The Magic Stones of Healing

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BeeJay
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The Magic Stones of Healing

Post by BeeJay » Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:26 am

Created On: October 03, 2004
Category: Essay /Short Story (1702 words)

Title: Poetry – The Magic Stones of Healing
____By Baru Gobira

At 50, I never knew I had it in me to write books or poetry. Neither was there any special inclination to become a muse at large nor was there any major record of story writing skills. What I did have in plenty was trouble both at home & at work. Life seemed to be lurching forever from one disaster to another. Depression and despair were my shadow’s companion.
As a family we had been visited by a series of medical disasters. My wife was a juvenile diabetic. She was recovering from one of her frequent spells arising from a diabeticaly-induced coma. Which about means her blood glucose level was very low. I had personally come out of lumbar surgery for a recurring slipped disc. I was being sued in a court of law. My son being a slow learner was now at an age when you acutely feel peer pressure. My business was closed. Finances were non existent. Either to pay business or personal bills. I refused to hide behind Chapter XI. To keep the kitchen fires burning, in a passive frame of mind, I started making project reports for new entrepreneurs, yet to confront with disaster. I was aware of something brewing in my mind, with thoughts forming words & words making lines, which by some stretch of imagination made good verse. I was beginning to hear & mutter some of those words that buzzed in my mind. A verse, yet to see paper, vaguely took birth in my mind, to provide much needed satisfaction. The temptation to write was an overpowering urge.
I started to write poetry & unknowingly joined the tribe of global wordsmiths. Thoughts seemed to flow, for words to form images and rhymes found themselves in harmony with free verse. The lines spilt into fine stanzas and when I read them, they sounded as if written by a different person. It was a one-off attempt and the writing spirit went into hibernation for a year. As it is with such things, current events overshadowed such literary efforts. None saw what I wrote. I soon developed a habit to open the word file, whenever events went awry, which were often enough.


My troubles in and with life had made me anaesthetized. I was withdrawing more & more into dark thoughts. The vision of the futility of life seemed to be fleeting before my eyes with a metronomic regularity. I would read the poem and revise or recast the words and verse. Every reading seemed to make it more appealing to me. Again time and circumstances both conspired to make me put them on the back burner. A year later on a normal day when the pressures were the least, husband and wife had the time to think about our troubles with Juvenile Diabetes. The trauma of pain which had accompanied our many hospital visits, became the center piece of conversation. One day while surfing the channels on TV, there was a piece on the Oprah Show on Diabetes Day. This sparked something in us to write our story. There was a new sense of purpose, chairs were drawn together, the bills were forgotten, the Court proceedings were out of our mind. However temporary that may have been
. We sat down together, to collaborate on this narrative non-fiction biography: “No Sugar, Please"--A Story of a Juvenile Diabetic- that spanned more than 25 years of married life and some before it. Many fine hours later we found a new spirit of contentment in our collaborative effort. The outline was discussed and written. The first chapter led to the next and we had a fine thing to read aloud before going to bed. My wife surprisingly admitted that I could write, as she experienced real pleasure while reading the beginning of her own story in a book form. We had many hours of discussion, all without a major fight, which was the normal endgame with most of our earlier conversations. We ploughed through time's corridor, to thoughts that took us back to childhood and happier times, to friends we had not thought of for many a year, to a house that haunted our memories long long ago. Since we had grown up together in a fairly small town, our childhood had many a common thread to weave the fabric of the past. Some mistakes we could now grin at, as a slow smile spread across our face. Our minds were now ready to go back into the past. For in the past lay both the problem & the solution.
The curtains of history, once parted brought forth, fresh areas of delight. Simple pleasures and laughter and a sense of times when things were so good with us, seemed to calm the nerves. Depression vanished leaving euphoria behind, even though it was momentary. It seemed as if we were rediscovering each other in that moment of sharing. Perception changed. Time flew pleasantly and our current troubles were more like aberrations, rather than the norm. It no longer seemed to generate fear or despair. I really don’t know when I stopped writing the book and started writing poetry again. This time in a period of 3 months I had written 60 poems and revised them times without count. Each poem triggered another. But what emerged were poems of darkness & light, grief & despair, of failure and of the future which must be but wasn’t.
In the writing I had found what I wished to do the most in my life. Every waking hour was filled, spreading ink all over the page. A figurative expression as I used the wordprocessor most of the time. It seemed, each time I wrote, some of my rage at the inequities of life surfaced. Each time I revised it, new understanding seeped through. I began to put together the patches of my life. As hope dawned in the writings, it led to making new attempts to resolve our needs for money. I felt at peace with myself and the few times when the blues appeared, they were not the same dark clouds of old. It just drove me back into the arms of poetry. I was two people with many shades of confusing experience. A living heteronym. I could travel far in my mind and enjoy the beauty of time and the insignificant stature of humans in such a landscape. It was a cathartic unburdening of the soul. Now that it was out in the open, warts and all, there was no shame. Only reconciliation. Small energies bubbled to overcome inertia. I wished to live once more. Face reality as I had once done, long ago. I was myself as well as others that I had wanted to be.
Poetry in ways I can’t exactly document made me whole and human. A way to look on life afresh beckoned & I wanted to just write in all the waking hours of the day or night. Editing, rewriting, revising. I finished a Book of Poems titled Penn Rain. Meaning just that. The rain unleashed by the mind and penned in the book washed all shame from our psyche. It did not matter what we were. The focus was on what we could become. Now that we were not desperate for breaks, opportunities came our way. Small they might have been but it all added up. The work I did on the project found acceptance with clients. My positive outlook reflected on what I did.
When the present often brought days followed by days of endless problems, I always had poetry to keep my mind from performing a fast rewind of my failures and mistakes. Flashback times became fewer & fewer. The spells when rage raced through the mind sketching war scenarios of what I would do, could do or must do to someone or the other slowly receded. I now have a feeling of equanimity, that has helped push away, more and more permanently, scars, which had made the deepest inroads into the skins of memory.
Another year of writing has brought publication and some public recognition, through Review Journals & Anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic. The problems are not all over. But solutions have surfaced one by one. I guess they were always there, but a depressive myopic mind refused to see its existence. I find I have turned the corner. I am willing to look back and to the future. I now work just enough to help me run my home, while I write. My ambitions are not sky high. I work hard to keep it that way. My poetry submissions are more frequent, as are the rejection slips. Few as they are, the acceptances make my day. Most importantly, the act of writing is now a regular activity. Undertaken with affection and not out of therapeutic necessity. To us and I use the plural liberally, though it is only I who write, the support & participation of wife & children have enhanced the beneficial effects.
More poetry and a year later saw us resuming the writing of “No Sugar, Please" It has left me strangely at peace with the world and myself. Writing has helped directly to set my own pace, atleast most of the time. The act of chronicling my times has been a catharsis of sorts. The act of creation rejuvenates while attempting to fleetingly flirt with immortality, helps to escape from harsh reality. Or is this reality. I don’t know. Nothing has changed yet everything has changed. I journey far, my destination certain, but I know not when I will one day come home to rest. This much I know, happy I am, that a part of me will remain far far longer than I. Success too will touch the shores I wander and waves flow over the words I write. But my writings will never be washed away, for I had fleetingly flown on the wingtips of immortality. I hope my writings one day bring to others what it has brought to me. Lasting peace & happiness from an encounter with Poetry-The Magic Stones of Healing.

_____________Copyright October, 2004 Baru Gobira.
If the Universe was a little smaller , I may just be able to reach out to you. Copyright © 2009 Baru Gobira

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