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Walking on Clouds by Gilad

Walking on Clouds by Gilad

A little boy told me once that there’s always one sandwich missing in a sandwich basket. Apparently it was his philosophy in life. I laughed at the time. But as I began to get older I realized that truer words were never spoken. He had the most original way of telling me that nothing in life is complete. That there’s always something that stops any situation from being perfect. It sounds pessimistic in a way.

But it also reminds me of something someone else said. Mr. George Bernard Shaw said that “as long as I don’t have what I want, I have a reason for living. Contentment is death”. I’ve never been content. I guess that means I’m still very much here. It’s an affirmation that I am alive. That I still thirst and hunger and need for more than I have, greater things than are possible.

People tell me I’m too much of dreamer. That in the midst of my pessimism, hope always managed to creep in. Every time life beats me to the ground, I realize that that’s as low as I can ever get and I rise up. Time after time.

It makes you wonder though sometimes. Am I asking for too much to be happy. I look at what I have right now, the opportunities in front of me, the people in my life who love me, my job, my muse, my two amazing canine kiddies and I still want more. Different things than the obvious.

My English lit teacher wrote me a little note when I was leaving school that I know by heart. I see you longing for the finer things in life. Poetry in life and love and in everything you long for. It’s going to be lonely up there. But remember… the air up there is sweeter, rarer.

I think she got the 18 year old me down to a pat. And since I doubt I’ve grown up very much since then, other than to let my search beat me down time after time, I think I still won’t settle for anything less. I owe it to myself to move every mountain in my way. I owe it to myself to never stop searching.

In the midst of it, what really scares me is finding what I’m looking for. What if I find my missing sandwich? What happens when my picnic basket finally becomes complete and all I have left to do is, spread my gingham blanket on the ground and enjoy my day in the sun? Will it be the death of me? (can you see how that wretched pessimist in me creeps in through the cracks in the conversation?)

My teacher was right, my search, my chase has been a very lonely one. It’s an utterly depressing place to be sometimes when I stop and evaluate what I’ve had to come through. I’m still climbing my mountains but sometimes when the route gets a little rocky, it’s nice to have someone give you a hand up.

It’s an infinitely lonely place when no one sees into your soul and really gets you. But that’s not the point of this post. I just wanted to tell you in my own words, the other facet of why my blog is thus named.

I am the missing sandwich because I feel that my purpose is to complete someone’s life. But my blog is also called the missing sandwich because it’s a declaration of my final destination. My desire to be complete and the fact that it’s ok that I’m not quite there yet.

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Darth Maximus was. In my search for the 3 day weekend to find meaning in my life, it hits me late Friday night anyway.  Let me tell you a story. A couple of years ago when my life was at its lowest point I just picked up the Sunday Observer and went through the classifieds I wanted to play with some puppies to feel better so I went straight to the kennel notices & went to a house on the pretense of buying a puppy. There was a litter of glossy black Labrador puppies that I visited and in the midst of playing with them, one of the pack wanted nothing to do with me. He grabbed an old dead leaf, ran off, hid under his kennel and glared at me while chewing on it. I fell in love. I took him home. 

Months later things just got worse and worse. I was literally all alone in the world except for my beloved Max. I had decided to die. Everything was planned out to perfection and no one would know until it was too late. Every one reaches their limit. People may say that God doesn’t give you more than you can handle. But I had more than my share. I won’t go into the details because that’s not necessary. Everyone has a limit they reach before breaking point and I was way beyond mine. That’s all I need to say.  Max knew I was dying inside bit by bit. He grew more and more attached and protective of me day by day. But even he knew I was slipping away. When no one else knew, he did. I think he felt he needed to do something drastic. Unconditional love makes one do the extreme.  The day before my perfect suicide, Max died. Just like that. A beautiful 7 month black angel. All I could do was hold onto his dead body in the middle of a road and scream at the injustice. When things couldn’t get any worse, just 24 hours before I was destined to end it all…   

Jesus died to erase the sins of the world. Max died to erase the pain in my soul.  Darth Maximus died in my place and I am alive because of him today. This post is a tribute to my saviour. My first child and my salvation from my pain. My salvation from everyone who hurt me. My salvation from myself.  You soar in my soul baby. Mummy will never forget you.

 

Originally posted on 28 05 2007. I just read a post by my friend Absent that reminded me of my own painful loss and I felt the need to post it again.

 

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I’d like to say it’s getting better 4 years down the line, but I’d be lying. How do you recover from sending someone to feed the roses? Some days aren’t as dark as others. But then I wake up one morning and that gut-wrenching ache returns and I want to scream out at the injustice. And my deep rooted anger at you. For leaving me. For making me bury you when you were just coming to life.

I can’t go into another painful list of our memories this year, my love. So this year, it’s just a note to you from the me of now.

Things haven’t been the best. I’ve come close to the door of hell just this last year. And its been a while since I walked by your grave and let the tears flow. But not a day passes that I don’t miss your face, your evil eyes, the careless chuckle permanently etched across the lines of your face.

When things are all quiet, in the stillest, darkest moments of the night, I still talk to you, as though we were still cuddling in that water bed of yours. You still lay by my side and tell me your dreams and listen to mine.

I wonder if you are still listening. Still watching over me. The way I knew you did during those first dark days. Or have you moved on to a point where you don’t even see me anymore? My beautiful Eyes of Thundera. My sword of omens. My protector. My independent love song. 

It’s hard. I’m doing better than I thought I ever would. But it’s still hard. There’s this huge, swelling inside, clogged with un-named emotions that just won’t go away sometimes. And then I start flipping through our pictures. 2 little Jedi padwans, full of dreams and hopes and ready to take on anything that came our way. But then you went and died on me. And I walk the wilderness alone now. 

A decade may go by, but the pain will feel as fresh as if it was yesterday. I maybe angry with you. That’s never going to end. But neither will my love. 

 

In memory of Mirantha Fernando (27th January 1979  – 26th February 2005)

Come back & be with me one last time. When I step on that stage tonight, I will look for some trace of your face. I’ll perform for you only. You’ll be in every breath I take and every note I sing. You’ll be in the laughter of the audience. Their applause will be like your heart beating one more time, so close to mine. Come back to me, my love, for just one night…

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Just another Monday in the Sri Lankan blogosphere. Lasantha is being buried, MTV is being repaired, I presume and I am wondering things that might get me ostracised by all of you… like what is the purpose of a silent protest in the streets when not enough people turn up to make a difference? You stand around, you wrap yourselves in black cloths and go back to work in the afternoon. What have you achieved? What have I? I would have been there myself, not questions asked, if I hadn’t been so ill. But I am questioning it now. It was a case of too little numbers. Its not a question of quality vs. quantity anymore. The bigger the force the better, when dealing with ignorant despots. After all, Mahatma Gandhi wasn’t dealing with the kind of twisted creatures we have to battle with now.

Its not the time for something silent right now. But its never the time for violence. So what do we do? We can’t sit back and take it saying it too dangerous to protest. But a peacefully organized protest only achieves so much. I guess I’m being ignorant in this flighty vocalizing of my opinion here, but if that’s the case, then tell me? What have we achieved if every single person doesn’t stand up together? At least a majority that will make a difference. What if every single person who works in media and its related industries stage a walk out for a whole day? It will shut down enough of this country to make the powers that be notice and do something right? But will we actually see a day when that many people find their invisible balls?

Think about it. Every single person working at a newspaper, magazine, ad agency, radio & TV production house, tv station, radio station, theatre group, musician… every single person walks out. And if anyone else would like to join, well come along too. We need strength in numbers. The lone voice only gets shot. Look at what happened to the man we are burying today after all. Morbid, I know.

He said what he had to. We all read his newspaper, watched his TV show. Nodded in agreement. Laughed at his brash expression of it. But still agreed, none-the-less. Discussed it over dinners, drinks, boardroom meetings. But we never really did anything about it. Do we let his life and his work mean nothing by organizing paltry demonstrations and protests or do we all stand up and walk out and not come back until some action is taken? Do we insult his memory like we insulted his life by just nodding in agreement once again?

I’m no better. I’m just blogging about it.

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This Friday is a day I have been dreading since this year began. I’ll start to live the last year of my life as a 20-something. Yuck. Disgusting. Terrible. Incorrigible. How will I stand being a 30-something after that? I was told that more people will start to take me seriously. Well screw that. I just want to stay young. Since this is going to be my last post for this week, I thought I’d do my birthday post in advance and tell you 29 things that I have learned since I graced this earth with my perfect nose and non-stop chatter. There’s something special about being born during the holidays. You get 2 presents. Everyone is in a festive mood. And the celebrations never stop. Unlike most people I don’t go to sleep on the 25th of December thinking that its all over. I go to sleep thinking I’m waking up to yet another day of celebrations and this time its going to all centre around me. The last few years have been a bit of a non-event though. What with the Tsunami and everything else that’s been going on in my life, I really haven’t felt very much like celebrating. This year I finally want to throw caution to the wind and have a ball and then Mrs. Santa decided not to grant me one of my wishes. No bonus = no money to celebrate. Sigh. Never mind, here are my 29 pearls of wisdom for you…

  1. The best way to avoid braces as a child is to stick your hand in the fan as a baby. I did when I was only a few months old and had to stop sucking my fingers. For some strange reason I never sucked my thumb. But needless to say, I have perfect, albeit shortish teeth.
  2. Ensure that you have a best friend who you can completely be yourself around. Ideally this friend should have no inhibitions. Mine farts, burps and does virtually every disgusting thing possible around me so that I can do the same around her too.
  3. Everybody else’s mother winds up being your best friend whilst your mum never understands you, but is always available for a chat when your friends have a problem
  4. Always have pets. When no one understands you, they will. It helps to create a language they comprehend. If required my dictionary of doggie language can be shared with others.
  5. If you know someone well enough, they can never lie to you because you can see right through them
  6. Indulge. When you can afford it and really want to, just go ahead. Its far better than living in regret & deprivation
  7. If you find a grey hair, panic.
  8. Make a list of things you want to do before you reach a certain age. Just thinking it won’t help make it happen.
  9. Make sure you’re swept off your feet at least once in your lifetime
  10. There’s only one person in your life whose lips relate to yours. The perfect kiss is not an urban legend but it may not be a lasting attachment
  11. Understand the difference between like and love. Strangely enough, it was one of the tougher lessons I had to learn
  12. Learn to be a little cynical, it saves a lot of heartache
  13. Despite what the books say, no one loves like they’ve never been hurt
  14. On the eve of your 29th birthday, sit down with your gay cousins and plan your funeral. They’ll tell you that once you’re passed 30, you become a walking corpse. Gay men are more honest with you about yourself that anyone else is.
  15. Don’t ask ‘does this make me look fat?’ If you don’t know yourself, don’t expect anyone else to lie to you.
  16. Get to know people outside your usual circle. You’ll be amazed at how much you learn and how much your strangely have in common
  17. Stand up for what you believe in. Don’t wait for someone else to and then just back them up. The first stand is what matters.
  18. The Peppers were right when they said ‘music is my aeroplane’
  19. When the world gets you down, when someone hurts you beyond repair, don’t hold it in. Numbness does more damage than you can imagine. Lock everything out, cry for days on end if you must, because when you finally go back out, you’ll find that you can actually laugh about it. Its amazing medicine for the soul.
  20. Everybody, every single person you love and trust will let you down at some point. And you can never be prepared for it.
  21. Lemonade isn’t the only thing you can make when life hands you lemons. There are quite a few cocktail recipes online.
  22. If you let the sun go down on your anger, you’ll wake up feeling like a cow.
  23. You’re not intelligent if you don’t have a sense of humour, even if the joke is on you
  24. Don’t define your life by whom or what you love. Love is a bonus, not the be-all and end-all of it
  25. Complete honesty from someone you love is the greatest gift that their love can give you
  26. Never fake an orgasm. What’s the point in getting naked with someone if you’re not going to enjoy it?
  27. Decide if you’re going to work for the money or satisfaction and don’t complain about it. They both may come together, but that’s just a bonus.
  28. Don’t leave anything behind. There’s no point in being remembered after your gone if you weren’t thought of when you were.
  29. Shake what your mama gave you.

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you’re surrounded by the people that mean the most to you. There’s no greater gift.

Ps. Family isn’t necessarily the one you’re born into 

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The Nine Lives

We had nine beautiful babies. And then fate decided that they were not meant to be. They were all gone, one by one within an hour. The weekend was hell. My heart it breaking with a deep ugly pain and I don’t know what more to say.We had nine lives that were never meant to be.

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Driving home last night I saw a host of lorries heading out of Colombo along the Galle Road and I started thinking about the no lorries in Colombo without a permit scenario that doesn’t seem to be in existence anymore. The can bring in the right amount of explosives to take out a city block. Instant flashback to the JOC bombing.

I remember facing the window as a school girl in the middle of equations. x-4=y+2 and all that jazz. Suddenly the world exploded before me. I couldn’t for the life of me remember where I had seen in before. The 2 mushrooms of fire and smoke that dominated the sky and the earth all at the same time. Later did I realize that it looked just like an atomic bomb exploding. It felt like agonizing minutes in slow motion followed by glass shattering all over. Almost every building in school lost windows. Many lost blood. A few jots of it by a small piece of glass being embedded into their skin. A classmate got one just under her eye. I can still hear her hysterical shrieks followed by the panicked shrieks of others at having felt her fear. I was quiet. Trying to understand what happened.

It was one of my first recollections of numbness. I didn’t realize one could go through trauma and feel emptiness immediately after as a result of shock. Almost half an hour later, along with the near-clanging sounds of glass being swept and the blaring shrieks of ambulances, everyone started sobbing. Not hysterical anymore. More a realization that bad things were happening just outside. Girls started remembering their parents, brothers, sisters… it felt like a mass funeral as no one knew if their lives could have been shattered forever. What if someone was hurt, or worse – dead? Honesty? I felt I needed to join the band-wagon. This numbness wasn’t working. I felt insensitive. Then I realized that someone very precious to me, my cousin was very nearby in school as well. I would have rather died than lose him. (I did lose him to a bike accident nearly 3 years ago though) Suddenly the tears came making me realize I wasn’t numb anymore. What started as me trying not to feel left out, made me feel very much alone all over again. We may have been crying for similar reasons, but I know now that individual pain is like no other. Its terrible that no one can be in your shoes and feel that. Terrible that we should have had to go through that confusion and pain at such a young age.

Why are we letting it happen to our children all over again now?

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