Sunday, June 2, 2013

More Than Meets The Eye




"Hadd ho gayi hai goondagardi ki. Cartoon banake khada kar diya hai shareef logon ko.” ~ Rajiv  {Akshay Kumar in WELCOME, 2007}

PART I

A funny thing happened on the way to the movies that night

I was late and running in high heels
And you were running away from the opening credits
We met mid-flight at the bottom of the stairs
Going in contrary directions

If you hadn’t seen me and stopped
I’d have run into you and fallen to the floor
Completely embarrassing myself
But embarrass myself I did
By trying to dodge you
And failing three times
Making the exact same mistake
All of those three times
And thinking you must think
“What a klutz!”
 

All I saw of you were your shoes
Perhaps not as clean as
You’d have liked them to be
But I knew in that instant
I already knew the wearer
Of those shoes
And liked the wearer too

A feeling of peace took over me
The closest I’ve ever felt
To this thing people call “World Peace”

Even to this day

I’ve seldom felt any peace that closely
Approximates that beautiful feeling

Our paths crossed again
In a stone cold empty library
Where I combed the stack of encyclopedias
Looking up differences between
Voiced fricatives and voiceless affricates
But you didn’t have studying
On your mind, did you?
You followed me there, didn’t you?

Now I’ve always believed

There’s a time and a place for everything
How was I to ever know
What else other than reading
Could ever happen in a li-bra-ry
Imagine that!

What imagination you have!!

And the persuasion skills
Of Mighty Joe Young in the wild
Cue were missed, signals crossed
Lost in translation
Between manspeak and womanspeak
And I thought you needed new shoes
And was I wrong!!

Then you charmed my Mother
Until she believed you’re
The nicest boy she’s ever met
And I suspect she loved you
As much as the son she’d always wanted
You must’ve found out very quickly
I didn’t tell her
About your little misadventure
If that’s what you had wanted to know


PART II

In the blink of an eye

More than meets the eye
Unfolded

As I see it now
Archetypes fleshed out and came to life
Boy met Girl
Pepe Le Pew knew that he knew that he knew
The inner Wolf espied the inner Lamb
Both equally surprised and thrilled
Vaguely aware this was meant to be
They borrowed a little archetypal fur
From one another and stuck it to their own
Like lovers will keep a lock of each other’s hair

To stretch the metaphor a bit more
I bring up the possibility of Red Riding Hood
Having heard the Call of the Wild
And point to Jason questing for The Golden Fleece
♫ “And Mary had a little lamb little lamb little lamb
And Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow.”♫
 

BTW in this version of RRH
RRH wouldn’t say to the Wolf,
“What big eyes you have, Grandma”
And the rest of the spiel
Instead, she’d offer, “What a fertile imagination
You have, Mr. Wolf, and, Oh my, what big feet!”

But then, that’s not how the story went
And thence began the damage
To the brain, to the heart
And almost nearly to the soul
And a bit some to the bodymind
All on account of the wolf feeling
Plenty underappreciated and unloved
As did RRH
 

The Lamb made an unconscious decision to stay 30 feet or more
Away from the Wolf at all times
Lest her make her howl
And get her in a lot of trouble
Alongside him

Neither were wordsmiths or
Strategists back when and were
Locked in their own wordlessness
And innocent misery
The Fates connived against their youthful frailties



PART III
 

The shoes, the shoes, I crave your
Patience for shoes and foot fetishes
For right about then Cinderella lost her slipper
And cringed every time the Prince tried to put it back on her foot.
She fled and hid behind some lame excuse
While her brain turned to sawdust
And her heart to mush

Briar Rose ran in bared feet through the forest
Singing, ♫“I know you
I walked with you once upon a dream”♫ to Tchaikovsky
And walked right into Phillip

The sparks that flew about
At these inadvertent meetings started up a smolder
Then a brushfire
And then a raging inferno
“When engulfed in flames, make no decision”
Had been drilled into their impressionable minds
And they predictably obeyed
In fact they had been schooled in the axiom
“Under no circumstances make a decision”
It wouldn’t be for years that
They’d hear Saul bellow at them
“What are you doing under the circumstances?
Get out from under and you get on top”
And the Fates would concur

In spite of it all
This story grew feet
And traveled
A long, long way from where it started
Tongues wagged in heads that knew
But part of the story
A gentle breeze
And some third millennium technology
Carried the snippets around
In convoluted paths
Until one fine day
There were just enough pieces
To pull together a comprehensible collage
Of timeless shape-shifting archetypes --

Shiva and Shakti
Rapunzel and The King’s Son
Eric and Ariel
Cupid and Psyche
Shakuntala and Dushyanth
Othello and Desdemona
And they all had ♫ had a bad day♫

007 had lost the Spygames to a lit-tle girl
The Beast had finally alienated Beauty for good
Shakti, as Sati, had flung herself into the sacrificial fire
And sent Shiva into a cosmic rage
The Little Mermaid was not so little anymore
Rapunzel had cut off her locks in exasperation
And even lost her singing voice
Goldilocks had lost her equanimity
Ophelia was dead
♫ Desperado♫ had drawn the queen of diamonds
The Snow Queen was fresh out of snow
Cruella had married Roger Dear
Mr. Incredible, though appearance would deceive, felt off -kilter
All was out of whack

Aye, there’s more to this than meets the eye
There’s goings on that’ll open up your third eye
Beware



PART IV

So who won?
Tom or Jerry?
The Coyote or the Roadrunner?
Fuddy Duddy or Bugs?
It don’t matter who won or who lost
It’s about chasing a dream
The thrill of the hunt
The skillful fabrication of the colorful exaggerations
Extolling the many virtues of the one who got away

Sometimes getting too close to your one goal

-meaning you have no other-
Is like flying too close to the sun

And before I forget

Cupid’s arrow left a wound
From where we bled love everywhere we went
And then his evil twin
His Dark Shadow
Struck with an arrow tinged with poison

What won, Love or Poison?
Go figure


PART V

Anima and Animus fell madly in love
Shakti had split into “Me, Myself and I”
Prakriti-Durga-Gauri
Mother-Warrior-Consort and so on
And reintergrated 

Resplendent, purified, aglow in a feminine energy

Shiva showed up on Shivratri
When she touched his feet asking him for his blessing
She saw him again in a beautiful explosion of divine light
The bluest purest most comforting light she’d ever seen
The fountain of youth had been visited
♫“Hum pe hairaan hai teer Sikandar ka
Hum pe kurbaan hai neel samandar ka.”♫
Joie de vivre coursed red through our veins
Anima and Animus were wed


                                                                             ~ Sonali



More Than Meets The Eye is a poem based on a Jungian understanding of archetypes, in a style heavily influenced by Eliot's "Wasteland", Stephen Sondheim's "Into The Woods", and some beautiful songs I've heard over the years.