I check my cell phone early in the day. It’s a habit, to be sure. What could be so earth shattering on Facebook, after all, that couldn’t wait until after breakfast?
This morning as I scanned the new items, I noticed a photo of an elephant that seemed to have tears in its eyes. The caption said they remember horrible things that have happened. I started to cry. I didn’t click to find out more. I wasn’t ready for any details.
Then I decided I was tired and needed a relaxing break so I watched a dvd from the public library: Delhi-6: The Journey Within. With music by A. R. Rahman, it had to be good. But I chose it because “the story is told against the backdrop of the ancient walled city of Delhi who is a character in herself.” It was a moving story of a grandson accompanying his grandmother back to India where she wants to die. He has grown up in the U.S. so must learn the ways of his extended family in Old Delhi. Turns out his father was Muslim and his mother Hindu. So this forbidden marriage of his parents out of love is set up in the macrocosm of the Muslim-Hindu tensions in the neighborhood. It gets a little silly with a black monkey monster loose in the city and the media’s animated obsession with this unknown evil. By the resolution, Roshan (main character) realizes the town fool is correct: look in the mirror and you see the divine but there is also potential for the black monkey terrorist when anger and fear lurk.
I was crying by the end of the film. Roshan nearly died, and in fact, he did for a few minutes but regained consciousness. His love, who almost elopes with a boyfriend, realizes Roshan is the one and they will somehow surmount her father’s objections.
Realizing I’d been inside all day, I took the dogs a walk to the creek behind our house. We walked down the west field a bit, passed through high grass where the deer cut through, then reached the creek. I sensed something before I could focus. There was something large lying there on the side of the creek: a dead deer. Eyes still open, blood from the rear–my dogs seemed to take it in stride but me? Now a rush of tears.
What was it about today? I had to take a look at what was going on.
In last night’s writing group, we were reading from Brenda Ueland’s IF YOU WANT TO WRITE. Here is what stood out for me:
“He [William Blake] did not mind death in the least. He said that to him it was just like going into another room.” When it was my turn to check in, I shared this memory about my mother’s death in 2007:
You know when Steve Jobs died and his sister shared with the world that his last words were “Wow!” Well, I can’t believe I could have forgotten but I did. Fortunately, I had documented her last hour at hospice in a poem. Toward the end, my mother had said “Amazing!” I had been so afraid of death, the final mystery. In recent years with meditating and chanting with my local Siddha Yoga group, I had become less so. While I want to believe that death is like going into another room, intellectually is one thing and getting closer is quite another. I will be 64 next February and aging is a concern of mine. So is death evidently!
So when I cry for that dead deer, am I sad she died? For we all must. Am I projecting my own? After all, alone in a creek is better than dead in the road. It is not rational, this much I know. And the moon is not full and maybe I just have had too much time alone these past few days, time to reflect more deeply. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with crying. Doesn’t it mean I’m open? Being vulnerable is part of being human. I just didn’t know I’d wake up and feel so human today.