Thursday, February 08, 2018

Marriage

When my brother called off his wedding, I was with my mother. We looked at each other not putting our feelings into words. We had both expected and dreaded this moment and hoped it would not come, but it came anyway. I spoke up first, and sounded unnatural as I wondered if perhaps this was not for the best after all, the way it had been going. I fought to trust in him and his choices and my own belief that he could and would do what was right for him.

Later on, the day after, Moonmoon's Marriage came up on my playlist and I explained what it was about to my mother. I watched her face crumple a little and then she pulled herself back together. Looking back, I haven't seen her show her fear and worry over my brother so openly since we were in school. We were both grieving for him but I worried as a sibling and she as a mother.

Watching my mother be a mother -- and not my mother, not in that moment -- is a particularly unsettling thing. It reminds me that I too have two children and the rest of my life will be walking a similar tightrope of balancing needs and worries.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

The year ahead

It's February and I am finally gathering the courage to say, I'm scared. I'm terribly scared of what the months will bring. I don't think I was a particularly fearful person till now. I used to worry a lot, but there was a certain conviction, a defiance if you will, that I could take whatever life threw at me. I called myself a survivor and held on to that word when I had nothing else. Now... I don't know that any more. What if I can't last? When will a straw be the last one and I retreat into myself and can never find my way back out?

I'm scared this will be the year I finally lose my father.

I'm scared the year will be even harder for my brother than the last.

I'm terribly scared that this year my mother will discover the limits of her strength and then who will I draw my own strength from?

I'm worried about Rahul but not scared for him. He has the resilience of an eleven year-old and his father by his side.

I'm not looking forward to Beni starting school but perhaps he will love it and the choice will have been the right one.

Most of all I'm scared of myself. Last year I was restless and made choices I can't be at peace with but can't live without. Last year I drove myself into a breakdown trying to have it all. This year I want to live quietly and not draw too much attention to myself or do anything much but what if I forget to live safely and revert to type? I'm tired of pain. I'm terribly scared of hurting.

How does a coward live? Should a coward live?

Saturday, December 23, 2017

"If you want to learn what someone fears losing, watch what they photograph"

This quote floats around a fair bit on the 'net.

I always take photographs of the people around me. There was a time I photographed pets, and nature, and beautiful scenery, but the older I get, the more I photograph people. I have always taken Rahul's best photos (and I'll fight anybody claiming otherwise) and now I don't take enough photos of our family, but whatever I do photograph usually has my people in the centre.

Why don't I photograph V more? Do I take him for granted? I don't think I do, but I do wonder. Maybe I photograph the boys because they grow so fast. I know I take photographs of my father for when he's gone. Why don't I photograph my mother then? She too is ageing and will one day leave.

And then there are photographs I would eagerly take, but can't. Some don't like being photographed while others can't be. One day, when I get old and lose my memories, I will lose them too. I don't want to grow old.