Sunday, January 4, 2009

THE CLOSEST STAR

"Why do you write your blog? To preach others?" my wife asked me angrily. "You talk about self-esteem and sell-control ... you talk about anger management, all for the world ... all hogwash."

It was 8.00 in the morning. We both had dressed up to go for the Sunday mass. I had got up at 5.00 in the morning in order to help my son get up to study for his forth coming exams. As is always the case with him - and with any teenager of his age - he kept saying, "Only five minutes," "Only five minutes" till it became six, and then, seven. All along testing my patience, challenging me whether I could 'practice what I preached."

Often, I blow off. And, yesterday, I did, again. It was quite a deadly explosion.

He had hardly flipped through the books; and off he went under his blanket, once again. He was to reach his classes at 8.00 for the tests. And, he was still at home! And, that was - even after repeated reminders, even after exhausting all the patience at my disposal. We, too, were supposed to leave the house for the Sunday mass. We, too, were getting late. And, our son not only had to get ready, he had to take his breakfast, too... and he was cool and unagitated like the deep sea. And, that's when the killer whale exploded out of my own sea. I went charging at him, screaming and shouting, with all the anger and frustration which had bottled up to the brim. My son, a tall and head-strong teenager, wouldn't take such an aggression, all lying down. He retaliated, screaming back at me.

I flared up, like a volcano. And, that's what was unacceptable to my wife. She would not tolerate that behaviour from me, come what may. She would tell me that, right then and there, right in the eye of the storm, whether I would like it or not ... and, whether I would flare up further or not ...

I would always flare up further, whenever she barged in to save her little 'kitten' -or to tame this wild elephant. Yes, the elephant, in situations like this, had always gone wilder, more destructive.

The kitten was out of danger, by now. It was the war between the two elephants. "What is the use of writing all your books? Why can't you look at your own self?" "Why do you ..."

Son had already left for his test. His breakfast, tea - all remained untouched on the table. Only ten minutes were left for the mass. We were ready, dressed up.

Yes, I was dressed up. But, I wasn't 'ready'. My wife proceeded. I had no conscience to do that. Yes, what was the use? Jesus had said: "When you come to God's altar with your offering to make, and there if you remember your brother against whom you still bear a grudge, I say - go back to your brother, make peace with him ... and then come back and offer your offering. God will accept it."

Maybe, my wife was comfortable to pray for peace from the altar. I wasn't. I stayed back to allow the storm pass completely. It, soon, did. I went into a deep, reflective mode. I began to see the whole episode in right perspective. I saw the choice staring at me: to be 'right' ... or, to be 'kind', to be peaceful.

I chose to be kind, to be peaceful. I was ready for reconciliation ... to 'come home' ... to my 'Father's Home'!

The 'readiness' is the key for all changes in our life, all our spiritual growth. The 'Father' had made the arrangements. He had sent for me some of the finest articles on The Sunday Times (TIMES LIFE section). I was particularly touched by one titled, "Must You Understand Everything?" by Vinita Dawra Nangia. When the student is ready, teacher always appears. This article was written by the author, exclusively for me. I strongly felt so. There was this place, where she quotes Albert Einstein. The great genius, had said this just before the curtain was to come down on his life:

"Sometimes, I suspect that my life has been a waste. I enquired into the farthest of stars and forgot completely to inquire into myself - and, I was the closest star."

"Why do you explore into the galaxy outside ... why don't you explore into the star within you?" My wife had challenged me with the same thing ... but, may be, with a very blunt knife.

But, it was needed.

Yes, I was the closest star. I had do explore it.

In the evening, we had our church 'Family Day'. What a coincidence ... What an opportunity to 'come home'! We all attended it. None of us spoke on the morning episode, though. There was peace in the air. The winter night was unusually pleasant, yesterday. The 'Father' knew, we - yes, we all, His children - were coming; coming back home!

Today, at 5.00, I was waking up my son, again. He took time to be up. But, I was not in a hurry. I knew, the sun would still come up, as usual from the East, at the appointed time, even though my son would rise late ... and, the sky wouldn't fall ... and, the world wouldn't end. I had enough patience in my heart to wait for my son to rise.

And, at six, when he did, I greeted him with the warmest welcome I had ever given him. When he had settled, I offered him the finest tea I had ever made for him. And, a little later, when everything seemed perfect, both outside and inside, I sat near him, placed my hand on his ... and reconciled.

That was the warmest bonding I had ever felt.

That was the holiest of the masses I had ever attended.

I was at my 'Father's' altar with my offering. I felt His acceptance.

And, of my wife and son, too.



GERALD D'CUNHA


P.S.: I had typed the 'title' of this post yesterday (Sunday) itself. Yes, only the title. Today, I typed the article. Please note, the date of this post!

4 comments:

Shankar said...

Einstein's words on inquiring into himself are mirrored by the words of Martin Luther King who said that "The highest form of maturity is self inquiry".

Gerald D'Cunha said...

Yes Shankar, true.

The world is nothing but our own reflection.

Happy to know that the blog keeps us in touch.

I haven't received your e-mail. Pl. send it again at:

thedawnclub@rediffmail.com

Regards,

GERRY

Girish said...

There are ways to handle a piece of glass. We handle it roughly and we hurt ourself but if we handle it properly we can cut metals from it.

Thks sir.

Shankar said...

have sent it again.