Like the unexpected kiss
From your ten year old
As she puts her arms
Around your neck
Draws your head
Level with her face
As if to say
Look at me as I do this
As I tell you how much
You mean to me
My little heart is full
Right this moment
Or I may forget
The very next minute
You who are so busy
With phone calls
And laundry lists
Your presence is still
Filled with hollow absence.
Hold that thought
That moment infused
With untainted love
Let it refill you again and again
During the day
During the rest of the week
In the months that follow
And the years to come.
When you are thirsty
Parched for meaning
That thought will hold you
And it will possibly save you
Like a blanket enfolds you
To give you a reason
As to why we come here
To live this life
This life that meanders
This roller coaster of seasons
Of highs and lows
And an unending flow
—Shaku Selvakumar July 2013
How many whispers cover your words
On a scavenger hunt, she searches for clues
Inside the seventh box buried
At the bottom of the sea
Slay the dragon and you will find me
How many veils cover old wounds
She pushes aside each one
Hoping to find relief
Lacerated and buried eons ago
Still so capable of delivering pain
How many lies to find the truth
She ventures deeper into the maze
Each wall looks to be the same
At each turn wondering how
To right a wrong
How many tears to clear the air
She has nothing more to spare
Navigating carefully through murky waters
Moving without clear direction
Or a lantern to light the dark
How many lifetimes to live again
She has borne witness so many times
Called to testify at the stand
She stands again on shifting sand
Wondering if today will be judgment day
Psyche calls out in vain
Still blinded by Aphrodite’s spell
Still playing hide and seek
Since Eros would not let her see
She risked the shadows that night
She paid the price by candlelight
And the truth did finally set her free
—Shaku Selvakumar March 2013
Love has many voices, many disguises,
Love is jealous, resentful, insecure
Love is manipulative, judgmental
Love is demanding of proof
Love seeks validation, recognition, reward
Love is childish, selfish, wanting, diminishing
Love is controlling, obsessive, destructive, unrelenting
In its glory
Love is the palette for inspiration
Love is graceful sacrifice
Love is acceptance
Love is respectful, trusting, kind
Love is nurturing, natural, forgiving
Love is innocent, childlike, vulnerable
Love is beauty, art and truth
Love is a miracle, the healer, the teacher
Love lives even when life leaves
So when we say “I love you”,
Which form, which voice
Speaks through you?
—Shaku Selvakumar February 2013
I wrote this post last February and believe that the best gift you can give for Valentines Day is to listen to your own heart.
When you hear without distortion, see without conditioning, feel without inhibition, the direction is clear.
I have been pondering over this month’s theme. Just to set the record straight, I don’t have themes but lightbulbs typically pop when you are busy cooking, working, dreaming. Lightbulbs don’t ask for permission. They barge right in and if you are not home, they fuse ever so gently.
So I digress as the theme is not lightbulbs, it is all about HEART. You might argue that heart should not be a theme for one month, it is forever. And you would be absolutely right.
Why now, why this month. Apart from the obvious that Cupid has a dedicated day which retail stores are exploiting, it was prompted by some incredible musings by some gifted writers.
I believe that each one of us knows about this path with heart. Some of us have followed it and some of us have stood on the sidelines wringing our hands choosing the dictates of the head instead. There are no right or wrong answers as to each a journey as unique as a fingerprint.
But and this is a big BUT…
When you look in the mirror with eyes listless, unwilling, dragging your feet.
When you are tired by the thought of Monday.
When you can’t remember as you seem to forget too often.
When you feel anxiety creeping, clutching at you with clammy fingers reminding you of possible failure.
When you look back to find a whole bunch of coulda, shoulda, woulda and only ifs
All these whens and there are more warning whens.
Then if you don’t stop to have that talk about the path with heart with the man in the mirror. You have made a choice to repeat the loop. To ride the cycle of recrimination.
Now the path with heart is not always about chucking your paycheck, getting on that bike and riding the wind. It could be that for some. It could also be about finding that nugget in our treasure chest that brightens those eyes, that lifts the chin, that squares the shoulder. Once you find it, once you have the courage to pursue it, once you understand that no outside voice can quell it, you are set free.
The path with heart is like giving birth and raising a child. You don’t chuck the baby and bath water the minute there are growing pains. You stay the course. You work the magic. You ride the valleys, you scale the peaks. Nothing about the heart says “Hey I am easy.” But everything about the heart says “Bring me back to life. Resuscitate me.”
“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure. You’ve got to find the treasure, so that everything you have learned along the way can make sense.” The Alchemist