirt with meeting my authentic self, who frankly, sometimes scares me.

Some days it’s about travelling backwards, connecting the dots in reverse, revisiting old times and looking at them with a new perspective — backwards, going in.

Some days it’s about smiling inwardly and feeling so full, nothing can crack me.

Some days it’s about feeling crushing defeat, monumental self-loathing, immense guilt and fear. And, feeling it fully, before I begin to make sense.

Some days I leave my brains and all sense behind, altogether. Some days, it’s just all heart.

Some days, it’s a pair of eyes, a mirror held up, and cleansing tears.

Somedays it’s about seeing it all.

Some days it about being seen.

One year ago: All the feckless men that queue to be the next
Two years ago: Pointless post
Three years ago: Morning views

Born again, all grown up

I’ve been feeling overwhelmingly content. Like there’s just so much of this good life, I can’t get enough of it, I’m too small to take it all in, it’s abundance spilling over from all around me.

Everything is a bit superlative right now. All the words are excessive and extra. And even then the words to explain how new this all feels aren’t enough.

I feel young, tender, and wide open like a child. I also feel very confident, whole and empowered like an adult. All kinds of grown up.

I feel whole, like stepping into a new door with new agency. New energy.

This is new. This is mine. And I don’t have to fight for it anymore.

So much gratitude for where I am today. For how for the first time in probably my entire life I feel a sense of balance. Of everything being right just as it is. No unquenched yearning, no burning desire, no sense of longing or incompleteness for anything.

I have never known this before and I feel such immense gratitude for having arrived here.

One year ago: We’ve got to hold on to what we’ve got

To heal

There is no wisdom in a clenched up heart.
No solace or comfort, even, as I had imagined.

I shut my heart out, and I let my brain lead the way.
Somewhere along the way though, I realised I’ve led myself astray.

I hungered for all the answers,
I unpacked the layers, I dug deep
And I found a heart closed so tight,
it would not keep.

So now, I’ve dropped the weight of the questions.
There is no wisdom in a clenched up heart.
No answers or insights, even.

What a relief it is to let more things go,
to watch, observe and be a part of all that comes to be
As a bystander and a participant alike.

Some things just are
It is what it is
It is. As it is.

There is no wisdom in a clenched up heart.
No “right” meanings, even.

I hungered for all the answers,
To know it all, to process it
To do the deep work of fixing.
Only to realise I am magic, just as I am
Nothing is perfect, but nothing needs fixing.

So now, I’ve dropped the weight of the questions.
Because there is no wisdom in a clenched up heart.

And so, I’ve watched how, once closed like a bud
it now has the space to unfurl,
With gusts and bursts sometimes,
Sometimes, nudged on by a sweet breeze
Sometimes, encouraged by gossamer morning light.

Inside, I’ve found a soul of laughter
Held by bones thick with joy
Glued together with layer upon layer of memories.

I peek within, now and again
And suddenly, I am not afraid.

There is space to move
To grow, to breathe, to revel in the dark spaces
As much as to stretch in the sunshine

And every time that I stretch,
My soul expands a little
My bones crack, my skin is supple
My body, it is accommodating
Like a glove that longs to be used.

There is no wisdom in a clenched up heart
It was born to unfurl, to stretch, to grow,
To know that at the heart of it,
this is me.
To go through it all.
To hurt, to crack,
to be stabbed, to melt, and to heal.

Time and time again, to heal.

One years ago: Make me somewhere I can call a home

Safe and sound

Life is suddenly very quiet. Things have quietened down. Within as much as around me. There is an expansiveness about this quiet. It stretches for miles around me, it slows down time, it fills me up and makes me feel safe.

This quiet has a very different quality from peace. And I feel it because much of the inner quiet is seeping into my outer world too, and I can sense how different it is from just being calm or feeling peaceful. It’s in the overwhelming safety in being a small speck in the wide wide-openness of it.

This feels different. And now that it’s here, I feel a sense of old, old familiarity and resonance. Like it is something I had unknowingly lost, and that I have been waiting for, for so long now. And there is the heart-crushing gratitude for it too.

This quiet. This sense of containment. And of steadiness.

One year ago: The heartache lives on inside
Two years ago: Commitment issues
Three years ago: Begin again

Stoking the friendship fire

Just marvelling at what a quiet, content, contained week I’ve had. Even as I had some difficulties with feelings about people, letting go and an overwhelming sense of loneliness again that came bubbling up, it’s been such a good week, now that I can pull back and look at it with some perspective.

I’m constantly amused, amazed and filled with humility about how much connection (something that I have been harping on and on about) has actually started finding its way to me. It’s coming in ways and means outside of what I am used to, and not always strictly through channels that I want it in. So I often miss it, but my God when I open my eyes and start noticing it, it fills me up in such an amazing way.

So it’s oddly nice to be ending this week feeling content, with this realisation, because I started the week feeling rather quiet and alone (the two seem to go hand in hand sometimes, no?)

My ideas of friendship, of empathy and of what I expect and want from people in my life is being tested literally every single day, of late. It’s like life forcing me to challenge what I have believed so far, and as always that process brings up so much sadness because it means I have to finally face up to many hurts that have been staring me in the face, and that I have avoided. It means I have to re-evaluate where I stand with the people who have caused me said hurt. And sometimes it means I have to just let go. Either of the feeling, or of the person. Sometimes, both. And that is never easy, even when I am fully aware it’s the best outcome possible.

When D and I spoke early this week, I realised how much I lean on her for support, even without really articulating it or even asking for it. Even with everything she has going on, she is somehow there for me. So many times the being there, isn’t literal. It’s a feeling. It’s an unspoken connection. A trust, a space I know I have. And I have been using it unconsciously, in more ways than one.

I said something similar to N too. We may not speak every single day, I know how much she is also processing at the moment and how much time and space that needs. Yet, I know she reads my blog and that is our way to connect right now. Because every now and then, she sends me a message with an insight — either a similar realisation she’s had, a common experience, something to read or a picture — that I feel an instant resonance with, or that will challenge me and give me a lot to think about. We don’t have to go into details about what we’re going through, but in the exchange of a few messages and conversation around it, I feel a sense of togetherness. That she is there for me. Miles away, but connected.

VC and I have been having unusually (for us) long conversations too. Time and time again, my relationship with him is testimony to the old adage about how we can go roaming the world looking for what is sometimes right under our noses. I have always cherished the connection I have with VC, but I feel like these days I cherish what it is slowly growing into, and I wait with eagerness to see where it will go to next.

And then there is S, who had a massive world of woes of her own to deal with. It was an entire shit-fest of massive proportions that made everything that I was dealing with pale in comparison. But with her, I have the capacity to bring even that little trouble up front, and know that it will be heard. In between stressful exchanges about unpaid fees and the anxiety in the pit of her stomach, I found the capacity to share my seemingly trivial worry, and she put her own worry aside for a minute to hear me out and be there for me. I latched on to it, shamelessly, as I realise is the liberty one can and should take with a precious few friends who will have it. We spent an entire day together, just staying in, mostly quiet and contemplative, talking about everything that we have had going on in our lives and our minds. Just reconnecting. It was a day I needed so much, I realised once I was back home.

Last week, while I was semi-moping about this hurt and letting go, I had an unexpectedly affirming conversation with a complete stranger. It was entertaining and refreshing in the moment. But in retrospect I realised it was an inflection point for me. My reaction, my behaviour in the instant was such a departure from what I have known to be me. It was a moment of realising something deeply fundamental has changed. My heart has opened in more ways than I am even aware of. And it’s exciting to witness this transformation in me.

Last week I also had a record number of comments and emails from readers of the blog. Affirming and filled with a sense of resonance and connection of its own.

***

There’s so much about connection that I am in the process of redefining. Clearly, this is the time to do it, given how much this deep longing for the presence of people has been coming up for me. Look at what it means and what is changing is essential to ensuring that I receive what is now coming my way, in the best way possible. I know for certain nothing about what is emerging, is coming from the backlog of what once was. This seems to be all new. It has a decidedly fresh energy and is emerging from a space of newness.

Connection isn’t about proximity or affinity, even. It isn’t about likeness, familiarity. Sometimes it isn’t even as much about vulnerability and empathy. Or about deep, intense conversations.

This last week alone, I connected with a stranger who launched straight into chatter about ZNMD, with as much intensity as I had a deep midday conversation with N about how friendship has changed for her. I feel closer and connected to VC and D in Goa, as much as I do to S who lives in my city but so far off that we don’t meet too often. So many of my conversations this past week affirmed the quietness of connection. So often that connection happens in literal silence, in the space where I hear and am being heard. No responses, no overtures of love and understanding, no sympathy needed. Just the space to be present to what is being felt, is enough.

That, precisely that, is what I have been missing and craving for so, so, so, so long. And it is what I have felt show up in a glimmer here and a shimmer there this past week.

These days, these are the moments that give me life.

One year ago: And so it is the shorter story
Three years ago: Time bubble