The Dawn

Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.
~ Rabindranath Tagore

Today is the birthday of my uncle, who passed away suddenly this past September. A day that has always been celebrated with laughter is being brought in with tears today.

The shock of his passing may have been muted with time, but it is not forgotten. And yet, in some weird twist of logic and insanity, life goes on. We all think the world will stop turning. And yet, somewhere within us, we find the strength to keep moving. To keep turning.

And that's kind of how the world works. It just keeps turning. And we keep turning along with it.

Although his body is not here to be celebrated, the essence of his character - his joy, his love, his patience - remains in our heart, and we can still carry the memory of a beautiful person we had the privilege of loving (and being loved by).

No words can really do this grief justice. But for those of us who struggle, remember what Henry James once said:

Sorrow passes and we remain.

We know the dawn has come; we just wish the lamp didn't have to go out.
Your light will burn within us, always.

We miss you, Ramesh Uncle.

Amor Fati

Love Your Fate, which is, in fact, your life.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche

My husband and I travelled around the world for three months last year, and in the last week of our travels, I got into a severe bicycle accident. I damaged my knee so badly that I couldn't walk for months and still have the bruise - over 10 months later. I hit my wrist so hard in the fall that I still don't have full functionality of it to this day.

When I got into the accident, the first thought I had, after acknowledging the searing pain, was Thank God it wasn't worse. I was immediately reminded of a friend who passed away from just such a bicycle accident. It could have been much worse for me. But it wasn't. And I was thankful.

Things happen to all of us.

And as they are happening or after they happen, we label those things as "good" or "bad". But looking back on my life and at all those things, I have a hard time labelling anything as truly bad.

There is a Latin phrase: Amor Fati, which loosely translates to "love of one's fate" or "love of fate". It is the belief that everything that happens is good.

And when I sit down to think back on my life, I realize I subscribe to that philosophy. When I look back, I wouldn't change a thing. Not the challenges, not the obstacles, not the outcomes. Even if they didn't work in my favour at the time.

Because yes, things have happened to me, but all of those things, "good" or "bad", made me the person I am today. And I kinda like me. These things I have gone through have been blessings, even if I didn't feel that way as they were happening.

That fight, that failure, that disappointment - it was all good stuff, because here I am - still standing strong.

So when something happens that seems unfavourable, I've started to think:
Maybe the universe has something even better in store for me.

Since I started to "love my fate", I've also started to believe that the best awaits me. If it hurts now, it is because this experience is going to make me a better me. If I don't get something I desperately wanted, yes I may be disappointed in the short term, but that just means something bigger is out there trying to find me.

It has even changed the way I hope. Instead of praying and asking the universe for things, all I say now is, "Please let this happen if it's meant to." It's amazing how such a small change in thought can make such a big difference.

It's almost magical.

Try it.
Love your fate.
Love your life. 

To the Left...

To the left... to the left...
~ Beyoncé

Every morning, I go downstairs for breakfast. Sometimes, I carry it upstairs to eat it by the computer, scrolling mindlessly through some website or another. Other times, I stay downstairs and eat at the table facing the family room where, often, someone has the TV on and I end up mindlessly staring at it.

But the other day, I sat down at the table with my bowl of cereal and the TV blaring in front of me, and something made me turn to my left.

And there it was - a bay window looking out onto the backyard. It was always there, but I guess I just hadn't paid much attention to it before. And as I looked out at the trees, the flowers, the squirrels, the blue sky, it was so beautiful, so peaceful, so revitalizing. So I turned my chair towards the window, sat my cereal bowl on my lap, and just enjoyed the calm view of the world.

That is a morning that has stuck in my memory, unlike the mindless other mornings I have spent being entertained by the emptiness of an electronic device. 

That morning, I realized that sometimes, it's as simple as that - turning your head, looking a different way, seeing something new, changing where you look. 

We have a tendency toward routine. Toward what we know. We often get stuck in one way of thinking, one way of being. Almost as if we live our life with horse blinders on. Doing things as we always did. Seeing things as we always do.

But there is another way. Another viewpoint. If only we would only take off our blinders and see.

Sometimes, it's not about searching elsewhere for things. Sometimes, it's as simple as opening our eyes and seeing what's right in front of us.

Or what's to our left.

While I was away...

I know, I know, I've been missing for a while. But (this time), I wasn't being lazy about posting!

I was revitalizing my writing energy at a Spoken Word Residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Banff, Alberta, and subsequently at the Calgary Spoken Word Festival in Calgary, Alberta.

I hope this will work as my apology for not posting for so long.

I'll be back with more thoughts soon!