Mum.
whisperyvoices
Today I walked by the black and white picture of mum, framed by the dark pink rose from our garden, and a beautiful little lamp from Turkey, and I cried. It’s a gorgeous image of her, looking away from the camera, her lips parted mid-speech, her  eyes determined  (the only way I remember her eyes being - determined to challenge, determined to love, determined to be). I tried to say a prayer, but all that came were hot tears and ‘hi, ma’. I miss her. I really, really do.
I miss sitting at her feet, I miss teasing her and her throwing her head back in laughter. I miss our loud conversations at the dinner table. I miss the debates, the updating each other on world news and what this or that family member was up to. I miss the way my name sounds in her voice. I miss the clarity and conviction that she spoke with.

Mum passed away a few weeks ago. I have had too few years with her. I’m an adult, yes, but god the years more that I’d loved to have had. At Christmas, after a particularly difficult year of dealing with burn out, depression and dark health days, I told my family that all I wanted was meaningful time with them. I had been bugging my mother (more than usual) to start writing the book of her life; so many lessons I wanted to learn from her. Time felt short, but this short? No. I didn’t expect that. But Death doesn’t wait till you’re ready. What is there to be ready for anyway? The emptiness that claims the spaces in your life cannot be readied for. It just becomes this thing that exists. And we live with it. How we live with it - that is our choice, I suppose.

I have felt an incredible sense of being blessed, even through this deep sadness (‘sadness’ doesn’t really capture it. It feels like such an inadequate word). I’ve always felt that being her child was such a privilege, this beautiful gift that we were given. I am glad I felt that while she was alive, and now that feeling lives on in her death.

She was a force, my mum. She still is, actually. Some lights can’t be claimed fully by the shadows of Death. She lived with so much purpose. Her heart was rooted in faith, in the unflinching certainty that we all had power within us, and it was our duty to use that power with love and with kindness, and with steely determination to change what was oppressive and harmful in this world.

From the time I was a baby sleeping on the living room carpet of our home as a circle of women from villages in India gathered around to share their stories, listen to mum and build movements, to the old campaign t-shirts we wore as children (birds escaping barbed wires; a pink triangle; the personal is political; farmers of the world unite - and many more blazoned across), mum never hesitated to bring the world to us, and us to the world. When I came out to her (the only family member I’ve come out to so far), she gave me a hug, told me very honestly that she was worried because the world was unkind to people like me, but that of course I would always be loved by her. Even as she was trying to make the world a better place, she knew she couldn’t keep the harm away forever, but she would do what she could to make sure we had a family, a community, to be our safe place.

In the days since she passed, thousands of people have come forward to us personally, or through letters and messages shared across the globe, talking about the impact she made on their lives. I met an editor of a very prominent magazine the other day who told me how more than twenty years ago when she was a student, she interviewed mum on the topic of ‘human rights’ for a school paper. Mum (who was then quietly doing her activist work, without any of the spotlight that would come later) spent a few hours patiently explaining various issues to her. It didn’t matter that it would never be published in any big way; someone was asking her, and she took it as a moment to teach. Two decades later, that student is now an editor, driven to write about human rights issues, because of that time spent with mum. That is one of the biggest lessons my mother has left me; we should live our lives generously for others. Take the time to teach, to learn, to share. People matter. Life is bigger than just this moment we have right now. It doesn’t matter who we are, we all have the power to affect change for the better.
I am grateful too for the time we shared in laughter and complete silliness. I love that there was no such thing as being too old for kisses, that any age was a perfectly good age to stretch your arms out and ask your mother for a hug. I love, love, love that no matter how busy she was (and she was very, very, very busy), helping me on my school projects when she could wasn’t ever a ‘bother’ or less important than working on a policy paper. And when she couldn’t, I knew it wasn’t because I wasn’t important enough. She kept us included in her life, and she loved us so openly and loudly, even if she didn’t always use the words.

I am so deeply grateful that I had at least a few years fighting alongside her as her ‘comrade’. There are many, many struggles ahead, and I know many will come together to help carry her bright, blazing torch, but I miss deeply her unwavering belief in me, in the possibility for a better world. When a prison sentence loomed over her, she said ‘excellent, i will document the conditions in prison, and organise from within’; she took every harm they inflicted on her, and turned it into an opportunity to blaze further, even as her body grew tired, even as others grew weary.

It has been so incredible to learn at her feet, to sit across from her desk and bounce ideas, to have her look at me with that slight confusion of ‘why are you doubting yourself, when I know you can do this?’. The road ahead feels scary and overwhelming at times. I must learn now to listen closer for her voice that lives in my veins, and to trust my own voice, as she did.
These past few weeks have been difficult in pain, but also joyous in the presence of this incredible, diverse community that are bonded together for their shared love of mum. I am so deeply thankful for the people in my life who have come forward to remind me that I am thought of. Living in a cloud of depressive thoughts can make it hard to see that. In some ways, through her passing, mum has cracked past some of those clouds, and forced sunbeams through. To all who have been here for me in words, in prayers, in unexpected Asks to check in on me even if you didn’t know what was going on - thank you, truly. You have been a light in my world, and I hold your kindness close to me.

There are many lessons, many reflections, many memories to share, more than can be captured in this simple note (and yes, I realise how wonderful it is that I can say that). I will end this now though with thoughts of Love, Solidarity, Truth, Justice, & Strength. In memory of mum who embodied all of that, and breathed it alive for others, I wish it for you. Power on, keep fighting, be kind and love love love in subtle and magnificent ways, loudly and silently, for yourself and for all around you.
 
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I like you all very much.
whisperyvoices
It's ridic-o-clock here and I need to be in bed (3 hours ago), but I thought I'd pop by my very quiet LJ and note down how happy i am in this fandom.

Yes, WONDERFUL People's Choice noms (Chris! Darren! Darren and Chris! Blam! Glee! Jane! Lea! Pezberry!), but beyond the PCAs, it's been lovely seeing people get excited about stuff together, be supportive of one another, engage in discussions, plan activities to fill up the many (and long!) hiatuses (?) we have to endure, create art in many forms and share it with others, and just generally enjoy each other's company.

It feels good. Especially when there's a lot of really challenging going ons in my life right now, I'm really happy this community exists.
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this life.
whisperyvoices
to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you've held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.

- "The Thing Is" by Ellen Bass

LOVE LOVE LOVE
whisperyvoices
“We met right here. I took this man’s hand and we ran down that hallway. And for those that know me, I’m not in the habit of taking people’s hands I’ve never met before — but I think that my soul knew something that my mind and body didn’t know yet. It knew that our hands were meant to hold each others, fearlessly and forever, which is why it’s never really felt like I’ve been getting to know you. It’s always felt like I was remembering you from something. As if every lifetime you and I have lived, we’ve chosen to come back and find each other and fall in love all over again, over and over for all eternity. And I just feel so lucky that I found you so soon in this lifetime because all I want to do, all I’ve ever wanted to do, is spend my life loving you. So Kurt Hummel, my amazing friend, my one true love, will you marry me?

!!!! I have to post my comment on flaming_muse's reaction post because it was my first response (after the first 10 minutes of crying, and hiding under my blanket, and clutching my hands to my chest going oh my goooooood) to the ep:

*
I haven't read your post yet, it's almost 3 in the morning here and i JUST FINISHED THE EP, but I just wanted to come here and scream in your comment box!! I have tears in my eyes and my heart feels like it's going to explode and omg omg omg omg omg omg!!!!!

The courtyard singing was adorable, and the picnic was adorable, and the boys looked ridic adorasexy, and the kiss was sexy and the "america your prayers have been answered" voice over immediately after that although nothing to do w/ klaine was funny but graghr what the hell kind of talk was that?? And there was too much kitty arthur action going on and even though the beatle performance-tina serenade was adorable, i needed to get back to kurt and klaine and what the hell is happening?

OMG MUSE! BURT HUMMEL IS THE GREATEST TV DAD EVER!! It's HIS FAULT that i went from Blaine's completely insane for wanting to propose to OMG MAYBE HE'LL SAY YES AND IT WOULDN'T BE CRAZY BECAUSE *BURT*!

THE FUCKING STAIRCASE!!! THAT GODDAMN SPEECH!!! WHY IS THIS HAPPENING!! HOLD ME PLEASE!!!!

MY HEART IS GOING TO EXPLODE!! OMG OMG OMG!!!! THIS IS MADNESS!!! WHY AM I CRYING!?! I was so against a klaine wedding AT THIS STAGE but now? maybe? HOW DID THEY DO THIS!?!

MUUUUUUUSE!!! KURT'S FACE!! AND AND AND ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE! AND SOUL!! I AM INCOHERENT!!

OMG!!!

*

I love how their love is Celebrated by all
I love these brave, beautiful boys.
I don't even like big, showy proposals and if you'd asked me even at the start of the ep if you'd wanted them to get married, I'd say NO, but here we are. Damn you, Show.
FEARLESSLY & FOREVER!! OH GOD.
I LOVE that Burt is wearing the rainbow pin Blaine gave him.
I love everything that is Burt Hummel.
I love that Blaine looks at him with nothing but HOPE & ETERNAL LOVE in his eyes
and Kurt looks back at Blaine with his heart full of nothing but love for this boy, standing there, in front of him, asking him to be his forever.
I love the way Kurt expressions go from 'I can't...i'm going to throw up" to melting into love when Blaine appears in front of him with the stars in his eyes.
I love He Loves You yeah yeah yeah. HE LOVES YOU, HE DOES! YOU DO! adgiqwgdjqkwdbk

I can't continue. I need to go lie down and kicky feet away for about half an hour.

LOVE LOVE LOVE!!

Playing on loop.
whisperyvoices

Maria:
Perhaps I had a wicked childhood
Perhaps I had a miserable youth
But somwhere in my wicked, miserable past
There must have been a moment of truth

For here you are, standing there, loving me
Whether or not you should
So somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good

Nothing comes from nothing
Nothing ever could
So somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good

Captain:
For here you are, standing there, loving me
Whether or not you should

Maria:
So somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good

Maria and the Captain:
Nothing comes from nothing
Nothing ever could

Maria:
So somewhere in my youth
Captain:
Or childhood
Maria:
I must have done something . . .
Maria and the Captain:
Something good
***
I would love to rewatch Sound of Music with fandom friends. I just Know it would be terrific.

The stars align in the Universe; The stars are yet to align within
whisperyvoices
Capricorn: This is a week for getting ready for a strange great future, for feeling new strength inside you, building, getting ready to show itself. It’s a week for building foundations, for dreaming, for getting new shoes. It’s a week for being a little excited, maybe, or a little distracted, or a little nervous about all these new kinds of brightness just ahead, about all these things that you can’t quite see, yet. Dream about cold days, dream about running away, dream about oceans, dream about new worlds. Read about places you’ve never been and let your imagination get so bold.

therumpus: The Rumblr’s in-house astrologer, Madame Clairevoyant, presents her latest dispatch from the stars. This just popped up on my dash.

I don't seek guidance from the stars when making life decisions, but I do stop and take notice when things pop up my way that seem like "signs". Maybe noticing 'signs' is just a way for your subconscious to get you to pay attention to what you already know. In any case, this is a good reminder to myself -this week especially- as I seek courage to take that next step in healing myself.


Midnight snack.
whisperyvoices
A pot of lemon curd made by a friend.

Beautiful curls of the most delich gouda, brought by a loved one from France.

Crackers & coffee.

This moment is made of delicious.

Decline.
whisperyvoices
About a month or so ago, before leaving the office, two e-mails popped into my Inbox, one after the other.

The first was a letter of acceptance into an excellent Masters programme in the UK that I really wanted to pursue.
The second was a letter of rejection from the scholarship that would allow me to pursue my graduate studies.

The Universe works in really odd ways.  I knew from the start that it was a highly competitive scholarship, and I tried not to get my hopes up, but I was shortlisted, the interview went very well and I received a really good response from the panel. A week or so after the rejection letter, a lady from the interviewing panel came up to me at a conference I presented at to tell me it was a shame I did not get it.  I'm not sure what her intention was, but it did little to help; it just made me wonder what went wrong, and as I try and figure out after something shitty happens, what the lesson is here.  I still don't know.

Tomorrow's the last day for me to reply to the University offer. I simply do not have the funds to accept it, and it's just breaking my heart to click on "decline". I've tried to do it multiple times tonight, but each time I'm just frozen with sadness. Sigh. Obviously I'll have to do it. In the meantime, I'm just going to be sad for a bit on my LJ.

Being at University was such a glorious time. I'm itching to go back, immerse myself in lessons and reading; engage in discussions, challenge myself, expand my worldview, hone and develop new skills.

I guess now isn't the time. I hope that will come around soon.

Sigh.

This love that was, this love that is.
whisperyvoices
An unexpected call.
I can't stop smiling.

How wonderful, so utterly exquisite it is to feel so *understood* by someone else, with very little effort
To be loved for all that you are, all that you are aspire to be, all that you were.

A phone call of just 30 minutes, across too many the oceans, about the most ordinary of matters, and my heart is just filled with so much.

Hello?
Hi...!

My cheeks just hurt from how hard I've been grinning ; my limbs are light, giddy with laughter & silliness. The soul aches just a little for what will likely never be, but happiness still settles in for what is, in the moments that are.
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eid al-fitr
whisperyvoices
An apology isn’t a request for favors or forgiveness,
But a statement of repentance,
An offer for reconciliation
And a vow to be different;
Forgiveness isn't a demand
It is not a question waiting to be answered
It is not a comma in the sentence of life
It is a statement.
An end that awaits a new beginning
It is the acceptance of a past
And a promise for the future.

- whis.

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