I ache a little.

I yearn
to feel
the joy that was there
just yesterday.

does the Divine
seem so close in laughter
but so far away in
searing sadness,
locked up in this hard knot
in my chest
and this lump in my throat
that makes it hard
to even swallow
a weary sip of water.

If suffering brings us nearer to You,
I must look up this instant
to see You sitting near
the heater, smiling a Smile
that crumbles my existence to dust.

But all I see
is my warm winter shawl,

No matter.

Maybe You’ll find me

Insecurities feel like the monsters that sleep under the bed. They come awake at night, so frighteningly real that we forget they lurked down there during the day too. We just didn’t see them.

It began with a tiny niggling question. “Are these posts I write of any real use?”

And in its wake, much like the orchestra following the opera conductor, the music in my mind built, slowly, slowly, slowly, until with a flourish of the baton, the crescendo exploded, showering down fierce fragments of aching, aching self-doubt, sadness, guilt and bone-weary tiredness.

And because I must be honest, I will elaborate. It has been my experience that insecurity catches one off-guard, perhaps in a moment full of self-confidence and serene happiness. It is a form of self-sabotage – the mind sets about ruining an experience before something external comes along to ruin it. That way, it is safe. And this plays itself in a circle, over and over, re-enacting in a microcosm the wheel of samsara.

This is exactly what happened two days ago. Because of this beautiful platform, I’ve come back to writing on a regular basis after many years. If there is one thing I truly enjoy, it is putting pen to paper (hand to keyboard, nowadays) and watching words swirling, dancing and sparkling to life, creating a story that I could never have a prayer of writing.

When I write, I feel Ma. She appears as the letters that spin the stories I tell, She comes as the laughter that spills from my lips as I recount Her anecdotes, She seats Herself as the devotion that unfurls with each passing day and each new post.

By showing me how to write the language of my heart, She shows me She exists.

She is the purest of the pure, the seed of Existence which fell from Her soul-searingly beautiful lips the only reason we exist today.

She is so exquisite, it’s unbearable. She is so exquisite, it’s excruciatingly hard to breathe. She is so exquisite, it feels like I’m losing my mind.

And that is exactly it. How can the mind bear to lose itself? It must survive, it must be around. With Divinity looming, what is the only way for it to claw its way back? Dredge up every last ounce of its reserves and launch a full-frontal attack.

At least that’s what it feels like.

And it works. I cling to it in despair because it is the only safety net I’ve experienced all my life.

“You are worthless.”

“Nothing you have to say is useful.”

“Why even bother writing?”

“Your stories are full of arrogance and ego.”

“Just quit.”

“Move on. Enough writing. What’s the big deal?”

“Your words don’t make an iota of difference to anybody.”

In the presence of a tearing thought, it feels like there is very little defense. It is the voices of a hundred naysayers, a thousand bullies piercing through every layer of compassion and love with blaring megaphones, screaming gleefully their deprecating statements.

And with every sentence they flung like arrows, I moved a little further away, drifted a little more into the vast sea, away from the shore that is Ma’s lap. She watched me go, smiling, shaking Her head and sighing.

There is only one way I know to go back, to find Her lap once more and crawl into it, clambering all over Her, tugging at Her hair, jumping all over Her as She laughs indulgently. There is only one way today. And that is to take back the voices that tell me I’m no good and write them into oblivion. Maybe there will be a dozen more to take each place because these tearing thoughts – they are Raktabija.

But the only one who decapitated Raktabija was Ma.

And so, in these letters that spin the stories I tell, She appears to soothe my frightened heart. In the words I write, She comes to caress my hair and wipe away my tears. In the call that spills from my lips, She seats Herself as the devotion that will one day wipe out my existence.

Today, You’ve become the Writer. Maybe tomorrow, You’ll find me.

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Divya Manoharan

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