Tuesday, January 28, 2014


One recently read a book about ‘Grace’, the Biblical connotation of the word, as if the word provided some magic or a secret to a good life, recalling the melodious music of ‘Amazing Grace’, the song that powered the English politician with courage to fight slavery, forever the song played in churches or during the trials of the civil war. It comes at a time when people are stressed at work, when the world seems to be coming apart, but somehow by some amazing grace, it proceeds to calm souls in their hour of need. Perhaps the song was fashioned out of diversity, when partisan ship and evil doing was heavy enough to break people when there is nothing left but grace, coming from God whose ethereal salve, soothes the wounds both physical and psychological, but the psychic scars all the more dire. At times it is the only thing left to keep one’s sanity, to experience a state of equilibrium, of lightness skipping into trials like a butterfly, gifted by grace as one would be imbued by spiritual power,  a simplicity of  mind when all others are losing theirs as Kipling would write in his poem.

It was a good week, both difficult with the many challenges at work and home, but now one feels a certain mastery of events, after several months of being tossed around like a barrel in a storm, swerving here and there, a victim of the winds. Now one is able to see the path, to make distinctions and judgments to move forward, to be calm in the face of difficulty. One is now the master of the moment, to have risen above the trials and be his own commander, achieving a state of grace. It will not last long so one is forever trying to be atop the waves, to keep moving and doing the needed work, bereft of emotion so one could function like an efficient machine. This week, a close relative had gone home, trying to help his son who is caught in a vise, driven by his reckless ambition, a young life wasted in crime; the father trying to save what could be saved. Now the knife is stuck at his back, by his own kin, a clansman whose mind seemed to have snapped, now in a vicious drive to destroy his own kind, perhaps envious of his success; now his mind lost in a labyrinth of deceit and seeming madness. But perhaps there is order in his insanity.

It has become awkward, even between brothers in arms, to talk of this madness like a hidden secret, afraid that it would turn towards a fatal course, like a strain of recklessness coursing through the blood of a tribe like an evil curse. The family has lost its grace, when the patriarch is scorned and lost, driven by the brazenness of one’s own offspring, in turn betrayed by their own sons like a game of thrones, played over generations. Is this clan in its final dance, where the curse plays out its deadly game, cousins fighting amongst each other, brother against brother, old slights and wounds coming out in the open as the madness runs its course. Where did it start? This deadly sequence of actions; where did grace lose its power, where the equilibrium is shattered as one bold enough to rise and challenge the odds, bringing the clan’s gifts into the fore with dazzling success, now sadly twisted into a different direction, losing that special force and delving into the dark side. The way out is to find that point in time where the family had grace, when the kinfolk was light and happy, when the world was full of laughter, when the days played out like a child’s dream, before age, folly and madness destroyed it all.

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