I USED TO WISH. . .
Oh no love! you're not alone
You're watching yourself but you're too unfair You got your head all tangled up but if I could only make you care Oh no love! you're not alone No matter what or who you've been No matter when or where you've seen All the knives seem to lacerate your brain I've had my share, I'll help you with the pain You're not alone. -David Bowie
I'm in a melancholy mood . . . despondent and dark. I just learned of a friend of a friend who woke up to find her 20-year-old son dead in his bed. Was it a lethal cocktail of drinks and drugs?. . .only the autopsy report will reveal the truth. But with my own 21-year-old son away to a college (UMichigan) ten states removed from mine, a deathly fear grips me every time the phone rings after midnight. The following post is dedicated to the mother who lost her son in the bloom of his life; to Emily Maynard, 29, who made the controversial choice to end her own terminal life and to all those who strive to stay strong . . . everyday.
I used to wish I was fairer Growing up dark-skinned in post-Raj India was not an enviable look, but then I emigrated to the U.S., and I was catapulted into the "exotic" category. I used to wish I was thinner, slimmer, skinnier But then I discovered Jane-Fondaesque aerobics, and fitness became a part of my waking life and not just a fantasy. I used to wish I was rich and famous That paparazzi would shout my name in droves as I waved a gloved hand; a much-breinged finger or threw a sweeping glance over over-sized sun glasses as my chauffeur-driven Bentley glided gracefully from the curb. I used to wish for the bigger, the unattainable things But, now that I'm older and wiser all I want to do is hunker down on the pillow of my own good life and be still. I used to wish for world peace, for humanity to have learned from the Bloody Crusades, from the assault on Iraq and on Afghanistan But that was before I realized that human life is trivial; the soul is defunct; and men, women and, embryos are expendable. I used to wish my kids would grow up faster, but now that The Terrible Two's have given way to the The Terrible Teens, I wish I could control time, slow it down and observe every moment of my 16-year-old's existence before she leaves to go to college. As my life drags from nesting to being an empty-nester. Now I don't wish anymore, not because I don't believe in fairy-dust and Tinkerbell, but because wishing to me is an empty gesture. Wishing on a star or otherwise, leaves too much to chance. Maybe getting pragmatic is a symptom of getting older. Maybe enough is enough. Maybe you're not old enough yet. Take it from someone who knows. Being the change we want to affect in the world is much more effective than wishing.