Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Crack a little, let the light in

I come from a multitude of families. Whatever kind of growth I have had has been inspired by their breaking away, their coming together in a new way, their healing, their anger and ultimately their (and my) acceptance.
It is a said, written and much mulled over theory that kids from 'broken homes' have difficulty forming relationships. I think forming relationships is difficult for anybody. You could have had the most wholesome family as a child and still be uncertain about closeness, bonding.
Keeping up with families in the plural is difficult. There is resentment, bitterness, a desperate guarding of one's own space and place in the familial structure. But what is possible is genuine affection, inclusion and greater care in navigating your way through different relationships, blood or otherwise.
I have shed tears and bitten my lip to keep from saying anything potentially destructive. And so have a lot of my families. I listen to stories from friends and colleagues, about strictness and discipline, about the subtle hierarchy that exists between parents and children, the older and the younger etc. And I am grateful for the complete equality I share with both my parents.
I think of how I would rather be home spending time with E, than anywhere else. Even if spending time means telling him to eat his vegetables and not gape at the TV. I think of how wonderful it is have everybody out of the house on my day off.
Distance and space, keeping up with one another, having enough softness to yield to the new, and being solid enough to assimilate it with what already was, taking responsibility for a relationship you have no idea what to do with...all of this came with the breaking of a whole and the forming of new ones.
Most of all, there are stories I would never have thought of telling, had there not been fractures and healing in my life.

Monday, December 22, 2008


There's nothing in the following editorial that hasn't been said/written about before. But it mirrors how I feel when the house is dark and I watch the red lights on my Christmas tree. It's not a feeling I've had very often in the past few months, so I'm posting this as a reminder to myself on blue days...

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
By Francis P. Church, first published in The New York Sun in 1897.

Dear Editor—
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in
The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia O’Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Okie people, I got this from Neha's blog after she threatened to kill me long-distance if I didn't do the tag and put it up. So...put up your answers to the following in the comments section and put up the questions on your blog so I can return the favour!

1. Who are you?
2. Are we friends?
3.Something I have and you want?
4.Give me a nick name and explain why you picked it.
5.Describe me in one word.
6.What was your first impression of me?
7.Do you still think that way about me now?
8.What reminds you of me?
9.If you could ever give me one thing, what would it be?
10.How well do you know me?
11.How do you see me in the future?
12. Something you wanted to tell me but couldn't.
13.Are you going to put this on your blog to see what

Friday, December 05, 2008

Kathleen Kelly speaks...

It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees...

This time of year throws me roughly into nostalgia. It isn't memory so much as longing. Longing based entirely on strings of red lights and festive cartoons. And Mum.
We've always loved Christmas, Mum and I. Church, carols, Midnight Mass....and presents.
As long as we lived together, Mum never let me give up on Santa. I don't think she's given up even now.
It's been difficult these past seven years, more so because through Europe, we've seen everything we love about this season in the flesh.
We've had years in Calcutta, years that only we know about. Christmases where I decorated the tree alone because she was working late. There weren't presents then, but we'd go out for lunch next day. My snobbish, luxury-loving mother would ensure she worked enough all year to take me to the Oberoi for Christmas lunch.
She's been alone for six of the last seven Christmases. I'd give a lot to change that. No matter where we are and who is around us, Mum and I spend Christmas alone if not with each other.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


The past 8 days have been stretching. New work, new workplace, new people...so much to make room in my life for. This isn't tnt in many ways. But then again, there are similarities. I still have a boss who gives me lifts in his car. I am still working with people I have already started giggling with. There are spaces where I can go and smoke.
But it is my workplace. It's business and it can and does get dirty. I wouldn't go in there and wander around to soothe myself the way I do at the Store.
I am learning to be quick, to ask for help, to work constantly under deadline and to write for a volatile audience. I am working with software and style and other technicalities.
I had gotten used to the effortless way I could work in the Store. But then it took two years, countless goof-ups and a steady focus on completing every day's tasks every day to get to that stage.
And now, I'm starting all over again.
Apart from office work, there is work needed to be done with A-and-me. We're happy, dissatisfied by the distance, but there's a seed of certainty about what we have that is taking root. I think that's mainly because I might throw tantrums, he might not call for a day, I might have issues over something he said when he was half-asleep - but at the end of it all, we're genuinely pretty psyched to have each other in our lives. Since we both started working, communication has gone down to 5 minutes of 'how was your day' online, but every little bit counts.