If I had nine lives, like a cat, I would hold
more pens and placards, be a bit less bothered
with hemlines and hats, people’s different thresholds.
Give silence its due too, be less awed by words.
Though I’d look at the hollow made by your head
in the cushion, I’d still want to write sonnets
starting and ending with you whether you read
them or not. And I’d almost never forget
passwords. Maybe try being an accountant
in some life midway – if it suited better
I’d stay in it for the rest, I’m reluctant
to change for the sake of it. Write more letters
by hand, use them more mindfully in all nine
and each time, I’d still want yours to hold in mine.
Last November I wrote a series of nine poems in which I explored the theme of love and posted a couple of those at the time. I'll be putting some of the others up here through out this month as I celebrate the same in all its myriad shapes and sizes. And mid-month we are starting off with the first Write...Edit...Publish...Challenge, a new look site and prompts based on movie magic, what's not to love, right?
In the Hindu belief system - and I might as well tell you at the outset, I am no expert on it, it is held that death doesn't part the souls of a wedded pair, their union is said to persist for seven lifetimes. The whole system is predicated - not on a single life and then eternal rest but reincarnations through many births and many deaths and some bonds lasting for more than one cycle. I'm quite happy with that part. Personally, I'll take the same pairing for the next however many lives I have to go through, no issues with that.
Whether a soul gets reborn or not depends on the weight of the sins, its karma, accumulated in a previous life. If it leads a sin free life, then it gets free of the eternal cycle of birth and death and unites with the cosmic soul and is absorbed into an Absolute Bliss. It doesn't have to come back to earth to suffer any pain. Earth is referred to as Martaloka or the domain of death while where the soul goes once it is freed is called Amritaloka and Anandaloka - the space of deathlessness/ecstasy. All material things are an illusion, earthly bonds hold the soul back, the smart thing in this given system is naturally to detach pronto and hurry to that blissful cosmic union asap.
In short, the belief is that life on earth is generally a pain in the neck and the sooner one can escape it the better, the greater the part of eternity the soul can spend in perfect communion with the One, in perfect bliss. That first part I'm not so cool with - earth seems a good enough space to me, and being in a human body does not feel as horrible as it's made out to be - death, attachment, grief, suffering, all the nonsense and violence going on in the world notwithstanding. I mean, I'm not knocking absolute bliss, moksha, detachment or anything, they may well be as super awesome as the sacred texts promise. Only that I don't think this entire earthly existence needs to be so thoroughly trashed, that's all. It can be mildly enjoyable here too, at times, no harm in admitting that. The planet's breath taking, being human can be quite alright too, there's love and kindness and inspiration and all kinds of other goodies, so c'mon, ditch the nonstop negativity already.... Just saying.
Here's to a mildly enjoyable week and life on earth in general. To your February and mine. May all conflicts be gobbled up by the forces of love everywhere.