Sunday, January 30, 2011

Happiness.


“Happiness damn near destroys you
Breaks your faith to pieces on the floor…”

Happiness. It’s strange how simple it is, yet it seems like we can never find it. 
The whole problem lies in our fantasies.

As Dr. Seuss once said, “Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
But fantasy can be dangerous.
Too many of us make the error of mistaking fantasy for a future reality. It’s great to dream, but we must realize that dreams are just that—dreams. Dreams, as much as we’d like them to be, are not [always] reality. And it all sounds so simple, but the sad truth is, we all fail to make this distinction.

When we’re young, we create this fantasy in our minds of what our future will look like. Where we go wrong is committing to this future and its endless detail. And then somewhere down the road, when we should be perfectly content with the way our lives are, we can’t help but compare our reality to the fantasy we had created. And obviously, things will never measure up. I mean, how often in life do you get exactly what you want, how, and when you want it? Never. Rarely.

As my friend said to me the other day, Life is just messy.
And it is our job to make the best out of it. But expecting our lives to turn out exactly how we pictured them to be as children is just irrational.
We all do it. But it’s time to stop comparing. Take a serious look at your life. Even though things may be different from what you expected, are you satisfied? And if the answer is yes, then happiness is knocking on your door, you just [ need to ] let it in.
  
“Happiness is like the old man told me
Look for it, but you'll never find it all
Let it go, live your life and leave it
Then one day, wake up and she'll be home.”
- The Fray

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Seeing Brian

She’s reading from blank pages
Those stories she’d mumble with bright eyes
to the child that sat on the rocking chair
next to her barred window

She said his name was Brian
and that he had golden hair
and crooked teeth
but he smiled sweetly

She’d whisper that he brought her chocolates
wrapped in tissues
in the mornings
and snuck them into her drawer

She’d giggle mischievously
because the mean ladies never found them

Sometimes she’d just sit on her bed
rocking herself back and forth
with a peaceful smile stretched across
her wrinkled face
listening to him speak

She didn’t like taking her meds
because she said it made him sad
and he wouldn’t visit quite as often

One day, when the doctor stopped by
she screamed at him and called him blind
and when I came in later to ask
what had gone wrong
she told me he was the crazy one
because he couldn’t see her Brian

And I didn’t understand
why they wouldn’t let the poor lady be
delighted and contended
in her beautiful world of delusion
because in our world
she was all alone

So when she smiled and told me
that she liked me
and put a finger to her lips
and winked
as she offered me empty tissues
from her drawer
I told her
that Brian loved her very much

And she looked
towards the empty rocking chair
grinning
and whispered, “I love him more”

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Asha

She has big hazel eyes
that stare back at me
with mesmerized wonder
through my camera lens

Later I’ll learn that she’s never seen such a thing before.

Her long black hair is tied into a braid
but little curls fall out next to the baby hair
framing her deep caramel skin
half-covered by a stunning orange silk dupatta

Later I’ll learn that the silk is covering a terrible scar.

I stare at her tiny hands
as they beat effortlessly on the drums
she was always meant to play
because she was just born that way

Later I’ll learn she may never know how to read or write.

The smile that stretches across her face is miles long
and little lines line her eyes
with the mischievous laughter
of little children

Later I’ll learn her marriage has been arranged.

I kiss the dimple on her cheek and say goodbye
and she whispers in soft Hindi in my ear
that she wants to be a doctor too
some day

Later I’ll learn that her name is Asha. Hope.