A Conversation With the Universe / Arathi Devandran

My eyes are burning from how tired they are. My lower back is hurting. I feel my body so deeply the older I grow. I am ready for a long nap, a nap that lasts an eternity and allows me to travel through time, back into the season of sunshine and hand-fed lunches and long stretches of silence playing in the heat of mid-afternoons. I think of what it means to feel rested, cup fulleth, and I wonder about the marathon of adulthood, why it gnaws away at the edges of one’s peace, leaving little but early-morning-before-dawn anxiety and cracked nails and greying hair, I think about how deeply my body feels now, more of myself but also, less of myself and I tire –

I tire of expectations, of needing to care of everyone and not feeling like I have done enough to care of everyone and least of all of myself, and the weight of these expectations makes me feel resentful and tired – oh that word again – caught in the in-between of an eternal tug of war of wanting to be there for another and wanting to softly water the garden of my self, I think –

I think of the word adult and it makes me want to laugh because is there a name for all the years your past lives have lived that you carry in your soul – the past life of being a white, colonial explorer, plundering lands for rubies and diamonds and baubles as blood seeped into the caked brown soil, the brown of my skin in this present life, or the pre-life when I was in my mother’s womb and I had not yet arrived into the skin of this life and I felt the weight of my anxious mother’s sorrows through the lining of her womb and –

And how all the years add up, the moments lived in past lives and the moments lived in the present and the moments wanting to be met around the corners, and how there are some moments that feel like the perfect fit, like the first moment he enters you and you sigh from the feeling of some kind of arrival or perhaps, lust, who knows these days, and the moments where the heart keeps beating through those terrible stretches of fear that make you have the same dream over and over again, where you are being hunted by the nameless enemy and you are running and running like there is no end and you think you have outwitted them all but only to stop right before the mirror that is showing –

You wake up with a scream in your mouth and your heart in your hands because somewhere between dreamscape and reality you transcended life and death and found yourself in this space they call Liminality, or what others call Purgatory. I write like a madwoman without blinking because the writing is my channelling, bringing me to a different plane, where the million voices in my heard clarify – like when butter turns to ghee – and what is left behind, what finally settles into the crevices of my heart are the thoughts that are the warmest, purest and most nourishing, because writing for me sometimes is like the burning, burning through the layers of gunk that have grown like plaque over time, leaving behind something close to the self, my essece, maybe for others, this might be what they call normalcy –

I am writing but less so in a fevered state, the darkness has flown out through my fingertips and the heaviness has begun to lift, and now there is some sense of calm that comes after the deep purging and cleansing and I feel compelled to write the words that may mean something to me, to someone now –

You are loved, because I love you;

You are forgiven, because I forgive you and release you from your feelings of guilt and burden;

You are finding joy because you are deserving of joy, because you can allow yourself to be happy;

I love you, dear self –

Now, my eyes flutter close.

Now, the tears start.

Arathi Devandran curates personal experiences, snapshots of the world and the stories people are willing to share with her through prose and poetry www.miffalicious.com

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