AdSense Page Ads

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Home at last. For now.

Somehow, I got stuck in life.

A friend from the other side of US went visiting, and I should have met her. Or at least explained why I could not meet her. But I didn't. The day come and go, I should have texted her and informed her way before that it wasn't possible to meet because of my new job. But I didn't. On her last day here I should have told her how sorry I was that I couldn't see her. But I didn't. I wanted to tell her the craziest work day that happened on the day we were supposed to meet. I got locked in in the bathroom, I was late for the bus and spend an hour waiting for the next bus while crying and cussing over my situation, and by the time I got home I convinced my husband to take me back to the office because I was certain that I did not lock the door properly. My friend and I would have had a good laugh over it, but we didn't. Because I didn't tell her anything.

The next day passed, and she returned home. I should have texted her by then. But I didn't. I kept on telling myself that I will text her the next day. But I didn't. A whole week passed and I still didn't contact her. Just as I choose to ignore other messages from my friends. I couldn't deal with them. It was too emotionally taxating. Life was too much for me. Even before I got the job I was already retreating into myself, slowly but sure shunning the world. I don't even know why. Life is good. It has always been. So why the sorrow? Why the lethargic indifference?

Then we decided to buy a Durga statue on a whim. As I decorated it with flowers as offering I realized what was missing from my life.

In a land where everything is within my reach, I have lost myself. Where before I live almost solely for survival, now I am spoiled with choices and options. It had become "whatever I want", and no longer "whatever I need". As with the junk processed food that is easily in my reach and saturated my body with the dangerous chemical, so does the choices available to pleasure myself. Like a glutton I rejoice in all, even though deep down inside I knew what was happening. I no longer live for myself, for what I believe. I had become a creature of desire, greedily wanting everything and thus stuck in the mirage that was made for someone else's profit. I have lost my simple life. My meaningful life. 

No more I rejoice the morning sun. No more simple guilty pleasure to splurge myself once in a while, and how proud and happy it made me feel. No more saving up for a treat, and the delight it made me feel. No more driving in the rain and singing "I'm Only Happy When it Rains". No more smug and the feel of living on the edge when drinking a can of beer. And worst of all, the utter loneliness inside. My heart slowly but sure turned into a black hole that wants everything, sucks everything without any consideration. It was no longer a battle to prove myself, a daily effort to keep existing in this life. It was "I". "I" that is entitled to everything simply because of the fact that he/she exist. And with every wants and demands that got fulfilled with minimal effort my "I" grew bigger and more loathsome, until I can't take it anymore. I hated her. I hated me.

The statue, the flower offering, the incense and the prayer reminded of who I was before. In a book that I read, the main character said that God is in the man's heart. In Hinduism we believe that our soul is actually a fraction of Himself. That night I prayed. That night I found a tiny sliver of my old self. The one with dreams and empathy. The one that looked at the world full of wonder and love. The one that was truly alive.

If words and thoughts have weight, which I am sure they have, it is not difficult to imagine the power of praying. The first time I visited the temple in LA's Chinatown I was overwhelmed with the feeling inside it. It was as if every nook and crane of the temple was filled with incense smoke and thoughts and prayer. I almost wept, swamped by emotions inside me. Now imagine a land, a country so big where prayers were said daily. A place where beliefs about spirits and nature as a living thing is the norm. Imagine living your life surrounded by those thoughts, those hopes, those prayers. Imagine living knowing fully well that you are a mere insignificant cog in this giant mechanism called Universe, yet you are substantial enough to change the life of people around you. Wouldn't you want to be there?

It was easy enough in Bali, a true fairyland where the impossible can come to life and the old wives tale came true. In an island so steeped in ancient belief to an extent that it pretty much dictate people's daily life, in an island where old temples still exist and people dutifully came to pray (which provides fresh batch of thoughts and prayers, thus prolonged its existence), I was no longer human. I was just a thing in this beautiful universe, and I was happy for my existence. But even in the capital city Jakarta, a sprawling metropolis larger than Los Angeles, I never felt alone nor lost. The prayers were abundant thanks to the Muslim's daily prayers, and the belief for spirits and nature as a complex being was still there too albeit minimum. To add, the struggle was real, and you either end up feeling thankful for what you have, or feeling genuinely sorry for what other people don't have. It was not just about thoughts and prayers, it was also about willingness to live and brute determination to make every day counts. 

My existence is not measured on what "I" have achieved or what "I" have owned. My existence lies on my ability to work with all aspects, all the cogs both seen and unseen in the complex machinery called Universe. Every little thoughts count. Every little prayers count. Every little respects count. It was simple, and I have forgotten about it.

I yearned to rest myself once again in that magical land where spirits roam and human live. I dreamed of the day where I would once again knelt and prayed at Puras, humbled and honored to be there to give my respect. I hoped to spend my life surrounded with prayers and hopes and dreams, none too small or irrelevant as every thoughts count. I longed to be alive once more, to be a complete human once more. Alas, I am not there. I am so far away to where I belong, and slowly but sure I feel myself sinking further into non-existence. Trapped like ice age mammals in tar pits thousands of years ago. I feel myself hating me more each day, and the disappointment spread like a bad bruise on an apple that eventually will left it inedible. I hate myself even though I don't know who myself anymore. Such an irony. I feel like I am beyond salvation. I am too far away from home.

Tonight we prayed to Durga and Shiva, and a brief calmness bloomed in my heart. This is home. A small, very small part; but this is the home that I know. A place where we looked up and surrender our hopes and dreams to the universe, yet continue to fight for them. A place where prayers is abundance and respect for life and the universe is flowing. I touched the feet of the little Durga statue with my finger tip and lovingly put that finger tip on my forehead, lips, and my heart. I missed Her. I missed my home. Then I opened my eyes and saw my husband gazing lovingly yet full of respect to the Durga statue. He looked at me and our eyes met. We smiled and took each other's hand. We will return one day to our magical land, and we will be human, complete human again. But that would wait. We both looked at beautiful Durga and honorable Shiva on the makeshift altar, and sighed in relief. This is home. For now.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog