When I was 21 I entered a memorable phase of my life. I let all caution go to the wind and lived in the moment. with no brakes, I found myself in another universe, and there I met this incredibly beautiful, smart, kind, and artistic girl: Shriya.
It was a Holi party at McGill and a huge group of us had gone. As usual we had made a mess of ourselves and continued to celebrate long after the party ended at the infamous apartment building on university road.
That was the first night I met Shriya, and now almost 10 years later, with 5 years of distance between us, we are still somehow intimately tied.
I really thought I would be seeing Shriya this past summer, and when my India plan didn’t work out, as much as I was disappointed about Yoga training, I was more upset that I wouldn’t be able to spend time with Shri. When I remember Shriya, its as if she is above earth. She floats, she is just who she is, no excuses, at all times.
We had a bit of random email exchange yesterday, sharing poems about our old broken-hearts, and at the end of it Shri suggested:
want to start a writing exchange ? we pick a word / theme each month and write about it on a blog??
the word sacred had been on my mind for a number of reasons, and I suggested it for our first word/theme. and so here I go:)
sacred seems like a pretty obvious word. it’s something that we hold of value, of spiritual value. that catch all phrase of things that money can’t buy. and I wondered what is sacred to me?
(official dictionary definitions: devoted or dedicated to a deity or to some religious purpose; consecrated; entitled to veneration or religious respect by association with divinity or divine things; holy.; pertaining to or connected with religion ( opposed to secular or profane): sacred music; sacred books; reverently dedicated to some person, purpose, or object: a morning hour sacred to study; regarded with reverence: the sacred memory of a dead hero)
and over and over again it came that my relationships are sacred. with myself, my friends (near or far), my family, my nieces and nephews, my students, my colleagues, employers, everyone who I am connected to on a day to day basis are treasures that I can never say thank you enough for. the hardest thing is to instill that sense of sacred in relationships that I take most for granted – like my parents, my siblings and my oldest friends.
nature is sacred. green, yellow, blue, brown, and more. colors that envelope and embrace me every day. the peace in a reckless breeze, the showering of rain on land, the empty clear sky full of stars at night. brilliant sun and luminous moon. amazes me how disconnected I was for so long from nature. and now how I search, seek, crave it every moment. living in karachi pushes me to find nature in the strangest of corners, sometimes in a tree hanging over a balcony. sometimes in the dispersed clouds, or on the streets where flowers grow on walls. when I feel really lost, really scared, and really broken it is truly nature which fills my heart.
I wrote a poem, the first time I encountered sacred in nature. It feels like decades a go but it was only 2 years back in San Juan, Puerto Rico.I had my hand let go, But the rainforest saved me. I walked in circles, Filling lives with duplicities. And then the rainforest saved me.
And as I finish this post, more and more things come to mind. Books, writing, knowledge, listening and learning, animals, food, and finally and perhaps ultimately each breathe is sacred. if only we could live our lives with the presence to remember that. no matter how I try to avoid it, I can’t help but feel lost when even in Ramzan, the month that is most sacred to Muslims, 50 people die in Karachi in one day. Bless you Karachi, for now all my prayers rest with those who are hurting and suffering. Sacred Karachi my heart sends you peace.
Read Shriya’s!: Thought Sketching – Shriya Malhotra