Masi’s dressing table. ‘Ooo! Gay!’

As I live in the present I live in the magic of synchronicity

I didn’t really understand what that meant until I experienced it.: A transmutation

Sitting in my ‘morning chair’ with my notebook, I settle myself, looking at my pond, the wisteria beginning to bloom, the iris’s green blade leaves rising from the water, the grey squirrel  climbing down the plaited, twists of the trunk,  a quick drink of water,  a scramble up the branch, flurry of tail and he’s gone …

Oo ! Gay!   – There! Gone!

Magic ! I smile and recall … My own Ooo – Gai – There – Gone moment!

It happened during the first lockdown –  with no one to meet and nowhere to go it was perfect  to finish my book and I was focussed.

 Then Ginny asked if I’d like to participate in a WhatsApp group she was organising to do a 21 day abundance meditation. She had done it, found it useful and wanted to share the experience.   ‘A wise saying, a chant, a mantra, a revealing exercise – maybe half an hour or so a day.’ 

I wondered about interrupting the flow of my writing routine.

‘And if it interrupts your writing you can skip a day  and pick up later. ‘

I located the golden notebook Ginny had given me for my birthday ten years earlier and started it anew from the back. The routine grounded to my day. The exercises were revealing. 

On day fifteen, I hit an obstacle. My manuscript – was a pressure in my head demanding attention. I tossed the idea to give the day a miss to pick it up the next day. But whilst tossing, I also somewhat absently, slipped, into the habit  of the routine.

The saying : ‘ As I live in the present I live in the magic of synchronicity’, felt obscure. The mantra: Aham Bramasmi, felt soothing  and the exercise: to write a letter to a person who hurt me, fired me up and I  grabbed some paper and let the torrent flow.

I wrote a letter to my aunt.  I told her that as my mothers elder sister she was my Ma-si,  meaning ‘like a mother‘ – that she had never been that for me, but rather a malevolence.

I scrawled an inventory of wrongs,  betrayals, bullying, I wrote fast, the list was long and when I finished I felt buoyant, vindicated, self righteous as I made myself some tea.

When I resumed the exercise, I realised I’d read it wrong.  The task was to write a letter of gratitude was to someone who hurt me.  How had I read it so wrong? A letter of gratitude? For what? I closed my eyes.

And there came an image- from another time – some thirty years earlier: I have arrived in Delhi and will be staying a few days with my aunt in her annexe. She is out. But I know that. Anand, the servant from the main house brings me tea and tells me to ring the bell if I need anything more.  

I walk through the rooms.  In the bedroom I am drawn to the dressing table I sit down in front of the mirror, then survey all the familiar objects, recognising them from when I was eight, eleven, thirteen, nineteen, — on my various visits to India. I open the drawers and let out their stories. The sweets in the bottom drawer for visiting children, the newly knitted intricately patterned socks to be given away.  I stroke them and remember my aunt telling me, “ My stepmother never allowed me to play, I had to stitch and sew and knit and crochet and I hated it and I hated her.  But now I thank her. The skills I learned have given me a sense of achievement and joy.’

I sniff the perfumes, rub the creams on my face and feel a warm sense of belonging, entitlement, acceptance, gratitude. After all, she is my Masi – my ‘like a mother’,  and thereby someone who will take me in – unconditionally. I feel comfortable. I look at myself in the mirror. I smile and adjust the mirror’s wings and see the smile from different angles.

Masi returns from her dinner, elegant in her peach satin sari and after making sure I’ve been properly attended to, asks how I spent my time. I tell her, that I sat at her dressing table, opened the drawers, tested her creams, smelt the perfumes, chose one to wear, and ate a sweet from the bottom drawer.

She listens dead pan but her mouth flickers – deciding her response.  After a while she says, ‘ Which perfume?’

‘See if you can guess?’ I say walking over to her. I bend down. She steadies my head. Her hand is cool.  She sniffs and then tenderly strokes my cheek.

The touch goes through me, lodges as a kernel in my throat, I open my mouth and the kernel bursts, like a sparkler, through my body.

I open my eyes. The tea is cold. I see at the letter and tear it up.

Ooo! Gay!  – There! Gone!

As I live in the present I live in the magic of synchronicity.

I start my new letter ‘My dearest Masi…’ my pen leaks gratitude.

There is much to digest. I go for a walk. Sitting on the park bench, I gaze up to the tree top and hear my mother from fifteen years earlier: ‘Your hurt and your anger harms only you. And I love you. And want you to be happy.’

I see her face, her smile, hear her voice and feel the love. Walking home I think I must tell Ginny and also Google ‘Synchronicity’.  What exactly is it?

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