They sat
across the table
from each other.
His father
had that,
‘I don’t want to smile
but
what can I say,
I expected as much

and
here you are
just like we sat
when you were a kid
and cared
little
for what
I said
or did,’
look on his face.
As they stared
each other down
he realized that
it
was
just
one
moment
of irritation
that had brought them
back together.

He had been trying
not to lose
focus
as a deluge of thoughts
was disrupting
his normally peaceful
meditation,
but
love’s weary feet
were trampling all over
his mental exaltation.
In that moment
he realized
the truth of his father’s
words,
nearly 20 years ago,
that his son
just moved
from fad to fad
with no anchor
for his wretched soul.
There had been his
break dance craze
then
the serious
jazz musician phase.
Can’t forget
the gothic
heavy metal hair
and black everywhere
even though
you live
right in the pocket
of hip hop
days.
But
then
that Buddhist nun
had come strolling by
she was hot as hell
and
he
was definitely for sale
– even if
it meant becoming celibate
he was down with it;
at least
for a little bit.
So,
he had packed it up
and started anew.
His father
shaking his head and telling,
“I’ll be here son
waiting for you.”
“You have to be
willing
to give your
life
to attain
the eternal,”
he had told his father
even though
he really
didn’t understand
Buddhism.
He understood that nun,
she had put the truth in him.
But
now it seems
after 20 long years
of intense introspection
and counting the fears
his dad had been right
and he was ready to leave
so he packed up
his
meditation mat
yoga blocks
and rope
and set off
to become
just another corporate bloke
collecting a pay check.
He was free
and
now
he was giving up the right
to write his own story;
offering up his hands
to be shackled by the world’s demands.
He
was returning to his city life
at least we can eat pizza every night
paradise.
His dad would say,
in his usual,
head back,
condescending way,
not to worry,
you’re not to blame,
your mind just waxes
like the eternal flame,
and
though I thought
you had finally found some aim
it seems that simply
a new fad
has captured you
today.

53 Comments

  1. I am seriously hoping this story is not true. Because the man has such a spark in it and it would be sad to see it snuffed away by life’s winds.

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    1. Ah, that’s totally true that in life it could always be time for something else!

      Unlike people dabbling merely out of curiosity with the other-worldly stuff in the name of soul searching, it is my belief that it our inner self has clarity and has made up its mind to walk the path tight, there may be upsetting, distractions and failures but eventually we always win. Sri Aurobindo says that such a determination if founded one’s central being (a term he uses to indicate that the different layers of our being are actually tied to this one central being residing in all of us) a steadiness is always guaranteed. Victory may be delayed but not out of sight.

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  2. The son may be a commito-phobe or had failures at everything & it has become his habit to jump from one place to other.(I used to take my multiple interest similarly, but now it’s not so 🙂 ) Aptly puts one piece of life in a father’s perspective.

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    1. True to that. Now you have let me into thinking what my motivations are. 🙂 You know to improve oneself – one may become self-analytical & then get the sting of self-doubts at times.

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  3. Interesting poem. I like the everywhere of it, but the closeness of it. It reminds me a bit of my life, albeit I wasn’t into Buddhism. I was more along the lines of being “converted” to get my way with a lady…

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  4. From personal experience, I think I can safely say that many parents will never believe their children are truly dedicated to anything. Every new hobby, career, or religion that their kids take up is just a passing fad in their eyes, no matter how much work we put into it. I guess two possible explanations exist for the doubt. First, by the time their “kids” are old enough to understand and undertake true dedication to a cause, most parents are probably too old to remember how their passions and loyalties shifted a bit over time. (Hopefully, they haven’t forgotten the sincerity of those first passions and loyalties.) Second, the “kids” may have been insincere dabblers when they were younger, and in our parents’ eyes, do we ever grow up? I guess there is no room to complain though. We’ll most likely have the same attitude toward our own “kids” and their loyalties someday.

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    1. As a parent @pezcita I disagree …. I already see the eternal wisdom in my younger son, and I see respect and compassion in my elder son …. Whatever they choose in their journey through life is their decision… I only ask one thing of them…. That whatever they choose to do they do it because they have a burning passion and desire for it…. Society too easily deflects us from finding happiness … I would prefer to see my children living a frugal life filled with passion and happiness than to jump on the same wagon that many feel forced to do …. One life, here now, to spend as we so choose ourselves …
      I think you may need to sit back and think about parents in a different way, why do they think the way they do? What are their backgrounds etc… I was lucky enough to choose the parents that have now and they have guided me toward many lessons that I needed to learn this lifetime… As you get older you do have more time to learn and reflect … I think all that most parents want I’d for their children to be happy ….. We will never stop worrying about them, they chose us …
      Oh … And I will never grow up … And my two boys admire this very aspect in my personality

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        1. I will never forget what my dad told me a long time ago, he said ‘We as your parents are only guides, we are not going to get it right all the time. Look at what you do like about your mother and I and keep it for your children, whatever you are unhappy with, change it so that your own children will benifit more.’ I love it that he told me that. We are all here living and learning I guess, I honestly nelive that when we start to observe ourselves from the outside instead of keeping ourselves in, then we can become more aware of what we would like to change about ourselves, without laying the blame elsewhere. Only one person can make me happy, and that is me …. and …. it is a lifelong journey, find your own passion and follow it … within you shall find happiness for you x

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  5. There is a real ‘ouch’ in this for me, especially from the thought that his father’s words have shaped his life. As you said, he couldn’t escape his father’s words. It touches my tear spot. I like the thoughts in it too – of giving up his hands to the world’s demands, and giving up the right to determine his own life.

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  6. though we sometimes find our parents words hurtful or annoying, it is these words that affect us the most. Almost always we expect the most from parents, even if there is tension between parent and child, the child always pines for the words of the parent. Its a weird feeling. Beautifully written and deserving freshly pressed.

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  7. While there are parents who can be cruel to their kids, there are still those who are kind enough to support each fad a child can have. Maybe the problem is how some parents don’t bother with they way they talk with their children Great piece though, I liked it very much.

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  8. Nicely written…fathers! — who knows what they’re thinking?? A lot of pressure on them to be heroes, if they’d only realize that they are superheroes when they love their kids–that’s all.

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  9. Hey, I really liked your post! I’m new to blogging and I just set up one called politicalnoob.com and I don’t know if it is good or not. It’s directed towards people who want to know about politics but can’t understand what the news is trying to say. I tried to simplify some of the issues so that people can start to understand what is going on! I only have like two posts though and if you want to read them and give me some feedback with a comment, that would be really cool! It’s politicalnoob.com if anyone is interested. Again, really great post and I really like your writing!

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  10. The things we do in life shape our character and so do the interpretations, judgements and labels we surround them with. One of the gifts of a good writer is being able to experience simultaneous sets of emotions, and ascribe context and meaning to the wider lessons by expressing these varied streams of logic and understanding from different perspectives. The truth is that if children fail to measure up to their father’s expectations, fathers will say the most terrible things… but it’s usually to attempt some sort of change in behaviour which if you think about is rooted in love and perhaps feeling a sense of frustration that their “child” is not (in the eyes of a father) living up to their potential. These opinions stick with us and become our drivers. We either want to prove them wrong, or prove them right but their emotional impact remains. I think after you have them, you realise that you would do anything to help your children make the most of their life, take a few shortcuts to avoid pain and discomfort and then ultimately realise that you’re helpless and that they must live their lives. The best that you can be is supportive. But our parents didn’t have the Internet… they had their parents… and the gene-pool of shared experience was a lot murkier 🙂

    I loved the poem, it inspired many thoughts as you can see. 🙂

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  11. Wow, really hits home. Choked up a bit. Amazing writing, thank you.
    I find it interesting how many perspectives there are on this piece but it’s powerful from so many angles.

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  12. This poem reminded me of a poem my teacher, Brandon Thompson, wrote in his book, The Long Road Home. “I don’t believe in God/don’t think that you do/either./But one day I sat/together with you,/at a table with three chairs.”

    Thank you for sharing, Sreejit ❤ ❤

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  13. This poem made me misty-eyed. As a person who has flown-by-the-seat-of-her-pants most of my life, I could really relate. I love the fads and phases of my life. It has made me who I am today. Awesome story. Thanks for sharing this. I think it rings true for many.

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  14. Love that quote but it isn’t the one I was trying to send you….let me try again.
    “If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.” — Dr. Seuss I thought this one spoke to the free spirit in your poem…I love Seuss.

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