August Abundance: Monthly Missives from The Dream Pedlar

On endings and beginnings, and the joys of finding a new book treasure!

August Abundance: Monthly Missives from The Dream Pedlar

Hello, Dreamer!

It is often said that growth, especially of the emotional and spiritual kind, is a subtractive process. It is who we become when we are forced to let go of past attachments, of what once belonged to us but no longer does, of beliefs that no longer serve us.

In that sense, August has been a month of endings for me. It hasn't been easy, but I'm also beginning to see that when we let go of what no longer serves us, it frees up a lot more space for us to explore, experience and evolve in new ways.

The first thing I shed this month was the very first Dream Pedlar website KrA helped me launch more than a decade ago. In November 2011, to be precise. It was, a plural version of the name that we chose to use as The Dream Pedlar's.

Welcome to The Dream Pedlar's, it used to say at the top of the page. It is where I first started to write the Tales for Dreamers stories.

KrA built the site using Ghost, which had just emerged as a clean, fuss-free alternative to Blogspot and Wordpress. I remember uploading images and formatting text in Markdown. (My current website is also built using Ghost, which has only continued to grow as an amazing platform all these years.)

I built a little bit of an audience there, mostly friends and fellow writers, some of whom are still with me on this journey. (Hello, Padmaja! 👋)

A few years later, when I was playing around on a 100-day project of writing short poems (which eventually became a book), KrA built a nifty feature on the website whereby you could click on a column and it would yield a new random poem from the collection.

But I had long stopped using the website in any form other than as a repository. I wanted to hold on to those specific dates in the past when I had conjured up and posted more than a hundred Tales for Dreamers, even though that label itself underwent a lot of transmutations. I also couldn't bring myself to let go of the appreciative comments that readers had left there.

More than anything else, it served as a reminder of the times when I was still a new writer, starry-eyed, my head filled with dreams of what it would mean to write and write and write, stories and whimsies, heartfelt musings and words of wisdom, my heart filled with that eternal hope that my words would matter and make a difference, and that just as I had been shaped and saved on numerous occasions by the written word of others, so too the words I write would touch a heart here, give hope to a soul there, and offer comfort and solace when everything else fails to do so.
Long story short, life and writing took unexpectedly wild detours. I wasn't prepared for the disappointments (which were far too many) and the heartbreaks (which were often too overwhelming) or even the wins (there never seemed to be enough of those!).

Eventually, I had to accept that I was holding on to something that no longer exists. 2011 is no longer here. I'm no longer the person I was back then, and I am also at a different point in my writing journey now than before. Trying to reclaim the past only keeps me from dedicating myself to the present and the future that is yet to come.

When nostalgia ceased to be seductive and became stifling instead, I gave KrA the thumbs up to delete the site and shut down the server.

But not before I had migrated most of my posts from there to here. Which includes many of my poems that don't appear anywhere else on the Internet.

So these are my gifts to you this month. The poems I wrote a long time ago.

You can check them all out here or search for 'poetry' in the search bar on the website.

Some of my favourites are The Colour Thief, which is the earth's love song to the sun;

the colour thief
Hey fire-breather, my arm’s length lover I’ve danced around you in ecstasy for a billion years, Never straying too far Nor getting any closer All day long you cast on me your roving eye Come twilight You rob me off all my colours And splash them on to

The Dance Within, which I wrote as a love song to KrA; and

the dance within
At the sight of you My heart leaps like a splash of raindrop on a roadside puddle Dances like frail flowers tenderly bobbing their pretty heads when the wind whispers sweet nothings in their ears In your presence, I am a maiden twirling around to an invisible melody My billowing

Transience, and You, which I wrote, heartbroken, when my parents left and went back to their home in India after staying with us for six months in Australia during my pregnancy and the birth of D.

transience, and you
I walked with you from room to room watched your every step with all my heart sauntered up every lane and alley and street corner beside you, stitching memories together to rein me in, to keep me from falling apart when you’d be gone, for I knew you would

The other thing that is swiftly slipping away is the season. Because the days and nights have been cooler than usual this month, summer feels as if it's already giving way to autumn.

Back when we used to live in Singapore, where it was more or less hot and humid for most of the year, except in November/December when it would rain more than usual, time always felt as if it had come to a halt. The weeks and months were unbearably long and monotonous and unchanging.

Now it is as though time is in a tremendous rush, to get to the end of the world perhaps, and it simply won't cannot stop until it has reached its destination.

Besides, in only ten days from now, summer holidays will come to an end and D will be back at school. This transition used to be a very anxiety-inducing one for me in the years past.

But as D grows and I see him go through various experiences in his own beautiful ways, it's becoming easier for me to accept that he is his own person and I can more readily trust that he will find his own ways to navigate the journey of his life.

This month of endings and imminent new beginnings reminds me of the beautiful words of Anne Morrow Lindbergh from her book of contemplative essays titled Gift from the Sea.

When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand.
We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of life, and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return.
We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity—in freedom, in the sense that dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.
The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now.
Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits—islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.
~ An excerpt from Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

I think Lindbergh's views hold true not only for relationships but also in the case of our dreams and desires, what we long for, our beliefs and expectations from the world outside, and also what we demand our own selves to do.

So, what is it that you're holding on to that no longer serves you? Write to me and let me know, and we can encourage each other in our respective journeys.

Tales for Dreamers

Footwear for any Destination

When we were across the pond last month, we had a chance to visit the London Zoo. It has a section, Land of the Lions, that has, in addition to the lions of course, scenes recreated from the streets of Gujarat!

Among the many colourful displays, including an auto-rickshaw and carts laden with spices, was this stall of brightly coloured pairs of slippers! Chappals, as we'd say in Hindi. How could I not write a short tale to go with it?

tales for dreamers: footwear for any destination
So many brightly coloured pairs of slippers! Which one will you choose to wear on your next journey?

Books You May Love

You're in for such a treat this month! First, I read The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths, author of the incredible mystery series featuring DS Harbinder Kaur that I've raved about.

The Crossing Places introduces us to Dr. Ruth Galloway, a forensic archaeologist who lives with her cats in a cottage by a salt marsh. She is pulled into a murder and missing person investigation when DCI Harry Nelson reaches out to her for help, and thereon begins her adventure.

Galloway is the kind of friend I'd like to have — in fact many of my close friends are like her — brave, outspoken and fiercely compassionate. Aren't we lucky there are already so many books in this series to read?

But now, the book that I didn't know existed is a Hercule Poirot novel that the estate of Agatha Christie commissioned contemporary British writer, Sophie Hannah, to write.

What a daunting task that must have been, having to live up to all that expectation, and what a formidable person Hannah must be, to undertake this task and deliver something so enjoyable, so delightful, and so true to the original (in my opinion)! Hats off to her!

I absolutely loved reading this book, The Killings at Kingfisher Hill, and was even more delighted when I learnt that Hannah had already written three more Hercule Poirot books before this and that a fifth one is slated for release later this year.

hardvoer copy of The Killings at Kingfisher Hill, a Hercule Poirot novel, by Sophie Hannah featuring a silver ring with a bloodied diamond stone
The Killings at Kingfisher Hill by Sophie Hannah
stack of four Hercule Poirot books by Sophie Hannah
The first four Hercule Poirot novels written by Sophie Hannah

My favourite part in The Killings at Kingfisher Hill is when Hannah makes Poirot sound a little New Age-y, when he says to his friend, Scotland Yard Inspector Edward Catchpool:

"There is a moment in each case—there always has been, from the commencement of my career in the Belgian police—when suddenly, before the mystery is solved, I see enough of the picture to know for sure it will be solved. In that instant—and it is a glorious feeling, Catchpool ... in that instant, I feel the very same emotions that I would feel if I already knew the answer."
"I see," I said doubtfully.
"Once I have the feeling of triumph that accompanies the perfectly resolved puzzle, then I am forced to justify it. Do you see? I am bound by my duty to myself to create, in my mind, the resolution that proves the emotion correct. I hope you will experience this for yourself one day, my friend. Truly, it is the only way to succeed."
"... Once one has a point of focus, all of the other details start to arrange themselves around it."
I mumbled something about that not having happened yet. Of course, Poirot had an answer at the ready: "If you resent it for not happening before it can possibly happen, you push it further away. Me, I prefer to trust that it will happen when the time is right."

There, ladies and gentlemen, is the law of attraction and the principles of manifestation explained in a completely logical and rational way by the inimitable Hercule Poirot! 😄

That brings us to the end of this edition, dear Dreamer! But, as we've seen, endings pave the way for new beginnings. So go forth, dear Dreamer, and make of your life what you will. We only have the one and it is truly a gift.

Much love,