Monday, October 28, 2019

GHOST APPLES

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· October 25 
 



Rotten things that were meant to tempt you
But you caught a whiff of the odor before you could reach for a bite
And stopped
Have a way of freezing over like Hell freezes over
Except it doesn't
All you have left is a cold memory tangible enough and yet unreal
These are gifts from Mother Earth and Father Time

                                                                                                      - SDG

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

WHEN OPPORTUNITY AND PREPAREDNESS MET


       Mama had noticed this thing about her daughter, she was restless and then listless unless she was doing something she deemed interesting. It was usually painting, or dancing, or playing with her friends that brought a special light to her eyes. With preschool giving her four whole days away from school she was lost between two worlds. Mama found it harder each week to keep her fully engaged all day in things that had pleased her well enough earlier, simple childhood things like sidewalk chalk and soap bubbles. She needed more entertainment or edutainment than just that. The neighbor’s kids had just started ballet and wore their cute little tutus even to play in the yard. It looked like they really loved ballet lessons and Mama enrolled Ankita in the same dance school hoping she’d enjoy the experience. And thus began a journey into a world of music and movement and storytelling that opened up a whole new dimension of life to a little girl who had been happy enough with her dolls and blocks and rhinestone hair clasps, but intuitively knew there was more to life than just that much.
That summer cousins from Ohio had come to spend a few weeks at their home and had brought her a present – the awesomest present that Ankita had ever received – a skateboard, a shiny pink skateboard you could do tricks with on the curb, send Mama into a tizzy and then leave her awestruck. Ankita was a natural. The cul de sac was where she and her cousins spent most of their summer vacation. There were evenings they would drive to the park and try to find a little track they could skate on where the big bad skaters were.
Rollerblades were the next thing to do and a life path segued into a skating rink nearby. There a mother waiting for her children handed Mama a phone number that belonged to an ice skating camp the last week of summer break. And on that thin thread began a chapter in the life of our protagonist that shaped much of her life.

Image result for girl on skateboard drawing
https://imgbin.com/png/RehBgr8Q/skateboarding-png

ROCK STAR





Miss Decryption
Greek & Egyptian
Multilingual stele
Granodiorite
She's a rock star
She is Rosetta Stone

Image result for rosetta stone

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

THE FOREIGN MONOLITH

 Mama was about to drive away after having dropped Ankita off at the skating rink for the day when Mrs. Coach flagged her down, asking if she could possibly stay at the front office and play receptionist and accountant for the day as both had had family emergencies and they had found no replacements yet, “Pleeeeease.”
            “Sure, “said Mama, mentally canceling her hair appointment to cover gray roots a month old, turned around and parked. There really wasn’t much to do. She tidied up her sari some, put a bindi on from the packet of maroon bindis she always kept in the glove compartment for just such emergencies and decided she didn’t look too shabby. A couple of kids came in to get drinks at the soda machine, one needed a band-aid, one had to call her mother, one had lost a baby tooth and asked for a zip lock bag so the tooth fairy could see it. The phone rang perhaps twice. Mama got comfortable in her new role by midday, made herself a pot of coffee, got on the internet to check her email, and even put her feet up. There were notes from family, friends, the usual junk mail to delete, the dentist’s reminder, a newsletter, some chain mail, the usual stuff, and a picture of an exotic pet her new book club friend always sent. This was something that irked Mama even more than chain mail. She had, over the years, met many a decent soul who wanted to make friends by sending her pictures of cute but wild and exotic animals in Santa hats, on treadmills, in swimming pools, and so on. It always cut through the many layers of civil tolerance and made it to the fresh raw core of her being and IRRITATED her. This was perhaps the first time she was able to look past the inartful use of the internet and look into the heart of the person sending out these cute and fuzzy photos of pandas and tigers to see a fellow human being. She replied. They planned to meet for lunch.
            A family walked in. Mama thought a section of a Las Vegas convention of celebrity look-alikes had wandered in. The father was a dead ringer for Evander Holyfield with a Midwestern accent, the mother looked like Oksana Baiul and didn’t say a thing, and the daughter was a little Surya Bonaly. Mama said hello and asked how she might help, in her best imitation of a receptionist doing a great job. The father said he had called earlier in the week to meet Anya (Mrs. Coach) and set up a schedule for his daughter who had been skating now for three years in Minnesota. They had just moved here with a job transfer and he was thrilled to find out they taught figure skating the old fashioned way. His wife seemed very enthusiastic but didn’t speak. In the meantime Mama had surveyed both of ‘Evander’s‘ earlobes and determined he most definitely was a look-alike and not the genuine article, the real deal, sashaying about town using an alias. She got up and went looking for Mrs. Coach.
            Mama entered the room after Mrs. Coach. Mrs. Coach was rooted to the spot and blocked her way. The father was speaking rapid-fire Russian. The room tilted on its axis. Eventually, they got the paperwork done, Mama brought them coffee and juice, following which they left for a tour of the premises, Mrs. Coach speaking animatedly.
            Later that day Mrs. Coach explained it was the mother who had called her a few days earlier to pick a day to meet her. She said she was from Belarus. And that had been the content of that conversation. Today she told the rest of her story. She had met her husband in Belarus when he was studying Russian and practicing weight lifting, fifteen years ago. Meeting her husband in school was her first time meeting a real American, and over the five years together he had won her heart and her whole family over. They, of course, thought he was the exception to the rule. It was all those Russian lessons and the discipline acquired from years of weight lifting that had made him un-American and almost Russian, for he played the accordion too, and learned to sing along with Raj Kapoor in Awaara like the rest of them. They had moved to the USA three years ago, to Minnesota at first because it was cold enough there to feel like home. Over the years she had become used to the summer heat spending Augusts in Iowa, so when his office made him an offer he couldn’t refuse they moved. Since she was a stay at home mom and they spoke Russian at home and watched Russian T.V. via satellite her English was still shaky. It helped to be able to get the basics of grocery shopping and skating taken care of in Russian. She could hardly believe the town actually had a Russian store and two Russian restaurants. Growing up she had been under the impression that America was very different from what it really is. “People here are so warm and gentle, not the bloodthirsty crooks she had imagined they were”, she had remarked.
            Mama thought about the time she had been to Kenya before Ankita was born on a safari vacation with Papa and everywhere they went people addressed them as Mr. and Mrs. Patel. Or that time she had ordered pork fried rice at the mall and two or three people around her keeled over dead. Or the time her niece had sung Lee Ann Rimes’ ‘Blue’ at the talent show at school and nobody clapped at first when she finished. Three seconds later there was much clapping and cheering and a second-place trophy. And that time her cousin who lived on a farm in Montana was visiting with her three-year-old, and they had all gone out for dosas to this large Indian restaurant packed with customers. The little one had dropped the abbronzato bomb in a loud voice,” What are all these peanut butter people doing over here?” completely overlooking the fact he was as brown as the rest of the room. Growing up in the relative isolation of rural Montana he had never seen another brown person outside of family. And maybe he never really looked in the mirror poor baby.
           
http://www.borobudurshipexpedition.com/black-rock-photography/

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

It's The Spirit of The Enterprise

Image result for hunter mughal painting India
https://www.harvardartmuseums.org/visit/exhibitions/2989/the-sport-of-kings-art-of-the-hunt-in-iran-and-india


Why do we romanticize hunters, and not butchers, nor taxidermists?
Fishermen too, especially the loners who catch the biggest fish?
What is it that our primitive brains recognize as skill and courage
That a butcher cannot deliver?
I guess it's akin to the adulation we profess for a Prithviraj or a Lochinvar
As opposed to a pimp, no matter how vast his brothel

Robber barons, for all their wealth, are seldom invited to share their wisdom
In public places and in places of learning or worship
They need extreme machinations to get their word out if they ever do
Over time, I guess, they realize no one cares actually what they think or feel
People instinctually guess their motives are simple and primitive
And so must be their minds, so why bother seeking them out for their knowledge

It is a rare human being who perhaps started out a Cain
Sees within himself his brother and knows he is his brother's keeper
He plunges into the deepest darkest water of his subconscious
A minesweeper and sweeps away everything that prevents him
From being a wholesome person, an Akbar when he found the Buddha
And finds there's room at the table for a prodigal son



Sunday, June 23, 2019

THE BLACK PILL or The GNAB GIB theory #Love, Mom #1





Related image
https://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/circle-half-tone-gradient-vector-14546423

That's existential darkness coalescing into a single point of stillness, The Black Pill

This started out as a letter to my favorite millennials

*{Uh-oh, somebody beat me to the title BLACK PILL, and it's bleak. This is a message of hope. I hope my concept of THE BLACK PILL gains traction over the incel version, which is a bleak version of the RED PILL. 
Or I'll think of something unique to name this concept. Would totally appreciate a little help from you. I'm a little stuck on this one, so I'm having trouble renaming it. 
The GNAB GIB theory is my best so far.}



*************************************************************************************************************





Since 50% of America's youth is labeled "depressed" researchers got into the nitty-gritty of it wondering how that happened right under their noses.

One of the findings is that natural feelings of existential angst, loss of childhood freedoms and comforting beliefs, a growing awareness of what's wrong with the world ......  all have become labeled as depression.

The bigger discovery is that pessimism and resultant depression are superpowers. Highly intelligent people can see problems a mile and a half away, so they worry and get upset. They are a gift to society and industry because they are forewarned by their natural ability to see problems. Those who are proactive prevent disasters and find workarounds.

Millennials are super smart, creatures of a world the older generation does not fully understand. Don't worry about trying to be happy all of the time. Own that shit, make it your b*+(h, use it to uncover problematic issues, solve problems. Happiness is overrated and underreported. If seeing a firefly or eating ice cream makes you happy, you can be happy any day. If you are waiting to be happy after you've walked on water you're likely going to be unhappy for a while, and even when you feel happiness the euphoria will last 15 minutes and fade over the next 6 months. Choose more things, simple, free stuff, to find joy in.

Here's my solution to owning the darkness generated by life. Know that everything is energy. Swallow the energy of it all. Once you allow your personal energy to work on it, solutions that are suited to you materialize out of nowhere.

Yes, I know, it feels like you have an ocean full of dark energy to swallow.

Remember the Big Bang theory. Make that work for you in reverse. Let the darkness shrink back to a single point of darkness. Swallow that with your morning coffee. Go enjoy your day. You'll digest that energy instead of having the energy feel like a load of lead bricks you have to carry around through life.

Love,
Mom

Friday, June 7, 2019

FOOTLIGHTS


Related image
https://www.thinglink.com/scene/473622536702132224



The candle maker in Shakespeare's time sure did a lot of business with the theaters I suppose
The lights that shone onto the stage were exclusively from candles, and perhaps mirrors and lenses
One could say the same about lighthouses back then

Shine a light on theatrics, be a beacon that shows the way to a safe harbor
Be the warm glow that tells it like it is

                                                                                                - SDG


Related image
https://www.quebecoriginal.com/en/listing/things-to-do/heritage-sites-and-attractions/routes/lighthouse-trail-46138053

Thursday, June 6, 2019

WHISPERS


Whispers from the all-seeing heart chakra are symbols at best
In the cacophony of auditory signals
The Voice of Reason is the most annoying thing
Most cloying thing
You'll ever hear
Until you learn to see it's musicality
It's awful simplicity
Like a tuning fork responding to another
You'll begin to hum its tune

                                                                - SDG

https://www.amazon.com/Resonant-Sympathetic-Tuning-Fork-Resonance/dp/B007SNQSR6

Hello World

Image result for idiot savant syndrome


The Idiot Savant within us is a curious facet of our personalities
It is one-half brilliant, the other half is flawed or, at best, unfinished

Like nesting dolls, you could have a veneer of sophistication several layers deep
And a really rough-hewn center of "Idunnoknownothin'" barely kneaded putty
Or, vice versa

It could be a harlequin patterned mosaic of smart and dumb
You step on a different tile every time you encounter it

You might get the lion and the lamb
Masquerading as an eight-legged gene-edited oddity from the future
Or a mythic beast long extinct from the very distant past

You could very well be interacting with a spin-top spinning at top speed
Atop the carapace of a slow-moving terrapin

Who knows what the Idiot-Savant really started out as
Perhaps a gentle obedient child, or the infamously colicky baby

Our nervous systems can only handle so much
Don't let first impressions fool you

Embrace your inner Idiot-Savant and let it go out and say hello to the world
The world will adjust

                                                                                      - SDG

https://github.com/rust-lang/rust/issues/42322








THE DEATH EATERS

Related image
https://nerdreactor.com/2015/04/03/joker-trophy-wall-cosplay/

Kryptonite is their middle man
On their way to decorating their trophy wall

Know thyself
Know your Kryptonite

Spartan Superperson
You're a long way from Athens

Pass the baton
It's okay to trust

You're in safe hands

                                                                         - SDG

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

PIXEL

Image result for pixel

Moving dots on a piece of glass
Have made contact with the chemicals in the brain
Nothing is at it seems
Much is lost in translation
Most of all humanity

                                                             SDG

STRANGER DANGER

Image result for mirror
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/2015/08/27/woman-stranger-in-the-mirror/#.XPaM4xZKjIU

There's one bit of life advice my father gave me that I thought was merely a piece of scientific trivia
I was looking in the mirror and fixing the parting in my hair
He said, "You don't look exactly like your image, you know that?
The lateral inversion changes your face
The light falls on you from different angles
The colors you wear affect your image
You have no idea how different you are from the image you see right now
I can see that, you too need to remember that."

Light, refraction, parallax, reflection, optical illusions, the many versions of change blindness
All had held immense fascination for me as external events
Little did I realize all of that happens on the inside too

Seeing clearly truly is an inside job


Monday, June 3, 2019

Brownie Points

Image result for lakshmi vishnu parvati shiva sarasawti brahma
https://www.facebook.com/Shiva-with-Shakti-Vishnu-with-Lakshmi-Brahma-with-Saraswati-783780931653367/



The man-woman dynamic is a huge part of the glue that holds societies together
You get that one wrong, institutions thousands of years old fall apart
Families don't stand a chance when that apple cart is upset
Children, women, men, everybody suffers for no fault of their own
Too many rom-coms have given the modern age a warped view of how stuff works
The religious texts have also misled the masses
What we see is but a sliver of what we need to know as the children of our parents
Few weave in and out of the archetypes effortlessly
While integrating the ardhanareshwari within and without
Fewer realize it is possible to inhabit them all simultaneously
And integrate their shadows as well
For the gods and the demons dwell in us

                                                                                                                            - SDG


Related image
https://youtu.be/qPofoxz-3zQ


THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON

Related image
https://en.clipdealer.com/photo/media/A:9291625



♫THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON ♫
I am driving west ♫on a dark desert highway♫
In my rearview mirror, I catch a fleeting reflection
Of a single point of light atop the ribbon of a road
The edges of which converge beneath a rising full moon
I flip a coin to decide if I take this exit or the next
My eyes are tired, ♫my soul so weary♫
I find a motel, flip the lights out
And rest my cheek on ♫the flip side of the pillow♫
The air conditioner hums a lullaby
The desert has consumed me
Somewhere out there on the flip side of the moon
Lies a still, dark, sea of tranquility, a desert like this one
Perhaps a weary soul sleeps there too
A moon cricket outside his window, his alarm clock set to 6 am
When my moon and his cease to exist

                                                                                    - SDG

Related image
http://www.1ksmiles.com/983-full-moon/

SANS REFLECTION



In the still waters of the pool in my mindscape
A swan glides aimlessly
She is disturbed
She is quiet
She is unruffled
She is sad
Unhurried
Alarmed
She can see her feet paddling
But her reflection is absconding
"What fresh hell is this?"
She asks herself
Out of the water emerges
A scattered splintered mosaic
Bobbing uncomfortably at her feet
Her reflection
Trying to be herself
Still shattered beyond recognition
Someone had taken a rock to the mirror
As people often do without reflecting
On the consequences of their actions
Or perhaps because the destruction of something shiny
Satisfies them beyond belief
But now her reflection speaks in whispers
"Hello, stranger. how are you?"
Silent no more, her reflection has stories to share
Of the deep waters beneath her
Of mermaids, sharks, starfish, anemones, and fishermen
And the deep sea divers who helped her up to the surface
- SDG

Sunday, June 2, 2019

PUSSY CAT

Image result for prehistoric black panther
https://www.sapeople.com/2019/02/17/rare-black-panther-spotted-in-africa-for-1st-time-in-almost-a-century/



It's June
The monsoon has dumped half a river on the jungle
Rivulets trickle prettily down mossy embankments
The canopy is rich with fresh foliage
The vines are taut and plump with sap
The forest floor damp and slightly cool in the morning air
The sickly sweet stench of burgeoning summer fruit hangs in the air
The seeming stillness of the forest is punctuated by the flight of flies
The squawking of parrots, the rustle of creatures of the night
Coming home to roost

High above on a wide strong branch, I spy a black panther with her eyes shut
Not a twitch, not a sound, and not quite camouflaged in her emerald halo
A coiled bolt of black lightning, a resting bowstring ready to snap
I imagine her eyes of cold yellow fire burning brightly in her face like night
Hypnotizing in the constancy of a gaze I wouldn't dare to meet
The sheathed fangs and claws, the pink tongue, the jaws of doom
This is not your average house cat, though she looks like one
Mine barely ever catches a mouse, this one's devoured buck and bison
I wouldn't say,"Here, kitty, kitty" even under my breath around here
My place is at my desk by my window, my kitty sitting by my side
As I sip coffee and take in the news

                                                                                                          SDG
Related image
Add captihttps://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-banner-with-the-black-panther-and-pattern-for-corner-element-40229941.htmlon

  

PEBBLE

Grey rock
Boring common pebble
Edges weathered to a smooth finish
Unremarkable in every way
One might imagine it would make a good blank slate
And be completely mistaken

                                                                                   SDG

Image result for pebbles
https://www.beatingtime.org/celebrating-lgbt-week-ophrys/pebbles-cover-beach/

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Shadow Play

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Devi with the four arms
Why do I love you and fear you in equal parts?
Who are you?
I see you love flowers
And jewelry and music
Those weapons, and tigers, and lions too
Who are you?
Lady of the brightest light
Lady of the darkest night
Who are you?
You've looked into my soul and gently sealed
The split between the shadow and the self seamlessly
I look to you and see who I might be

                                                                              - SDG

Friday, May 24, 2019

Borderlines


Blurring lines on an antiquated map
Maps of the mind, of mindsets
Maps of languages and trade routes
National borders going in and out of style
Mood swings of the geo-political timeline
Of recorded history

Why do we never learn our lessons
Lessons found in every history book
Footprints on the sands of time
Show loud and clear
What we deny we empower
The guillotine awaits the tyrant


                                                        - SDG



Thursday, May 23, 2019

Hearts


A heart riddled with holes is a strange sight
I stare
I have never seen anything this broken 
This functional

Related image

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Movie Memories


Oh the stars in my eyes, the music on my brain, the life force toying with my soul 


Strings of colored lights up in the tree
Come down to make a canopy
The fresh mountain air by Nakki lake
The warmth of hot samosas under my nose
"Chalte chalte yunhi koi mil gaya tha ..." floating around on a lilting breeze
So sweet, so soft, like a plate of cool crisp dessert
Completely appropriate in a dhaba on a cool winter's night
We had just watched the movie in the theater across the street
One of the first movies in my memory 
All I could recall of the experience was a lady in a gorgeous orange and gold chudidar suit singing 
And me saying to my mother,"Mummy, kuch samajh mein nahin aa raha hai"
Mummy saying gently,"Koi baat nahin. Aaraam se baitho."

Oh the stars in my eyes, the music on my brain, the life force toying with my soul  

I hear I was smitten by a movie the year before 
But I don't remember that
I'm just regurgitating family folklore 
I'm told I came home from the cinema 
And announced to the clan I was Maria
Picked up my dad's guitar and pretended to play it
Making up songs as I went
I guess I was humored because I knew all the lyrics
From every song in the movie by the time I was seven 
The hills are alive ... Edelweiss ... So long, farewell ... and all the rest of them

Oh the stars in my eyes, the music on my brain, the life force toying with my soul   

The haitus between the memories of 1970 and 1976  
Probably reflects the fact that I wasn't one of Kaka's biggest fans 
The next 70mm forgetmenot scene in my mind is of Jai playing a soulful tune on a harmonica
Gabbar was the screen personification of the dacoits of Bhind-Morena we heard about every day
Living just a few hundred miles away in Hoshangabad that was too close for comfort
The music! It brought such adrenalin into our dreary lives
I remember my parents driving into town late one night for paan and returning with a 45rpm
"Mehbooba Mehbooba!" RD Burman at his best
Such a departure from the tame music of the past

Oh the stars in my eyes, the music on my brain, the life force toying with my soul    

Phir kya kehene, the decade of Big B came along
And nothing was ever the same again
Kya dialog
Kya dialog delivery
Kya naach
Kya gaanaa
Nothing was ever the same again
Indian cinema had found its voice 

Oh the stars in my eyes, the music on my brain, the life force toying with my soul  

Then the road split two ways
Art movies and the not so watchable Dada Kondke types
A Noorie then, a Qayamat Se Qayamt Tak came along every five years
And just when you thought it couldn't get any worse it did
To Bappi Lahiri's music
And other competitors'


Oh the stars in my eyes, the music on my brain, the life force toying with my soul   

Just when I gave up on Bollywood, along came Saregamapa
An Aishwarya and the other beauty queens and Manish Malhotra and Sanjay Leela Bhansali
A world that had been waiting to emerge showed up in technicolor and in perfect pitch
Our jaws dropped collectively
I couldn't get enough of the movies, the cinematography, the songs, Shreya's voice
Anurag Kashyap's style, and Gulzar sahib's new lyrics
The tapori of yore had rubbed off on him too
"Beedi jalayi le ....."

Oh the stars in my eyes, the music on my brain, the life force toying with my soul     

Then CGI happened, and I'm not watching those god awful crowd scenes
It gives the question "Kitne aadmi the?" a whole new look
I'll wait for a movie to come along that puts the stars back into my eyes
The music on my brain
And the life force compels me to drop everything and pay attention to the silver screen

                                                       -SDG