looking inward

Not even two months into the year and it already feels as if I have lived several lifetimes, over and over again. And, believe it or not, very little of it has to do with looking after D. Or maybe the arrival of D two and a half years ago is indeed the genesis of the personal transformations that have marked the beginning of 2019 for me.

The year quite literally began with me getting my G2 driving licence! It’s been more than a month of independent driving but the feeling is still all new and unreal. So much so that I worry that one of these days, someone will ask me to pull over and demand my licence, and we’ll find out that I never had a licence in the first place, and that it was all just a beautiful dream! My sis-in-law told me that I would enjoy this new phase of life, and I have to agree. It is indeed a ‘new phase of life’. Like growing a new limb or finding out that I’m actually only sixteen years old and not more than double that in age!

Another significant thing has happened so far this year, although it is more accurate to say that the past two decades, or perhaps my entire life thus far, had been leading up to this. Several ‘secrets’ pertaining to me, my family, and my childhood came to light this past month. And because they are ‘secrets’, I am not going to spill them onto the Internet although this space is as good as a six-foot grave, both in terms of activity on the site and the number of visitors frequenting this spot. But there's enough stuff in my past to fill up an entire Kate Morton novel of historical fiction and family secrets.

So anyway, certain things came to light and they are making me look at everything I’ve known about myself and my loved ones in entirely new ways. As if someone took all the moments of my life, crushed and poured them into a kaleidoscope that is constantly turning, and everything is changing relentlessly and all at once. I feel completely unmoored. But then, suddenly there are also answers to the endless questions I’ve had these past two decades. Some things are beginning to make sense, the fog is slowly lifting, and while I’ve so far been fumbling around in the dark, I can at least see maybe an inch or two ahead of me now … and that, for me, is infinitely better than how it has been so far. It is as if someone has not only gifted me wings but also turned my heart into osmium, a blighted blessing, so it is now entirely up to me to imbue those wings with enough strength if I want to fly.

And now look at this!

My darling cousin in Chennai has been dredging out these memories in print, and they have been taking me down a long, winding road. This was taken way back in September 1982. I was not even two years old. I look so much like D in this picture. Which brings me back to how D's arrival pulled the rug from under my feet in more ways than one, revealing the mud under my feet in ways that I am compelled to start digging and keep at it until I uncover the truth - it may be a rare gem but more likely an empty space, a safe space for me to finally encounter myself. I also look at how beautiful my brother was at seven and a half years of age.

I look at what we were back then, what we are now, what we could have been. I look at D and think of the same things, what he is now, what he can be. And I keep reminding myself, "Get out of his way, get out of his way."