The Rich Vegetarian

An Examined Life

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Category: Poetry

And Life Exists Where?

And where does life exist, really?

In the daily routines and rituals,
checklists and calendars and errands and shopping lists,
weekend classes, gym schedules, drop off and pick up, buy milk and groceries and bread.

time to meet friends and family, it is Diwali and then Christmas

In the chopping of vegetables and taking out of trash,
cooking and cleaning and dishes and laundry and lawn tasks.

In marking time on iPhones and paper desk calendars and Outlook.

Or in the endless time stretching infinitely in my mind, in my head,
Wondering where the waves go, the seas part, the wind drops, and the birds call out
Wondering about the horizon and the space it spans, the sky and the blue depths above and below.

the quiet beaches in my mind, miles of sand, not a soul around

thoughts arise and subside, the elements bearing witness to my endless ideas and imaginations,

and then it’s back to chopping vegetables again.

Is it in between, in both, nowhere?

The World that Beckons

There’s a world that beckons inward,
A space of quiet, non-threatening, plain and clean

I started going there as a child, I think?
I felt non-judged, felt like myself
(Whatever “myself” meant at that point in space and time)

I thought everyone had this kinda place
Surely, everyone needed it?

It took me a while before I got it:
That space was my own, my gift, a place I crafted for myself, maybe before I was even born
For refuge, for respite, a place to sleep and dream and let the tears flow

I still go there
every day
It is my own

And I like its neutrality

As a child, I felt it welcoming
Now I appreciate neutrality even more

Walls are pale grey-blue
Air flows in and out
There are windows, but none really
I feel the sun, the light and warmth

I hear the water

Is it a beach? A silent forest? Atop a mountain?

Are those clouds floating by, misting over?

Birdsong, chai, sounds of silence.

For my Wise, Young, Beautiful Cousin who Loves the Woods

She was happy to leave New York (does that happen to anyone at all?)
she loves animals
and mountains
And the land her father grew up on
where she tramped days as a child
quiet and alone and tanned
tall trees laden with jack fruit and cashews and peppercorns and mangoes
dark homes with cool floors and pillars
she left the noise and dust of our home in Mumbai
went North
found a hillside town
(I thought it romantic)
she worked long and hard
made a name for herself, met friendly folks and ate homely dinners
met dynamic men, fiery and passionate
loved, lived, left

came back to Colorado, the hills beckoned again
friendliness, passion, compassion and desire
to learn and grow
and preserve and protect
to drink in the beauty
sip away the sunrise

and tramp all over the hills again

finally to gaze at the land her father built a home on.